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Ship's Crew

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Andrew Chambers

Rank(s): Marine Private

Dates of Service: 6/11/1812 - 10/10/1815

Birth Date: 1780

Early Life

Andrew Chambers was born around 1780 in England.

From 1815 to 1817, Chambers lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1817, he lived in Georgetown, DC and Baltimore, Maryland.

Early Experience

Before 30 April 1812, he was a shoemaker in Baltimore, Maryland. Chambers enlisted as a private in the Marine Corps on April 26, 1812.

In 1812, he was 5 feet, 6 ½ inches tall with dark eyes, a light complexion, and black hair.

Chambers joined Constitution ’s crew as a private on June 11, 1812. He was assigned to the fore top. On February 20, 1815, during battle with HMS Cyane and HMS Levant , he was wounded and disabled by a splinter in his left hand. He was discharged from Constitution on July 28, 1815 and then discharged from the Marine Corps under a surgeon’s certificate on October 10, 1815.

Marine privates served as the shipboard police force and were, in effect, seagoing soldiers. They used the same manual of arms as the army and trained in much the same way. Unlike the army, marines had to be familiar with naval work and warfare. Marines could not be ordered aloft to do the work of the seamen there, but they could expect to man the capstan or serve as gun crews on the gun deck. Marines stood watch as sentries at sensitive parts of the ship, to see that no unauthorized people passed into those spaces (such as the captain’s cabin or the spirit room). In battle, marines armed with muskets or rifles took up station along the gangway or in the tops to keep up a constant fire on the enemy’s decks. The marine private received $6.00-$8.00 per month.

Battles and Engagements

Chambers participated in the battle with HMS Guerriere and received $42.62 ½ in prize money. He also participated in the battle with HMS Java and received $42.30 in prize money. He participated in the battles with HMS Cyane and HMS Levant and received $22.19 in prize money.

Chambers’s place and date of death are unknown.

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