Marine battalion in front of Commandant's House at the Marine Barracks in The barracks complex is one of the oldest government buildings in continuous use in Washington, D. Built in with major modifications made between and , it has housed influential Marine leaders, all of whom played vital roles in the development of the modern Marine Corps. The growth of the Marine Corps changed the function of the Barracks.
Early in the 20th century, the Marine Barracks underwent extensive renovation. From to , the Barracks saw another period of growth in the Marine Corps. Due to insufficient Congressional funding, Marines performed much of the construction work themselves. This account of events still survives: Round shot, in general, is very ineffective against dispersed troops such as the light infantry of the 85th. In , Heywood transferred the Marine headquarters to offices in downtown Washington. It is traditionally held within the Marine Corps that, out of respect for the brave showing of the Marines at the Battle of Bladensburg , the British refrained from burning the barracks and the Commandant's house. In , when Archibald Henderson moved into the Commandant's House, he also ushered in a new era of Marine Corps history. This was simply due to the fact that Miller's Marines had brought heavier field guns and small arms to act as the core of Barney's line. There is little doubt that Barney's sailors would have held their ground had it not been for the cannons dispensing grape and canister volley after volley into the 85th Light Foot Regt. No troops could have stood better; and the fire of both artillery and musketry has been described as to the last degree severe. The Drum and Bugle Corps has been based at the barracks since its formation in The Commandant's house is the only original building left in the complex, the remainder having been rebuilt in and The British burned many important public buildings in the city. The site became the headquarters of the Marine Corps in Marine battalion in front of Commandant's House at the Marine Barracks in The barracks complex is one of the oldest government buildings in continuous use in Washington, D. When the British burned Washington during the War of , they also captured the Marine barracks. There are just over 2, National Historic Landmarks. Ones that proved so decisive in holding off the British even if for a brief moment. William Ward Burrows, scoured the city to find a suitable location. Desirous of making the Marines the world's finest fighting men, Henderson required that every new officer of the Corps be stationed for a time at the Barracks, where they could receive training under his supervision. While the Marines saw little significant combat during the Civil War, one branch of the Corps prospered at this time. Commandant Charles Heywood began emphasizing new military tactics and expanding Marine Corps responsibilities. Marine Corps Barracks and the adjacent Marine Corps Commandant's House represent the important role the Marine Corps has played in the defense of the nation since the early days of the Republic. It also served, and continues to serve, as the official home of the U. The growth of the Marine Corps changed the function of the Barracks. The Barracks' function has become increasingly ceremonial.
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