The Continental Marines

The Continental Marines were the Marine force of the American Colonies during American Revolutionary War. The corps was formed by the Continental Congress in November 10, 1775 and was disbanded in 1783. Their mission was multi-purpose, but their most important duty was to serve as on-board security forces, protecting the Captain of a ship and his officers. During naval engagements Marine sharpshooters were stationed in the fighting tops of the ships' masts, and were supposed to shoot the opponent's officers, naval gunners, and helmsmen.

The Marines were used to conduct amphibious landings and raids during the American Revolution. They landed twice in Nassau, in the Bahamas, to seize naval stores from the British. The first landing, led by a Captain Nicholas, consisted of 250 Marines and sailors who landed in New Providence, in the Bahamas; there they wreaked much damage and seized naval stores. The second landing, led by a Lieutenant Trevet, landed at night and captured several ships along with the naval stores.

Continental Marines landed and captured Nautilus Island and the Majabagaduce peninsula in the Penobscot Expedition. A Marine battalion also fought alongside the Continental Army in the Battle of Princeton. A group under Navy Captain Willig left Pittsburgh, traveled down the Mississippi, captured a ship and in conjunction with other Continental Marines brought by ship from the Gulf of Mexico raided British Loyalists on the shore of Lake Ponchartrain.

The Continental Marines' first and only Commandant was Major Samuel Nicholas and the first Marine Barracks were located in Philadelphia. The first recruiting station was a bar called Tun Tavern. Four additional Marine Security Companies were also raised and helped George Washington defend Philadelphia.

1775, November 10th - The Continental Marines are created

1776, March - Nicholas' Marines land on New Providence Island, Bahamas. In 13 days they secure 2 forts, occupy Nassau, control the Government House, seize 88 guns, 16,535 shells and other supplies. Returning from the raid, they encountered a British ship. Marines engaged the ship with muskets and assisted in manning the broadside cannon.

1776, December - Nicholas' Marines assist Washington's Army in the Second Battle of Trenton (the first recorded joint Army-Marine engagement). Later that spring, Washington incorporated some of the Marines in to artillery units of his reorganized Army

1778, January - A Marine detachment sails down the Mississippi River and secure New Orleans to keep British traders out.

1778, April - A Marine detachment nominally under the command of John Paul Jones makes two raids on British soil.

1783, January - Marines board and seize the British ship Baille in the West Indies

1785, June - after the end of the American Revolutionary War (Jan, 1783), the Alliance is sold. The Continental Marines go out of existence, along with the Continental Navy.

Posted by admin on Friday 23 February 2007 - 15:22:59 | LAN_THEME_20

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