USRC Naugatuck

Many are familiar with the tale of the USS Monitor vs Confederate Virginia – the world’s first battle of ironclads. It was a draw. (For those unfamiliar with it.)

That said, I learned something new about my favored branch of the service. The U.S. Coast Guard (formerly known as the Revenue Cutter Service).

Apparently, the RCS had an ironclad of their own. A fairly advanced ship that had adjustable ballasts, and could raise and lower it’s waterline depth.

The USRC Naugatuck joined the USS Monitor and other Union forces for the naval blockade. It even tried to entice the CSS Virginia to come back out and engage in battle.

It was really neat to learn that my beloved Coast Guard had our own involvement with one of the earliest naval battles involving ironclads.   It also helped guide the Union forces up the river as the lead boat. It’s ability to adjust it’s draft in the water enable it to escape any shoals by simply emptying it’s ballast tanks. This let it find a safe route for the rest of the Union naval vessels.

USRC Naugatuck in foreground with the USS Monitor in the background

This etching shows the USRC Naugatuck in the foreground with the USS Monitor in the background.


More information about the USRC Naugatuck can be found here and here.

Published in: on January 4, 2011 at 6:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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