Monday, May 9, 2011

War with Tripoli-Barbary
Pirates War 1801-1805
President: Thomas Jefferson
Commandant of the USMC:
Lt. Col. Franklin Wharton 1804-1818
Manning of the USMC: 26 officers, 453 enlisted
USMC Causalities: Dead-4, Wounded-10
Weapons Used:
.69 Cal. Flintlock Musket

At this point in American history, the Barbary states, Algiers, Morocco, Tripoli, and Tunis were exacting tribute, (bribes) from American merchant class ships sailing into the Mediterranean Sea.

The Barbary ports were heavily fortified with numerous corsairs manning well armed, swift ships. By 1785, American ships were being captured regularly and their crews enslaved. America was paying the Pasha of Tripoli $100,000 to ensure the safety and unimpeded passage of her ships.

In June of 1801 the Pasha declared war on the U.S. An early American expedition succeeded in landing a combined force of Marines and sailors which burned several Tripolian ships. In Oct. of 1803, The U.S. frigate Philadelphia, while on a punitive raid was captured after running aground with 43 Marines and the crew taken. (Later, this ship was destroyed in the harbor during a daring raid by U.S. Marines.)

Approximately 400 Marines (4/5ths of the Corps) was embarked upon Naval ships to eliminate Barbary threat to American shipping. Marine Operations aboard naval ships continued through 1804.

A plan was submitted by William Eaton, (to replace the belligerent Pasha Yusuf Karamanti with his brother Hamet,) and was approved by President Jefferson. Eaton sailed for Alexandria aboard USS Argus, which had a detachment of Marines commanded by Lt. Presly Neville O'Bannon.

On 29 Nov. O'Bannon, a Sergeant, and 6 Marines landed with Eaton and by March 8, set out with Hamet, and 500 men, some Greek mercenaries paid for with American gold: along with 107 camels overland through the desert to capture Tripoli and install Hamet as the new ruler.

After a march plagued by mutinies (which the Marines repeatedly suppressed,) and, with the additions of native tribesmen the army of now nearly 1200 set out for Derna. Supported by U.S. ships which proceeded to bombard the city Eaton, O'Bannon the Marines and other troops attacked the city of Derna. By 3:30 the American flag was raised over the captured citadel.
Campaigns and dates:
* Enterprise vs Tripolian Tripoli Aug. 1, 1801
* Raid on Tripoli May 20, 1803
* Capture of Philadelphia by Tripolians Oct. 31, 1803
* Constitution, Siren, Argus, Scourge, Vixen, Nautilus, & Enterprisevs Tripolitian vessels Aug. 3, 1804
* Capture of Tripolian fortress at Derne-Triploi Apr. 25-27, 1805
Significant Events:
* This was the first time the Stars and Stripes flew in victory over captured territory in the Eastern Hemisphere.
* Legend states that Hamet, as a measure of gratitude, presented O'Bannon with a saber 32 1/2 inches long with a distinctive, jeweled "Mameluke" hilt. This style of hilt has remained to this day the pattern of the Marine Officer's saber.
* It was during this campaign that part of the first verse of the future Marine's Hymn was written : " the shores of Tripoli..."