(Kansas City, Missouri) - From securing the halls of Montezuma and shores of Tripoli to surviving the political machinations of Washington, D.C., the story of the U.S. Marine Corps is one rich in history.
It begins in the Revolutionary War and threads through the 1800s and the Civil War, where Marines exhibited a signature ability to adapt, innovate, and utilize critical thinking and reasoning to support the Union cause.
Approaching the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Fisher — a two-part, Marine-assisted Union assault on the last major coastal stronghold of the Confederacy — historian Wilburn "Bud" Meador of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth discusses the Marines' role throughout the Civil War on Thursday, January 15, 2015, at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. His presentation begins at 6:30 p.m.
The program, The U.S. Marine Corps in the Civil War, is part of the Library's Civil War Sesquicentennial series and is co-sponsored by the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Foundation.
The Marines weren't as imposing a force during the Civil War as they are today. At a time when the Union Army was fielding approximately 500,000 men, the Marine Corps was authorized by Congress to enlist 3,000. They largely guarded ships and forts.
But they saw occasional action. A battalion of Marines was routed - as were most Union units - at the First Battle of Bull Run, and the Corps was involved in landings at New Orleans and in attacks on Charleston and Fort Fisher. A total of 148 Marines were killed in action during the war, and 17 received the Medal of Honor for conspicuous bravery.
Meador is a retired Marine Corps officer with background in infantry and armor. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam. In addition to the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, he has taught at University of Southern California and the Marine Corps' Command and Staff College.
A 6 p.m. reception precedes his presentation. Admission is free. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th and Baltimore.