Monday, August 20, 2012

The Coast Guard and the War of 1812

A simple plan, but one that worked all too well given the poor state of the Revenue Marine. The revenue cutters couldn’t begin to cover all of the coast, not when the ships were spread thin with surveying, rescue operations, and winter cruising between Charleston and Key West. Underfunded, understaffed, looked down on by the regular navy, despised by the merchants who paid the tariffs, the Revenue Marine was no one’s darling.
Well, except maybe Alexander Hamilton, he’d loved his revenue cutters that brought money into the Treasury, but look what happened to him, Washburn thought. Irritate the wrong people and there you are, worm food.
--Smuggler's Bride

When writing histories of the United States, including histories of the War of 1812, one of the most overlooked branches of the US armed forces is the USCG. Here reenactors from the Coast Guard demonstrate their vital role, and what life aboard a Revenue Cutter was like during the war.

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