Rank(s): Marine Private
Dates of Service: 9/10/1813 - 7/28/1815
Birth Date: 1777
Gideon Chauncey was born around 1777 in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
Chauncey enlisted as a private in the Marine Corps on March 23, 1811. He was transferred to the Charlestown Navy Yard on October 2, 1812.
In 1811, he was 5 feet, 8 inches tall with grey eyes, a ruddy complexion, and light hair.
Chauncey joined Constitution ’s crew as a private on September 10, 1813. He was transferred from Constitution 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
He participated in the battles with HMS Cyane and HMS Levant and received $22.19 in prize money.
Chauncey was discharged from the Marine Corps on April 3, 1916. His place and date of death are unknown.