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.
Mathiot, George

Middle Initial:


Branch: Army, Navy

Theater: Eastern

Related: DC

Bio: George Mathiot (born?- 1873) contributed significantly to the efficiency of producing accurate maps for the U.S. Coast Survey over a period of 20 years. In 1851, Mathiot submitted a plan for the electrotyping process, which allowed the unlimited reproduction of large engraved copper plates. Normally it would take three to four years to produce a copper plate, but this technology allowed the Coast Survey to produce unlimited copies of charts without destroying the original plate. Mathiot also developed a process before the war to photographically reduce or enlarge images of hydrographic and topographic field surveys to a desired scale. This was a significant step towards automating cartography, rather than forcing draftsmen to painstakingly reduce or enlarge field sheets. These contributions allowed Coast Survey to produce maps at a much faster and accurate pace, which was integral for war efforts.


Office of Coast Survey
Historical Map and Chart Collection
Web site owner: NOAA's Office of Coast Survey