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Navy of the United States

Continental organization.

Early in the autumn of 1775, Washington called the attention of the Continental Congress to the importance of fitting out naval vessels for the protection of the coast. Before any definite action had been taken, Washington had fitted out five or six armed vessels at Boston to “pick up” some of the British store-ships and transports. On Oct. 13, the Congress authorized the fitting out of a swift-sailing vessel to carry ten carriage-guns and a proportionate number of swivels, with eighty men, for a cruise of three months. On the same day appeared the germ of our Navy Department in a committee appointed to direct marine affairs. This consisted of Silas Deane, John Langdon, and Christopher Gadsden. Stephen Hopkins, Joseph Hewes, Richard Henry Lee, and John Adams were added Oct. 30. The committee was at first styled the “marine committee,” and on Dec. 13 it was so modelled as to include one member from each colony represented in the Congress. They had power to appoint all officers below the rank of third lieutenant, and had the control, under the immediate sanction of the Congress, of all naval operations. Their lack of professional knowledge caused many and vexatious mistakes, and the Congress finally resolved to select three persons well skilled in marine affairs to execute the business intrusted to the general committee. The experts constituted what was called “the Continental navy board, or board of assistants of the marine committee,” which remained in active operation until the autumn of 1779, when a “board of admiralty” was established, composed of three commissioners not members of the Congress, and two members of that body. This board was subject in all cases to the control of the Congress. There was a secretary who performed a greater share of the actual business of the board. The headquarters of this Navy Department [348] were at Philadelphia, then the seat of the national government. In 1781 another change took place, when Gen. Alexander McDougall, of New York, was appointed Secretary of the Marine, or Secretary of the Navy, under the old Confederation. A few months afterwards, Robert Morris, the distinguished financier of the Revolution, was appointed a general agent of marine, and an admiralty seal was adopted, composed of an escutcheon with a chevron of stripes alternate red and white, an anchor below, and a ship under full sail as a crest.

On Oct. 30, 1775, Congress resolved to fit out two more vessels, one of twenty and the other of thirty-six guns; and about the middle of December issued an order for the construction of thirteen additional armed vessels—five of thirty-two guns, five of twenty-eight, and three of thirteen—to be ready for sea by March 1, following. The committee to whom the construction was referred reported that the average cost of the ships would be about $60,000 each, and that materials for the same and for their equipment might all be obtained in the colonies, excepting cannon and gunpowder. The marine committee was increased in number, so as to consist of one member from each colony. This committee had very little executive power, but had general control of all naval operations under the direction of Congress. In November, 1776, Congress fixed the relative rank of officers in the army and navy as follows: an admiral was equal in rank to a general, a vice-admiral to a lieutenant-general, a commodore to a brigadier-general, the captain of a ship of forty guns and upward to a colonel, the captain of a ship of ten to twenty guns to a major, and a lieutenant in the navy was equal to a captain in the army. Esek Hopkins, of Rhode Island, was commissioned the first commodore, and made commander-in-chief of the Continental navy.

The navy was almost annihilated at the close of the Revolutionary War. Of the thirteen frigates ordered to be built by Congress in 1775, two had been destroyed on the Hudson River and three on the Delaware, without getting to sea. The remaining eight, together with most of the purchased vessels, had been captured by the British, some at Charleston, some at Penobscot, and others on the high seas. The only American ship-of-the-line ordered by Congress and finished (the Alliance) was presented in 1782 to the King of France, to supply the place of a similar vessel lost in Boston Harbor by an accident. After the war there seemed to be little use for a navy, and it was neglected. This indifference was continued until 1793, when depredations upon American commerce by Algerine corsairs became more alarming than ever. In his message of December, 1793, Washington said, in reference to a navy, “If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.” Acting upon this hint, Congress, in the spring of 1794, appropriated (March 11) about $700,000 for creating a small navy. The President was authorized to procure, by purchase or otherwise, six frigates; but it was provided that work on them should cease in the event of a peace with Algiers being secured. He commissioned captains, superintendents, naval constructors, and navy agents, six of each, and ordered the construction of six frigates. The treaty providing for the payment of tribute to Algiers was made late in 1795, when work on the vessels was suspended; but the folly of the suspension was soon made manifest when officers of the British cruisers boarded our merchant-vessels and impressed seamen into the British service under the pretext that they were deserters. The French, too, were becoming aggressive on the high seas. They depredated upon American commerce under the sanction of a decree of the Directory, which was almost tantamount to a declaration of war, issued in May, 1797. It authorized the capture of American vessels under certain conditions, and declared that any American found on board a hostile ship, though placed there without his consent (by impressment), should be hanged as a pirate. In this state of our foreign, relations, Congress directed three of the six frigates ordered in 1794 to be completed, launched, and put into commission; and before the close of the year the frigates Constitution, forty-four guns; Constellation, [349] thirty-eight guns, and United States, forty-four guns, were ready for sea. The Constitution, which won many a victory, is yet afloat. In 1798 ample provision was made by sea and land for war with France, which seemed impending. A Navy Department was created, and in April, Benjamin Stoddert, of Maryland, was appointed Secretary.

In the War of 1812-15.

When the President of the United States proclaimed war against Great Britain, July 19, 1812, the navy consisted of only twenty vessels, exclusive of gunboats. They were as follows:

Constitution4458Capt. Hull.
United States4458Capt. Decatur.
President4458Com. Rodgers.
Chesapeake3644Capt. Smith.
New York3644Ordinary.
Essex32Capt. Porter.
John Adams26Capt. Ludlow.
Wasp1618Capt. Jones.
Hornet1618Capt. Lawrence.
Siren16Lieut. Carroll.
Argus16Lieut. Crane.
Oneida16Lieut. Woolsey.
Vixen12Lieut. Gadsden.
Nautilus12Lieut. Sinclair.
Enterprise12Capt. Blakeley.
Viper12Capt. Bainbridge.

The government early perceived the importance of having control of Lakes Ontario and Erie when the war began. Events in the early part of 1812 at the eastern end of Lake Ontario (see Sackett's Harbor), and the fact that the British were building war vessels at Kingston, made it important that an American squadron should appear on those waters very speedily. The only hope of creating a squadron in time to secure the supremacy of the lake to the Americans was in their ability to convert merchant vessels afloat into warriors. Several of these were already afloat on the lake. To destroy them was a prime object of the British; to save them was a prime object of the Americans. Dearborn's armistice allowed the escape of some of them confined on the St. Lawrence, and at the close of August, 1812, Isaac Chauncey, one of the best practical seamen in the navy, was commissioned commander-in-chief of the navy on Lakes Ontario and Erie. Henry Eckford, a naturalized Scotchman, and an eminent ship-builder, with a competent number of men, hastened to Sackett's Harbor to prepare a squadron. With great facility one was prepared, and on Nov. 8 Chauncey appeared on Lake Ontario with a little squadron consisting of the armed schooners Conquest, Growler, Pert, Scourge, Governor Tompkins, and Hamilton. These were originally the merchant schooners Genesee Packet, Experiment, Collector, Lord Nelson, Charles and Anne, and Diana. Their armament consisted chiefly of long guns mounted on circles, with a few lighter ones that could be of very little service. Already two schooners, the Oneida and Julia, were in the service. The keel of the frigate Madison, twenty-four guns, was laid before Chauncey's arrival, and when finished she mounted forty guns. There was an average of only five guns to each vessel of the remainder of the Lake Ontario squadron.

In January, 1813, an act was passed authorizing the building of four 74-gun ships and six first-class frigates. A subsequent act (March 3) authorized the construction of six sloops-of-war, and as many ships on the lakes as the President might direct. Another act promised any person who, by torpedoes or other like contrivances, should burn, sink, or destroy any British armed vessels, half their value in money. So much enthusiasm had been created by the naval victories in 1812 that in several of the States acts were passed to build ships-of-war and present them to the government. The latter projects, however, failed. James Fenimore Cooper, in his History of the Navy of the United States, says: “The navy came out of the struggle with a vast increase of reputation. The brilliant style in which the ships had been carried into action, the steadfastness and rapidity with which they had been handled, and the fatal accuracy of their fire on nearly every occasion, produced a new era in naval warfare. Most of the frigate actions had been as soon decided as circumstances would at all allow, and in no instance was it found necessary to keep up the fire of a sloop-ofwar an hour when singly engaged. Most [350] of the combats of the latter, indeed, were decided in about half that time. The execution done in these short conflicts was often equal to that made by the largest vessels of Europe in general actions, and in some of them the slain and wounded composed a very large proportion of the crews. It is not easy to say in which

United States frigate of 1812.

nation this unlooked — for result created the most surprise. . . . The ablest and bravest captains of the English fleet were ready to admit that a new power was about to appear on the ocean, and that it was not improbable the battle for the mastery of the seas would have to be fought over again.”

In the Civil War.

At the beginning of President Lincoln's administration, the navy had been placed far beyond the reach of the government for immediate use. The total number of vessels of all classes belonging to the navy was ninety, carrying, or designed to carry, 2,415 guns. Of this number only forty-two were in commission. Twenty-eight ships, having in the aggregate 874 guns, were lying in ports dismantled, and none of them could be made ready for sea in less than several weeks' time; some of them would require at least six months. The most of them in commission had been sent to distant seas, and the entire available force for the defence of the whole Atlantic coast of the republic was the ship Brooklyn, of twenty-five guns, and the store-ship Relief, of two guns. The Brooklyn drew too much water to enter Charleston Harbor with safety when the war had been commenced, and the Relief had been ordered to Africa with stores for a squadron there. Many of the officers of the navy were born in the South, and sixty of them, including eleven at the Naval Academy, had resigned their commissions. Such was the utterly powerless condition of the navy to assist in preserving the life of the republic when Isaac Toucey, of Connecticut, resigned the office of Secretary of the Navy to Gideon Welles, of the same State, on March 4, 1861.

The Secretary and assistant Secretary Fox put forth all their energies in the creation of a navy to meet the exigencies of the times. At the beginning of July, four months after President Lincoln's administration came into power, there were forty-three armed vessels engaged in the blockade of the Southern ports, and in defence of the coast on the eastern side of the continent. These were divided into two squadrons, known respectively as the Atlantic and Gulf squadrons. The [351] former, under the command of flag-officer Silas H. Stringham (q. v.), consisted of twenty-two vessels and an aggregate of 296 guns and 3,300 men; the latter, commanded by Flag-Officer William Mervine, consisted of twenty-one vessels, with an aggregate of 282 guns and 3,500 men. Before the close of 1861, the Secretary purchased and put into commission no less than 137 vessels, and had contracted for the building of a large number of steamships of a substantial class, suitable for performing continuous duty off the coasts in all weathers. The Secretary recommended the appointment of a competent board to inquire into and report on the subject of iron-clad vessels. Calls for recruits for the navy were promptly complied with, and for the want of them no vessel was ever detained more than two or three days. Since March 1, 259 officers had resigned or been dismissed, but their places were soon all filled; for many who had retired to civil pursuits again came forward and offered their services to their country and were recommissioned.

The services of the navy during the Civil War were not appreciated by the people as fully as they deserved. They were often subservient to the army in its operations near rivers. On the ocean the services of the navy were chiefly required in blockading ports, or in bombarding coast defences. The Confederates had no navy proper, only flotillas of gunboats and rams on rivers and in harbors, and not a ship on the ocean excepting a few roving piratical vessels depredating upon American commerce. Therefore there were few occasions for purely naval battles. But in the sphere in which the navy was called upon to act, it performed services of incalculable value, and deserves equal honor and gratitude with the army. The service during the war was more exhausting and really wonderful in operations and results than that of any other navy in the world. The Navy Department displayed great energy. The navy was reduced to the smallest proportions during fifty years of peace, and kept in existence only for the protection of the continually expanding commerce of the republic. When the Civil War began, its men numbered only 7,600, and of its officers, 322, natives of Southern States, resigned their commissions to serve the Confederacy. Yet, before an adequate naval force could be organized and vessels prepared, the blockade of several Southern ports was ordered and was maintained. Merchant vessels were converted into war-ships, and volunteers from that service filled the vacant offices. Of these, about 7,600 were received and commissioned, and the rank and file in the service, aggregating about 7,600 men when the war opened, numbered 51,500 when it closed. At the be-

United States sloop-of-war Kearsarge, type of vessel in use during Civil War.

[352] ginning, there were 3,844 artisans and laborers; at the end, there were 16,880, exclusive of about an equal number employed in private ship-yards under contract. During the four years, 208 warvessels were constructed and fitted out, and 418 vessels were purchased and converted into war-ships. Of these 613 were steamers, the whole costing nearly $19,000,000.

Ships of the Navy in 1901.

(Abbreviations.—Hull: S., steel; S. W.. steel, wood, sheathed; I., iron; W., wood; Comp., compound Propulsion: S., screw; T. S., twin screw; Tr.S., triple screw; P., paddle.)

First rate

Name.Displacement (Tons).Type.Hull.Indicated Horse-Power.Propulsion.Guns (Main Battery)
Alabama11,565First-class battle-shipS.11,366T. S.18
Kearsarge11,525First-class battle-shipS.11,954T. S.22
Kentucky11,525First-class battle-shipS.12,318T. S.22
Iowa11,340First-class battle-shipS.12,105T. S.18
Indiana10,288First-class battle-shipS.9,738T. S.16
Massachusetts10,288First-class battle-shipS.10,403T. S.16
Oregon10,288First-class battle-shipS.11,111T. S.16
Brooklyn9,215Armored cruiserS.18,769T. S.20
New York8,200Armored cruiserS.17,401T. S.18
Columbia7,375Protected cruiserS.18,509Tr.S.11
Minneapolis7,375Protected cruiserS.20,862Tr.S.11
Texas6,315Second class battle-shipS.8,610T. S.8
Puritan6,060Double-turretS.3,700T. S.10
Olympia5,870Protected cruiserS.17,313T. S.14
Chicago5,000Protected cruiserS.9,000T. S.18

Second rate

Buffalo6,888Cruiser (converted)S.3,600S.6
Dixie6,145Cruiser (converted)S.3,800S.10
Baltimore4,413Protected cruiserS.10,064T. S.10
Philadelphia4,324Protected cruiserS.1,815T. S.12
Newark4,098Protected cruiserS.8,869T. S.12
San Francisco4,098Protected cruiserS.9,913T. S.12
Monterey4,084Barbette cruiser, low free-board monitorS.5,244T. S.4
Miantonomoh3,990Double-turret monitorI.1,426T. S.4
Amphitrite3,990Double-turret monitorI.1,600T. S.6
Monadnock3,990Double-turret monitorI.3,000T. S.6
Terror3,990Double-turret monitorI.1,600T. S.4
Albany3,437Protected cruiserS. W.7,500T. S.10
New Orleans3,437Protected cruiserS. W.7,500T. S.10
Cincinnati3,213Protected cruiserS.10,000T. S.11
Raleigh3,213Protected cruiserS.10,000T. S.11
Reina Mercedes3,090Protected cruiserS.3,700S.11
Atlanta3,000Protected cruiserS.4,030S.8
Boston3,000Protected cruiserS.4,030S.8

Third rate

Yankee6,888Cruiser (converted)I.3,800S.10
Prairie6,872Cruiser (converted)I.3,800S.10
Solace4,700Hospital shipS.3,200S.10
Panther4,260Cruiser (converted)I.3,200S.8
Mayflower2,690Cruiser (converted)S.4,700T. S.2
Katahdin2,155Harbor-defence ramS.5,068T. S.4
Canonicus2,100Single-turret monitorI.340S.2
Mahopac2,100Single-turret monitorI.340S.2
Manhattan2,100Single-turret monitorI.340S.2
Detroit2,089Unprotected cruiserS.5,227T. S.10
Montgomery2,089Unprotected cruiserS.5,580T. S.10
Marblehead2,089Unprotected cruiserS.5,451T. S.10
Catskill1,875Single-turret monitorI.340S.2
Jason1,875Single-turret monitorI.340S.2
Lehigh1,875Single-turret monitorI.340S.2
Montauk1,875Single-turret monitorI.340S.2
Nahant1,875Single-turret monitorS.340S.2
Bennington1,710GunboatI.3,436T. S.6
Concord1,710GunboatS.3,405T. S.6
Yorktown1,710GunboatS.3,392T. S.6


Ships of the Navy in 1901.—Continued.

Third rate

Name.Displacement (Tons).Type.Hull.Indicated Horse-Power.Propulsion.Guns (Main Battery)
Wilmington1,392Light-draft gunboatS.1,894T. S.8
Helena1,392Light-draft gunboatS.1,988T. S.8
Nashville1,371Light-draft gunboatS.2,536T. S.8
Monocacy1,370Light-draft gunboatI.850P.6
Castine1,177GunboatS.2,199T. S.8
Machias1,177GunboatS.2,046T. S.8
Don Juan de Austria1,159GunboatI.1,500S.4
Isla de Luzon1,030GunboatS.2,627T. S.6
Isla de Cuba1,030GunboatS.2,627T. S.6
Annapolis1,000Composite gunboatComp.1,227S.6
Vicksburg1,000Composite gunboatComp.1,118S.6
Wheeling1,000Composite gunboatComp.1,081T. S.6
Marietta1,000Composite gunboatComp.1,054T. S.6
Newport1,000Composite gunboatComp.1,008S.6
Princeton1,000Composite gunboatComp.800S.6

Fourth rate

a, Estimatedb, Secondary battery.c, Main battery.
Arethusaa6,200Tank steamerS.....S...
General Alava1,400TransportS.770S.b4
Yankton975Gunboat (converted)S.750S.b8
Vesuvius929Dynamite-gun vesselS.3,795T. S.b3
Scorpion850Gunboat (converted)S.2,800T. S.b8
Bancroft839GunboatS.1,213T. S.c4
Vixen806Gunboat (converted)S.1,250S.b4
Gloucester786Gunboat (converted)S.2,000S.b10
Wasp630Gunboat (converted)S.1,800S.b6
Frolic607Gunboat (converted)S.550S.b4
Dorothea594Gunboat (converted)S.1,558S.b10
El Cano560GunboatS.660T. S...
Strangera546Gunboat (converted)I......S.b5
Peoria488Gunboat (converted)S......S.b7
Hist472Gunboat (converted)S.500S.b6
Eagle434Gunboat (converted)S.850S.b6
Hornet425Gunboat (converted)S.800S.b9


Ships of the Navy in 1901.—Continued.

Fourth rate

Name.Displacement (Tons).Type.Hull.Indicated Horse-Power.Propulsion.Guns (Main Battery)
Hawk375Gunboat (converted)S.1,000S.b4
Sirena315Gunboat (converted)S......S.b4
Sylviaa302Gunboat (converted)I......S.b6
Callao200GunboatS.250T. S.b6
Pampanga200GunboatI.250T. S.b4
Paragua200GunboatI.250T. S.b4
Samar200GunboatI.250T. S.b4
Aileen192Gunboat (converted)S.500S.b5
Elfridaa173Gunboat (converted)S.200S.b2
Sylph152Gunboat (converted)S.550S.b8
Calamianes150GunboatI.125T. S.b3
Albay150GunboatI.125T. S.b3
Leyte150GunboatI.125T. S.b3
Oneida150Gunboat (converted)W.350S.b6
Panay142GunboatI.125T. S.b4
Manileno142GunboatI.125T. S.b4
Mariveles142GunboatI.125T. S.b4
Mindoro142GunboatI.125T. S.b4
Restless137Gunboat (converted)I.500S.b8
Shearwater122Gunboat (converted)S......S.b3
Incaa120Gunboat (converted)W.400S.b2
Huntress82Gunboat (converted)Comp......S.b2

b, Estimated. d, Torpedo tubes.

Cushing (No. 1)105Torpedo-boatS.1,720T. S.d3
Ericsson (No. 2)120Torpedo-boatS.1,800T. S.d3
Foote (No. 3)142Torpedo-boatS.2,000T. S.d3
Rodgers (No. 4)142Torpedo-boatS.2,000T. S.d3
Winslow (No. 5)142Torpedo-boatS.2,000T. S.d3
Porter (No. 6)165Torpedo-boatS.b3,400T. S.d3
Dupont (No. 7)165Torpedo-boatS.b3,400T. S.d3
Rowan (No. 8)182Torpedo-boatS.3,200T. S.d3
Dahlgren (No. 9)146Torpedo-boatS.4,200T. S.d2
T. A. M. Craven (No 10)146Torpedo-boatS.4,200T. S.d2
Farragut (No. 11)273Torpedo-boatS.5,600T. S.d2
Davis (No. 12)132Torpedo-boatS.1,750T. S.d3
Fox (No. 13)132Torpedo-boatS.1,750T. S.d3
Morris (No. 14)105Torpedo-boatS.1,750T. S.d3
Talbot (No. 15)46 1/2Torpedo-boatS.850T. S.d2
Gwin (No. 16)46Torpedo-boatS.850S.d2
Mackenzie (No. 17)65Torpedo-boatS.850S.d2
McKee (No. 18)65Torpedo-boatS.850S.d2
Somers (No. 22)145Torpedo-boatS.1,900S.d2
Manly (No. 23)b30Torpedo-boatS.b250S.d1
Stiletto (No. 53)31Torpedo-boatW.359S.d2
Holland (No. 54)73Submarine torpedo-boatS.150S.d1

a, Secondary battery



Ships of the Navy in 1901.—Continued.

Name.Displacement (Tons).Type.Hull.Indicated Horse-Power.Propulsion.Guns (Main Battery)


St. Mary's1,025W.Sails..



Under the naval personnel bill of 1899 the active officers of the navy in 1901 comprised 1 admiral; 18 rear-admirals, the first nine of whom were equal in relative rank to major-generals in the army and the second nine to brigadier-generals; 70 captains; 112 commanders; 170 lieutenant-commanders; 300 lieutenants; 101 lieutenants (junior grade) ; and 111 ensigns. The medical corps comprised 15 medical directors; 15 medical inspectors; 55 surgeons; 40 passed assistant surgeons; and 56 assistant surgeons. The pay corps comprised 13 pay directors; 13 pay inspectors; 40 paymasters; 30 passed assistant paymasters; and 40 assistant paymasters. There were 24 chaplains and 12 professors of mathematics. In the construction corps there were 19 naval constructors and 20 assistant naval constructors. The civil engineers numbered 21; chief gunners, 14; and gunners, 71; chief carpenters, 16, and carpenters, 46. The minor officers consisted of boatswains, sail-makers, machinists, and pharmacists The personnel act of 1899 abolished the grade of commodore, and officers of that grade were advanced to that of rear-admiral. The retired list consisted of 43 rear-admirals; 8 commodores; 13 captains; 24 commanders; 28 medical directors; 36 chief engineers; 7 naval constructors, besides minor officers.

The bureaus of the department comprised the following: bureau of yards and docks, bureau of equipment, bureau of navigation, bureau of ordnance, bureau of construction and repair, bureau of [356] steam-engineering, bureau of supplies and accounts, bureau of medicine and surgery, and the office of the judge advocate-general. Under the law the chiefs of these bureaus, below the grade of rearadmiral, hold that grade while chiefs of the bureaus.

The regular stations of the navy were the North Atlantic Station, flag-ship Kearsarge; Pacific Station, flag-ship Iowa; Asiatic Station, flag-ship Brooklyn; and South Atlantic Station, flag-ship Chicago. There were 11 vessels engaged on special service and 9 in the training service.

Naval stations were maintained at Boston, Mass. (navy-yard); Island of Guam, Ladrones; Havana, Cuba; Honolulu, Hawaii; Key West, Fla.; Indian Head, Md.; Mare Island, Cal. (navy-yard); Newport, R. I. (training station, naval war college, and torpedo station); New York, N. Y. (navy-yard); Norfolk, Va (navy-yard); Pensacola, Fla. (navyyard); Philadelphia, Pa. (navy-yard); Cavite, Philippine Islands; Port Royal, S. C.; Portsmouth, N. H. (navy-yard); Puget Sound, Wash. (navy-yard); San Francisco, Cal. (training station); San Juan, Porto Rico; Tutuila, Samoa; Washington, D. C. (navy-yard); and Yokohama, Japan (naval hospital). Naval officers were also employed on the lighthouse board, the board of light-house inspectors, the commission of fish and fisheries, the nautical school-ships, and as attaches of embassies and legations in foreign countries.

The following shows the pay of officers of the navy and marine corps:

Rank.At Sea.1On Shore Duty.On Leave or Waiting Orders.
Rear-Admirals, first nine7,5006,375
Rear-Admirals, second nine5,5004,675
Lieutenants (Junior Grade)1,5001,275
Chief Boatswain, Chief Gunners, Chief Carpenters, Chief Sailmakers1,4001,400
Naval Cadets500500$500
Medical and Pay Directors and Inspectors and Chief Engineers having the same rank at sea4,400

pay of officers of the Navy and marine Corps—Continued.

Rank.At Sea.2On Shore Duty.On Leave or Waiting Orders.
Fleet-Surgeons, Fleet-Pay-masters, and Fleet-Engineers4,400
Surgeons, Paymasters, and Chief Engineers2,800 to 4,200$2,000 to 3,000$2,400 to 4,000
Chaplains2,500 to 2,8001,600 to 1,9002,000 to 2,300

Warrant officers are paid from $700 to $1,800, petty officers from $360 to $400, and enlisted men from $192 to $420 per annum.

The term of enlistment for seamen is for four years Wages for landsmen, $16 per month; ordinary seamen, $19; seamen, $24; stewards, mechanics, etc., $16 to $60; coal passers, $22. Ages limited to from 21 to 35 years, except landsmen, 18 to 25, and ordinary seamen, 18 to 30.

Boys between the ages of 15 and 17, of good physique, may, with the consent of their parents or guardians, be enlisted to serve an apprenticeship in the navy until they arrive at the age of 21 years. Their pay at enlistment is $9 per month, which, with length of service, is increased to $21.

Naval training system.

The necessity for the establishment of a higher moral tone and greater professional efficiency among the seamen of the navy had been felt and expressed long before any steps were taken to produce the needed reform So, also, in England. Immediately after the close of the war between the United States and Great Britain (1812-15), Sir Howard Douglas, perceiving the necessity for educated seamen in the royal navy, called the attention of his government to the matter. Nothing was done, however, officially, until June, 1830, when an admiralty order directed that a “gunnery-school” should be formed in one of the British ships-of-war. It was done, and this was the initial step towards the present admirable training of boys for service in the British navy. Its great object has been to make the sailors expert “seamen-gunners,” as well as in the use of small-arms and the broadsword. The British government now has several ships devoted exclusively to the training of boys, with the happiest effect upon the general character of the royal navy.

In 1835 John Goin, of New York, called public attention to the necessity of education for seamen, not only in the navy [357] proper, but in the service of the mercantile marine. It was deemed essential that more Americans should be found among our seamen; for official statistics showed that of the 100,000 seamen then sailing out of the ports of the United States, only about 9,000 were Americans. This positive evil could only be met and remedied, it was argued, by the establishment of nautical schools, in which American boys could be trained for seamen. A petition for such a measure went from New York to Congress in 1837. That body, the same year, authorized the enlistment of boys for the navy, and it was not long afterwards when the frigate Hudson had 300 boys on board as apprentices. Several nautical schools were opened on other vessels, but within five years the plan

The School-ship Sabine.

seems to have been abandoned. In 1863 the United States practice-vessel at the Naval Academy went on a summer cruise across the Atlantic, and visited the ports of Plymouth and Portsmouth, England. Her officers there visited the British training-ships. Impressed with the importance of the system, the commander of the practice-ship, Capt. S. B. Luce (q. v.), on his return, called the attention of the Navy Department to the subject, and recommended a similar system of training for the United States navy.

The law of 1837 was revived, and the United States frigate Sabine was selected as a school-ship, and in due time the sloops-of-war Saratoga and Portsmouth were added as practice-vessels. This second effort was a failure. The project was revived in 1875, in a circular issued by the Secretary of the Navy. In pursuance of instructions in that circular, the United States steam-frigate Minnesota was commissioned a school-ship under the command of (afterwards) Rear-Admiral S. B. Luce. The system has been modified and improved since. Many hundred American boys have been instructed, and the work is still going on. The boys are under excellent moral restraint, are systematically taught the branches of a common-school education, and are trained in every department of seamanship, as well as in gunnery and military tactics Such a system creates enlightened American seamen, who will elevate the character of the seaman's profession—in the navy proper and in the mercantile marine—to the level of any other industry [358] in which the brain and muscle of Americans may engage.

In 1901, besides the training stations previously mentioned, the following vessels were on duty in the training service: Adams, Amphitrite, Buffalo, Dixie, Essex, Hartford, Lancaster, Monongahela, and Topeka. The nautical school-ships were the St. Mary's (New York), Saratoga (Pennsylvania), and Enterprise (Massachusetts). See marine Corps; naval militia.

1 Or shore duty beyond sea.

2 Or shore duty beyond sea.

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