Captain Charles Bartlett, USS Ohio

Charles Ward Bartlett was born August 11, 1850 in Worchester, Massachusetts and appointed to the Naval Academy from Massachusetts in June 1867.  As a midshipman he went to Europe on the Wabash in 1870, remaining for 3-years.  He spent his next tours at the Naval Hydrographic Office until being assigned to the training ship Saratoga in 1877.  From 1878 to 1881 he was at the Naval Academy; then  came two years with the training ships Constellation and Minnesota.  In 1882 he went to the European Station for two years, on the Adams, then spent four more years at the Naval Academy; and in 1888 went to the Ranger, on the Pacific Station, for two years.  After that he served in the Thetis, on special service responsibility, until finally order to the Ordnance Bureau.  In 1905 he was in command of the USS Florida.  In December 1906 he was assigned to the Bureau of Ordnance and then as Commanding officer of the USS Ohio in June of 1906.

In 1906 President Roosevelt started a policy that the United States Navy would, henceforth be lead by younger men that would be support a modern navy.  This resulted in radical changes among the officers of higher  rank in the line of the navy on the eve of the  departure of the battleship and armored cruiser squadron being sent to the Pacific.  The new order of things were to be carried out on two principals.  First, commanding officers who will retire within a few years, and whose period of sea duty will soon expire must make way for younger men.  Secondly, battleship commands will go only to officers who have four or five years of active duty ahead of them,  including the expectation of at least two years of active service in the rank of rear-admiral.  On September 28, 1907 this policy was carried out relieving 10 Commanding Officers that were schedule to be part of the ships leaving for the Pacific.  This opened the door for Captain Bartlett, as well as Captain Southerland and Captain Knight.  (Southerland to the New Jersey, Knight to the Washington).  By July of 1908 the Board of Rear Admirals where charge with reducing the number of officer.  At this point a number of voluntary retirements or shifts in command were made to bring younger officers into the fleet.  Captain Bartlett was detached from command of the USS Ohio and sent to other duties in the Navy Department achieving the rank of Commodore before is death in 1910.  He was not to reach the limit of age until 1912.



autograph of commodore bartlett

This is an autographed note page from Commodore Bartlett dated December 7th (1909) written to a Mr. Charles Gallup.  "Dear Sir, .... for my autograph .....if this is ....  Yours truly, C. W. Bartlett, Commodore, USN.

Collecting autographs was very popular in the early 1900s and people sent out requests and stood in line to get papers or books signed by famous people making history.  Robley "Fighting Bob" Evans signed thousands of autographs and took the time to sign the inside cover of his book whenever someone asked.



The lincoln daily star

This card is from a series that was made to give out for free with delivery of the newspaper.  Most of the cards I have collected were from the Lincoln Daily Star, this one showing Captain Charles W. Bartlett with the USS Ohio.  The photograph is copyrighted by Enrique Muller.



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