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Some were American made, but there were many beautiful British made buttons too. As quoted on the US Coast Guard website source listed below, “The service received its present name in 1915 under an act of Congress that merged the Revenue Cutter Service with the U. Life-Saving Service, thereby providing the nation with a single maritime service dedicated to saving life at sea and enforcing the nation's maritime laws.The Coast Guard began maintaining the country's aids to maritime navigation, including lighthouses, when President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the transfer of the Lighthouse Service to the Coast Guard in 1939.On May 14, 1941 the Navy ordered that the head of the eagle face its right side.“The shift of the eagle's aspect to right-facing from left-facing is logical from the perspective of heraldic tradition, since the right side (dexter) is the honor side of the shield and the left side (sinester) indicates dishonor or illegitimacy.” (source: the buttons in the picture, those on the left are Civil War-era, those on the right are from a WWII US Navy uniform (my father-in-law’s).
They were beautiful buttons, most had the familiar eagle & anchor, some of the earlier ones had only an anchor.There were two primary types of US Navy buttons worn during the Civil War. They are both “an eagle resting on a horizontal anchor, three cannon balls below, with 13 stars encircling, on a lined field”.The difference is that the more common one during the Civil War, the NA112, had the upper fluke of the anchor behind the left wing, whereas the NA113 had the upper fluke of the anchor in front of the left wing.These types were used right up through WWII, although the NA112 type became much less common after the Civil War.(source: , by Alphaeus H.Albert)Although both of the buttons pictured below were made by the same manufacturer, D.