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Anderson Zouaves Research

Quietly Smoking a Cigar [8 June 1862]


A meeting of the friends of the late Col. Riker of the Anderson Zouaves, who gloriously fell whilst leading his regiment at the battle of Fair Oaks, was held last evening at the Everett House... Lieut. Bradley - who participated in the battle of Fair Oaks as aid to Col. Riker - was called upon. Lieut. Bradley gave a long and interesting account of the share taken in the engagement by the Anderson Zouaves, with special reference to Col. Riker's conduct on that occasion. From the Lieutenant's statement, it would seem that the regiment and its Colonel behaved magnificently all through the fight; the coolness of the Colonel, in the most trying situations, being absolutely marvellous. As showing this Lieut. Bradley incidentally remarked that the Colonel was not struck whilst waving his sword, as he never drew his sword at all, but was quietly smoking a cigar most of the time. Lieut. Bradley declared he never saw a Colonel so beloved by his soldiers as was Col. Riker. The speaker was warmly applauded at the conclusion of his remarks.

New York Times, Sunday, June 8th., 1862.