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"US Marine Uniforms First Barbary War" Topic

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28 Dec 2015 7:56 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "US MArine Uniforms First Barbary War" to "US Marine Uniforms First Barbary War"

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Comments or corrections?

imdone28 Dec 2015 7:18 a.m. PST

Hello All

I am looking for any information about the uniforms worn by the US Marines who fought in the first Barbary War from 1801 to 1805.

Any pictures, site suggestions, etc….especially showing uniform fronts and backs, would be most appreciated.

daler240D28 Dec 2015 7:25 a.m. PST

try this to start:


Ashokmarine28 Dec 2015 9:21 a.m. PST

I have been wondering that myself. Perhaps figs from the war of 1812 will suffice.

Durando28 Dec 2015 10:50 a.m. PST

I know the guys at Westafalia were thinking of doing some

Buckeye AKA Darryl28 Dec 2015 11:43 a.m. PST

First war:


Second War:


Alas, War of 1812 figures would not be ideal for the First War due to the headgear alone. One could use Wayne's Legion figures in a pinch with their turned up hat but then the fur crest would be incorrect.

Ashokmarine28 Dec 2015 1:38 p.m. PST

For the first war you could use British marine miniatures I believe they wore the round hat. For the Second war it looks like the shake would have been used. But in tropical climates it may have been different.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2015 3:46 p.m. PST

The U.S. Marine uniform changed very little between 1805-1818. Ref p66-67 of "Military Uniforms in America: Vol II Years of Growth, 1796-1851, The Company of Military Historians."

The uniform plate (pg 67) has three figures; an officer, private and a back view of a sergeant.

This French War of 1812 Uniform site has a comprehensive series of prints and plates from which you will find USMC uniforms.

If you prefer I can send some USMC Plates (digital) that I have acquired over the years. Just PM me with your email address and I will send them to you.

Lastly, the Knuckleduster 28mm War of 1812 series has three different sets of US Marines plus some sailors as gunners and landing parties.

Keep us posted on your progress.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP31 Dec 2015 12:52 p.m. PST

I would not use the uniform plate in Military Uniforms in America, Years of Growth 1797-1851 for use with Marine Corps uniforms of 1805. Shakos were not adopted by the Marine Corps until before the War of 1812 and were not worn in 1805.

The Marine Corps uniform consisted of a dark blue coat with red collar, cuffs, turnbacks and lapels. The enlisted men wore the roundhat, turned up on the left side with white tape around the brim. White trouser overalls were worn.
Officers wore the same uniform but with the bicorne instead of the round hat, white breeches and hessian or light cavalry-type boots.

Officers' belts were white leather, while enlisted would be either black or white.

This was the uniform as prescribed in 1798 when the Marine Corps was reactivated after the Continental Marines were disbanded in 1783.

Papa Volks03 Jan 2016 12:14 p.m. PST

Hi my name is Robi baker and I have started to sculp some of the Barbary war for my self please email me at and i will send some images
I have amassed some of info over the years best robi

BlakeUSMC035120 Sep 2020 7:23 a.m. PST

Buckeye, are those the treefrog miniatures? I am also looking for figures to re-create the "Assault on Derna" C. Waterhouse scene.

Bill N20 Sep 2020 9:18 a.m. PST

I do not know the answer. I would be extremely suspect of U.S. Marines in the 1801-1805 war with the Barbary States having a uniform reflecting any changes made after around 1803, simply because of the time required to produce those uniforms and ship them to the Mediterranean. One source that you might want to look at is this: PDF link

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