United States Revenue and Coast Guard Cutters in Naval Warfare, 1790–1918


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About the Book

Covering the history of the U.S. Coast Guard from 1790—when it was called the U.S. Revenue Marine—through World War I, this book describes the service’s national defense missions, including actions during the War of 1812, clashes with pirates, slave ships and Seminole Indians, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. During World War I the USCG supported U.S. Navy operations across the Atlantic, escorted merchant convoys and engaged in anti-submarine warfare. Original maps are included.

About the Author(s)

A member of the United States Coast Guard Reserve from 1961 to 1969, Thomas P. Ostrom taught anthropology, geography, and history at Rochester Community College in Minnesota before retiring. He is a member of the U.S. Navy Memorial and the Naval Historical Foundation.

Bibliographic Details

Thomas P. Ostrom

with Maps by David H. Allen

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 33 photos, 14 maps, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7128-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3075-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface 1
Introduction 3
1  Cutters, Crews and Missions (1790–1915) 11
2  The ­Quasi-War with France (1798–1800) 34
3  The War of 1812: Background and Overview 40
4  Naval Combat in the War of 1812 49
5  Revenue Cutters in the War of 1812 58
6  Revenue Marine Missions in the War of 1812 69
7  Pirates, Slaves and Seminole Indians 79
8  War with Mexico (1846–1848) 87
9  The Antebellum Period 96
10  The Confederate and Union Navies (1861–1865) 105
11  The Revenue Cutter Service in the Civil War 119
12  Historical Assessments of the Civil War Navies 130
13  Policing the Alaska Frontier (1867–1915) 140
14  The ­Spanish-American War (1898) 155
15  The USRCS and the U.S. Coast Guard Merge 169
16  An Overview of Naval Operations from 1790 to the 20th Century 183
Epilogue 193
Appendix: Maps 197
Chapter Notes 209
Bibliography 218
Index 221

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Fills an academic void in the U.S. Coast Guard’s history…provides fertile ground for further expansion and academic study…does much to address the Coast Guard’s defense readiness missions and balances more popular works focused on the better-known lifesaving and regulatory responsibilities that form the popular understanding of the U.S. Coast Guard”—The Military Review
  • “An excellent fact based resource”—Naval Historical Foundation