B-111448, NOV. 8, 1962

B-111448: Nov 8, 1962

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CROSS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 26. RELATIVE TO A CLAIM PREVIOUSLY FILED IN THIS OFFICE FOR THE PROCEEDS OF A BOUNTY CHECK FOR $900 ASSERTED TO HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AT THE RESIDENCE OF JOHN BUCKNER. YOU HAVE STATED. THAT THE FIRST ANSWER RECEIVED IN CONNECTION WITH THE CLAIM WAS ON JUNE 24. WAS MUSTERED OUT ON SEPTEMBER 20. THAT HE "WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE RECEIVED A CHECK FOR $900 WHILE HE WAS LAYING IN STATE AND IT WAS RETURNED.'. YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE CLAIM COULD NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR THE REASON THAT UNDER THE ACT OF DECEMBER 22. A CLAIM FOR CIVIL WAR BOUNTY IN ORDER TO BE CONSIDERED MUST HAVE BEEN FILED IN THE OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR FOR THE WAR DEPARTMENT ON OR BEFORE DECEMBER 31.

B-111448, NOV. 8, 1962

TO MRS. HATTIE L. CROSS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 26, 1962, RELATIVE TO A CLAIM PREVIOUSLY FILED IN THIS OFFICE FOR THE PROCEEDS OF A BOUNTY CHECK FOR $900 ASSERTED TO HAVE BEEN RECEIVED AT THE RESIDENCE OF JOHN BUCKNER, A VETERAN OF THE CIVIL WAR, SHORTLY AFTER HIS DEATH ON FEBRUARY 4, 1918, AND THEREAFTER RETURNED TO THE ISSUING OFFICE.

YOU HAVE STATED, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT THE FIRST ANSWER RECEIVED IN CONNECTION WITH THE CLAIM WAS ON JUNE 24, 1952. IN THIS CONNECTION, OUR FILE SHOWS THAT YOU INITIALLY PRESENTED A CLAIM TO THIS OFFICE ON BEHALF OF YOUR MOTHER-IN-LAW, MRS. MATTIE JACKSON CROSS, IN A LETTER DATED JUNE 28, 1952. IN THAT LETTER YOU ADVISED THAT JOHN BUCKNER ENTERED THE SERVICE ON SEPTEMBER 19, 1864, AND WAS MUSTERED OUT ON SEPTEMBER 20, 1865, AND THAT HE "WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE RECEIVED A CHECK FOR $900 WHILE HE WAS LAYING IN STATE AND IT WAS RETURNED.' BY SETTLEMENT DATED JULY 28, 1952, YOU WERE ADVISED THAT THE CLAIM COULD NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR THE REASON THAT UNDER THE ACT OF DECEMBER 22, 1911, CH. 6, 37 STAT. 49, A CLAIM FOR CIVIL WAR BOUNTY IN ORDER TO BE CONSIDERED MUST HAVE BEEN FILED IN THE OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR FOR THE WAR DEPARTMENT ON OR BEFORE DECEMBER 31, 1912. IN FURTHER PURSUANCE OF THE CLAIM, YOU ADDRESSED A LETTER ON AUGUST 4, 1952, TO THE LATE SENATOR ROBERT A. TAFT WHO THEREAFTER COMMUNICATED WITH THIS OFFICE. IN A LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1952, B-111448, WE ADVISED HIM OF THE REASONS WHY THIS OFFICE COULD TAKE NO FAVORABLE ACTION IN THE MATTER.

THE LAW WHICH GOVERNED THE PAYMENT OF THE CIVIL WAR BOUNTIES WAS THE ACT OF JULY 4, 1864, CH. 237, 13 STAT. 379, WHICH PROVIDED IN PERTINENT PART AS FOLLOWS:

"THAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES MAY, AT HIS DISCRETION, AT ANY TIME HEREAFTER CALL FOR ANY NUMBER OF MEN AS VOLUNTEERS FOR THE RESPECTIVE TERMS OF ONE, TWO, AND THREE YEARS FOR MILITARY SERVICE * * * AND EVERY VOLUNTEER WHO IS ACCEPTED AND MUSTERED INTO THE SERVICE FOR A TERM OF ONE YEAR, UNLESS SOONER DISCHARGED, SHALL RECEIVE, AND BE PAID BY THE UNITED STATES, A BOUNTY OF ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS; AND IF FOR A TERM OF TWO YEARS, UNLESS SOONER DISCHARGED, A BOUNTY OF TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS; AND IF FOR A TERM OF THREE YEARS, UNLESS SOONER DISCHARGED, A BOUNTY OF THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS; ONE THIRD OF WHICH BOUNTY SHALL BE PAID TO THE SOLDIER AT THE TIME OF HIS BEING MUSTERED INTO THE SERVICE, ONE THIRD AT THE EXPIRATION OF ONE HALF OF HIS TERM OF SERVICE, AND ONE THIRD AT THE EXPIRATION OF HIS TERM OF SERVICE * * *.'

SINCE THE LATE JOHN BUCKNER WAS IN THE MILITARY SERVICE ONE YEAR AND TWO DAYS, IT IS CLEAR THAT ANY BOUNTY THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN PAYABLE ON HIS ACCOUNT COULD NOT EXCEED $100, ALL OF WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN PAID TO HIM BEFORE HE WAS MUSTERED OUT OF THE SERVICE. THUS, IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE PURPORTED CHECK REPRESENTED A BOUNTY PAYMENT.

ON THE BASIS OF INFORMATION NOW AVAILABLE, IT APPEARS IMPROBABLE THAT A CHECK WOULD HAVE BEEN ISSUED TO MR. BUCKNER IN 1918 IN SUCH A COMPARATIVELY SIZABLE AMOUNT ON ACCOUNT OF MILITARY SERVICE AFTER HAVING BEEN SEPARATED FROM THE ARMY FOR A PERIOD OF OVER 52 YEARS. IT APPEARS THAT THE TOTAL PAY EARNED BY HIM AS AN ENLISTED MAN DURING HIS CIVIL WAR SERVICE, PLUS THE BOUNTY PAYABLE TO HIM, WOULD HAVE BEENLESS THAN ONE-HALF OF THE AMOUNT OF THE CHECK YOU STATE WAS RETURNED TO THE GOVERNMENT. UNDER THE ACT OF DECEMBER 22, 1911, CH. 6, 37 STAT. 49, ANY CLAIM FOR AMOUNTS PAYABLE ON ACCOUNT OF HIS CIVIL WAR SERVICE WAS REQUIRED TO HAVE BEEN FILED WITH THE AUDITOR FOR THE WAR DEPARTMENT PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 1913, AND CLAIMS SO FILED WOULD HAVE BEEN PAID IN THE NORMAL COURSE OF EVENTS PRIOR TO 1918. ALSO IT SEEMS DOUBTFUL THAT ANY LARGE AMOUNT OF UNPAID PENSION WAS DUE HIM IN 1918 ON ACCOUNT OF HIS CIVIL WAR SERVICE SINCE YOU STATED IN YOUR LETTER TO SENATOR TAFT THAT MR. BUCKNER WAS RECEIVING "A SMALL MONTHLY CHECK (APPARENTLY A PENSION CHECK) AT THAT TIME.' WHILE THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT THE CHECK TO WHICH YOU REFER WAS FOR A SMALL AMOUNT REPRESENTING A MONTHLY PENSION PAYMENT, A RECENT SEARCH IN THE OFFICIAL RECORDS HAS FAILED TO DISCLOSE EVIDENCE OF ANY UNPAID AND OUTSTANDING PENSION CHECKS ISSUED IN 1918, AND FOR SOME YEARS PRIOR THERETO, IN THE NAME OF JOHN BUCKNER.

UNLESS ADDITIONAL AND MORE DETAILED INFORMATION IS FURNISHED IN THIS MATTER, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR A CONCLUSION THAT ANY AMOUNT IS DUE FROM THE GOVERNMENT. ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF JULY 28, 1952, IS SUSTAINED.