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11th Indiana Regiment Infantry Unit History
Lew Wallace and the Indiana Zouaves

The 11th Indiana Infantry Regiment was organized at Indianapolis on April 25, 1861, for a three month term of service, then reorganized and mustered-in for the three years' service on August 31, 1861, with Col. Lewis Wallace as its commander.

In the early days of the war many regiments assumed identities to distinguish them from others being organized. The 11th was recognized as a Zouave regiment similar to famous regiments of the same name that fought in the French armies. Zouaves wore distinctly colorful uniforms that clearly set them apart from their counterparts.

At the war's start, Lew Wallace was appointed by Governor Oliver P. Morton as the Adjutant General of Indiana. The son of a former Indiana governor, Wallace was a gifted Hoosier. He was a lawyer, veteran and statesman. All of this long before he would be known as the author of Ben Hur. He resigned his post to command the 11th Indiana Infantry Regiment that was one of the first six regiments raised by the state for the war.


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