Regulations for the government of the United States Navy (1865)

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General Instructions.

138.....The attention of all persons belonging to the Navy is particularly called to the laws for the government of the Navy, and to all general orders and regulations of the Navy Department which now exist or may be issued hereafter.

139.....Hereafter every general order issued by this Department, or published by authority, will be read to the officers and crew by the Executive Officer on board of every naval vessel, at the first general muster subsequent to its receipt, and entered upon the ship's log. All officers are directed to preserve a copy of each general order and circular.

140.....Although particular duties are prescribed for officers and others in the following instructions, yet it is to be distinctly understood that it is not intended to confine or limit them to those specified, but every person is enjoined to promote, by zeal and energy, the efficiency of the service.

141.....Authority is to be exercised with firmness, but with kindness and justice to inferiors.

142.....Officers will bear in mind that the authority to punish offences is strictly defined by law; no deviation therefrom will be tolerated.

143.....All persons in the Navy are to be constant in attention to their duties, never absenting themselves therefrom without the consent of their immediate Commanding Officer, nor remaining out of the vessel to which they may belong during the night, after sunset, without express permission from the Commander of the vessel, or from the Commander-in-Chief of the fleet or squadron.

144.....Every officer or other person of the Navy shall treat with respect his superior, or any one having authority over him, and is required to set an example of morality, subordination, and devotion to duty.

145.....If any person in the Navy consider himself oppressed by his superior, or observe in him any misconduct, he is not on that account to fail in his respect to him, but he is to represent, through the proper channel, such oppression or misconduct to the proper authority. But in all cases such person will be held accountable if his representations should be found vexatious, frivolous, or false.

146.....If any person belonging to the Navy shall know of any fraud, collusion, or improper conduct on the part of any agent, con- tractor, or other person employed in matters connected with the naval service, be shall report the same, in writing, through the proper channel, to the proper authority ; but he must, in all cases, specify the particular acts of misconduct, and the means of proving the same, for he will be held strictly accountable for any frivolous or vexatious charges he may present.

147.....If an officer receive an order from a superior contrary to any particular order of any other superior, or to instructions, or general orders from the Department, he shall respectfully represent, in writing, such contrariety to such superior, and if, after such representation, the superior shall still insist upon the execution of his order, it is to be obeyed, and the officer receiving and executing it, is to report the circumstances to the one from whom he received the original order.

148.....Every officer who shall divert another from any service upon which he shall have been ordered by a common superior, or require him to act contrary to the orders of such superior, or interfere with those under his command, must show to the Department, or to the officer under whose command he may be acting, that the public interest required the procedure.

149.....All orders countermanding a written order from a common superior shall be given in writing.

150.....No person in the Navy shall, without the authority of his superior or Commanding Officer, exchange with another for the performance of any duty with which he may be charged.

151.....When any officer, whether in command of a fleet, squadron, or single vessel, shall meet with his superior or senior officer, also in command, he shall visit him in person, show him his orders or instructions, and consider himself under his command for the time being. If he shall have received confidential orders, he is at once to inform his superior of that fact, and he must not be delayed in the execution of such orders by his superior without an overruling necessity therefor, of which the Department must be informed in detail, at the earliest possible moment; in all cases of such interference, the original instructions must be carried out as soon thereafter as practicable, and a full report upon the subject forwarded to the authority which issued such confidential orders.

152.....Any officer who may be sent on detached duty, and who may arrive within the limits of a port or station commanded by an officer belonging to the same fleet or squadron, shall always communicate with such Commanding Officer, either in person or by letter, according as he may be junior or senior to such officer, before proceeding to execute any part of the duty with which he may be charged within such limits, unless otherwise directed by their common superior, or the position of such Commanding Officer, or other imperative circumstances would cause a delay prejudicial to the service. Such officer will always communicate with the Commanding Officer of the port or station before leaving it, in order that an opportunity may be afforded to send reports or despatches in case there should be no regular means of communication between him and the Commander-in-Chief or Navy Department.

153.....Boats shall not be regarded as being on detached duty while engaged in the ordinary service of the ship to which they belong. Unless specially fitted for an expedition for which a regular detail of officers and men is made, or unless separated from the ship by unavoidable or unforseen circumstances, they shall be regarded as attached to her, and no officer in such cases shall assume authority on the ground that he is engaged on detached duty.

154.....When two or more vessels are in company, whether belonging to the same squadron or not, the senior officer present will regulate the motions of all.

155.....No deviation shall he made from the directions of the Navy Department in relation to the construction, repair, arrangement, armament, or equipment of vessels without its previous sanction, or in cases of absolute necessity occurring abroad, of the Commander-in-Chief, or in his absence, of the senior officer present, and then the nature of the alteration, effects produced, and costs are to be reported to the Department at the earliest moment practicable. Nor shall any change be made in the fixtures or furniture of officers. apartments without such sanction, and if made for private convenience, no article substituted for that allowed shall be removed, even though it may have been purchased by the officer desiring the change.

156.....Every officer is strictly enjoined to avoid all unnecessary expenditures of public money or stores, and as far as may be in his power, to prevent the same in others, and to encourage the strictest economy consistent with the interests of the service. All persons in the Navy are hereby held answerable for any wasteful or improper expense they may direct, authorize, or knowingly permit.

157.....No article of public stores is ever to be appropriated to the private use of any person not in distress, without the consent of the Navy Department, or the order of the senior officer present in command, who shall give to the Department early information of every case that may occur, together with the attending circumstances, and be shall, in every instance, be careful to take the best security for future indemnity to the government that the nature of it will admit.

158.....In all cases of real distress, gratuitous assistance is to be offered to the fullest extent practicable.

159.....Mechanics on board vessels on foreign stations may be allowed to repair vessels of the merchant service of the United States in cases where a refusal to do so would of necessity impose injurious delays or greatly increase expenses. For such services they may receive such compensation as may be properly offered and their Commanding Officer may regard as fair and equitable. No officer in the Navy, however, is ever to claim or receive any compensation whatever for such services. Assistance may likewise be rendered to foreign vessels, on similar terms, when not attainable otherwise, by permission of the senior officer.

160.....All persons employed in the Navy, or for naval purposes, are strictly prohibited from having any interest whatever in purchases or contracts for supplies of any kind for the Navy, or in any works pertaining to it, nor shall they receive, directly or indirectly, any emolument or gratuity of any kind from any contractor or other person furnishing supplies, nor act as agent or attorney for any such contractor or other person.

161.....When the sun sets at or after six o'clock, tattoo shall be beat at nine o'clock in the evening, and the colors be hoisted at eight o'clock in the morning; and when it sets before six o'clock, the tattoo shall be beat at eight o'clock in the evening, and the colors be hoisted at nine o'clock in the morning. The colors shall be kept flying until sunset if the weather will permit, or the senior officer see no objection thereto. Whenever a vessel of the Navy shall get under way, or come to anchor, the colors shall be hoisted, though earlier or later, if there be light enough for them to be seen; also in passing, meeting, joining, or parting from any other of the vessels of the Navy ; and unless there should be sufficient reason to the contrary, on filling in with any other vessel at sea, and in passing or approaching forts, castles, batteries, light-houses, or towns.

162.....All lights and fires, except those necessary for the service of the vessel, or specially allowed by the Commanding Officer, or the lights used in the wardroom, steerages and forward officers' apartments, shall be extinguished at tattoo. The wardroom lights shall be extinguished at ten p.m., and all others at nine p.m. unless otherwise allowed in special cases by the Commanding Officer. The greatest caution is to be observed with regard to lights in any part of a vessel. No light shall be left unattended in any apartment, unless it be in a lantern properly secured. No uncovered light shall be used in any store-room or in the hold, nor shall spirit lamps, explosive oils, or friction matches be allowed on board any vessel of the Navy.

163.....In the execution of process issued by civil authority, applicable to a person or to persons on board a vessel of the Navy, or in a navy yard, or other naval establishment, Commanding Officers, when legally required, are to afford facilities and active assistance within their respective commands.

164.....Gambling is strictly prohibited on board vessels of the Navy and in navy yards, and all places and stations belonging to, or under the control of the Navy Department.

165.....Should any officer of the Navy so far forget what is due to his own honor, and to that of the service of which he is a member, as to incur debts, especially upon a foreign station, without a reasonable expectation of discharging them, or should any officer leave any foreign port without paying, or providing for the payment of every debt he may have incurred, his conduct, when brought to the knowledge of his commanding officer, shall be reported by him to the Commander of the squadron, or the Secretary of the Navy, in order that such course may be pursued as the circumstances of the case may require.

166.....Officers of the Navy not on duty, are to keep the Department at all times advised of their address.

167.....Officers, on being detached from duty, will immediately inform the Department of their intended place of residence, and notice must be given of any contemplated change before it shall have been made.

168.....Officers will promptly acknowledge the receipt of orders, and also inform the Department immediately on their having reported in obedience to them.

169.....All persons belonging to the Navy will conform strictly to such regulations for uniform as may be published from time to time; and every person is strictly forbidden to wear any dress, or decoration, other than that to which his grade clearly entitles him.

170.....Officers on serving afloat, or traveling in foreign countries, shall communicate to the Commander-in-Chief of the squadron, or to the Secretary of the Navy, any information they may acquire that will be useful to the government of the United States.

171.....Officers of the Navy, and all others in the employment of the Navy, are forbidden to give publicity to any hydrographical knowledge obtained, or discoveries or improvements in ordnance made during their service afloat.

172.....In ports, whether home or foreign, and especially in communicating with foreign vessels, every boat is to carry the national ensign, unless otherwise ordered by the Commanding Officer.

173.....All important orders to the officer of the deck, to be carried out during the night, whether given by the Commanding or Executive Officer, must be in writing.

174.....No person in the Navy will upbraid another person in the Navy for refusing a challenge to fight a duel. Every person is enjoined to assist in the honorable adjustment of any differences that may occur. No disgrace can attach to any one for refusing a challenge, as such a course would be in obedience to law.

175.....No person in the Navy shall use any language that may tend to render officers or others dissatisfied with any service in which they may be engaged, or upon which they may be ordered, or to diminish their confidence in, or respect for their superiors in command, or which may in any manner tend to weaken that subordination which is essential to the security and usefulness of the Navy; and it shall be the duty of any officer who may hear any such language to suppress it, and report it immediately to the proper officer.

176.....Combinations on the part of officers, or others, for the pur- pose of remonstrating against a superior, or his orders, or complaining of details of duty, or of service, are strictly forbidden. If an individual believes that he has cause to remonstrate or complain, he is at liberty to do so either in writing or personally; but to combine with any other person to prefer or set forth a complaint against a superior is to be regarded as insubordinate and factious, and may be punished by a court- martial. No person is to delay obedience to an order for the purpose of remonstrating or complaining.

177.....The practice of presenting swords, plate or other things of value, from inferior officers, or from crews, to their superior or commanding officer, in the way of compliment, and all votes, resolutions or testimonials, whether of praise or censure, from inferiors to superiors, are injurious to discipline, and are therefore strictly forbidden.

178.....Written testimonials of the general or particular conduct of officers and others, are only to be given by their Commanding Officer, and in case of Commanding Officers themselves, by the Commander of the squadron. All such are to be addressed officially to the Secretary of the Navy, and forwarded to the Department for record and use. But in case of officers subject to examination, letters may be written by the head of the Department to which they may belong, which shall be forwarded to the Department through the usual channel of communication.

179.....Testimonials, in writing or otherwise, between officers relative to the performance of their duties are prohibited.

180.....No person belonging to, or in the employ of the Navy, shall accept any gift, or testimonial of any kind, from the workmen, or any other person or persons employed in any navy yard or other place under the control of the Navy Department.

181.....Intelligence respecting any contemplated naval or military operations, descriptions of naval vessels or armaments, their destination, or the names of such as are under repair, or fitting for sea, or any other information whatsoever that can be used to the injury of the government by a public enemy, are prohibited from being given by any person in the naval service.

182.....Discussions of military or naval movements by officers in the presence of their attendants, or any of the crew, are prohibited.

183.....All publications, or communications in private letters, relative to military or naval operations, the movements of ships or of distinguished officers, or containing information of any kind or description that can be used by the public enemy, are strictly forbidden.

184.....Publications relating to private transactions, or having in view the praise or censure of any person in the naval service, are prohibited.

185.....In all matters liable to undergo investigation by court-martial, or otherwise, officers and others will be careful not to prejudge the case, or commit themselves by giving an oral or written opinion, until required to do so by the Department, or Commander-in-Chief of the squadron.

186.....No officer will interfere personally in the arrest and management of intoxicated men more than may be absolutely necessary. The arrest should always be made by persons not above the grade of Petty Officers, and no more violence should be used than that required to restrain or confine them.

187.....The use of sheath knives on board ship is strictly forbidden. Jack-knives shall be worn with lanyards and in fobs.

188.....All officers of the Navy, not on duty, whose names are borne on the books of a naval station for pay, will, on the receipt of orders for duty, enclose a copy of the same to the Commandant of the station.

189.....And all officers returning from sea, under orders or permission from their Commanding Officer, will, immediately on their arrival in the United States, report in writing to the Department, enclosing a copy of the order or permission under which they return.

190.....An order or permission given by a Commanding Officer on a foreign station to an officer to return to the United States and report to the Secretary of the Navy, requires no more than that be should report, in writing, from the place of his arrival. No allowance for travel to the seat of government will be allowed, unless specially authorized by the Department.

191.....Duty on board a sea-going vessel of the Navy in commission, on board a practice ship at sea, or on board a coast survey vessel actually employed at sea, will be regarded by the Department as sea service.

192.....Officers of the Navy, while attached to vessels of the coast survey on sea service, will be entitled to sea pay.

193.....No order will be given to medical officers of the Navy to render professional aid to any person who is not attached to the naval service, or on board a ship-of-war. The Department will confide in their humanity to respond to any appeal for their assistance whenever the requisite aid cannot be obtained elsewhere. An exception may be made in favor of vessels in distress, when, if necessary to secure the requisite medical aid, the authority of the Commander may be interposed.

194.....Steam vessels shall not be hired to tow any United States vessels in or out of port unless circumstances should require it for their safety, or when the full use of all their own means may not be able to prevent injurious delays when ordered on special or urgent service.

195.....Steamers-of-war of the Navy are never to be used for towing vessels, unless when necessary for aiding in battle, or to engage therein or to enter or depart from a port during a calm or other impediment; or to relieve them in distress at sea.

196.....No officer or man attached to a squadron on the west coast of Africa will be permitted to be on shore before sunrise or after sunset, or to sleep there at night; this rule to apply not only to the continental coast, but to the Cape de Verde islands. No United States vessel will ascend or anchor in any of the African rivers except upon imperative public service. Boat excursions up rivers, or hunting parties on shore, are forbidden. Vessels, when possible, will anchor at a reasonable distance from shore; far enough not to be influenced by the malaria floated off by the land breeze. Convalescents from fever and other diseases, when condemned by medical survey, are to be sent to the United States with the least possible delay. When the general health of a ship's company shall be reported as impaired by cruising upon the southern or equatorial portion of the coast, the earliest possible opportunity will be given them to recruit, by transferring the ship, for a time, to the Canaries, or other windward islands of the station. Boat and shore duty, involving exposure to sun and rain, is to be performed, so far as the exigencies of the service will permit, by "Kroomen" employed for that purpose. All possible protection from like exposure is to be afforded to the ship's company on board ; and the proper clothing and diet of the crew, as well as the ventilation and care of the decks, will be made a frequent subject for the inspection and advice of the medical officers.

197.....All "slush" which may not be required for the use of the vessel, or the messes of the men, shall be sold, and the proceeds paid over to the paymaster, who shall receive, expend, and account for the same, under the direction of the Captain, for the following purposes, viz: For premiums to the Captains of guns who shall fire most accurately at a target when exercising with ball; to men making the best shots with small arms; for musical instruments and music, exclusive of that for the band; for furnishing rough clothing for the cook and his assistants, and for the Captain of the hold.

198.....When any barrels or packages in which provisions or other articles have been received on board shall have been emptied, they shall, if they cannot be returned to a navy yard, be disposed of to the best advantage to the public service. If sold, the amount received for the same shall be paid to the paymaster, and reported and accounted for by him in the same manner as other public moneys; and all articles so sold, and the amounts paid to the paymaster, shall be entered in the log-book.

199.....Whenever any articles from a vessel of-war may be sold abroad, it is strictly enjoined that all the port regulations, or custom- house laws referring to such articles, shall be rigidly complied with.

200.....Ships-of-war will take pilots only when it is deemed necessary, and pay them such rates as the laws of the States respectively authorize. Pilots will not be called on board until the ship is ready to proceed to sea, and will be paid only from that time. In coming from sea, the pilot will be discharged the moment his services are no longer absolutely necessary. Coast pilots may be employed when approved by the Secretary of the Navy, or the Commander-in-Chief of a squadron. Their pay is to be governed by the direct decision of the Department. During the stay of a pilot on board, he shall be furnished with a cot or hammock, and bedding, and a suitable place be appointed for his sleeping. He will take his meals at the ward-room table, or in such other mess as the Commanding Officer may direct.

201.....All mail matter conveyed by vessels of the Navy is to be delivered immediately after arrival in port to the postmaster of the place.

202.....The families of officers, or of other persons, are not allowed to reside in national vessels, nor to become passengers therein, unless by the assent of the Secretary of the Navy.

203.....Women are not to be taken to sea from the United States in any vessel of the Navy, without permission from the Secretary of the Navy ; nor when on foreign service, without the express permission of the Commander-in-Chief of the fleet or squadron, or of the senior officer present, and then only to make a passage from one port to another.

204.....No seaman or other sea-faring man, not being a citizen of the United States, shall be admitted, or received as a passenger on board of any public vessel of the United States in a foreign port, without permission in writing from the proper officers of the country of which such seamen, or sea-faring man may be a subject or citizen.

205.....No vessel of a squadron is to take any person on board as a passenger, without the express direction or permission of the Commander-in-Chief, or of the senior officer present.

206.....The law in relation to distilled liquors on board vessels of the Navy, does not include ale, beer, wine, or other liquors not distilled. 207.....Card playing is not to be permitted on board of any vessel of the United States.

208.....The practice of bringing home, in the public vessels of the United States, various animals, such as horses, asses, mules, and other quadrupeds, formerly authorized by the Department, is hereby strictly prohibited.

209.....When gold, silver, or jewels shall be placed on board any vessel of the Navy for freight or safe-keeping, the Commander of the vessel shall sign bills of lading for the amount, and be responsible for the treasure. The usual percentage shall be demanded from the shippers of the treasure, and its amount shall be divided as follows: One-fourth to the Commander in-Chief of the squadron to which the vessel may belong; one-half to the Commander of the vessel ; one-fourth to the navy pension fund. But in order to entitle the Commander-in-Chief of the squadron to receive any part of the amount, he must have signified to the Commander of the vessel, in writing, his readiness to unite with him in the responsibility for the care of the treasure. When a Commander-in-Chief of a squadron does not participate in a division of the amount, then two-thirds of the whole of it shall inure to the Commander of the vessel, and the remainder to the navy pension fund.

210.....Sunday must be observed on board of all vessels of the navy, and at all stations and navy yards, in an orderly manner, by officers and men. All labor or duty will be reduced to the measure of strict necessity. The religious tendencies of officers and men are to be encouraged, and suitable times and places will be assigned for Divine worship. It is hoped that the religious rights of Christian sailors will at all times, receive due regard from all commanding officers and others in authority.

211.....No officer of the Navy will, by virtue of any assimilated rank or otherwise, claim or exercise any command over any part of the land forces of the United States on shore; nor will he permit the assumption of authority or command by any officer of the Army over any vessel, or other part of the force under his orders. Co-operation with the Army is strictly enjoined whenever it may be requested, if, in the opinion of the officer in command, his force and other circumstances will permit.

212.....All Officers of the Line, when on duty, from the grade of Rear-Admiral to Lieutenant Commander, inclusive, will be addressed by their proper title. The word "Captain" will be used only in reference to, or when applied to, the officer holding that rank, and all Line Officers below the rank of Lieutenant Commander, whether commanding or not, will be addressed either by the title of their grade, or as Mr. Officers of the Marine Corps above the rank of 1st Lieutenant, will be addressed by their military title, brevet or lineal; of and below that rank by their title, or as Mr. Officers of the Staff will be addressed by their titles, or as Mr., or as Dr., as the case may be.

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