Identity Statement for Austin B. Nowlan
- Reference code: IE UCDAD P22
- Title: Papers of Austin B. Nowlan
- Dates: 1860–61
- Level of description: Item
- Extent: 57pp
The Papal Zouaves were founded in 1867 by France and Belgium for Pope Pious IX in response to the threats of Garibaldi. They comprised mainly of French, Swiss and French Canadians.
Five copy letters from Austin B. Nowlan, Valentano and Amagni, Italy, to members of his family, concerning his service with the Franco-Belge Corps and later the Irish Brigade of the Papal Zouaves during the war of Italian re-unification. A detailed account of events following a skirmish with Piedmontese forces when he was captured and imprisoned at Genoa is included. Four of the letters are concerned with his post in Amagni with the Irish Brigade. He discusses the political situation; the extent of support for Victor Emannuel and Pius IX; and the involvement of Napoleon III which he describes as 'satanic'. He also comments on the climate, the character and diet of the local people, the colourful nature of religious festivities, and the attractions of Rome. Family affairs are included.