Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral Henry Erben, Commander, Auxiliary Naval Force, to the New York Examining Board

[Extract]

New York, June 17th, 1898.

Sir:-

     I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 11th inst.1 And in reply would say that all officers and men, no matter whether they are from the Naval Militia or from the Merchant Service, have been enlisted into the service are subject to orders of the Department and may be sent to any part of the world.

     You evidently did not understand my instructions in regard to the examination of the Naval Militia and seagoing officers of the Merchant Service, as it was not my intention that you should competitively exercise any leniency towards the Naval Militia in their examination.

     My signature on letters granting permission to applicants to appear before the various Examining Boards is not significant, I merely acting in accordance with Joint Resolution #34.2

     It is very essential that the number of officers and men passing the required examinations should be kept down as much as possible, as there is already a large number in excess of the positions available.

     Of course you understand that it is necessary to submit the full names of those recommended by the Board for appointment with their grade to the State Authorities for certification.

Source Note: CbCy, DNA, RG 313, Entry 105, vol. 8. The members of the New York Examining Board were Cmdr. Allan D. Brown, Lt. Robert G Peck, and John B. Milton. The copy of this letter used for this transcript was cut off after “certification.”

Footnote 1: Letter not found.

Footnote 2: This is reference to the “Joint Resolution providing for the enrollment of the United States Auxiliary Naval Force,” of 26 May 1898. In Section 3, the resolution states:

That enlistment in the United States Auxiliary Naval Force shall be made by such officer or officers as the Naval Department may detail for the purpose, who shall also select from merchant vessels and other available source such volunteers as may be deemed best fitted for service as officers in said force, and shall report to the Secretary of the Navy, for his action, their names and the grade for which each is recommended.   Annual Report of the Navy Department, 1898, 105-6.

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