- Confederate States Marine Corps
Confederate States Marine Corps
Active 1861-1865 Country CSA Branch Navy Size 900-1000 Disbanded 1865 Commanders Commander-Colonel Lloyd J. Beall
The Confederate States Marine Corps (CSMC), a branch of the Confederate States Navy, was established by an act of the Congress of the Confederate States on March 16, 1861. The CSMC's manpower was initially authorized at 45 officers and 944 enlisted men, and was increased on September 24, 1862 to 1026 enlisted men. The organization of the corps began at Montgomery, Alabama, and was completed at Richmond, Virginia, when the capital of the Confederate States of America was moved to that location. The CSMC headquarters and main training facilities remained in Richmond, Virginia throughout the war, located at Camp Beall on Drewry's Bluff and at the Gosport Shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia.
Modeled after USMC
Before the war, the United States Marine Corps had been an "exceptionally fine and well-disciplined" organization, and "from it came the nucleus of the corresponding establishment of the Confederate service", the CSMC. The CSMC was modeled after the United States Marine Corps, but there were some differences: the Confederates organized themselves into permanent companies, replaced the fife with the light infantry bugle, and wore uniforms similar to those of British Royal Marines. Like the USMC, when ashore they provided guard detachments for Confederate naval stations at:
- Richmond, Virginia
- Camp Beall, located near Fort Darling at Drewry's Bluff, Virginia
- Wilmington, North Carolina - Fort Fisher
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
- Savannah, Georgia
- Pensacola, Florida - (manned naval shore batteries)
- Mobile, Alabama
Seagoing detachments served aboard the various warships and even on commerce destroyers.
The CS Marine Corps was formed in the early days of the Civil War from three sources:
- Sixteen officers (and 100 enlisted men) resigning or deserting from the US Marine Corps
- The amalgamation of state organizations such as the Virginia State Marines
- Active recruitment
Source of men
The Commandant of the CSMC, Colonel-Commandant Beall, said the CSMC "was composed of enlisted men, many of whom were old soldiers and commissioned officers, a number of whom had seen service before in the U.S. Marine Corps and elsewhere." The record of US Marine officers who "resigned and tendered their swords to the Confederate Government" were:
US Marine Officers who resigned Name State Major Henry B. Tyler (USMC Adjutant) Virginia Brevet Major George H. Terret Virginia Captain Robert Tansill Virginia Captain Algernon S. Taylor Virginia Captain John D. Simms Virginia First Lieutenant Israel Greene Virginia First Lieutenant John K. H. Tatnall Georgia First Lieutenant Julius E. Meire Maryland First Lieutenant George P. Turner Virginia First Lieutenant Thomas S. Wilson Missouri First Lieutenant Andrew J. Hays Alabama First Lieutenant Adam N. Baker Pennsylvania Second Lieutenant George Holmes Florida Second Lieutenant Calvin L. Sayre Alabama Second Lieutenant Henry L. Ingraham South Carolina Second Lieutenant Baker K. Howell Mississippi
These officers assembled with the CSMC as it stood up in Richmond, Virginia, with the exception of Captain Tansill, who had resigned while still onboard the USS Congress at sea. Captain Tansill was arrested by order of Secretary Welles of the U.S. Navy when he arrived in New York on August 23, 1861 and was held without charge, hearing or trial. He was released on Jan 10, 1862 as part of a prisoner exchange, and subsequently joined the CSMC in Virginia. "The gross injustice done him was recognized in an act of the Confederate Congress of April 11, 1863, which provided that 'officers of the navy and Marine Corps who resigned from the navy and Marine Corps of the United States in consequence of secession, and who were arrested and imprisoned in consequence of such resignation, and who subsequently joined the navy and Marine Corps of the Confederate States,' should receive 'leave of absence, pay for and during the term of such imprisonment, and up to the time of their appointment in the navy and marine corps of the Confederate States.' "
The breakdown of officer manpower composition was:
- One Colonel-Commandant
- One Lieutenant Colonel
- Three Majors (a quartermaster, paymaster, and an adjutant)
- Ten Captains
- Ten First Lieutenants
- Twenty Second Lieutenants
The breakdown of enlisted manpower composition as of Sep 24, 1862 was:
- One Sergeant Major
- One Quartermaster Sergeant
- Sixty Sergeants
- Sixty Corporals
- 840 Privates
- Thirty drummers
- Thirty fifers
- Two principal musicians and two musicians
Although the CSMC had an authorized manpower of 1026 men, its enrollment never approached that number; the figures for 30 October 1864 list only 539 officers and enlisted men. Though the officers were mostly former U.S. Marine officers, the head of the corps, Colonel-Commandant Lloyd J. Beall, was a former U.S. Army paymaster with no Marine experience. Major Lloyd J. Beall, USA graduated from the United States Military Academy, and had served in the First Infantry and Second Dragoons before becoming a paymaster from 1844 until the outbreak of the war. He resigned his commission on April 22, 1861 and was appointed Colonel-Commandant of the CS Marine Corps on May 23, 1861. Colonel Beall served throughout the war as the only Commandant of the Marine Corps.
CS Marine Corps units were stationed at Confederate naval bases, as well as helping garrison shore fortifications such as Fort Fisher in North Carolina. Marines also served on Confederate warships, such as the CSS Alabama. In the famous battle between the ironclads USS Monitor and CSS Virginia, Company C, Confederate States Marine Corps, served aboard the CSS Virginia, helping to man several of her guns.
In the summer of 1862, the CS Marine Corps was broken into squad-sized units and dispersed throughout the south. Dispersed Marine units were intended to provide training to overcome a shortage of trained naval gunners, with greater overall effect than their service as a single naval artillery battalion. With detachments spread at every major Confederate naval installation, Headquarters for the Confederate States Marines was established at Fort Darling and Camp Beall, located at Drewry's Bluff on the James River in Virginia. Three companies, A, B, and C, were stationed semi-permanently at headquarters. There the Marines helped repulse the attack made on the Bluff by U.S. naval forces including the USS Monitor and the USS Galena in the summer of 1862.
Despite desertions and even near-mutinies, most Marines served well and deserved Navy Secretary Stephen R. Mallory's praise for their "promptness and efficiency." The Corps' weakness was due largely to internal squabbles over rank, shore duty, and administrative assignments. Also, with no funds for bounties, the corps could not easily enlist recruits. Until 1864 the monthly pay of enlisted men was $3 less than that of equivalent Army grades. Only late in the war were the Marines allowed to draw from Army conscripts to augment their ranks.
Service during the war
Confederate Marines saw their first naval action aboard the CSS Virginia (USS Merrimack) off Hampton Roads, Virginia, March 8 to March 9, 1862, and near the end of the war were part of the naval brigade that fought at Sayler's Creek, Virginia.
From the Drewry's Bluff and other major posts (Wilmington, Charleston, Pensacola, Norfolk, Galveston, and Savannah), Marine detachments were parsed out to serve on major warships and for special operations, including the captures of the USS Underwriter and the USS Water Witch, and an attack to free Confederate prisoners of war being held at Point Lookout, Maryland.
Marine sea-based amphibious operations included the "Old" CSS Savannah shore party at Fort Beauregard, Phillips Island, SC to evacuate the garrison under attack. Marines under the command of Commodore Josiah Tattnall were used to construct and man shore batteries which turned back Union gunboats and monitors both at Richmond and at Savannah.
The end of the war found most surviving Confederate States Marines gathered together in Richmond in support of the last desperate defenses of the South. Marines in Virginia were part of the General Richard S. Ewell's Corps which fought with distinction at the Battle of Sayler's Creek, the last major battle before the surrender of Lee's Army at Appomattox.
Their uniform resembled that prescribed for the Confederate Army, but since the CSMC was not as large and many of its records were destroyed in 1865, there is controversy about the exact details of the uniform. It is clear, however, that the Marines were often equipped out of the stores of whichever garrison was nearest their location. One description has the Marines dressed in frock coats of a particular (and undetermined) shade of gray and dark blue or black trousers. It appears that Confederate States Marines wore forage caps although it is unclear if there was any ornamentation on the cover. Much of the gear worn by the CSMC was imported from the United Kingdom and its empire, namely Canada, and Russia creating a fairly unique look.
- CSMC at HOTMCL
- Confederate Marine Corps Rank Insignia
- U.S. Navy Officer Resignations & Dismissals On the Eve of the Civil War
- ^ Sharf, pp.769-772
- ^ a b Sharf, p.769
- ^ a b c d e McGlone, pp.69-73
- ^ Sharf, p.770-771
- ^ Shafer, p.770
- ^ Sharf, p.770
- ^ Sharf, p.772
- ^ Sharf, pp.770-771
- ^ Historical Times Encyclopedia of the Civil War
- ^ Jones, Charles C., Jr. The life and services of Commodore Josiah Tattnall 1878. Morning News steam printing house, Savannah.
- ^ Jones, Charles C., Jr., op.cit
- Donnelly, Ralph W., The Confederate States Marine Corps: The Rebel Leathernecks, 1989.
- McGlone, John E., III, The Lost Corps: The Confederate States Marines, United States Naval Institute Proceedings, November 1972.
- Scharf, J. Thomas., History of the Confederate States Navy from its organization to the surrender of its last vessel. New York: Rogers and Sherwood, 1887; repr. The Fairfax Press, 1977.
- Donnelly, Ralph W. (1959). "Battle Honors and Services of Confederate Marines". Military Affairs 23 (1): 37–40. doi:10.2307/1985252. JSTOR 1985252.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Confederate States Marine Corps — Das Confederate States Marine Corps (CSMC) war ein Teil der Marine der Konföderierten Staaten von Amerika. Es wurde während des Sezessionskrieges durch den Kongress der Konföderierten Staaten am 16. März 1861 aufgestellt. Die Angehörigen des CSMC … Deutsch Wikipedia
United States Marine Corps — USMC redirects here. For other uses, see United States Maritime Commission and University of St. Michael s College. United States Marine Corps United States M … Wikipedia
United States Marine Corps — USMC Aufstellung 10. November 1775 Land … Deutsch Wikipedia
History of the United States Marine Corps — The United States Marine Corps was originally organized as the Continental Marines in 1775 to conduct ship to ship fighting, provide shipboard security and assist in landing forces. Its mission evolved with changing military doctrine and American … Wikipedia
Desegregation in the United States Marine Corps — Howard P. Perry, the first African American US Marine Corps recruit following Executive Order 8802 The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a desegregated force, made up of troops of all races working and fighting alongside each other. In 1776… … Wikipedia
Confederate States Army — Seal of the Confederate States of America Active 1861–1865 … Wikipedia
Confederate States Navy — Navy Department Seal The Confederate States Navy (CSN) was the naval branch of the Confederate States armed forces established by an act of the Confederate Congress on February 21, 1861. It was responsible for Confederate naval operations during… … Wikipedia
Marine Corps — „Eagle, Globe Anchor“ (EGA) – Emblem des United States Marine Corps Das United States Marine Corps (USMC), oft als Marines oder US Marines bezeichnet, ist die als Teilstreitkraft organisierte Marineinfanterie der Streitkräfte der Vereinigten… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Confederate States Navy — Emblem der Confederate States Navy … Deutsch Wikipedia
Confederate States Army — Heer der Konföderierten Staaten Confederate States Army Aktiv 28. Februar 1861–1865 Land Staaten von Amerika Konföderierte 1865 … Deutsch Wikipedia