A bit of U.S. Marine Corp. history
- the Mameluke sword and more -
The two RV Gypsies went to the
O'Bannon - Born in Fauquier County, Virginia - entered the Marine
Corps on January 18, 1801. As a first lieutenant assigned to the USS Argus
(1803), he commanded a detachment of seven Marines and two Navy midshipmen
in General William Eaton’s small army during the War with Tripoli.
During the combined operations with the U.S. Navy, he led the successful
attack in the Battle of Derna on April 27, 1805, giving the Marines' Hymn
its line “to the shores of Tripoli”. Although
some sources claim that Presley O'Bannon at this battle became the
first man to raise the American flag over foreign soil, his superior
William Eaton (a former Army officer) actually had done that several months
earlier while traveling on the Nile from Alexandria to Cairo.
According to tradition, Hamet Karamanli was so impressed with O'Bannon's bravery that he gave his own Mameluke sword to O'Bannon as a gesture of respect. After O'Bannon returned home, the Virginia legislature presented him with a sword featuring a silver eaglehead hilt and a curved blade modeled after the one Hamet had given him. The blade was inscribed with his name and the date of the battle.
|O'Bannon resigned from the Marine Corps as a major on March 6, 1807. He moved to Logan County, Kentucky, making his home in Russellville. He served in the Kentucky State Legislature in 1812, 1817 and 1820–21, and in the Kentucky State Senate from 1824 to 1826.|
|Presley O'Bannon died in Russellville in 1850 at the age of 74. In 1919 his remains were moved to the Frankfort Cemetery. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presley_O'Bannon|
|Mameluke sword: - Because of O'Bannon's Marines' distinguished record during this campaign, Marine Corps Commandant Archibald Henderson in 1825 adopted the Mameluke sword for wear by all Marine Corps commissioned officers. Since the initial distribution in 1826, the Mameluke sword has been worn except for the years 1859-75, when regulations required Marine officers to wear the model US Army M1850 foot officers' sword. Mameluke swords are worn today by Marine Corps officers in dress uniform.|
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|U.S. Marine Corp. history||Daniel
|Louisville, KY and
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