Today is the 237th birthday of the United States Marine Corps (USMC). Now this branch of our military was organized by the Continental Congress to enlarge and expand naval forces. Their origins come prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence! It’s recorded that the Marines began recruiting November 10, 1775 in a tavern in Philadelphia. They played a crucial part in our nation’s fight for independence and have a strong, rich history of serving their country ever since.
So I thought I’d do a little research on the Marine Corps, especially in regard to the Civil War. I found particularly interesting that it was some Marines, (who were under the command of Army Colonel Robert E. Lee) were the military that captured John Brown and his men at Harper’s Ferry just prior to the Civil War.
Then during the war, the USMC like other military branches had their share of officers resign and fight for the Confederacy. With a large volunteer army, the Marine‘s recruitment numbers were not high. The U.S. Marines Corps were mainly used to guard ships and forts during the Civil War, although a battalion of Marines did fight at the Battle of Bull Run.
The Confederate States Marine Corps (CSMC) never reached the numbers authorized by their government either, yet they were present at the battle of the ironclads, the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia. The CSMC also fought at the Battle of Salyers Creek which piqued my interest since my g-g-grandfather was a Union private with the 81st Pennsylvania, who fought in that same battle.
Finally to one Marine in particular and the rest of the Corps – Happy Birthday!!!