Skip to main content

The Navy Department Library

Related Content

General Orders and Circulars Issued by the Navy Department From 1863 to 1887, With an Alphabetical Index of Subjects; Also an Index of Bureau and Marine Corps Circulars, General Court-Martial Orders, and Special Death Notices. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1887.

Document Type
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials

General Order No. 372 (25 June 1889)

Order for Official Communications

No. 372

Navy Department,
Washington, June 25, 1889.

On and after July 1, 1889, all official communications for the Navy Department and the bureaus and offices thereof from ships in commission, shall be addressed to the Secretary of the Navy, with the name of the bureau or office to which its subject-matter pertains in the lower left-hand corner of the envelope.

On and after the same date the business of the Navy department will, under the direction and supervision of the Secretary, be distributed and conducted as follows:


The duties of the Bureau of Navigation shall comprise all that relates to the promulgation and enforcement of the Secretary’s orders to the fleet and to the officers of the Navy; all that relates to the education of officers and men, including the Naval Academy and technical schools for officers (except the Torpedo School), the apprentice establishment and schools for the technical education of enlisted men; to the enlistment and discharge of all enlisted persons; including appointed petty officers for general and special service, and to the preparation of estimates for the pay of all officers and enlisted men.

It shall have under its sole control all rendezvous and receiving ships, and it shall provide transportation for all enlisted persons and appointed petty officers.

It shall establish the complement of the crews of all vessels in commission.

It shall keep the records of service of all squadrons, ships, officers, and men, and prepare the annual Naval Register for publication.

It shall have under its direction the Office of Naval Intelligence and Naval Attachés abroad, the [Navy] Department Library, libraries for ships, and the War Records Office.

It shall be charged with the enforcement of the laws and authorized regulations, tactics, signal codes, and manuals of the service and the keeping of the same correct to date.


All questions with regard to discipline, changes of regulations, tactics, and manuals shall be submitted to this Bureau for its action or recommendation.

It shall prescribe the dress of all officers and men and see that the regulations in this respect are strictly enforced.

It shall receive and bring to the attention of the Secretary of the Navy all applications from officers for service or change of service.

It shall receive all reports of service performed by vessels, officers, or men; of all inspection of the same not of a special nature, and of all drills and exercises.

In order to prevent the issuing of conflicting instructions all official communications to vessels in commission shall be first submitted to the Secretary of the Navy and forwarded through this Bureau.

Note: A non-circulating copy of this volume (call number Rare VB 365.N3 1863-1889) in the Navy Department Library’s Rare Book Room contains General Order No. 372 custom-bound into the back of the volume. Only the introduction and the portion of the 12-page-long general order dealing with the Bureau of Navigation is provided. The remaining sections of the general order covering the various Navy bureaus, the Office of the Judge Advocate-General and the Marine Corps do not deal with the Navy Department Library and have not been reproduced.

Published: Thu Dec 18 09:22:18 EST 2014