On November 10, 1775 the fledgling Continental Congress passed a resolution that two Battalions of Marines be raised and maintained for purposes for fighting our British oppressors as a seagoing army. Since the times of Col. Samuel Nicholas the first Commandant of the Corps, Marines have always fought above and beyond expectation on the high seas, on land and more recently in the air.
Because we Americans are a peace loving people, the Marine Corps and the United States Navy were actually allowed to go out of existences at the close of the Revolutionary War.
This state of unpreparedness existed until July 11, 1798 when the Corps was reestablished in preparation for a potential war with France. Soon the Marines were sailing off the foreign shores.The Corps’s first large scale assignment came at the dawn of the 19th century when President Thomas Jefferson sent them to smash the “Barbary pirates” who were kidnapping and terrorizing American merchant sailors.These “pirates” were actually Islamist thugs who had to be given a clear message about America’s willingness to fight back and the Marines were just the fighting force to send that message.
The Corps distinguished itself throughout the rest of the 19th century in the Mexican War, the Civil War on both sides and the Spanish American War.During World War I the ferocious fighting Marines earned the grudging respect of German troops who named them “Devil Dogs” a name still treasured by Marines today.During World War II from Guadalcanal to Iwo Jima, and finally on to Okinawa the United States Marine Corps fought won battle after battle until Japanese…
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byR.W. “Dick” Gaines
GySgt USMC Ret.1952-72
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED!
Legends and Myths Of The Corps
BIRTHPLACE OF THE CORPS, 1775–
TUN TAVERN OR CONESTOGA WAGON?
From the book, The Marine Corps Story, by J.Robert Moskin, 1992, Little, Brown and Company
“…The two battalions were never raised; but onNovember 28, the Congress commissioned thirty-twoyear old Capt. Samuel Nicholas, a PhiladelphiaQuaker, and innkeeper and a blacksmith’s son, asthe first Marine officer.
And, from the book, The United States Marines AHistory, by Edwin Howard Simmons. 1998, NavalInstitute Press
“…According to legend, the recruiting redezvouswas Tun Tavern, but it is more likely that it was the Conestoga Wagon, a tavern owned by theNicholas family on Market Street between Fourthand Fifth Streets.”
And, from the book, Marine Corps Book Of Lists,Albert A. Nofi, 1999, Combined Publishing
“…Eight Hoary Old Marine Corps Legends That AreNot True.
1. The first Marine recruiting stationwas established in Tun Tavern, in Philadelphia,the proprietor of which was so adept at securingrecruits, by liberally plying them with drink,that he was made a captain in the Corps.
Alas for”romance,” the story is untrue.
It probably gotits start from the fact that Samuel Nicholas,effectively the first Marine Commandant, actually did own a tavern in Philadelphia, the ConestogaWagon, which apparently served as hisheadquarters for a time.
However the owner of theTun Tavern did become a Marine officer, about ayear after the creation of the Corps, whichprobably gave rise to the legend.