There is no question about the Revenue Cutter service being anything other than honorable. As in any branch of service, you may find a couple of 'bad apples'. That's life in general. I believe my cousin, a few generations back had a big hand in starting that 'service'. The modern Coast Guard is one of the most valuable assets we have as a nation. They are also very well respected by anyone who likes to go swimming. We on the Gulf Coast love em. It is understandable you look to your ancestors service with pride. I can tell you right now that if anyone has ever been to our beach, by boat, to see the Blue Angels show, you've seen the Coast Guard working really hard. It's not an easy job by a long shot.
That is one of the really sad things that come out of the Civil War. The conduct of individual Soldiers, Sailors and Marines isn't the 'meat' of the matter. Though as I said above, there's always going to be a few, on either side, that don't measure up to the standard set by the majority. It's very hard for us to imagine men who were classmates at West Point, friends and fellow soldiers a few years earlier in Mexico take up arms against each other but it happened. That's why it is so important for us to sort out the 'issues' and reasons other than the men themselves. For the most part, on either side, Union or Confederate they took what they believed to be the best course for themselves and their family. One cannot put a value on 'emotion' but it had to run pretty high to cost so many what it did by the end of the war. No one truly 'won' the war. Neither side was ever the same after April 12, 1861. The Union had what was really an empty victory, the South, was just plain ruined. Maybe if there had been more Union land blown away, and homes burned, and families torn apart, it just might, maybe, be easier for us to discuss our differences on how we view the war. Just as you have your ancestors honorable service to remember with a smile, we also have our ancestors honorable service to remember with pride.