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Colonel William Wilson “Billy Wilson’s Zouaves”

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Item No. CV2888TG Category


Carte view of William Wilson, former prize fighter and colonel of the 6th New York Volunteer Infantry known as the “Billy Wilson’s Zouaves”. In late April of 1861, William would be appointed colonel of the 6th New York. The following month this very same portrait would be featured on the cover of Harper’s Weekly. News papers reported the regiment was made up of thieves and gang members although that claim was most likely exaggerated. Wilson would serve in Florida and Louisiana in 1862 and early 1863 before being mustered out of service in June, 1863. The following year he would be placed in command of the 69th New York, a militia regiment, although he would decline a colonel’s commission. He would be brevetted to brigadier general of volunteers, to rank from March, 1865. This view is back marked by Anthony.

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