Rank(s): Marine Private
Dates of Service: 6/28/1812 - 7/28/1815
Birth Date: 1775
George Cline was born in 1775 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Cline enlisted as a private in the Marine Corps on March 25, 1812.
In 1812, he was 5 feet, 7 ¼ inches tall with blue eyes, a sallow complexion, and brown hair.
Cline joined Constitution ’s crew as a private on June 28, 1812. On March 27, 1813, he was transferred to the Charlestown Navy Yard. He was transferred back to Constitution on September 13, 1813. He detached on July 28, 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
During his time on board, the ship made a war cruise, capturing a small British man-of-war and three merchantmen. Cline 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.
Cline was transferred to USS Chesapeake on May 17, 1813. On June 1, 1813, Cline was severely wounded on USS Chesapeake. He was promoted to corporal on October 1, 1814. He was discharged by substitute on August 8, 1816 and then discharged from the Marine Corps on January 15, 1818. His place and date of death are unknown.