Coast Surveyors assumed important combat roles during the Civil War, serving as topographers, reconnaissance specialists, scouts, intelligence officers, and combat hydrographers.

For a contemporary record of combat mapping during the Civil War, see the war record of Frederick Dorr and John Donn.

Browse biographical vignettes of Coast Surveyors, listed below.
Boyd, Charles Harrod

Middle Initial: H

Rank: Captain

Branch: Navy, Army

Theater: Eastern

Related: ME, SC, GA, DC, VA

Bio: Charles Harrod Boyd entered the U.S. Coast Survey as an aide on October 1, 1855. He was working under the direction of Charles Boutelle in South Carolina at the outbreak of the war. His survey team was moved far up the coast to Passamaquoddy Bay, Maine, to get away from the danger in South Carolina. According to Boyd, while in Maine the Coast Survey schooner Arago captured two Confederate ships in late August/early September 1861 -- the Express and Alice Ball -- which were trying to run the blockade. From the Alice Ball, the Arago crew recovered the first Confederate flag they had ever seen. The survey team was moved back to South Carolina to work with the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. Boyd was with Boutelle at the Battle of Port Royal. In December 1862, Boyd served under DuPont and did work around the defenses in Washington. In May 1862, while doing survey work along the James River, Boyd captured six Confederate soldiers from the 24th South Carolina Regiment. In 1863, he was made a Coast Survey sub-assistant. Boyd surveyed and mapped the Battle of Chickamauga in April and May 1864 under the command of Maj. Gen. Thomas, commanding Department of the Cumberland. After the war and after retiring from Coast Survey in 1894, Boyd served as an engineer at Chickamauga National Battleground Park.

 


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