A replica revenue cutters' ensign

War of 1812: How the digital age helped unearth history

While the Coast Guard was aware prisoners of war had been taken captive during the War of 1812, there was uncertainty about the number of prisoners and details of their imprisonment. Until recently. Since the British burned the Treasury Building in 1814 during its attack on Washington, D.C., historical records from the Coast Guard’s predecessor Revenue Cutter Service had been lost. Thanks to the curiosity and meticulous research by a Coast Guard Auxiliary member, an Internet search yielded records kept by the British at their National Archives in Kew.