Training Manuals


The US Marines reportedly had their own drill manual but no record has been found.  Lt. Col. Cmdt. Wharton refers to it in some of his correspondence but none of the researchers we are aware of have come across any copy or excerpt of said manual in the archives at HQMC or the US National Archives.

The 1812 Marine Guard therefore uses the most common infantry manual of the period, that produced by US Army Colonel Alexander Smyth.  (To view the manual simply click on the image below.)

smyth cover

The Fort McHenry Guard, a living history unit maintained by the US National Park Service has developed a set of short videos intended to show each of the positions in the individual soldiers “Manual of Arms”.  This is an excellent source for those not familiar with the drill to see it in action.  Our great thanks go out to our friends at Fort McHenry.  (To view the videos, click on the picture below.)



Marines during the War of 1812 maintained land artillery and made good use of it in some notable engagements.  At sea however the naval guns fell squarely under the Navy’s control, Marines other duties prevented them from assisting the gun crews.  It is not until later in history that the sea going Marine detachments are actually assigned to gun mounts.  The drill manual here is for the most common sizes of field artillery found on the battlefield of the era, four and six pound guns.  Like the Smyth infantry manual above, their are other manuals but this is the most common and generally accepted throughout the US forces.  It is written by Major Amos Stoddard. (To view the manual simply click on the image below.)

stoddard cover