U. S. Marines

Amandas Snyder William F. Datow George Tull
Robert S. Gray Archibald Stewart Taylor-Major J. A. Burrough
Allen Walter William Smith William B. Slack-Lieutenant
Isaac Arterburn John Hendricks John Nangle
Albert VanVoorhees Dennis McCahill Dennis McCashin
William Gulick William J. Smith Abraham d. Boucher
J. P. Coons C. McCaffrey Robert Brunt
James Buchanan Breese Henry G. Nutt John Henry Bacon
James Mcelroy Andrew H. Halbertstadt Richard W. Drenning
John Chappell Charles Raub Isaac Stover
William Baccart C. Finerock George H. Flood
John Ogden Francis Connolly Garrett C. Green
John Bain Michael Albert  
     
     
     

The United States Marine Corps (USMC) was not utilized to full advantage during the Civil War. Already weakened by the resignations of many of its best officers, the USMCs morale suffered further as a result of feuding between staff and line officers and senior officers who regarded themselves administrators rather than field commanders. Another blow to morale was the practice of appointing new junior officers by patronage.

        In 1861 Congress authorized the United States Marine Corps to be enlarged to 93 officers and 3,074 enlisted men, and Abraham Lincoln increased that number by another thousand. However, recruiting was hindered by a lack of funds for bounties and longer terms of enlistment than for men in the volunteer army. By 1863 negative feelings toward the USMC resulted in a congressional resolution that would have transferred the corps to army control. The resolution was defeated, however, and when Marine Commandant-Col. Jobn C. Harris died in 1864, Sec. of the Navy Gideon Welles retired several senior officers to appoint Maj. Jacob Zeilin his successor. Zeilin, at 59, was a combat veteran of the Mexican War and an officer of proven ability.

        Harris had governed the corps by carefully following all naval regulations and by staying clear of army operations, and Zeilin continued this policy. As a consequence, marines did not play a major role in expeditions and amphibious operations during the war. Both Harris and Zeilin failed to recognize the possibilities of amphibious assault, regarding such operations as a responsibility of the army. Some 400 marines did participate in the navy's unsuccessful landing operation against Fort Fisher, 13-14 Jan. 1865; the army landing finally won the battle there.

        During the war marines continued their traditional role as ship guards, also manning batteries and participating in limited operations ashore. They did not always perform well, as at First Bull Run, where a marine battalion of mostly raw recruits was routed. But other marines distinguished themselves during landing and gunboat attacks and especially as members of gun crews. 17 marines received the Medal of Honor for conspicuous bravery; 13 of these were sergeants and corporals serving as gun captains and gun-division commanders.

        Marine recruiting improved by 1864 with changes in the conscription laws and with bounty money finally available. When the war ended, the corps was at full strength. A total of 148 marines were killed in action, while 312 more died from other causes.

Source:  "Historical Times Encyclopedia of the Civil War"

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