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Charles S. Ashworth
Marine Band Director / Leader Charles S. Ashworth

Charles S. Ashworth

Charles S. Ashworth was born in England. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in Boston, on Dec. 13, 1802 at age 25. He was promoted to Leader/Drum Major on Nov. 24, 1804, and served until Oct. 16, 1816. In 1812, he wrote a book on military music,"A New Useful and Complete System of Drum Beating." It became the standard for rudimentary drumming and was approved by the War Department for use by the Army, Navy, and the Marine Corps.

When Ashworth decided to leave his post as Leader, the search began for his replacement. The following direction was given by Commandant Lieutenant Colonel Franklin Wharton:

“The late Drum Major, Ashworth, having declined longer service in the Corps, I shall have to obtain some other person. I wish you therefore to Advertise for one and after receiving all the recommendations of the Applicants report them—but make no agreement with anyone—I must, having required enquiry to be made at other places, reserve to myself the right of selecting. The pay is $12 per month and $2 per [Music ] Boy taught.”