Reliance, 1861

Nov. 2, 2020

Reliance, 1861

The act of relying: one that can be depended on.

Builder: Patapsco Steam Tug Company, Baltimore, Maryland

Length: 100'

Beam: 17'  6"

Draft: 9' 4"


Cost: $9,000

Machinery: Direct-acting high-pressure steam engine; 26-inch stroke; 25-inch cylinder; main shaft of 6 3/4 inches; coal-fired boiler.

Performance & Endurance:





The Reliance was one of three steam tugboats purchased from the Patapsco Steam Tug Company of Baltimore, Maryland, for $9,000 each.  The others were the Hercules and the Tiger.

Revenue Captain John McGowan took possession of her on 10 August 1861.  She was fitted out under his supervision.  Hercules was stationed at Baltimore and cruised in the Chesapeake Bay and "waters tributary thereto."  She was attacked by Confederate forces on 12 August 1864 on the Wicomico River, Virginia, and her commanding officer was killed.

She was sold for $4,500 on 10 October 1865.


Donald Canney.  U.S. Coast Guard and Revenue Cutters, 1790-1935.  Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.

U.S. Coast Guard.  Record of Movements: Vessels of the United States Coast Guard: 1790 - December 31, 1933.  Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1934; 1989 (reprint).