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The Coast Guard in Charleston

The Coast Guard in Charleston
Authorized by Congress on August 4, 1790, US Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton established the United States Revenue Cutter Service as an armed customs enforcement agency, stationing one of the first fleet of ten cutters, South Carolina, in Charleston.
Later, during the Quasi War with France (1798-1800), a second cutter named South Carolina distinguished itself in combat. During that conflict, Charleston native Hugh Campbell became one of the nation's most successful combat captains. He later became a foremost US Navy officer. During the War of 1812, Revenue Cutter Gallatin served out of Charleston and on April 1, 1813, suffered a catastrophic explosion in the magazine while anchored near this site with the loss of three crewmembers.
After the peace, cutters continued to serve Charleston. During the Nullification Crisis of 1832, cutters enforced US tariff laws in Charleston and, on December 9, 1853, Charleston-based Revenue Cutter Hamilton was lost with 18 crewmembers while attempting to sail out of the harbor when a severe storm struck.
Charleston also saw the the Revenue Cutter Service participate in the start of the Civil War. In April 1861,  President Abraham Lincoln sent a troop convoy to Charleston, escorted by Revenue Cutter Harriet Lane, to relieve the garrison at Fort Sumter. During the famous bombardment of the fort by Confederate forces, Harriet Lane fired a shot over the bow of the un-flagged vessel Nashville. It is considered the first shot fired from a naval vessel in the Civil War.
During the 1800s, the US Coast Guard predecessor services, the US Lighthouse Service and the US Life-Saving Service, established lighthouses and boat stations in the lowcountry region. In 1915, the Life-Saving Service merged with the Revenue Cutter Service to form the modern Coast Guard, thereby increasing its overall support of the area. Later, the Lighthouse Service and the Bureau of Marine Inspection also became part of the Coast Guard, further increasing its involvement in Charleston's maritime heritage.
During World War I and World War II, the Coast Guard oversaw missions essential to the security of Charleston, including port security and shore patrols, in addition to its ordinary missions of law enforcement and marine safety. In 1942, Charleston received the first US captured German POWs of World War II, when the Coast Guard Cutter Icarus delivered the surviving submariners from the vanquished U-352.
Since World War II, Charleston has grown in importance as a port of operations for the Coast Guard. Law enforcement is the service's original mission dating back to Alexander Hamilton's founding in 1790, and remains its primary duty to this day.
In Memory of Lost Crewmembers

Submitted by @lampbane

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