Rank(s): Marine Private
Dates of Service: 8/5/1813 - 6/13/1815
Cain’s place and date of birth are unknown. He was originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and lived there around 1815 to 1816. He then lived in Boston, Massachusetts from 1816 through at least 1834.
Cain enlisted as a private in the Marine Corps on March 18, 1811. On July 3, 1813, he was transferred to USS Syren.
Patrick Cain joined Constitution ’s crew as a private on August 5, 1813. In 1814, he had the watch assignment of starboard and was assigned to the fore top. He was transferred back to Constitution on June 13, 1815 from the Charlestown Navy Yard.
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
Cain was wounded and lost his forearm in action on February 20, 1815, during the battles with HMS Cyane and HMS Levant . His arm was amputated below the elbow joint. He received $22.19 in prize money.
Cain was the New York Navy Yard on June 15, 1815. He was transferred to USS Independence on June 25, 1815. He was discharged by surgeon’s certificate on October 10, 1815. His place and date of death are unknown.