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The Early History of the United States Marine Corps

Don Rainwater

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The Marine Corps made its debut as a fighting force on November 10, 1775. The Continental Congress created two battalions of devil dog's and raised them for duty as a force to land from sea from the US fleet. The new Marines distinguished themselves in a number of different military operations. Their first amphibious assault on soil outside of the US was in the Bahamas during the spring of 1776. This famous assault was lead by the Marine's first Commandant, Samuel Nicholas. After the Revolutionary war and the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783, most of the Navy's ships were sold and the Marines were disbanded.

The Marines were reformed on July 11, 1798. Now they were sent to several conflicts overseas that allowed them to bring about the tradition and the combat record they have today. They fought in France and made an amphibious landing in Santo Domingo. There claim to fame during this time period were conducted against the Barbary pirates were they received a line in the lyrics of their anthem, “From the Shores of Tripoli. " During the war of 1812, the marines participated in numerous military operations that included the defense of the capital in Washington D. C. They even fought beside Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans.

After the War of 1812, the Marines became the world's police as they protected the American interests abroad in the Falklands, West Africa, and the Caribbean. They even fought against the Seminole Indians during their uprising in Florida. There early history was the grass roots of the Marine Corp that serves us proudly today.

Don Rainwater a former Marine has written many articles on Marine Corps History. To find out more or to purchase USMC jewelry, products, and items, please visit


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