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.
Donn, John

Middle Initial: W

Rank: Chief Topographical Engineer

Branch: Army

Theater: Eastern, Western

Related: MD, VA, AL, TN

Bio: John W. Donn was a U.S. Coast Survey Topographical Engineer sent by Superintendent Bache to assist Union field officers. Donn served with the Armies of the Potomac, Cumberland, and James, and also did work around the Virginia Peninsula, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Harpers Ferry.


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