Friday, November 11, 2011
Booty: Thank You
Coincidently, perhaps, yesterday was the 236th anniversary of the establishment of the U.S. Marine Corps, a body of people whose service to their country cannot be overestimated. To that end, and as much for fun as to keep memory alive, here are a few little-known facts about that first wave of Marines culled from this excellent overview at Naval History Blog.
When the Continental Congress established the Marine Corps in 1775, there were already hundreds of Marines serving in a number of State Navies.
The first vessel launched by the Pennsylvania Navy was named Experiment.
Philadelphia was the premier recruiting city for the Continental Marines.
The famous rattlesnake flag emblazoned with the motto “Don’t Tread On Me” may have been the first flag flown from the mastheads of Continental Navy ships.
Green was the main color in Continental Marine uniforms, replacing the red of the Royal Marines. One exception was John Paul Jones’ European squadron; Jones continued to dress his Marines in red coats.
Speaking of JPJ, many of his Marines were recruited from Europe; most were French.
The general rule for the number of Marines a Continental ship would carry was one Marine for each ship’s cannon. This rule was, however, rarely followed.
Finally, Continental privateers – unlike any other country’s privateers at the time – also carried Marines. When the schooner Revenge was captured her people were incarcerated in Portsmouth Prison where it was discovered that one of the marines was a woman.
Fair winds and following seas to all the Brethren, and especially fine weather to those among you who give and have given so much for so many. Thank you.
Header: Don’t Tread On Me flag of the Continental U.S.