Marines in gray: the birth, life and death of the Confederate States Marine Corps
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This thesis explores and provides analysis on several areas of study related to the history of the Confederate States Marine Corps that have long been neglected. It examines the military and political processes that were instrumental in both creating and employing a Southern Marine Corps. It also investigates relationships between the U.S. and Confederate Marine Corps, particularly in light of how the experiences of former U.S. Marines shaped the growth of the Southern Corps. In particular, the thesis asserts that, despite shared origins, the CSMC seized on opportunities presented by the Civil War and became expert in new mission areas through the efforts of a core group of determined and experienced leaders. In the process, the CSMC came to eclipse its Northern cousin, becoming a valued and vital element of the Confederate Navy. The CSMC is examined in light of its national service, thereby affording fresh perspectives on the patterns formed by its actions as part of the Southern war effort. This new research framework supports a better understanding of the roles and missions expected by Southern leaders from their Corps, and more clearly illuminates the CSMC’s differences. In particular, this approach highlights the inherent strengths of the CSMC’s unique structure that lent itself to a more efficient concept of employment. Finally, this thesis asserts that the CSMC became, for its abbreviated history, the agile, innovative, and versatile fighting unit that, man-for-man, the U.S. Marine Corps would not achieve until some time late in the nineteenth century. However, the lessons of its service were not realized, in part because of its relative historical obscurity.
Krivdo, Michael E. (2006). Marines in gray: the birth, life and death of the Confederate States Marine Corps. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from