Raised for Continental service at the Tun Tavern in Philadelphia in 1775, the Continental Marine Corps performed important services during the American Revolution. Although disbanded in 1783, the United States Marine Corps was reestablished by an Act of Congress on July 11, 1798.
During the War of 1812, Marines served aboard naval vessels under the orders of the officer of the watch. Their duties generally involved standing guard at doors and hatchways, exercising with arms twice daily, and participating in the general running of the ship, though never aloft to work the ship’s sails. During battle, Marines provided small arms fire support in the tops and waist, led boarding parties, and guarded prisoners.
The lieutenant of Marines was the officer in charge of the Marine Detachment on naval vessels. The lieutenant was assisted by the sergeant of Marines, who conducted daily drills and ensured the privates were well dressed and maintained their equipment. The Marine Corps privates served as sentries and police on the ship, as well as the military fighting force during action. Marine fifers and drummers were instrumental in underscoring orders aboard a naval vessel, both during battle and during the daily drills and in situations where monotonous heavy work was done.Read More