....and a bit of the reason why I get excited about being a Member of the ValoIT Marine Team.........
It's difficult to dig up the VERY older manuscripts/ Histories of the Corps, but I have lucked out in searching, and so......well, so have you, if you have an interest......
My Family have served, 'supposedly', from the inception of The Corps. Older Brother, Chu Lai in Viet Nam, The 'SarMajor, my Dad on Peleliu....3 Purple Hearts, 2 Bronze and a Silver Star, Grandad at Belleau Wood.....the Teufel Hunden of Legend...the whole dammfamily has no sense........
But here's a bit that most Folks haven't seen. We....well Marines, all know the verse "To the shores of Tripoli".......
But what was it and what happened, and why is it a part of the Hymn?
Well.....read on, from the real deal History......
The War with Tripoli...................
1803. The services of a portion of the Marine Corps were
brought into active requisition in the war between the United
States and Tripoli. In the contests of that war, alike in victory
and in defeat, the Marines were foremost at every point where
bravery and discipline could win success or crown seeming fail
ure with the elements of real triumph. When the brave Bain-
bridge, on the 3ist of October, 1803, in an hour of misfortune,
accidentally ran the Philadelphia on a reef, under the guns of the
enemy s batteries, the Marines made most gallant exertions to
prevent the ship being taken ; and when every effort failed,
and ship and men fell into the enemy s hands, Lieutenant
William Osborne, who commanded the Marines, with his brother
officers and men. suffered all the privations and horrors of a
captivity in Barbary. During the following year, in the mem
orable attack of the American forces on the Tripolitan gun-boats
on the 3rd of August, the Marines made a terrible and bloody
onslaught on the enemy. A hand-to-hand conflict ensued, the
Marines punishing the Tripolitans fearfully, and forcibly illus
trating the advantage of discipline and skill over the lack of train
ing among the forces with which they were brought in contact.
The official report of the fight gives great credit to the Marines,
and as an incident of the contest, it is stated that when Lieu
tenant Trippe, who was engaged in a hand-to-hand fight with a
Turk, was hard pressed, a Turk aimed a blow at him from
behind, but just before the blow fell, Sergeant Meredith of
the Marines passed a bayonet through the Turk s body.
1805. Among the few Americans who accompanied General
Eaton in his famous strategic move against the usurping Bashaw
of Tripoli, was Lieutenant O Bannon of the Marines, who took
an active part in disciplining and leading the motley army which
marched on Derne for the double purpose of restoring Hamet
Caramalli to power and of aiding the Americans to punish
Jusef Caramalli, the usurper. The effect of his efforts in that
direction were manifest in the contest which followed. The
Marines in the expedition were from the United States brig
Argus, and consisted of Lieutenant O Bannon, one sergeant and
six privates, who were relied upon to preserve discipline, and by
their example animate the hearts of the mercenaries employed.
In a letter to Mr. Smith, Secretary of the Navy, dated at Alex
andria, Feb. isth, 1805, General Eaton wrote: "Those prov
inces in our possession will cut off from the enemy and turn
into our own channel a source of provisions, and will open a
free intercourse with the interior of the country. I have
requested of the Commodore for, this purpose an hundred
stands of arms, with cartridges and two field-pieces with trains
and ammunition ; and also a detachment of one hundred Marines,
if necessary, to lead a coup de main. 1
From General Eaton s journal it appears that on Sunday,March 3, 1805, the Army under his command left Alexandria onits march to Derne. Included in the force were but nine Americans, Lieutenant O Bannon, Mr. Peck, one sergeant and six
privates of the Marine Corps. Including the footmen and
camel-drivers, the whole force numbered about four hundred
This caravan consisted of one hundred and seven camels and a
After marching two hundred miles, eighty mounted
warriors joined the Bashaw. Provisions had been reduced to
hard bread and rice.
From Alexandria to that point there wasnot a living stream or rivulet or spring of water. A few days later, forty-seven tents of Arabs joined them, with their
families and movables.
In this detachment were one hundred and fifty warriors on foot.
On March 3oth, General Eaton wrote : " From Alexandria to this place, we have experienced continual altercations, contentions and delays among the Arabs.
They have no sense of patriotism, truth or honor; and no
attachment where they have no prospect of gain, except to their
religion, to which they are enthusiasts.
Poverty makes them thieves, and practice renders them adroit in stealing."
April 8th he wrote: "Advanced ten miles. Good water
In the cistern were two dead men probably murdered by Arabs
Obliged to drink the water, however." On the following day a
courier arrived from Derne. April i4th, at 4 o clock p. M., they
reached Bonda. But their astonishment was great to find at
this port " not the foot trace of a human being, nor a drop of
The next morning the Argus, Captain Hull, arrived,and on the 10ih the sloop Hornet arrived with provisions.
On the 18th the march was resumed.
On the 24th they marched fifteen miles over mountainous and broken ground, covered with herbage and beautiful red cedars, " the first resemblance of a
forest tree," wrote General Eaton, "we have seen during a march of nearly six hundred miles."
Arriving before Derne, on the morning of the 26th, terms of
amity were offered the Bey, on condition of allegiance and
fidelity. The flag of truce was sent back with this laconic answer,
" My head or yours ! "
The next day the assault on Derne was begun. The Hornet, Lieutenant commandant
Evans, having run close in, and anchored within pistol shot of
a battery of eight guns, opened her fire.
The Nautilus lay at a little distance to the eastward, and the Argus still further in the same direction, the two latter firing on the town and battery
The enemy made an irregular but spirited defence, keeping up a heavy fire of musketry, as the assailants advanced, from behind houses and walls.
At half-past three, however, Lieutentant O Bannon and Mr. Mann stormed the principal work, hauling down the Tripolitan ensign, and, for the first time in
history, hoisting the stars and stripes of the Republic on a
fortress of the Old World.
The enemy was driven out of the work with so much precipitation that he left his guns loaded and even primed.
The cannon were immediately turned upon the town, and Hamet Caramalli, having made a lodgment on the other side, so as to bring the enemy between two fires, the place submitted.
During the fight, a detachment, consisting of six American Marines, a company of twenty-four cannoniers, and another of twenty-six Greeks, including their proper officers, acted under the immediate command of Lieutenant O Bannon.
It was with this force that the brave O Bannon passed through
a shower of musketry from the walls of the houses ; took possession of the battery; planted the American flag upon its ramparts ; and turned its guns upon the enemy.
In his official report of the affair, General Eaton said : " The details I have
given of Mr. O Bannon s conduct need no encomium, and it is
believed the disposition of our government have always discovered to encourage merit will be extended to this intrepid, judicious and enterprising officer.
I am bound, also, by a sense of well merited esteem, to mention to your particular patronage a young English gentleman, Mr. Farquhar, who has volunteered in our expedition through the desert, and has, in all cases of difficulty, exhibited a firmness and attachment well deserving my gratitude ; if compatible with our establishments, I request you will ensure him a lieutenancy in the Marine Corps."
Lieutenant O Bannon resigned two years afterward.....
What else could he do? No more fight to join until 5 years later...you all know about the War of 1812.....right?
Semper Fidelis, Always Loyal.
Go click the Give Now button....what the hell is Ten or Twenty bucks....give up a McDonalds this evening, or a Starbucks.
These Men and Women DESERVE your help.
Thanks, now I gotta get ready for Halloween..........
You don't want to see me in my Ghillie......BOO!