"A Zouave". Roger Fenton, dressed in a Zouave uniform, with a rifle.
Roger Fenton was particularly keen to show the ethnic diversity in the allied camp during the Crimean War (1853-1856): Croats, Egyptians, Macedonians, Zouaves and Algerian infantrymen. He had himself photographed (in 1855) by his assistant Marcus Sparling, in a Zouave uniform, an infantry brigade created in 1831 in Algeria which distinguished itself during the Crimean War.
From www.allworldwars.com: "Roger Fenton's Crimean War photo series is the first historic attempt to portray war campaign with the help of new 'magic' photo media, then still in its infancy. Sent as a replacement for the Richard Nicklin, a civilian photographer, who was lost at sea, along with his assistants, photographs, and equipment, when their ship sank during the hurricane that stuck the harbor at Balaklava on November 14, 1854. Fenton spend March-June 1855 in Crimea as an official campaign photographer, payed by the British government, recording participants and landscapes for posterity. With the end of the Crimean War, quite modest public interest in Fenton's photos quickly faded away. Fenton retired from photography abruptly in 1862, saddened by the death of his only son and that of his assistant. After ten years as the most respected photographer in Britain, he returned to law. He died in 1869, at the age of 50, financially broken and almost forgotten. In our days, however, historians unanimously recognize Fenton's remarkable accomplishments not only for his keen artistic eye, but also honor him as one of the first professional war photographers."
next episode: trouble from the east