The painting is signed, lower right, in the white band, "J. Graff 2nd Pion"
The Chicago Zouave Cadets Drill Team stands at right, port arms. A United States flag held by a Zouave is centered in the rear line. To the right, left, and background, and also in the right foreground, members of the 45th New York Regiment of Zouaves are pictured. In the lower middle and also in the right foreground members of the Utica Brass Band are shown. A drum bearing the word "Band" is seen as are a few brass musical instruments. A band of white is painted across the bottom of the scene - bears the words "The Chicago Zouaves at Utica." The Chicago Zouave Cadets Drill Team toured the eastern part of the U.S. in the summer of 1860 giving demonstrations in various cities, including Utica, New York on July 10.
This colorful painting captures the enthusiastic support American militia groups enjoyed during the pre-Civil War period. It also helps document the life and career of Elmer Ellsworth, who achieved fame by organizing the Chicago Zouaves. He later became a close friend of the Lincoln Family and was the first Union Army officer to be killed in the Civil War, a death that deeply grieved the Lincolns.