First Bull Run The Marines have landed at First Bull Run/Manassas!

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M E Wolf

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Dear List Members;

We are aware of the US Army involved at First Bull Run/First Manassas but--nobody pays attention to the US Marines who fought there--:

O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 2 [S# 2] -- CHAPTER IX.
JULY 16-22, 1861.--The Bull Run, or Manassas, Campaign, Virginia.
No. 36. -- Report of Maj. John G. Reynolds, commanding battalion of U. S. Marines.
MARINE BARRACKS HEADQUARTERS,
Washington, July 24, 1861.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the movements and operations of the battalion of marines under my command detailed to co-operate with the Army.

The battalion left the barracks at headquarters in time to reach the Virginia end of the Potomac Long Bridge at 3 p.m. July 16, and proceeded up the Columbia turnpike until an officer, purporting to be the assistant adjutant-general of Colonel Porter's brigade, came up and assigned us position in the line of march, which placed us immediately in the rear of-Captain Griffin's battery of flying artillery. This assignment was continued up to the period of the battle at Bull Run.

On reaching the field, and for some hours previously, the battery's accelerated march was such as to keep my command more or less in double-quick time; consequently the men became fatigued or exhausted in strength. Being obliged at this period to halt, in order to afford those in the rear an opportunity of closing up and taking their proper place in line, the battery was lost to protection from the force under my command. This I stated to Colonel Porter, who was ever present, watching the events, of the day. The position of the battery was pointed out, and I was directed to afford the necessary support. In taking this position the battalion was exposed to a galling fire. Whilst holding it General McDowell ordered the battalion to cover or support the Fourteenth New York Regiment which was about to be engaged. The battalion, in consequence, took the position indicated by the general, but was unable to hold it, owing to the heavy fire which was opened upon them. They broke three several times, but as frequently formed, and urged back to their position, where finally a general rout took place, in which the marines participated. No effort on the part of their officers could induce them to rally.

I am constrained to call your attention to the fact that, when taking into consideration the command was composed entirely of recruits--not one being in service over three weeks, and many had hardly learned their facings, the officers likewise being but a short time in the service--their conduct was such as to elicit only the highest commendation.

Of the three hundred and fifty officers and enlisted men under my command, there were but two staff officers, two captains, one first lieutenant, and nine non-commissioned officers and two musicians who were experienced from length of service. The remainder were, of course, raw recruits, which being considered, I am happy to report the good conduct of officers and men. The officers, although but little experienced, were zealous in their efforts to carry out my orders.
In the death of Lieutenant Hitchcock the corps has been deprived of a valuable acquisition. On the field he was ever present and zealous. He sought and won the approbation of his commanding and brother officers.

Inclosed please find a return of the battalion, showing its present strength, with casualties, &c.(*)

The abrupt and hasty retreat from the field of battle presents a deplorable deficiency in both arms and equipments.

The rout being of such a general character, the men of all arms commingled, the only alternative left was to hasten to the ground occupied by the brigade to which we were attached on the morning of the day of the battle. On my way thither I had the good fortune to fall in with General Meigs, whose consternation at the disastrous retreat was depicted upon his countenance. He was of the opinion the Army should hasten to Arlington, fearing otherwise the enemy would follow up their successes and cut us off on the road. My men being weary and much exhausted, without blankets and other necessaries, I determined to strengthen such as should pass the wagons by hot coffee, and move on to headquarters at Washington City, where their wants could be supplied. But few came up; others continued on to the Long Bridge, where, on my arrival, I found some seventy or more, who, at my urgent solicitation, were permitted to accompany me to the barracks.
In assuming the responsibility of the return to headquarters, I trust my course will meet the approbation of authority.

Blankets were thrown aside by my order on entering the field, which from force of circumstances we were afterwards unable to recover.

All of which is respectfully submitted.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. GEO. REYNOLDS,
Major, Commanding Battalion Marines.
Capt. W. W. AVERELL,
A. A. A. G., First Brigade, Second Division, Arlington.
---------------------------------------------------------------

Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
 

ole

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My thanks for that snippet, M.E. There were real, live marines in that mix-up. Your reminder is most welcome.

ole
 
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ole

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That might be a significant assignment, timewalker, as there weren't all that many marines existing at the onset.
 

M E Wolf

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Dear Ole and Timewalker;

This is the battlefield report of wounded, killed or missing;

Battalion U.S. Marines
1 officer killed
8 enlisted men killed
2 officers wounded
17enlisted men wounded
....no officers missing
16enlisted men missing
44 total out of 350 officers and men on the field.

Just some thoughts.

Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
 

M E Wolf

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Timewalker,

So far, I see US Marines being assigned on ships and with the US Navy; like going ashore as 'infantry' would; sometimes in support of land army; e.g. Cold Harbor, New Berne--but, never seen thus far; a march from the Marine Barrack in Washington, to the battlefield and assigned to an Army Colonel Porter; under the Generalship McDowell.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME 2 [S# 2] -- CHAPTER IX.
JULY 16-22, 1861.--The Bull Run, or Manassas, Campaign, Virginia.
No. 5. -- Organization of the Army commanded by Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell at the battle of Bull Run, Va., July 21, 1861.
Compiled from the records of the Adjutant-General's Office.]
FIRST DIVISION.
Brig. Gen. DANIEL TYLER.
First Brigade
Col. E. D. KEYES.
Second Maine.
First Connecticut.
Second Connecticut.
Third Connecticut.
Second Brigade.
Brig. Gen. R. C. SCHENCK.
Second New York (State Militia).
First Ohio.
Second Ohio.
E, Second U.S. Artillery.
Third Brigade.
Col. W. T. SHERMAN.
Thirteenth New York.
Sixty-ninth New York.
Seventy-ninth New York.
Second Wisconsin.
E, Third U.S. Artillery.
Fourth Brigade.
Col. I. B. RICHARDSON,
First Massachusetts.
Twelfth New York.
Second Michigan.
Third Michigan.
G, First U.S. Artillery.
M, Second U.S. Artillery.
SECOND DIVISION.
Col. ANDREW PORTER.
First Brigade.
Col. Andrew Porter.

Eighth New York (Militia).
Fourteenth New York.
Twenty-seventh Now York.
Battalion U.S. Infantry.(1)
Battalion U.S. Marines.Battalion U.S. Cavalry.(2)
D, Fifth U.S. Artillery.
Second Brigade.
Col. A. E. Burnside.
Second New Hampshire.
First Rhode Island.
Second Rhode Island.(3)
Seventy-first New York.(3)
THIRD DIVISION.
Col. S. P. HEINTZELMAN, wounded.
First Brigade.
Col. W. B. FRANKLIN.
Fifth Massachusetts.
Eleventh Massachusetts.
First Minnesota.
I, First U.S. Artillery.
Second Brigade.
Col. O. B. WILLCOX, wounded and captured.
Eleventh New York (Fire Zouaves).
Thirty-eighth New York.
First Michigan.
Fourth Michigan. (4)
D, Second U.S. Artillery.
Third Brigade.
Col. O. O. HOWARD.
Third Maine.
Fourth Maine.
Fifth Maine.
Second Vermont.
FOURTH (RESERVE) DIVISION.(4)
Brig. Gen. THEODORE RUNYON.
Three months
First New Jersey.
Second New Jersey.
Third New Jersey.
Third New Jersey.
Three years
First New Jersey.
Second New Jersey.
Fourth New Jersey.
Forty-first New York.
FIFTH DIVISION.
Col. DIXON S. MILES.
First Brigade.(5)
Col. Louis BLENKER.
Eighth New York (Volunteers).
Twenty-ninth New York.
Thirty-ninth New York.
Twenty-seventh Pennsylvania.
A, Second U.S. Artillery.
Bookwood's New York Battery.(6)
Second Brigade.
Col. THOMAS A. DAVIES.
Sixteenth New York.
Eighteenth New York.
Thirty-first New York.
Thirty-second New York.
G, Second U.S. Artillery.
-------------------------------------
I haven't read the entire Official Report of the Rebellion; but thus far--only this case where one lone Brigade is fighting at Bull Run.

The Marines went to Fort Stevens; in the defense of Washington; however--no indication they went beyond the works/fort. Unlike Bull Run; they marched to and from the battlefield and were in the field--not in forts or retaking of a fort, e.g. Ft. Sumter.

I am tempted to write the commander at this Barrack and ask lots of questions. [smiles]

Just some thoughts.

Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
 
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M E Wolf

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Dear List Members--

I dug some more -- Major Reynold's command of Marines:

Killed Officer - 1 Second Lieutenant Hitchcock
8-Privates Killed :tongue:rivates Clegg, Harris, Hughes, Lane, Moore, Perkins, Riley, Ward.

1 wounded and absent Corporal 4 wounded and absent Privates :Corporal Steiner, Privates Stewart, Bowers, Slemons, Bradford.

Wounded in the hospital 1 Major 1 Second Lieutenant 12 Privates:
Brevet Major Zeilin, Lieutenant Hale (in quarters), Privates Dodge, Etchells, Tiger, Lang, McKenna, McCann, Whelan, McGuigan, Howell, Rannohan, Cook, Potter.

Missing in Action 16 Privates:
Privates Barrett, Hunt, McCristal, Clark, McCoy, Lewis, Beans, Dempsey, Kressler, Dermott, Otto, Cannon, Stanley, Ducanson, Foley, Wood.

Major Slack, quartermaster. Not in action.

Total Strength: 3 Majors; 1 Captain; 1 First Lt.; 6 2nd Lts.; 2 N.C. Staff; 4 First Sergeants; 3 2nd Sergeants; 8 Corporals; 2 Drummers; 2 fifers; 320 Privates; Aggregates : 353
44 killed, wounded or missing in action; left for ‘fit for duty’ was : 309.

Found the names listed in the US Navy Official Records of the Rebellion.

------------------------------------------------------
Wouldn't it be nice if the US Army was so detailed in giving names; not all included names of their killed, wounded or missing Non-commissioned officers and or privates. Refreshing--yet; sad. None of these Marines were given awards.

Just some thoughts.

Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
 

whitworth

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Marines and the Civil War

The Marines were but the faintest image of their current self. Like the British Marines, they were ship guards and naval yard guards. And occasionally participated with the usually more numerous blue jackets in infantry assaults on ports.


"Despite ample warning, it was not until the fall of 1942, three years after the Nazis marched into Poland and nine months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, that we were able to place a fully trained but only partially equipped Marine division in the field..."

Coral and Brass. General Holland M. Smith. Wartime commander of the United States Marine Corps in the Central Pacific.
 

M E Wolf

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Dear List Members--

A wee bit off topic--but, I wanted to share with the list of what I have done. [Smiles]

I wrote to the Commandant of the US Marine Barracks, at Washington, DC via Certified receipt; asking if they are going to have some ceremony or 'honors rendered' on the 147th anniversary of the battle of First Bull Run/Manassas. I asked if they were considering having ceremonies at the barracks or on the battlefield where Griffin's Battery was (which coincidentally is near the Stone House near the intersection of Sudley Road and Warrenton Road aka Rt. 29, according to a Confederate map).

I also wrote the US Army; Military District of Washington, via E-mail; asking if they would be marking the anniversary of Bull Run/Manassas.
I pointed out the joint military cooperation with the Marines. It will be interesting to see if they will answer me.

Now I will wait and see what it yields. And, will share with the list.

Just some thoughts.

Respectfully submitted,
M. E. Wolf
 
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whitworth

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The Insignificant Role of the U.S. Marines in the Civil War

The U.S. Marine Corps played a fairly insignificant role in the Civil War. The U.S. Marine Corps was not originally intended to be a large infantry force, as it came to be in WWII, and to a lesser part in WWI.

The Civil War was not the U.S. Marine Corps finest hour, because it never was the intent to have a Corps that would have a finest hour. The amphibious assault at Fort Fisher, late in the war, was a U.S. Army show. The Marines did participate, but only 400 of them. The Marines were even outnumbered by the Navy bluejackets, that were used as naval infantry, by a margin of four Sailors to one Marine.

I met some U.S. Army officers shortly after the Korean War, that well wished the U.S. Marine Corps was the size it was during the Civil War. Once the size genie got out of the bottle, the U.S. Marine Corps was never the same.

Official Records:


THE BULL RUN CAMPAIGN.

Report of Maj. John G. Reynolds, commanding battalion of U. S. Marines.

MARINE BARRACKS HEADQUARTERS,
Washington, July 24, 1861.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the movements and operations of the battalion of marines under my commind detailed to co-operate with the Army.


...I am constrained to call your attention to the fact that, when taking into consideration the command was composed entirely of recruits—not one being in service over three weeks, and many had hardly learned their facings, the officers likewise being but a short time in the service—their conduct was such as to elicit only the highest commendation.


p391-392 Series 1 - Volume 2
*******






CAPTURE OF FORT FISHER, N. C.



The assault of the sailors and marines, although it failed,
undoubtedly contributed somewhat to our success, and certainly nothing could surpass the perfect skill with which the fleet was handled by its commander. [page 400]


ALFRED H. TERRY,
Major- General



Reports of B’vt. Brig Gen. Cyrus B. Comstock, Aide-de-Camp to Lieu.
tenant- General Grant.

FORT FISHER, January 16, 1865.
(Via Fortress Monroe, Va.)
After a careful reconnaissance on the 14th, it was decided to risk an assault on Fort Fisher; Paine’s division, with Colonel Abbott’s brigade, to hold our line, already strong across the peninsula and facing Wilmington, against Hoke, while Ames’ division should assault on the
front, 400 marines and 1,600 sailors on the east end. After three hours of heavy navy fire the assault was made at 3 p. m. on the 15th.
Curtis’ brigade led, and, as soon as it got on the west end of the land front, was followed by Pennypacker’s and later by Bell’s. After desperate fighting, gaining foot by foot, and severe loss, at 5 p. m. we had possession of abont half the land front. Abbott’s brigade was then taken from the line facing Wilmington and put into Fort Fisher, and on pushing it forward at 10 p. m. it took the rest of the work with but little resistance, the garrison falling back to the extreme point of the peninsula, where they were followed and captured—among others Gen-
eral Whiting and Colonel Lamb,both wounded.


...The marines and sailors went up gallantly,
but the musketry fire from the east end of the land front was so severe that they did not succeed in entering the work.


C. B. COMSTOCK,
Lieutenant- Colonel, Aide-de- Camp, and Chief of Engineers.

p405-406 Series 1 - Volume 46 (Part I)
 

M E Wolf

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Dear Whitworth,

I do understand how you are using the terms of 'insugnificant' in regard to the US Marine Corps.

However, in my personal opinion - one person is not insugnificant to me. [Smiles] Just as you are very sugnificant to me, here on this forum. Without you--it would not be the same and we would be in want of your words, wisdom, opinions and thoughts.

I take this onward, in the same spirit to those groups who are easily overlooked and barely noticable.

What the sadness is for me; I am sitting not far from our Federal City; with all the generals and admirals around; and-- well; First Bull Run-Manassas is not being remembered since General Eisenhower, who trooped the military on those fields and gave honor volleys. Unfortunately, I was but a wee thing and never had the pleasure/honor to attend.

I am concerned that should the wrong man sit in the White House, the 150th anniversary will be passed.

In remembering these fallen, I am honoring those to whom fell for me--the ones of the future of the United States. I think the Daddies, Uncles, Grandfathers, brothers, sons of both sides, some women as well -- died for me. No different from those of World War II, Korea, Viet Nam, Desert Storm and now.

Just some thoughts.

Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
 

whitworth

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I highly recommend

Coral and Brass. General Holland M. Smith. Wartime commander of the United States Marine Corps in the Central Pacific.

It was a book just written after WWII, and covers most of the first fifty years of the 20th century.
I work from my knowledge of the U.S. Marine Corps. What they were in the 19th century and what they became in the 20th century.

The reality of the Civil War period is the Marines were of no great significance, and below is some proof.

Holland M. Smith got an appointment to the Naval Academy in the late part of the 19th century. He wrote," I never accepted the designation or sat for examinations because my father and mother would not hear of it. They were both born during the Civil War period and they carried the mental scars of the conflict deep in their beings. They were still unreconstructed and would not permit me to accept an offer which, in their minds, would be a surrender to Yankee ideology."

"Such an attitude would appear unreasonable today but when I was a boy in the South these ideas were live, glowing embers of a fire that had not been extinguished, remnants of a pride that could yield buy not surrender."

In 1904, Holland M. Smith joined the U.S. Marine Corps.

His Congressman had asked, "How would you like to join the Marines?" I know it sounds odd today but I answered, "What are the Marines."

Apparently his unreconstructed Confederate parents had never heard of the Marines either. Too obscure to be considered Yankees.

A copy of the book is on the internet.
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/Coral&Brass/index.html
 
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M E Wolf

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Dear Whitworth,

I do agree with you, that the Civil War era US Marine Corps and up to and into World War II; was the "Rodney Dangerfield" of all the present 'forms' of military, e.g. navy, army, marines, air force, etc.; which in World War II it was the Army-Air Force.

Even more reason to make sure they get some 'respect.' It is well deserved in my opinion and long overdue.

Perhaps it is my nature to focus on the 'under dog.' I like to believe I am a very fair and just person; to which wishes never to exclude due to size; in this area--armed services branches.

Unfortunately, we have had no president since Eisenhower; who put the strength of both armies on the battlefields of First Manassas/First Bull Run; to me the 'ultimate' re-enactment; as to impress upon citizens how it may have appeared, sounded and smelled. I just wish I was there--Nuts! [Snaps fingers]

I think if it was done again, history would make more sense by seeing actual numbers, numbers of cannons firing--the battlefield coming alive.
Although Gods and Generals have done more to honor the events and the men of First Bull Run/Manassas; it is a pity our country has forgotten the 125th anniversary of First Bull Run/Manassas.

In speaking with Jari Villenueva; who is one of the Air Force Sergeants who plays Taps at Arlington National Cemetery; as well as plays Civil War music under the label of : The Federal City Brass Band-- it may be that better consideration for honors at the field will be three years from now; the 150th anniversary. I just hope I'm alive to participate.


Just some thoughts.


Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
 

Borderruffian

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The reality of the Civil War period is the Marines were of no great significance, and below is some proof.
That the United States Marine Corps was of no great signifigance in the Civil War as a large cohesive fighting force is not in question.

The Corps at the time was not meant to be the self sustaining expeditionary force it has become. It was meant to be The Corps of Marines providing service aboard Naval Vessel's, Navy Yards, Shore Installations and provide the Fleet and Squadron commanders with ready landing parties as they deemed fit.

Several Marines were awarded the Medal Honor mostly in engagements between ships or aboard ships engaging shore batteries.

But then we've been thru all this before.

Dunno but however small the Corps was at the time they did their duty, regardless of whether Howlin Mad knew what a Marine was in 1904.

Semper Fi
 

M E Wolf

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Dear List Members,

I got the certified receipt back from the package I sent to the Marine Corps. Haven't heard a peep or seen any response from anybody.
Maybe after 4th of July--[crosses fingers]

If worst comes to worse; I'll haul my beehind out to Bull Run in Manassas and play some Civil War music and do a lonely vigil.

Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
 
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ole

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Semper Fi
Semper Fi! That the Marines at the time were yard guards is probably factual. But over the century we've come to recognize the jarhead as a rather valuable arm of our military. Funny how those things change.

ole
 

M E Wolf

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Dear Ole,

Jar Head, Leather Neck and all the other nicknames the Marines carry; I would be just as upset over a battalion of Army recruits fighting in Corps of Marines, if they were forgotten.

None of the Union dead got an honorable burial and buried in a mass grave at Sudley Church. If memory serves me correctly, not a marker is erected to mark were the mass grave is/was.

TAPS was not authored/penned yet at that time either.

Just makes me really sad. Someone should remember in a visible way.
[My softy side showing ] --Remembering all of them - Grey and Blue, needs to be done--they were all Americans.

Just some thoughts.

Respectfully submitted for consideration,
M. E. Wolf
 

Borderruffian

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Semper Fi! That the Marines at the time were yard guards is probably factual. But over the century we've come to recognize the jarhead as a rather valuable arm of our military. Funny how those things change.

ole
During the Civil War the mission of the Marine Corps, was the same as it had been when they formed by Act of the Second Continental Congress in 1775.

1. To provide for service aboard the Ships of the line detachments of Marines for: Maintaining discipline aboard vessels, Providing crews for the great guns, providing boarding parties, providing musketeers for the fighting tops, providing members for landing parties, mainting discipline on the gun deck during engagements, providing field music, providing guards for the brig and for punishment details.

2. Providing a guard force for Navy Yards.

3. Providing ceremonial details afloat and ashore.

That the USMC was not what we know it as now is taught to every recruit in Recruit training. That in cases the USMC was lackluster is taught in Recruit Training. The Commandant apologized to the President after Bull Run stating "This is the first time the Corps has shown it's back to our enemies."
 
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Borderruffian

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The Civil War was not the U.S. Marine Corps finest hour, because it never was the intent to have a Corps that would have a finest hour. The amphibious assault at Fort Fisher, late in the war, was a U.S. Army show. The Marines did participate, but only 400 of them. The Marines were even outnumbered by the Navy bluejackets, that were used as naval infantry, by a margin of four Sailors to one Marine.
And thats about the same margin of sailors to Marines in the fleet.

The Naval Force assault on Fisher was never meant to carry the Fort. It was a diversionary assault. The Sailors were armed with cutlass and revolver. The Sailors were to be provided cover fire by Capt. Lucian Dawsons 450 Marines.

They however did not wait for the Marines to get into position and assaulted without the cover fire.
 

Borderruffian

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Just few titles that might help if anyone has an interest in the History of the United States Marine Corps in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Civil War

The United States Marine Corps in the Civil War: David M. Sullivan (Four Volumes)

Two Naval Journals 1864: Carter Smith

A Civil War Marine at Sea: Mary D. Livingston. (The bio of Sgt. Miles Ovitt Medal of Honor awardee at Mobile Bay)

19th Century

The Marine Corps Search for a Mission 1880-1898: J. SHULIMSON

The Pacific Ocean Campaign 1842-1844 Journal of Cpl. E.W. Taylor USMC

Surf Boats and Horse Marines;Naval operations in the Mexican War: J.K.Bauer

General Smedly Darlington Butler: Letters of a Leatherneck 1891-1931:

The Landing at Vera Cruz 1914: Jack Sweetman
 
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