In 1834, Richard Henry Dana, Jr., a Harvard student and young gentleman, enlisted in the merchant service in Boston and sailed to California and back in a voyage recounted in the classic Two Years Before the Mast. In a late chapter, describing the process of cleaning out the crew’s quarters (and the crew themselves) after the long voyage back around the Horn, Dana wrote:
As the sun came up clear, with the promise of a fair, warm day, and, as usual on Sunday, there was no work going on, all hands turned-to upon clearing out the forecastle. The wet and soiled clothes which had accumulated there during the past month were brought up on deck; the chests moved; brooms, buckets of water, swabs, scrubbing brushes, and scrapers carried down, and applied, until the forecastle floor was as white as chalk, and everything neat and in order. The bedding from the berths was then spread on deck, and dried, and aired; the deck tub filled with water; and a grand washing begun of all the clothes which were brought up. Shirts, frocks, drawers, trowsers, jackets, stockings, of every shape and color, wet and dirty – many of them mouldy from having been lying a long time wet in a foul corner – these were all washed and scrubbed out, and finally towed overboard for half an hour; and then made fast in the rigging to dry. Wet boots and shoes were spread out to dry in sunny places on deck; and the whole ship looked like a backyard on washing day. After we had done with our clothes, we began upon our own persons. A little fresh water, which we had saved from our allowance, was put in buckets, and, with soap and towels, we had what sailors call a fresh-water wash. The same bucket, to be sure, had to go through several hands, and was spoken for by one after another, but as we rinsed off in salt water, pure from the ocean, and the fresh was used only to start the accumulated grime and blackness of five weeks, it was held of little consequence. We soaped down and scrubbed one another with towels and pieces of canvas, stripping to it; and then, getting into the head, threw buckets of water upon each other. After this, came shaving, and combing, and brushing; and when, having spent the first part of the day in this way, we sat down on the forecastle, in the afternoon, with clean duck trowsers, and shirts on, washed, shaved, and combed, and looking a dozen shades lighter for it, reading, sewing, and talking at our ease, with a clear sky and warm sun over our heads, a steady breeze over the larboard quarter, studding sails out alow and aloft, and all the flying kites abroad; we felt that we had got back into the pleasantest part of a sailors life.
Now, perhaps in a similar mindset, the Navy and the Marine Corps have published the results of every special and general court-martial this calendar year. The Navy list is here, and the Marine Corps list is here.