Charles McCawley

Ranked #105 on the list Best Military Person of All Time

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About Charles McCawley

  • Participated in conflicts: Mexican–American War

Charles Grymes McCawley (January 29, 1827 – October 13, 1891) was the eighth Commandant of the Marine Corps and served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps during the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War. Born at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, McCawley was appointed a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps on March 3, 1847. He took part in the Battle of Chapultepec and the capture of Mexico City during the Mexican-American War. (It is this battle which is commemorated in the Marine Hymn's words, "From the Halls of Montezuma....") He was brevetted first lieutenant September 13, 1847, for gallantry in those actions. In the Civil War, he aided in the capture of Port Royal, South Carolina, November 7, 1861 and led a detachment of 200 Marines to reoccupy the Norfolk Navy Yard, May 1862. He subsequently commanded Marine detachments during operations in Charleston Harbor against Forts Wagner, Gregg, and Sumter. For gallant and meritorious conduct during the boat attack on Fort Sumter, September 8, 1863, he was brevetted major. In 1876, he was appointed colonel commandant, the highest post in the Marine Corps, and served in that position until he retired in 1891. In 1883,

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