The United States Marine Corps (USMC) was created in 1775 during the American Revolution in Philadelphia under the command of Captain Samuel Nicholas (1744-1790). At the beginning of the American Civil War, many of their officers and soldiers, sons of southern states, left the federal army to join the CSA Marines. This situation left the US Marines in a situation in which they scarcely were a practical combat force. The US Congress published an order to help increasing the recruits from the initially 1,892 (soldiers and officers included) to a total of 3,900.
From an organisational point of view, they were part of the US Navy. They spent most of the war on board war vessels. Their task was to protect them, avoiding the assault by enemy crews and fighting them at long range. Sometimes they fought in inland operations such as the battle of First Manassas.
Their task in the Civil War was pretty modest but when they landed for amphibious operations, they sustained great loses. At the end of the Civil War, 148 marines had been killed in action.
Their uniforms were arranged according a separate regulation, although they had some resemblance to the infantry. The soldiers of the USMC wore federal blue coats with a red piping in the base of the collar, sky blue pants except in warm or tropical climates, where the pants were of white light cotton. The belts in white are a classic characteristic of the USMC uniforms. Our miniature depicts a First Sergeant after a landing, wearing that uniform with the white summer trousers.