VA -- Quantico -- Natl Museum of the Marine Corps -- Gallery: Global Expeditionary Force (1866-1916):
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MCMIMP_100612_006.JPG: United States National Flag, 1867-1877
The 37-star flag, carried by Marines during the post-Civil War era, retained the eagle and shield design popular during the Mexican and Civil wars. It was flown by Marines in Japan, Uruguay, Mexico, Korea, and Panama.
MCMIMP_100612_017.JPG: Dahlgren Boat Howitzer:
For amphibious landings, Marines first experimented with using light artillery pieces that had been designed for the Army. The results were less than satisfactory. John A. Dahlgren designed a family of smooth-bore and later rifled howitzers that could be quickly mounted on ships' launches as well as on field carriages. With a single mounting lug in the bottom of the barrel, the guns could be rapidly moved from launch, to field carriage, and back. Dahlgren boat howitzers were manufactured at the Washington Navy Yard between 1861 to 1865. This light 12-pounder smooth-bore bears serial number 19.
MCMIMP_100612_025.JPG: Experimental 3-inch Rifled Landing Gun:
In 1874, the Ordnance Department at the Washington Navy Yard designed and manufactured this experimental rifled gun. Intended to support landing operations, this gun displays experimental markings, but it doe snot have a model or serial number.
MCMIMP_100612_039.JPG: Hotchkiss Revolving Cannon:
Invented by Benjamin Hotchkiss in 1871, this revolving-type machine cannon utilized a single fixed-breech lock and fired a 37mm bursting charge. While originally intended for naval use, the Hotchkiss was frequently mounted on any field carriage capable of handling its great weight. Hotchkiss guns were adopted and used by many, if not most, of the world's navies. This sample, serial number 568, was originally manufactured in 1880 by Hotchkiss & Company in St. Denis, France.
MCMIMP_100612_108.JPG: Spanish-American War attire
MCMIMP_100612_110.JPG: 45-Star US National Color:
This was the first flag raised at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by the Marines of Lt. Col. Huntington's Battalion on 10 June 1898, and it accompanied them on their famous patrol to capture Cuzco Well on 14 June 1898.
MCMIMP_100612_121.JPG: Cuzco Well:
Two companies of Marines and about 60 Cuban guerrillas commanded by future commandant George Fielding Elliott fought Spanish regulars on 14 June 1898 for possession of Cuzco Well. The diorama captures the climax of the battle, with Sergeant John Quick signaling the naval gunfire ship Dolphin from an exposed ridge, as other Marines and their Cuban allies scrambled through thick underbrush in suffocating heat to renew their attack against the Spaniards
MCMIMP_100612_136.JPG: Sgt. Maj. John Quick:
"Sergeant Quick... stood there amid the... whistling snarl of the bullets, and wig-wagged... without heeding anything but his business."
-- War correspondent Stephen Crane, author of The Red Badge of Courage
Sergeant John H. Quick's bravery saved the day for the Marines fighting at Cuzco Well. The 27-year-old West Virginian sent messages to the USS Dolphin by means of flag signals, called wig-wagging. He re-directed the ship's fire away from Marine lines and into the surrounding Spanish positions "while exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy," as his Medal of Honor citation reads. One of the most valiant noncommissioned officers in Marine Corps history, Quick further distinguished himself at Samar i the Philippines in 1901 and at Belleau Wood, France, during World War I. He received the Navy Cross for his actions in France in 1918.
MCMIMP_100612_196.JPG: Defending the Peking Legation:
"The excitement in the Chinese city was intense, and the shouting and cries of 'Kill! Kill!' continued until early morning."
-- Captain John Twiggs Myers, USMC, Peking, China, 14 June 1900
The Boxer Rebellion culminated in Peking, where for eight weeks screaming throngs of Chinese besieged the international diplomatic community, which was confined in a hastily fortified walled compound known as the Legation Quarter. Among the foreigners, mostly Western, were 300 women and children. Alongside troops from 7 nations defending the walls of the Quarter, Captain John "Handsome Jack" Myers led US Marines at one crucial post, "the peg which holds the whole thing together," the British ambassador wrote. Said Medal of Honor recipient Private William C. Horton, "we stayed on top of that wall fighting off attacks."
Breaking the 55-day Siege:
"Crack! A stream of blood trickled down his face. The sergeant pulled his hat down over the wound and walked right on."
-- Lieutenant Smedley D. Butler, USMC, 1900
While the fleet Marines and other legation guards in Peking held on desperately against the Boxers, several nations dispatched troops to break the siege. The walled city of Tientsin blocked their advance. A Marine battalion helped storm Tientsin on 13-14 July. Another Marine battalion joined the column for the final march to Peking, enduring stifling heat and diehard Boxers all the way. Finally, on 15 August 1900, the multi-national force rescued the Peking legations.
MCMIMP_100612_201.JPG: Colt M1895 Potato Digger:
Originally chambered in either .30-.40 of 6mm caliber, M1895 machine guns were rechambered in 1904 for the then standard M1903 (".30-03") cartridge. The weapon was then redesignated as the "Model of 1902." This example, serial number 345, bears all US Navy and arsenal "rework" markings.
Early Combined Arms
"It is firepower, and firepower that arrives at the right time and place, that counts in modern war."
-- B.H. Liddell Hart
In the decades following the Civil War, the United States lagged behind it chief industrial rivals in terms of waging modern warfare. By the 1890s, facing severe competition in global commerce and colonialism, the nation hastily began to modernize its armed forces, beginning with the fleet. As the Navy developed new warships, weaponry, and doctrine, the Marines were hard-pressed to keep pace.
Forward-thinking Marines exploited new technology, inaugurating the Corps' use of heavier artillery, armored vehicles, and primitive airplanes -- forerunners of powerful weapons systems that would play crucial roles in later wars.
MCMIMP_100612_288.JPG: Early Aviation:
"Flying... means a new and wonderful weapon of warfare, the value of which is not appreciated in this country."
-- Lieutenant Alfred A. Cunningham, 1916
Marine airmen celebrated 22 May 1912 as the birthday of Leatherneck aviation, the date Lieutenant Alfred Cunningham commenced flight training at Annapolis, Maryland, becoming the first Marine to earn pilot's wings. Although the Wright brothers offered their aircraft to the armed forces in the belief that aerial surveillance would deter future war, Cunningham and other pioneering pilots envisioned the inescapable military potential of flying machines.
MCMIMP_100612_291.JPG: Field Artillery:
"Battles are won by superiority of fire."
-- Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, 1768
The highly mobile but short-range boat howitzers that Marines had manhandled ashore for decades would not suffice as supporting arms in the advanced base role facing the Corps at the turn of the century. An artillery training center opened at headquarters in 1891. Marines operating three-inch naval guns, converted into rapid-fire pieces, became an integral part of each battalion. Marine artillery promptly came ashore to reinforce the infantrymen who landed at Vera Cruz, Mexico, in 1914.
MCMIMP_100612_296.JPG: Armored Vehicles:
"It waddled, it ambled, it jolted, it rolled."
-- British observer describing a primitive tank, 1916
The first armored vehicles acquired by the Corps seemed closer on the evolutionary spectrum to Assyrian ironclad chariots of 700 BC than to the powerful machines that would fight on Pacific islands and in Asian jungles a few decades later. The primitive King Armored Car, made to Marine specification in 1916, provided precious little of the "armor, firepower, and shock action" that modern tank commanders seek -- but it launched a new era in Marine tactical mobility.
MCMIMP_100612_298.JPG: 1866-1914: We, The Marines:
Marines in Law Enforcement:
During the period of relative peace between the Civil War and World War I, civilian authorities often requested Marines to help enforce laws or assist in natural disasters. Marines launched whiskey raids in Brooklyn, fought fired in Boston, San Francisco, and Portland, Maine, and arrested seal poachers in the Bering Sea.
Marines in International Rescues:
Marines in ship detachments participated with the Navy in the luckless 1881 search for the doomed polar explorers of the ice-bound Jeanette. Again, they assisted in the widely publicized rescue of the starving survivors of the 24-man Greely Expedition from their refuge on Ellsmere Island in the northeastern Canadian arctic in 1884.
Although numbering fewer than 2,000 Marines in 1876, the Corps began to grow with the impact of America's global competition and fleet expansion. Each new warship required a new Marine guard. Congressional authorizations during the growth surge boosted Corps numbers to 5,707 in 1900, and then to 9,601 in 1910.
MCMIMP_100612_302.JPG: Curtiss A-2:
The Curtiss A-2, piloted extensively between 1912 and 1914 by Lieutenant Bernard L. Smith, the marine Corps' second aviator, helped introduce the U.S. Marine Corps to aviation.
The US Navy's second aircraft, the Curtiss A-2, entered service in 1911. Following a crash near San Diego in March 1912, the Navy moved the aircraft to its flying camp at Annapolis, Maryland, and rebuilt the A-2 as a hydroaeroplane.
In September 1913, Curtiss modified the A-2 into the OWL (Over Water and Land), a true amphibian aircraft, although its flight performance was less than the Navy required. The Navy struck the OWL from its inventory in January 1915.
MCMIMP_100612_323.JPG: Marines in the Headlines:
"Marines gain a victory. Wade a river to their shoulders to take Filipino Forts."
-- New York Times, 9 October 1899
The American public came to expect accounts of Marines in the headlines during moments of crisis. The country read on the front pages of their daily newspapers about Leatherneck accomplishments in China ("MARINES OFF TO CHINA"), Mexico ("800 MARINES LEAVE FOR VERA CRUZ"), or other exotic climes ("HAITIANS SLAY THEIR PRESIDENT; WE LAND MARINES"). The heightened profile helped the Corps prove its usefulness, and brought in the recruits necessary to fulfill an expanding mission.
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Description of Subject Matter: Global Expeditionary Force
As America’s western frontier disappeared, its citizens looked with envy toward the overseas colonial empires possessed by European powers and the business opportunities in those distant places. This new interest in expanding and protecting American interests overseas created new roles for the U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps developed new capabilities to help the Fleet dominate the high seas, and traditional deployments as small, shipboard detachments gave way to larger Marine Corps formations.
As America extended its reach, the Marine Corps saw its role expand around the globe. In 1871, after being fired upon by Korean gunners along the Salee River while approaching to negotiate a commerce treaty, the U.S. naval force landed Marines and Sailors, who stormed the slopes and overwhelmed the Korean positions. In the 1890s, Marines engaged the enemy during the Spanish-American War in Cuba, the Caribbean Sea, and the Philippines. In mountains and jungles, the fight against Filipino guerrillas lingered into the new century. Marines landed in China in 1900 to help protect western diplomats and their families from an anti-foreign uprising in Peking. American newspapers highlighted Marines’ heroics during the epic siege and its relief. During the decade before World War I, Marines fought in Mexico, arrested seal poachers in the Bering Sea, and quelled disorder and protected U.S. citizens in Panama, Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.
Visitors walk through a tent pitched at a camp during the Philippine insurrection to get a glimpse of what life was like for the Marines who had just come back from yet another exhausting patrol. This gallery is especially rich in artifacts—from the Marine Corps and from distant lands. Campaign hats uniform coats, cartridge belts, flags once planted on foreign shores, a field heliograph, medals, and personal items help interpret the era. Among these objects are articles that belonged to some of the legendary heroes of the Corps, including Smedley Butler and Thomas Kates. Bolos, a voodoo drum, Haitian swords, and other captured materials add texture to the description of the Marines’ foes. Hanging overhead is an experimental Curtiss A-2 amphibian aircraft, the Navy’s second aircraft type. It was flown in 1912-14. Positioned on a dirt road, visitors find another experimental vehicle, a King armored car being tested by Marines from the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1916. Weapons from this period are well represented to include knives and swords, rifles, machine guns, and handguns. Before leaving the gallery, visitors also meet John Philip Sousa and listen to “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band while viewing musical instruments used by Band members.
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