General Order No. 128

Navy Department,
Washington, June 11, 1869.

[Exercises for Ships with Sails]

Hereafter all vessels of the Navy will be fitted with full-sail power. The exception to this will be the tugs and dispatch vessels not fitted with sails.

Commanders of squadrons will direct that constant exercises shall take place with sails and spars.

Where the vessels of a squadron can be kept together it is desirable that they should be exercised together, to create a spirit of emulation in the Navy. These exercises will be kept up when vessels are acting singly.

Commanders of squadrons will require that all vessels are proficient in the following exercises:

Sending up and down royal and top-gallant yards.
Sending up and down top-gallant masts.
Sending up and down top-gallant masts, lower yards, and topmasts at one time.
Shifting topsail yards.
Shifting jib-boom.
Bending and unbending all sails.
Furling sails from a bow line.
Getting under way from single anchor with all sail set.
Coming to single anchor and taking in all sail, together.
Mooring and unmooring ship.
Getting in and out all boats.
Shifting topmasts.
Shifting three topsails at one time.
Shifting courses at one time.
Reefing topsails and courses.

A quarterly report will be made to the Department of all such exercises as may be performed, stating the time occupied in each evolution.

When ships are lying in port, some portion of each day must be devoted to practice with yards and sails.

When vessels are in port, either singly or in a squadron, top-gallant yards will be sent up and sails loosed when the flag is hoisted, and yards sent down at sunset, unless some extraordinary reason should prevent it.

Commanders of squadrons are required to pay their closest attention to nautical maneuvers. Where it is possible to do so, they must form in squadron and go through such evolutions as are necessary for the management of a fleet.

As the reports of these exercises will be published officially, it is to be hoped that special pains will be taken to introduce a system of efficiency and uniformity into the exercises of the United States Navy.

A.E. Borie,
Secretary of the Navy.