No. 549.
Mr. Robeson to Rear-Admiral Davis.

To Rear-Admiral Charles H. Davis, U. S. N.,
Washington, D. C.:

By virtue of the authority contained in the “act for the better government of the Navy of the United States,” approved July 17, 1862, I hereby appoint Rear-Admiral Charles H. Davis, president, Rear-Admiral John L. Worden and Commodore John C. Howell members, and Capt. Stephen B. Luce judge-advocate of a court of inquiry, which is ordered to convene at the Navy Department on Wednesday, the 7th day of January, A. D. 1874, for the purpose of inquiring into the causes and particulars of the foundering, on or about the 26th day of December, in the year 1873, off Cape Fear, of the steamship Virginius, recently delivered by the Spanish authorities at Bahia Honda, Cuba, into the possession of the United States.

The court will inquire—

Into the exact condition of the Virginius in every department when she was delivered to the United States officers at Bahia Honda on the 16th December, 1873.
As to what was necessary to be done to her to prepare her to go to the Tortugas.
As to what actually was done to her before she left Bahia Honda.
As to her condition during the passage to the Tortugas.
As to her condition when she arrived at the Tortugas.
As to the nature and extent of the examination that was made of her condition after her arrival at Tortugas.
As to what was necessary to be done to her to prepare her to go to New York.
As to what actually was done to her at the Tortugas to prepare her for her passage to New York.
As to her condition when she left the Tortugas, and afterward, daily, during her passage toward New York, until she finally sunk.
As to the immediate and remote causes of the sinking of the said vessel.

And, finally, they will report fully to the Navy Department upon all the above points, in order that all the facts in connection with the sinking of the Virginius may be clearly established, and they will also recommend any further proceedings which they may deem necessary in the case.

Secretary of the Navy.