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

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1092 Officers of the navy and marine corps, and all other persons connected with the naval service, will observe the following rules in their correspondence with the Secretary of the Navy and the bureaus of the Department :

1093 All communications are to be written in a clear and legible hand, in concise terms, without erasures or interlineations, and on one side only of each half sheet.

1094 If the subject-matter can be completed on one page, and no communications or papers are enclosed with the letter, a half sheet only shall be used ; but if communications or papers are enclosed with the letter, a whole sheet shall be used, and such communications or papers shall be placed between the leaves.

1095 Enclosures are to be separately numbered, and referred to accordingly.

1096 The paper used is to be white foolscap, 13" by 16" inches, weighing sixteen pounds to the ream, and made of linen stock ; to be top-ruled, with twenty-four blue lines on the first and third pages only, leaving one inch margin back and front, top and bottom.

1097 Separate letters are to be written on separate subjects.

1098 Letters are to be folded twice, parallel with the ruling, endorsed with the name and rank of the writer, place or vessel, date, and brief statement of the contents.

1099 Signatures are to be distinctly legible, and the writer is to annex his rank or rate. This rule is also to be observed on all occasions of officers signing their names to official documents.

1100 Commanders of squadrons and stations, and all other officers having a regular correspondence with the Department, are to number their letters. A new series is to commence on the 1st of January of each year.

1101 When letters or documents are dated at sea, the latitude and longitude are to be stated.

1102 In all communications dated on board ship, the rate of the vessel shall be stated after her name.

1103 In order to facilitate the public business and prevent errors, the dates of all circulars, orders, telegrams, or letters, to which reference is made in corresponding with the Department or any of its bureaus, shall he distinctly quoted. And the same rule is to be observed in forwarding triplicate bills, bills of lading, and invoices, the date of the order or orders being written across the face in red ink.

1104 All letters and documents transmitted in a foreign language are, when possible, to be accompanied by translations.

1105 Commanders-in-Chief and other officers abroad are to forward, by different conveyances, duplicates, and, if necessary, triplicates, of all important letters they may write, either to the Secretary of the Navy or to any of the bureaus, and on these occasions they are to state at the top of each letter, in red ink, when and by what conveyance the original was sent.

1106 Every person in the navy making a report, application, requisition, or communication of any kind whatever to the Secretary of the Navy, a bureau, the Commander-in-Chief, or to any authority other than his Commanding Officer, will send the same unsealed to such Commanding Officer, to be by him remarked upon and forwarded to its address.

1107 All officers through whom communications from inferiors are to be forwarded to the Department, one of the bureaus, or any authority higher than themselves, must forward the same, if couched in respectful language, as soon after being received as practicable ; and they will invariably state their opinions in writing, by indorsement or otherwise, in relation to every subject presented for decision. The term " forwarded " is only to be indorsed upon such papers as require no action from the Department or other authority.

1108 The general routine to be observed in forwarding communications, or in submitting requisitions or reports, is as follows : Commanders of vessels to transmit them to the Commander of the division to which they belong ; Commanders of divisions to the Commander of the squadron to which they belong ; Commanders of squadrons to the Commander-in-Chief; Commander-in-Chief to the Navy Department. Each of said officers, in forwarding papers from others, to append his approval, or such remarks as he may judge necessary and proper. Fleet officers shall forward all communications through the chief of the staff. The senior marine officer of the fleet, squadron, or division will forward all reports or returns from the several vessels through the chief of the staff. Should he be in command of the guard of the vessel in which he is serving, all reports or returns relating to that vessel will be forwarded through the Commanding Officer.

1109 If there be no Commanders of divisions, Commanders of vessels will transmit them to the Commander of the squadron ; and if there be no Commander-in-Chief other than the Commander of the squadron, he will refer such as may be necessary to the Navy Department.

1110 In case vessels of a squadron should be separated from the Commander-in-Chief, then, in the absence of their divisional Commander, the senior officer present is to be regarded in the light of a Commander of a division.

1111 In case of a vessel acting singly, and being alone, her Commanding Officer is, of his own authority, to dispose of requisitions and reports, and to be the medium of reference to the Navy Department ; hut if not alone, the senior officer present, whoever he may be, is to discharge those functions.

1112 Should the same communication be made to the Secretary of the Navy and any bureau, the person forwarding such duplicates shall state the same in his communication.

1113 When officers are separated from the Commander-in-Chief, and important or useful information is likely to be delayed by transmission through the latter, reports will be sent directly to the Department and copies to the Commander-in-Chief.

1114 The receipt of all communications, except acknowledgments, or other communications clearly requiring neither action nor reply, from the Secretary of the Navy, or from any bureau of the Department, is to be immediately acknowledged, taking care to refer to the subject to which they respectively allude.

1115 There are established in the Navy Department the following bureaus :

  1. Bureau of Yards and Docks.
  2. Bureau of Equipment and Recruiting.
  3. Bureau of Navigation.
  4. Bureau of Ordnance.
  5. Bureau of Construction and Repair.
  6. Bureau of Steam Engineering.
  7. Bureau of Provisions and Clothing.
  8. Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.

All orders, circulars, and instructions, issued by a Chief of Bureau, and relating solely to subjects with which his bureau is specially charged, are to be considered as emanating from the Secretary of the Navy, and shall have full force and effect as such. Official letters relating solely to subjects with which a bureau is intrusted, are to be addressed to the Chief of a Bureau. All other correspondence must be with the Secretary of the Navy.

1116 All persons in the Navy are forbidden to publish, or cause or permit to be published, directly or indirectly, any official instructions, reports, or letters, or to furnish copies of the same to any person, without the permission of the Secretary of the Navy.

1117 Officers are prohibited from commenting, in their private correspondence, upon the operations or condition of the vessel or squadron to which they may be attached, or from giving any information of their destination or intended operations, lest such communications may be published to the injury of the public service.

1118 Officers must enter, in proper books, copies of all the official letters they may write, and carefully file and preserve all official documents. The date of the receipts and of the acknowledgments of all such documents shall be written on their face.

1119 Letter-books, containing copies of all orders given, or official letters written, and the originals of all letters received on public service, at the different navy yards and at other shore stations, by the Commanding Officer thereof, must be left at those yards and stations, and carefully preserved as records. The Commanding Officers may, if they think proper, take copies for their own use of all orders or letters which they may receive or write.

1120 All reports from the Executive Officer, officers of divisions, Engineer, Surgeon, Paymaster, or any other person, made to the Commander of a vessel after battle, or any important service, shall be forwarded to the Navy Department, but such Commander will retain copies of them for future reference.

1121 Copies of all general orders and instructions issued by a Commander-in-Chief, of all official correspondence of public interest, and of all internal rules that may be issued by Commanders of vessels, shall be sent to the Navy Department.

1122 Commanding Officers will observe great care in forwarding reports to the Department in relation to the official conduct of those under their command, and shall in all cases, when it will not be clearly injurious to the public service, inform the officer complained of, or reported, of the nature of the representations in relation to him.

1123 No application for a revocation or modification of orders from any officer of the Navy ordered to report for duty at any place or station will be considered or replied to by the Department until such officer, if able to travel, has reported in obedience to such order.

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