George Barnett, Marine Corps Commandant

A Memoir, 1877–1923

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About the Book

George Barnett transformed the United States Marine Corps from an antiquated afterthought to a modern force with an international reputation. After a long apprenticeship as a junior officer, Barnett emerged as a pioneer of amphibious warfare. Leading the experimental Advanced Base Force Brigade at Culebra in 1914, he secured the Corps’ survival by establishing its amphibious mission. Appointed Commandant the same year, Barnett prepared the Marines for service in Europe, overcoming opposition from the Army and Navy. Without him, the Marines would not have served in France during World War I.
Barnett left the post of Commandant in 1920 and began dictating his recollections of 45 years of service, including his education at Annapolis, overseas service in Sitka, Samoa and Peking, and encounters with Robert Louis Stevenson, the Meiji Emperor and the Dowager Empress of China.
This edition of his memoirs includes chapter-by-chapter analysis by the editor and provides an unrivalled look at the Corps between the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. Long mined by scholars, Barnett’s memoir is now available to the public.

About the Author(s)

The late George Barnett (1859–1930) was a pivotal figure in Marine Corps history. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Andy Barnett is the director of McMillan Memorial Library in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

Bibliographic Details

George Barnett
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: 28 photos, chronology, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9707-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1920-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface  1
Chronology  5
I—A Western Boyhood 9
II—A Young Man at Annapolis 16
III—Cadet Cruise—Africa 36
IV—Cadet Cruise—South America 44
V—Graduation and the Marine Corps 51
VI—Sitka 58
VII—Aboard the USS Iroquois 72
VIII—Stevenson and Samoa 78
IX—The Columbia Exposition of 1893 88
X—The USS New Orleans and the ­Spanish-American War 92
XI—Seeing the World on the USS Chicago 98
XII—The Philippines and the Asiatic Fleet 104
XIII—Marriage and Honeymoon in Peking 110
XIV—The Peking Legation Guard 118
XV—Philadelphia, the Advanced Base Force and Culebra 134
XVI—Appointment as Commandant 140
XVII—The Great War 147
XVIII—­Post-War Demobilization 161
XIX—Dismissal of Commandant Barnett 166
XX—The Haitian Affair 178
XXI—Major General Barnett 183
XXII—San Francisco, 1920–1923 and Retirement 188
Epilogue  191
Index  193