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Office of the Commandant/Records of Annual Summer Practice Cruises: General Correspondence of the Summer Practice Cruise, 1914: Finding Aid

Published in November 2016

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6922
  • Call number: RG 405.3.2 Entry 167
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Archives
  • Title: Office of the Commandant/Records of Annual Summer Practice Cruises: General Correspondence of the Summer Practice Cruise
  • Dates: 1914
  • Size: 5 linear inches (1 manuscript box)
  • Creator: United States Naval Academy. Commandant of Midshipmen
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: This series contains general correspondence of the summer practice cruise of 1914 and includes correspondence of Practice Squadron Commander Captain William F. Fullam.

History of the Annual Summer Practice Cruises

The first annual midshipman training cruise commenced in 1851 with cruises aboard the steamer John Hancock and sloop-of-war Preble, the latter of which was subsequently assigned to the Naval Academy as its first training vessel. With the success of this first cruise, the Academy's academic program was formally amended in November 1851 to allow all four years of academic study to run consecutively. The annual cruises continued aboard U.S.S. Preble, including the Academy's first foreign cruises to the West Indies in 1852 and Spain in 1853, until 1859, when the Preble was permanently replaced by U.S.S. Plymouth (Sloop-of-war). Later in 1859, Plymouth was joined at the Academy by the frigate U.S.S. Constitution.

Following the outbreak of the Civil War, the summer practice cruise was temporarily suspended in 1861 as the Naval Academy settled in at Newport, Rhode Island. The cruises resumed the very next year, with cruises aboard the sloops-of-war U.S.S. John Adams and U.S.S. Marion, the latter of which was under the command of Lieutenant Stephen B. Luce. In 1863, U.S.S. Marion was joined by the sloop-of-war U.S.S. Macedonian and the yacht America. Under the command of Stephen B. Luce, the Macedonian sailed for England where she patrolled for Confederate ships. In 1864, U.S.S. Marion, U.S.S. Macedonian, and the yacht America were joined by U.S.S. Marblehead, sailing as a squadron in search of C.S.S. Florida.

In 1871, U.S.S. Constitution was detached from the Academy as a training vessel and replaced by U.S.S. Constellation (Sloop-of-war), aboard which every summer cruise would be made until 1894. Two years after the departure of the Constitution, the yacht America was also detached from the Academy. In 1894, summer training cruises were transferred to the purpose-built steamer U.S.S. Bancroft. Proving insufficient in size, the Bancroft was turned over to the Coast Guard only two years later, to be replaced by U.S.S. Monongahela (Screw sloop-of-war). 1900 saw the arrival of the steel-sheathed bark U.S.S. Chesapeake (renamed Severn in 1904), which served the summer cruise until 1907.

In 1909, the midshipmen made their last summer cruise under sail aboard the Civil War veteran U.S.S. Hartford (Screw sloop-of-war). Following Hartford's detachment, summer training cruises were largely performed aboard modern battleships in small dedicated training squadrons. This practice continued, interrupted by World War II (which restricted summer cruises to Chesapeake Bay) until 1958, when the modern practice of distributing midshipmen among active ships of the fleet was instituted.

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Description of Contents

This series contains general correspondence of the summer practice cruise of 1914 and includes correspondence of Practice Squadron Commander and Commandant of Midshipmen Captain William F. Fullam, aboard the U.S.S. Missouri, concerning arrangements for the sale of the U.S.S. Idaho to Greece, target practice on the southern drill grounds, and possible participation of the Academy in the celebration of Star Spangled Banner Day in Baltimore on September 14, 1914.

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The Office of the Commandant/Records of Annual Summer Practice Cruises: General Correspondence of the Summer Practice Cruise is arranged alphabetically by topic and correspondent.

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Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.


Use is unrestricted.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Custodial History

RG 405 Records of the United States Naval Academy is the property of the National Archives and Records Administration. The materials are housed at the United States Naval Academy, William W. Jeffries Memorial Archives, an affiliated archive, as per a Memorandum of Agreement between the National Archives and Records Administration and the United States Naval Academy.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional material pertaining to summer practice cruises can be found in RG 405 Entries 160 through 180.

Materials Cataloged Separately

No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Office of the Commandant/Records of Annual Summer Practice Cruises: General Correspondence of the Summer Practice Cruise, RG 405.3.2 Entry 167

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Processing Information

Inventory prepared by David D'Onofrio in November 2016. Historical sketch and Scope and Content Note prepared by Geraldine N. Phillips and Aloha South in 1975.

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Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • United States Naval Academy -- Midshipmen -- Cruises

Genre Terms

  • Correspondence
  • Reports
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Correspondence - B, 1914 June-August

Correspondence with Captain C. B. Brittain and Rear Admiral Victor Blue, and material regarding Gunner's Mate T. W. Bray.

Box 1 Folder 2

Correspondence - C, 1914 June-September

Materials regarding confidential publications, modifications to U.S.S. Constellation, Midshipman T. L. Chalmers, customs inspections, and competitions for efficiency and athletics.

Box 1 Folder 3

Correspondence - E, 1914 June-August

Materials regarding examination of enlisted men and engineering competitions.

Box 1 Folder 4

Correspondence - F, 1914 September

Correspondence to Rear Admiral Frank Fletcher regarding temporary duty aboard U.S.S. Constellation during the Star Spangled Banner Centennial.

Box 1 Folder 5

Correspondence - G, 1914 August

Order regarding demerits for Midshipmen M. E. Gibson and H. W. Ziroli.

Box 1 Folder 6

Correspondence - H, 1914 June

Letter to the Harbormaster of Gibraltar.

Box 1 Folder 7

Correspondence - I, 1914 June-September

Materials regarding invitations to the British Fleet review, and occurrences and movements aboard U.S.S. Idaho and U.S.S. Illinois.

Box 1 Folder 8

Correspondence - L, 1914 May-August

Materials regarding Chief Carpenter R. H. Lake, Lieutenant J. C. Latham, and liberty violations.

Box 1 Folder 9

Correspondence - M, 1914 June-August

Materials regarding movement orders, Midshipman H. C. Merwin,and statements of merchandise.

Box 1 Folder 10

Correspondence - O, 1914 June-August

Primarily orders of detachment and transfer for various sailors of the practice squadron.

Box 1 Folder 11

Correspondence - P, 1914 June-September

Includes correspondence with Commander Charles F. Preston, Commander W. W. Phelps, Buildings and Grounds Officer Commander J. R. P. Pringle, the Practice Squadron Pay Officer, and U.S. Despatch Agent C. J. Petherick. Also materials regarding stores of powder and projectiles.

Box 1 Folder 12

Correspondence - R, 1914 April-September

Materials regarding radio matters, regulations, repairs, and reports against specific midshipmen (D. C. Martin, A. H. Page, B. Frere, A. S. Adams, H. M. Scull, E. H. Hill, L. H. Barnes, Lonergan, Chalmers, Jamil, Spencer, and Anderson), including charges of immoral conduct.

Box 1 Folder 13

Correspondence - S, 1914 June-September

Materials regarding school studies (instruction of midshipmen), cases against Midshipmen D. A. Spencer and H. W. Anderson, U.S.S. Scorpion, sanitary notes, the "suit case" episode and chivalry, punishment of Midshipmen A. L. Sawyer and F. W. Wead, correspondence with Lieutenant Commander Chauncey Shackford, survey's of articles, and the Star Spangled Banner Centennial.,

Box 1 Folder 14

Correspondence - T, 1914 June-September

Materials regarding target practice and telegrams.

Box 1 Folder 15

Correspondence - U, 1914 August

Materials regarding uniforms and other articles carried by midshipmen.

Box 1 Folder 16

Correspondence - V, 1914 August-September

Materials regarding cases of venereal disease and resulting courts martial.

Box 1 Folder 17

Correspondence - W, 1914 July-August

Materials regarding Lieutenant E. A. Wolleson, Midshipman Henry J. White, and correspondence with Dover Pilot Office Superintendent Alfred West.

Box 1 Folder 18

Correspondence - Z, 1914 June

Materials regarding Midshipman Ziroli.

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