When the late Rear-Admiral Taylor was announced as the President's selection for the position of Chief of the Bureau of Navigation I wrote to him, offering to utilize the opportunities I enjoyed as captain of a receiving ship, to which stragglers and deserters were being brought every day, to interrogate them confidentally and to obtain in each case, if possible, the true reason for the desertion. That some of these returned wanderers would lie consumedly, I perceived; yet, out of the body of evidence thus eventually elicited, I hoped to draw some sound conclusions upon which the department might base remedial measures, if such should prove necessary or desirable. It seemed to me that facts were imperatively demanded and that we had been too long content with theories and speculations. It would have been a thankless task, I stated in my letter, to undertake the accumulation of this testimony without assurance in advance that it would be welcomed by the bureau. If they were desired, I placed my services at its disposition feeling confident that they would yield some slight good to the navy.
Desertions in the Navy: A Contribution to the Discussion of the Question
By Rear-Admiral Caspar F. Goodrich, U. S. Navy