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

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Recruiting and receiving vessels.

Section 1.


1014 As the appointment of officers to attend to the recruiting service is intended not only to hasten the collection of recruits for the Navy, but to guard against the enlistment of improper, unsound, or incompetent persons, strict and constant attention to the duties of the rendezvous is to be given, the hours of which are to be from 9 a. m. to 3 p. m., and later when emergencies require it.

1015 The junior officers who may be ordered upon this duty are intended as assistants to the Commanding Officer, and not to act as his substitutes, except in cases where he is unable to attend by reason of sickness, or when absent on leave with the sanction of the Department ; under all other circumstances he will be expected to attend daily at the rendezvous, and to personally question the persons offering to enlist, examine into their qualifications, and determine whether they may enter or not, and in what capacity or rating.

l0l6 Boys shall not be enlisted under thirteen years of age, nor under four feet eight inches in height, unless as apprentices No person whatever shall be received under the age of eighteen without the consent of his parent or guardian, if any such can be found. If the evidence of the parent or guardian cannot be obtained, the doubt is to, be noted on the descriptive lists, and no advance money will be paid ; the required clothing and bedding being supplied on board the receiving vessel. No person shall be entered as landsman over the age of thirty-three unless he possesses some mechanical trade, nor shall he be entered after thirty-eight, even though possessing a trade, without special authority of the Department. No person shall be entered as ordinary seaman unless he shall have been two years at sea, nor as seaman unless he shall have been four years at sea and passed a satisfactory examination. The recruit may be required to declare on oath, in presence of the Commanding Officer of the rendezvous, that he makes a true statement of age, to the best of his knowledge and belief,, unless he proves his age in some other manner.

1017 Except by special authority from the Navy Department, no person shall be enlisted for the naval service unless the Commanding Officer of the rendezvous or vessel, and the Medical Officer required to examine him physically, shall both pronounce favorably as to his fitness.

1018 Every one enlisting at a naval rendezvous is, before signing; the shipping articles, to take the oath of allegiance prescribed by an act of Congress approved August 6, 1861, and to sign it.

1019 Every one enlisting at a naval rendezvous who has already been in the service of the United States should produce his discharge therefrom, in order to guard against shipping a person who was discharged dishonorably. Should it have been lost, and time will permit, the Department can be applied to for information as to the nature of the discharge with which the party was furnished. In all cases of doubt or suspicion as to the kind of discharge given to the individual the Department must be consulted, and the communication be addressed to the Bureau of Equipment and Recruiting.

1020 The shipping articles are to be read to every one about to enlist by a commissioned officer of the rendezvous, in order that such person may fully understand the nature and extent of the obligation he is about to assume.

1021 No person in a state of intoxication shall be submitted to examination, nor shall any person known to have been convicted of an infamous crime be received into the naval service.

1022 No person on enlisting is to be rated as a petty officer, or higher than a seaman, unless he be a fireman.

1023 No firemen or coal-heavers shall be shipped as such until they have passed a satisfactory examination by one or more medical officers of the navy in respect to their health and vigor, nor shall firemen be so shipped until they have passed a satisfactory examination by one or more engineer officers of the navy upon their ability to manage fires properly with different kinds of fuel, and to use skillfully smith's tools in the repair and preservation of steam machinery and boilers.

1024 If persons should be enlisted to perform particular duties with complaints or injuries which, in the opinion of the Medical Officer and the Commander of the station, will not interfere with the proper discharge of these duties, their condition must be fully described and carefully noted on all the descriptive lists containing their names, in order that no improper claims for pensions may be afterwards allowed.

1025 The Commanding Officer of a rendezvous, on enlisting a person for the service, should request the surety for the recruit, or the recruit himself, if he has not received any money, to repair without delay on board the receiving ship, where good naval clothing, appropriate to the season, will be furnished him by the Paymaster, and deducted from his advance, or bounty money, to be then paid to the recruit. Clothing sufficient only for cleanliness and proper appearance should be furnished the recruit. Thus his whole advance will not be appropriated for clothing, and a quantity of unnecessary articles stowed in his bag, to be stolen or lost. When finally transferred to a sea-going ship, his wardrobe can be amply supplied there, and his clothing properly and cheaply altered or made by shipmates, if unable to do so himself.

1026 Each enlisted person delivered on board a receiving or other vessel intended to receive recruits must be accompanied by both a transcript list and a descriptive list, (Forms Nos. 11 and 12.) 1027 The transcript list must set forth in full the name of the recruit ; the year, month, and day of his enlistment ; the term or period for which he enlisted ; whether he enlisted for general or special service or for coast survey ; the date of the honorable discharge under which he may have re-enlisted, together with the name of the vessel from which such discharge was received, and the rating he held on board of her when discharged; his rating under present enlistment; his wages per month under the same ; the wages advanced or bounty paid to him, if any, at the rendezvous, and the name of his surety, if any was exacted or given.

1028 The descriptive list must set forth in full the name of the recruit, his previous naval service, and the capacity in which he last served ; his place of birth, age, and trade or occupation ; the color of his eyes, hair, and complexion ; his height, and the permanent marks or scars about his person.

1029 The transcript and descriptive lists are both to be prepared at the rendezvous, under the direction of its Commanding Officer, to be signed by him or by the officer serving in his stead, and to be addressed to the Commanding Officer of the vessel to which the recruit is sent; and a copy of each is to be duly and carefully recorded and retained at the rendezvous.

1030 The Commanding Officer will see that a note is made upon all accounts, transfers, and descriptive lists, and on all shipping articles and enlistment returns, against the name of every person who may come under the seventh section of the act approved February 24, 1861, for enrolling and calling out the national forces.

1031 Should a person holding an honorable discharge prove physically disqualified, it will be so written by the Recruiting Officer on the face of the discharge, and such discharge shall not entitle the holder to be received under it.

1032 The Recruiting Officer will write on the face of the honorable discharge, over his official signature, the date of re- enlistment. After the reception on board the receiving ship of the person re-enlisted, the Commanding Officer, also, will write on the face of the honorable discharge, over his official signature, that the three months' pay has been credited or paid him, with the date of such credit or payment and the amount thereof.

1033 Should it become necessary or expedient to provide a Recruiting Officer with money in order to secure men for the service, he is not to hold in his possession, at any one time, more than one thousand dollars, and therefore, in making his requisitions upon the pay agent, he is to govern himself accordingly, and the Commanding Officer of the station, before approving them, is to satisfy himself as to their proprietary. A Recruiting Officer intrusted with public money is to report weekly to the Chief of the Bureau of Equipment and Recruiting, and to the Commanding Officer of the station, whatever balance he may have on hand.

1031 Recruiting Officers shall make no advance of pay, nor give any bounty, except by express orders from the Secretary of the Navy, or of the officer under whose orders they may be placed ; and in all cases of making advances, the amount advanced to petty officers, if any such enlistment should be authorized, shall not exceed the amount authorized for seamen, and good security is to be taken for all advances until the persons receiving it shall have been duly received and mustered on board the receiving vessel, or some other vessel of the United States.

1035 Recruiting Officers shall not pay over any advance or bounty money except to the person duly entitled to receive it ; and they must produce his receipt for the same, together with a certificate from the Commanding Officer of the receiving or other vessel to which the person may be sent, that he was actually received on board, before any credit can be allowed them for such advance or bounty money so paid.

1036 Recruiting Officers, when authorized to make advances of any sort with their own hands, are to do all in their power to induce recruits to repair on board the vessels to which they are to be sent, and there receive the amounts in clothing and other necessaries.

1037 When recruits are willing to repair on board the receiving vessels, and there receive the requisite clothing and other necessaries, the recruiting officers are to notify the Commanding Officers of the vessels of the fact, and securities may be dispensed with.

1038 Every Commanding Officer of a rendezvous must report, every Saturday evening, to the Chief of the Bureau of Equipment and Recruiting, the number of recruits he has enlisted during the week ending at the close of the rendezvous on that day, specifying particularly their names ; the dates and periods of their enlistment ; their ratings ; whether they were enlisted for general service or coast survey; the dates of the honorable discharges under which they may have reenlisted, together with the names of the vessels from which said discharges were received, and the ratings they held on board of them when discharged ; their previous naval services, and the capacities respectively in which they last served ; their places of birth, ages, and trades or occupations ; the color of their eyes, hair, and complexions ; their height, and the permanent marks or scars about their persons, according to Form No. 13 ; and every such Commanding Officer must also report on the same day of each week, and up to the same time, to the Commanding Officer of the station, the number of each rating of persons he has enlisted in the course of it, together with the number of colored ones among them, according to Form No. 21.

1039 Each vessel of the navy shall be furnished, by the Commanding Officer of the station from which she departs on a cruise, with one printed copy of the prescribed shipping articles, and with seventy five printed forms of the descriptive list for every two hundred men composing her crew ; and each Commanding Officer of a vessel on foreign service, or in the United States where there is no established naval rendezvous, may enlist seamen, firemen, coal-heavers, and persons of inferior rating to fill vacancies which may exist in her complement, provided the rules concerning enlistments at rendezvous be adhered to, be far as they can be made applicable, and that the advance money is not to exceed one month's pay. The term for persons so enlisted may be for a less period than three years, and so as to correspond with the time, as nearly as practicable, at which the rest of the crew generally will probably be discharged.

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