Uncle Sam Abolishes Grog.
From the American Revolution until September 1861 the U.S. Navy issued "grog" to its sailors.
Grog was originally introduced into the Royal Navy by Admiral Lord Edward Vernon. Nicknamed "Old Grog" because he wore a ratty old grogham coat much of the time, Vernon believed that by regularizing the issue of drink, he could reduce drunkenness in the ranks. He was right, for he prescribed a daily ration of eight ounces of a mixture of 80-perent water and 20-percent rum per man, a concoction that shortly came to be called "grog."
In American history, Vernon is perhaps better known, if at all, for his connection with George Washington. In the 1740s the future president's older half-brother Augustine earned an enormous pile in prize money serving as a captain of marines during Vernon's campaign in the Caribbean, so much, in fact, that he was able to buy the vast estate that he dubbed "Mount Vernon, in the admiral's honor, which later passed to George.
In the U.S. Navy grog was issued in a mini-ceremony, during which the boatswain's mate marched the men to the ship's steward, who ladled it out, under the watchful eye of the ship's marines. There were two rations of four ounces each day, one before breakfast and one before supper. Each man had to down his ration on the spot, to prevent him from saving it up in order to tie one on.
In 1806 Congress substituted whiskey for the rum, on the theory that American farmers would benefit. Initially grog was issued to all hands, but it was later restricted to men over the age of l8. By the 1820s temperance societies were springing up in America, and they began campaigning to the daily issue of grog in the fleet and whiskey in the army. They succeeded in getting the army to abolish the daily whiskey ration in 1830, but made no headway against grog in the navy until the Civil War. The mass resignation of Southern members of Congress in 1860-1861, left the tee-totalers with a clear majority in both houses. As a result, in September 1861 grog was abolished, though in compensation the men were paid an addition $1.50 a month.
The Royal Navy continued to issue grog until the early 1950s.
What's in a Name?
In modern times, the general with the longest name, 17 letters, seems to have been Prschibitschewski, a Russian who unsuccessfully commanded a division at Austerlitz in 1805. If we allow for hyphenated names, this dubious honor probably belongs to the Dutchman Perponcher-Sedlnitzkty, with 20 letters, who led a Dutch-Belgian division with little distinction at Waterloo in 1815.
All bets are off, of course, when one considers titles and their appurtences, since during the heyday of the European nobility it was perfectly possible for someone to accumulate quite a string of names, not to mention the occasional von, de, zu, die, degli, and so forth, sometimes in wonderfully multilingual combinations. For example, there was a couple of generals in the de Kereden de Trobriand clan, at 21 letters, who, oddly, were mostly French, but one was American, a major general during the Civil War.
In American military history the general with the longest name - ignoring aristocratic pretensions - was undoubtedly Hinmatonyalatkit, 16 letters, albeit that he is better known as Chief Joseph. If one considers that in American usage the "Van" in Van Renssaelaer is treated as an organic part of the name, then that the generals who bore it in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 come in second at 14 letters. Otherwise, is Crowninshield, borne by a nineteenth century admiral, with thirteen letters, holds second place. There are quite a number of American generals with 12 letters to their name, the most notable of whom are Robert Eichelberger of World War II and William Westmoreland of Vietnam..
On the other side of the ledger, as it were, the shortest name born by an American flag officer is tied at three, among Ames, Cox, Dix, and a number of others, including Lee, which belongs to one of the most notable of American commanders. Globally the record for the short name held by a general almost certainly belongs to the large number of Chinese commanders who bore the family name Li, several of whom attained considerable fame, including Li Hsiu-ch'ang, one of the commanders in the Taiping rebel forces during the mid-nineteenth century, and the Emperor Li Shih-min, who helped his father found the T'ang Dynasty, unless, of course, there was an O, one of the shortest of Chinese names..