Washington's Marines: The Origins of the Corps and the American Revolution, 1775-1777 by Jason Q. Bohm
The fighting prowess of United States Marines is second to none, but few know of the Corps’ humble beginnings and what it achieved during the early years of the American Revolution. Jason Bohm rectifies this oversight with his eye-opening Washington’s Marines: The Origins of the Corps and the American Revolution, 1775–1777.
The story begins with the oppressive days that drove America into a conflict for which it was ill-prepared when thirteen independent colonies commenced a war against the world’s most powerful military with nothing more than local militias, privateers, and other ad hoc units. The Continental Congress rushed to form an army and placed George Washington in command, but soon realized that, to win its freedom, America would need men who could fight on the sea and on land. Enter the Marines. Bohm artfully tells the story of the creation of the Continental Marines and the men who led them during the parallel paths followed by the Army and Marines in the opening years of the war and through the early successes and failures at Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill, Canada, Boston, Charleston, and more.
As General Washington struggled to preserve his command after defeats in New York and New Jersey in 1776, the nascent U.S. Navy and Marines deployed the first American fleet, conducted their first amphibious operation, and waged a war on the rivers and seas to block British reinforcements and capture critically needed supplies. Desperate times forced Congress to detach the Continental Marines from the Navy to join the embattled army as Washington sought an “important stroke” to defeat his adversary.
Washington’s Marines joined their fellow soldiers in a protracted land campaign that culminated in turning-point victories at Trenton, Assunpink Creek, and Princeton. This chapter of the Continental Marines ends in Morristown, New Jersey, when Washington granted Henry Knox’s request to leverage the Marines’ expertise with naval guns to fill the depleted ranks of the army’s artillery during the “Forage War.”
Washington’s Marines is the first complete study of its kind to weave the men, strategy, performance, and personalities of the Corps’ formative early years into a single compelling account. The sweeping prose relies heavily on primary research and the author’s own extensive military knowledge. Enhanced with original maps and illustrations, Washington’s Marines will take its place as one of the finest studies of its kind.