B-244825, Apr 1, 1992

B-244825: Apr 1, 1992

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DIGEST: Claim for pay due black soldier during the Civil War is denied because portion of claim based on letter sent to President Lincoln in 1864 may have been settled by soldier accepting pay after date of letter and remainder of claim is barred by act of December 22. Emory Allen: This action is in response to a request from Charles B. Was mustered into the Union Army on May 31. 1863 and was killed at the Battle of Honey Hill. The claim is based on the difference in pay which black soldiers received ($7 a month) in comparison to the $13 a month white soldiers received during a portion of the war. Our Claims Group denied the claim because it was barred under the act of December 22. Which they had refused because it was not the same pay given other soliders.

B-244825, Apr 1, 1992

DIGEST: Claim for pay due black soldier during the Civil War is denied because portion of claim based on letter sent to President Lincoln in 1864 may have been settled by soldier accepting pay after date of letter and remainder of claim is barred by act of December 22, 1911, 37 Stat. 47, 49 which precludes consideration of any claims in connection with Civil War service not received by December 31, 1912.

Emory Allen:

This action is in response to a request from Charles B. Johnson, the great-grandson of Private Emory Allen, USA (Deceased), for reconsideration of our Claim Group's denial of a claim for arrears of pay allegedly due to Private Allen for service during the Civil War.

The claim arose from Private Allen's service during the Civil War with the 55th Regiment, Company D of the Massachusetts Volunteers, a unit comprised of black soldiers. Private Allen enlisted on May 26, 1863, was mustered into the Union Army on May 31, 1863 and was killed at the Battle of Honey Hill, South Carolina on November 30, 1864. The claim is based on the difference in pay which black soldiers received ($7 a month) in comparison to the $13 a month white soldiers received during a portion of the war.

Our Claims Group denied the claim because it was barred under the act of December 22, 1911, 37 Stat. 47, 49, which provides that no claim arising out of service of volunteers who served in the Army of the United States during the Civil War would be considered unless filed by December 31, 1912.

Mr. Johnson has now submitted a letter which Private Allen and 73 other members of Company D signed and sent to President Abraham Lincoln on July 16, 1864, stating that they had been offered only $7.00 per month for their service for the prior 13 months, which they had refused because it was not the same pay given other soliders, and demanding the difference in the pay. Mr. Johnson states that therefore the claim for the unpaid wages was filed prior to December 31, 1912 and should be considered.

We find that the claim is still not for payment. Our review of Private Allen's discharge papers, dated March 19, 1865, submitted by Mr. Johnson, shows that Private Allen was last paid by the paymaster on August 31, 1864 and had pay due him from that date to the date of his death on November 30, 1864. Therefore, Private Allen accepted pay after the date of his letter to the President and it is not clear from the available records whether the amount he accepted was in full or partial settlement of his claim filed by the July 16, 1864 letter. Therefore, the claim is too doubtful for consideration. Regarding the pay due him from September 1, 1864 until November 30, 1864, we are unable to ascertain from the records before us whether Private Allen's widow received this pay. However, it is clear that no claim for this amount was filed prior to the effective date of the barring act, December 31, 1912, and any such claim is now barred.

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