BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE COMMISSIONED OFFICERS OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES MARINE CORPS
WHITE MANE PUBLISHING, 2001
RALPH W. DONNELLY AND EDITED BY DAVID M. SULLIVAN
QUALITY SOFTCOVER, $30.00, 346 PAGES, PHOTOGRAPHS, ILLUSTRATIONS, BIBLIOGRAPHY, NOTES
On March 16, 1861, the Congress of the Confederate States of America authorized a Marine Corps to be formed as follows: six companies with each one commanded by a captain and consisting of one first lieutenant, one second lieutenant, four sergeants, four corporals, two musicians, and 100 privates. The Corps' staff was to include a commandant, a quartermaster, a paymaster, an adjutant, a sergeant major of the Corps, and a quartermaster sergeant.
On May 20, 1861, the Corps was enlarged o number 46 officers and 944 enlisted men with a headquarters staff that included one colonel, one lieutenant colonel, one major, one major serving as adjutant, one major serving as a quartermaster, one major serving as paymaster, one sergeant major, one quartermaster sergeant, and two principal musicians. At the line level, the Corps was to consist of ten captains, ten first lieutenants, twenty second lieutenants, forty sergeants, forty corporals, ten drummers, ten fifers, and 840 privates. Although of proper strength for a regiment of ten companies, no company organization was detailed in this organizational plan.
Lloyd J. Beall was appointed the Colonel Commandant on May 23, 1861. On March 6, 1862, a 'writer' (a civilian secretary), was authorized to be hired for the Commandant's office. Another clerk was authorized for the quartermaster's office on 30 April 1863. On 24 September 1862, an additional twenty sergeants, twenty corporals, twenty drummers, and twenty fifers were added to the Corps, made necessary by the fact that the Corps served as small detachments on shipboard and at Confederate States naval facilities rather than as a regiment, so more NCOs were necessary than in Confederate States Army infantry regiments.
In late 1864, all officers of the Corps signed a petition asking the Confederate Congress to transfer command of the Corps to the Confederate Army as a brigade of three regiments, one of which would be designated 'Marine Infantry'. Guards for Confederate Naval facilities and ships would be assigned from the 'Marine Infantry' as needed. On February 6, 1865, the Congressional Committee on Naval Affairs was directed to look into the proposal, but there was no time to do anything about the idea before the war was over. In the meantime, Confederate Marines did serve in Tucker's Naval Battalion created from Confederate Navy Department personnel and assigned to Lee's Army of Northern Virginia during the Appomattox Campaign. It served with distinction at the Battle of Sayler's Creek as part of General Richard S. Ewell's Corps. Actual strength of the Confederate States Marine Corps was always lower than Congress authorized. The Corps included some 350 officers and enlisted men in 1861; 500 in 1862; 560 in 1863; and 571 in 1864. All told, some 1,200 men enlisted throughout the war in the Confederate States Marine Corps.
In light of the ongoing 150th Anniversary of The War Between The States, many Americans will read of the battles, personalities, and well-known units but very little about such topics as the Confederate States Marine Corps. And this is why a book entitled BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE COMMISSIONED OFFICERS OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES MARINE CORPS is so important. Initially written and privately published in 1973 by the late Ralph W. Donnelly as a companion to his highly acclaimed The Confederate States Marine Corps: The Rebel Leathernecks, it has now been revised and updated by David M. Sullivan. This new edition includes previously unknown documents and illustrations and tells the fascinating stories of the 58 commissioned officers of the Confederate States Marine Corps. As one reads through the lives of these men, the reader will be impressed with the author's depth of research as well as the large number of notes utilized in the book. Any student of The War Between The States will want this book in their personal library.
Lt. Colonel Robert A. Lynn, Florida Guard