The Long Blue Line: Operations of cutter Active in War of 1812

Best suited to swiftness and agility, revenue cutters provided a multi-mission platform during the War of 1812. Beside their peacetime mission of law enforcement, cutters like Revenue Cutter Active and its master, Caleb Brewster, also escorted convoys of American merchantmen, provided vital naval intelligence, delivered important military officials and documents, and operated with units of the U.S. Navy.


Caleb Brewster

Caleb Brewster: Revolutionary War hero

Brewster began serving as an officer in the Revenue Cutter Service in 1797, about the time the Quasi-War with France began. By 1801, he received his captain’s commission and began serving as skipper of cutter Active, out of New York. He remained in the service until a year after the end of the War of 1812. All of cutter Active’s missions during the War of 1812 were carried out under his command.