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1878 Photographs of Col James Hemphill Jones

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Here are two photographs of Col. James Hemphill Jones that were taken in 1878 while he was in Command of the Marine Barracks, Boston Navy Yard. I had posted a Chinese silver tankard presented to him in Canton, China when he was in command of Marines on the USS Powhatan, Commodore Matthew C. Perry's flagship during his voyage to open trade with Japan and China.

Here is the very interesting career of Colonel James H. Jones. The history is a little long but incredible.


James Hemphill Jones was born in Wilmington, Delaware on May 6, 1821. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps on March 2nd, 1847. Second Lieutenant Jones served in Company B of the Marine Battalion under Captain John G. Reynolds during the Mexican War in 1847 and 1848. He was assigned to the Frigate Raritan with the Home Squadron in 1849, the steam frigate Saranac in 1851, the Marine barracks, Philadelphia, and the steamer Princeton in 1852. He was commissioned a First Lieutenant September 1, 1853. Jones served in the sloop Macedonian and the steam frigate Mississippi patrolling the East Indies in 1853. First Lieutenant Jones was next assigned to the East India Squadron as commander of the Marines aboard the side-wheel, steam frigate USS Powhatan. The Powhatan arrived on station via Cape of Good Hope June 15, 1853. The Powhatan’s arrival in Chinese waters coincided with an important phase of Commodore Matthew C. Perry's negotiations for commercial relations with the Japanese and the opening of two Japanese ports. The Powhatan was Perry's flagship during his November visit to Whamopa, China. The USS Powhatan dispatched an officer of Marines with a complement of Marines with one of her boat howitzers to remain at Canton during her stay at Whamopa to protect American citizens. The officer was a guest at the home of an American merchant (this may be when Jones met John B. Goodridge). The Powhatan entered Edo (Tokyo) Bay February 14th 1854 with the rest of the East Indies Squadron. When Commodore Perry wished to make an impression upon the Japanese, he paraded the Powhatan’s Marines commanded by First Lieutenant James Hemphill Jones through the streets of Edo. The Convention of Kanagawa was signed on March 31, 1854. On March 19, 1855 Marines were landed in Canton to protect U.S. citizens from piracy. First Lieutenant James Hemphill Jones and 41 men from the USS Powhatan went ashore and remained there for two days. In July 1855, Chinese pirates in the Hong Kong area captured four British owned merchant ships. In response, on August 4th 1855, armed boats from the East India Squadron’s frigate USS Powhatan, the seamen and Marines commanded by First Lieutenant James Hemphill Jones, and the Royal Navy sloop-of-war HMS Rattler attacked the pirates at Ty-ho Bay. HMS Eaglet towed the boats into position which then proceeded to destroy twenty of thirty-six junks. Seven merchant ships were also rescued. An estimated 500 pirates were killed or wounded and over 1,000 taken prisoner the allied loss was nine killed and twelve wounded. The USS Powhatan then assisted an Anglo and French attack by bombarding the Chinese Taku Forts. Jones was then ordered to the receiving ship Ohio, at the Boston Navy Yard. In September of 1851 1st Lieutenant Jones was placed in command of a strong force of Marines and a detachment of Philadelphia Police to assist local authorities in apprehending those responsible for the murder of a fugitive slave catcher after the Christiana riot in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He was promoted to Captain in 1861 and assigned to the Marine Barracks, Washington, D. C. Captain James H. Jones commanded Co. B of United States Marines at the July 21st 1861 Battle of Bull Run (First Battle of Manassas) where he was lightly wounded by a spent ball which had killed one of his lieutenants. From 1861 to 1867 he served in the Pacific squadron. In 1864 he was promoted to Major, and the same year to Lieutenant-Colonel. From 1868 to 1871 he was on duty at Mare Island, California. In 1879, while stationed at the Marine Barracks, Boston Navy Yard, he was promoted to Colonel, and ordered to command of the Marine Barracks at League Island, Pennsylvania. While attending the funeral of the late Rear-Admiral Thatcher he contracted a severe cold and was stricken with pneumonia. He died, after a brief illness on April 17, 1880.






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  • 2 weeks later...
How did I miss this post - a great period photo with more detail than expected! Thx for posting it...

It also appears he is wearing the two piece 1868 officers cap Corps Device, the very first!




Mike Manifor
Buying and selling Military Antiques. Specializing in hat and collar insignia (EGAs) of the USMC.
Top dollar paid.
My website:www.eagleglobeandanchor.com

Visit my EGA reference section: http://www.eagleglobeandanchor.com/EGA_Reference_Section.html



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