By: Katie Niver
Yesterday, McNeil & Co.’s David Denniston had the chance to recreate a piece of American history with members of the South Carolina Fireman’s Association, North Charleston Fire Department, and the Fireman’s Association of New York. Hopping on a fireboat, the group set sail towards Castle Pinckney, a historic Civil War Prison that held numerous groups of Union soldiers. But today’s adventure was to honor one group in particular, the First New York Zouaves.
The First New York Zouaves, or 11th Fire Zouaves, were a group of firemen from across the northern states who volunteered to fight for the Union in the Civil War. Carter Jones, of the South Carolina Fireman’s Association, recently wrote an article where he described the group of soldiers as a “disciplined, brave and physically fit” group. The regiment of soldiers were not only known for their unique uniforms and for having the first Union casualty of the Civil War, but for being held captive by Confederate troops at Castle Pinckney where guards described them as an “exceptionally intelligent lot”.
In honoring these firefighters, David Denniston, Director of Risk Management, Joe Palmer, Director of South Carolina Fireman’s Association, Skip Hannon, President of South Carolina Fireman’s Association, John Tippett, Deputy Chief of North Charleston Fire Department, Kenneth Pienkowski, President of FASNY and David Jacobowitz, Past President of FASNY, traveled to what’s left of Castle Pinckney to recreate the iconic photograph taken over 155 years ago. While the sign in today’s photograph is a replica, the original sign survives still and is displayed at the FASNY Museum of Firefighting in Hudson, New York.
Picture Left to Right:
Kenneth Pienkowski, David Denniston, David Jacobowitz, Skip Hannon, John tippet, Joe Palmer
Check out Carter Jones’ article on the Frist Zouaves: https://scfirefighters.org/2016/07/the-mystery-fire-department-medallion/