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.
Platt, Robert

Middle Initial: S

Rank: Commander

Branch: Navy

Theater: Eastern

Related: SC, GA, FL

Bio: Robert Platt was born in North Carolina in 1835, but remained loyal to the Union during the war. Before the war, Platt was a naval officer working for the U.S. Coast Survey. In 1863, he was appointed to the Steamer Bibb as first master mate and executive officer, and operated with the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron for the duration of the war. After the war, Platt returned to work with Coast Survey. Overall, Platt put in 33 years of naval experience, but never achieved rank higher than lieutenant. A special hearing given after his retirement gave him the rank of commander.


Office of Coast Survey
Historical Map and Chart Collection
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