Letter from William Sharp Bush to Jabez Caldwell, June 5, 1810
Twenty-three-year-old Marine Lieutenant William Sharp Bush, stationed on the U.S. Brig Hornet at Annapolis, Maryland, wrote this letter to his friend Major Jabez Caldwell in June of 1810. Bush writes of having resigned from the Marine Corps in New York and, after traveling to Washington, DC to settle his accounts, agreeing to return to the Marines with unchanged seniority. Bush goes on to discuss his positive relationship with the men serving under him at his new station.
Bush went on to command USS Constitution‘s Marine Guard in the opening months of the War of 1812. He was killed during Constitution‘s engagement with the British frigate HMS Guerriere on August 19, 1812, becoming the first United States Marine Corps officer to die in combat.