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Captain William T. Sampson, Commander, North Atlantic Station Circular Letter

Circular Letter No. 7        U. S. Flagship New York, 1st Rate

Key West, Fla

April 1st, 1898.


     The following copy of a cablegram received from the Bureau of Navigation is published for your information

Washington, D. C. April 1st. 98.

     Sampson Key West, Fla.

          Authorized to waive age limits1 on enlistments for all ratings at discretion but use careful judgment in so doing   Authorized to enlist well qualified men for one year, unless sooner discharged noting on enlistment records Department will grant discharge if requested before expiration of enlistment provided exigencies of service permit.  What progress have you made in enlistments



W. T. Sampson,

Captain Comdr. in Chief U.S.Naval Force

North Atlantic Station.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 313, Entry 37. Addressed below close: “The Commanding Officer/U.S.S.”

Footnote 1: The minimum age to join the U.S. Navy as an apprentice seaman was sixteen. The maximum age for first enlistment was thirty three to thirty eight depending upon previous experience; those with more experience being allowed to enlist at an older age. The Navy suffered from a serious enlisted manpower shortage at the beginning of the war. Frederick S. Harrod, Manning the New Navy: The Development of a Modern Naval Enlisted Force, 1899-1940 (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1978), 19, 34, 49.

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