On November 10th, 1775, the Continental Congress passed a resolution that stated "two Battalions of Marines be raised", which established the Continental Marines, and is now considered the birth date of the Marines. The newly formed Continental Marines served on both land and sea, and took part in many major engagements, which helped establish them as an important branch of the Armed Forces. The first Commandant of the Continental Marines was Captain Samuel Nicholas, who was born in Philadelphia in 1744. He was commissioned to be a “Captain of Marines” by the 2nd Continental Congress on November 5th 1775. Nicholas soon established Tun Tavern as the recruiting headquarters. Tun Tavern’s owner, Robert Mullen, was so successful at recruiting people into the Marines, that he was commissioned as a Captain and is now known as the first Marine Corps Recruiter.
The recruited Marines were soon called to action. Although they mainly fought naval battles during the Revolutionary war, they distinguished themselves from British Marines by undertaking the then unorthodox missions of landing parties and other services on land. One preferred tactic of the sharp shooters was to hide among the rigging and masts of a ship and fire on the enemy sailors from above.
On March 3rd 1776, the Marines performed their first amphibious landing in New Providence Bahamas. Shortly after landing, they captured Fort Montague with no opposition, because the Bahamian forces had retreated to Fort Nassau. The next day, the Marines arrived at Fort Nassau. The British troops that occupied the fort quickly surrendered at the Marine’s arrival. Captain Nicholas then acquired the fort’s cannons along with other supplies.
On the trip back from New Providence, the Marines were engaged by a British Ship. The battle was short, but the Marines had proven themselves to be able sharp shooters. Shortly after, Captain Samuel Nicholas is promoted to Major.
In December 1776, the Marines joined Washington’s army at Trenton to help slow the progress of British Troops through New Jersey. Washington was unsure what to do with the Marines, so he added them to a brigade of Philadelphia militia. Although the Marines were unable to arrive in time to greatly affect the Battle of Trenton, they played a part in the American victories in both the Battles of Assunpink Creek and Princeton.
At the end of the American Revolution in 1783, both the Continental Marines and Continental Navy were disbanded. The Alliance was sold, and the last official act of the Continental Marines was to escort a stash of French silver crowns on loan from Louis XVI from Boston to Philadelphia. Some individual Marines stayed on the few American naval vessels left, but the last Continental Marine was discharged in April.
In 1798, the Marines are reformed as the Unites States Marine Corps, with William Ward Burrows as the Second Commandant. Under the "Act for establishing and organizing a Marine Corps”,...