Letter from William Sharp Bush to Jabez Caldwell, March 5, 1811
Twenty-four-year-old Marine Lieutenant William Sharp Bush, stationed at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, wrote this letter to his friend Major Jabez Caldwell on March 5, 1811, the day after Bush was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant. Bush was assigned to the land-based recruiting services during this period and writes of his leisure time and social activities.
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.