Rank(s): Marine Private
Dates of Service: -
Birth Date: 1777
Draper was born around 1777 in Sussex County, Delaware.
Draper enlisted for five years as a private in the Marine Corps on April 13, 1812 at New Orleans under Major Carmick. Before joining the Marines, he had worked as a laborer. While serving aboard USS Syren, he was transferred to the Charlestown Navy Yard on July 3, 1813.
Private Draper was transferred to USS Constitution from the Charlestown Navy Yard on August 5, 1813. He was transferred from the ship back to the Charlestown Navy Yard on June 3, 1814.
Marine privates served as the shipboard police force and were, in effect, sea-going 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 per month.
Battles and Engagements
During Draper’s time aboard, Constitution made a war cruise capturing three merchantmen and one small British man-of-war.
Draper was discharged from the Marine Corps on January 15, 1818. His place and date of death are unknown.