Naval chaplains received the same pay as lieutenants.
The pay-scale tapered down through the various grades of seamen, until the “boys,” which included all the youngsters engaged in the positions of “powder-monkeys,” “water-boys,” and various other duties, received ten dollars a month and their rations.
Early in the war, the Navy Department was confronted by a serious problem that manifested itself in the numbers of “contrabands,” or runaway slaves that made their way into the navy-yards and aboard the Federal
ships, seeking protection.
These contrabands could not be driven away, and there was no provision existing by which they could be put to work and made useful either on board the ships or in the navy-yards.
The situation was finally brought to the attention of the Secretary of the Navy
, and he was asked to find some remedy.
Under date of the 25th of September, 1861, he issued an order that from that date the contrabands might be given employment on the Federal
vessels or in the navy-yards at any necessary work that they were competent to do. They were advanced to the ratings of seamen, firemen, and coal-heavers, and received corresponding pay.
The principal yards where the construction work of the Federal
navy was carried on were those at New York, Philadelphia
, and Boston
Early in the war, the Naval Academy was removed to Newport, Rhode Island
, “for safe-keeping,” but in 1865, when invasion was an impossibility and the dwindling forces of the South
were mostly confined to the armies of Johnston
, south of the James
, the academy once more returned to its old home.
There were many young men of the classes of 1861 and 1862 who found themselves shoulders high above the rank generally accredited to officers of their years.
For deeds of prowess and valor they had been advanced many numbers in the line of promotion.
The classes of 1865 and 1866 were very large, and for a long time after the reduction of the naval establishment, promotion in the service became exceedingly slow.