After Anthony Gale was dismissed from his position, Major Archibald Henderson became the next Commandant of the US Marine Corps. He would hold this position for 38 years, the longest of any commandant earning him the title "Grand Old Man of the Corps."

Archibald Henderson was born in 1783 in what is now the lost town of Colchester, Virginia. He was commission in 1806 and serced as the commander of the Marine detachment aboard the Constitution in her fight with the HMS Java. Henderson was given an honary rank as major as a result of his bravery during time aboard the Constitution.

The Peace Establishment Act of 1817 established the number of officers, 50, and enlisted, 942, Marines during peace. However, do to a lack of funding, there was hardly ever more then half. Also the commandant was given a staff:

    Adjuntant and Inspector
This structure would last until World War II.

However, things were changing for the Corps. President Andrew Jackson recommended to Congress "that the Marine Corps be merged in the artillery or [infantry as the best mode of curing the many defects in its organization." The political games that helped Congress pass the "Act for the Better Organization of the Marine Corps." Under this act the Corps was part of the Department of the Navy, but seperate from the Navy.

Henderson went into the field leading a two-battalion regiment against the Creeks and Seminoles in Georgia and Florida. He wanted to also go into the field during the Mexican War, which did not happen.

Henderson served up until he died, right before the Civil War started.

Information from this node was taken from various Marine history books and also the Marine Corps homepage, Note is not the offical site of the corps.

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