Captain Jabez Cushman Rich, the marine no one wanted.

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Aug 25, 2012
Captain Jabez Cushman Rich may be the only Civil War officer dismissed from three services. At the fall of Gosport Navy Yard it appears the Captain Rich deserted. Rich was dismissed from the US Marine Corps. He traveled to Richmond and attempted to join the Virginia Marine Corps but was not at first accepted. On 20 May 1861 he was finally appointed a captain in the Virginia Marine Corps. He appeared to have been considered ineffective and was dismissed from the Virginia Marine Corps.

On 26 October, 1863 Rich was commissioned in to the Confederate States Marine Corps as a captain. Rich was never given any responsibly or assigned any duties and put on the "waiting orders' list. Based on another report he was on detached duty with the Army of Northern Virginia and captured at the Battle of Antietam. It is not certain he ever was on detached duty with Army of Northern Virginia or ever captured. When Rich's mother became ill in New York, Rich went to visit her. It is not certain he cleared this with the CS Marine Corps. This caused the CS Marine Corps to dismiss Rich on 10 October, 1862. Rich was arrested in New York after he attempted to return to the Confedercy. There was some question of what to do with Rich as he could not be a prisoner of war if he had been dismissed from the Confederate military. In the end Rich was released. Rich died in 1865.

Captain Rich had served for almost 27 years in the U.S.M.C. and it appears his service during the Mexican American War was good and he appears to have been a fair Marine Corps officer up to 1856 when he was court martialed, found guilty of disobeying orders and dismissed from the U.S.M.C. however his dismissal was commented and Rich lost his rank, pay, and privileges for two months. He then returned to duty and appears to have served up to the fall of Gosport Navy Yard. It would appear that Captain Rich had enough experience that he should have been of some use to the CS Marine Corps. There are some indications that Captain Rich may have been having mental issues.

Captain Jabez Cushman Rich appears to be the marine officer no one wanted and may be one of the only marine officers dismissed from three different marine corps.


Sergeant Major
Member of the Month
Dec 5, 2019
Was Capt. Rich really switching sides, backwards and forwards? No wonder he made everyone uneasy!