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.
Fendall, Clarence

Middle Initial:

Rank: Topography Engineer

Branch: Navy, Army

Theater: Western, Eastern

Related: IL, MS, AR, TN, GA

Bio: Clarence Fendall was a U.S. Coast Survey Topographical Engineer sent by Director Bache to assist Union field officers. Fendall felt the divisiveness of the war among his own family. His father, Philip Richard Fendall II, a prominent Washington lawyer, was of the famous Virginia Lee-Fendall family. Clarence's uncle, Robert E. Lee, decided to command the Confederate forces, while his father, brother, and Clarence himself pledged allegiance to the Union. His brother, James Robert Young Fendall, fought with the Confederacy. Most notable of Clarence's military service was a survey he made during the siege of Vicksburg, which was recognized by Admiral David Dixon Porter. Clarence died from an illness he contracted while working on the Mississippi River while commanding the schooner Hassler and a hydrographic party.


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