Shores of Tripoli

By | Apr 27, 2012

A line in the Marine Corp. Hymn goes;

“From the Halls of Montezuma,
To the shores of Tripoli”

The shores of Tripoli refer to the Battle of Derne which occurred on April 27, 1805 as part of the First Barbary War. An attachment of Marines under the command of Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon lead an attack on the city. By the end of the day an American flag was flown over the fortification. This was a first in American history.

Tripoli is the largest city in Libya. The city is a major sea port and in the early 19th century the area was prone to piracy. It was because of these practices that a naval force was sent from the United States to blockade Tripoli. Something that really hasn’t changed much in modern times.

The Barbary Wars gave the United states a better military reputation. Prior to this there had been little to no military action by the Americans outside of their own country. This showed the World that they could fight a war away from home.

Located at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland is The Tripoli Monument. It was carved of Carrara marble in Italy in 1806 and brought to the United States as ballast on board the USS Constitution. It is the oldest military monument in the U.S. The monument honors the heroes of the First Barbary War: Captain Richard Somers, Lieutenant James Caldwell, James Decatur, Henry Wadsworth, Joseph Israel, and John Dorsey.

For those who may be wondering the “Halls of Montezuma” refer to the Battle of Chapultepec which took place near Mexico City in September 1847 during the Mexican-American War.


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