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PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE TO [REDACTED]: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 27. DURING WHICH TIME YOU INDICATE THAT BECAUSE THERE WERE MANY BILLS TO BE PAID AND NOT ENOUGH MONEY ON HAND TO MEET THE EXPENSES. YOUR GRANDFATHER PERSONALLY EXPENDED CERTAIN SUMS WHICH WERE PAID OUT TO SOLDIERS AT FORT PICKENS FOR WHICH YOU REQUEST REIMBURSEMENT FROM THIS OFFICE. WE ARE UNABLE TO DETERMINE FROM YOUR LETTER WHETHER YOUR CLAIM IS FOR ARREARS OF MILITARY PAY OR A GENERAL CLAIM FOR MONIES EXPENDED. IF YOUR CLAIM IS FOR ARREARS OF PAY BELIEVED DUE YOUR GRANDFATHER INCIDENT TO MILITARY SERVICE WHICH HE MAY HAVE PERFORMED DURING THE CIVIL WAR. SINCE THERE IS NO RECORD OF A CLAIM HAVING BEEN MADE BY OR ON BEHALF OF [REDACTED] TO THAT OFFICIAL OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR ITEMS OF PAY INVOLVED.

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B-184502, FEB 20, 1976

PRECIS-UNAVAILABLE

TO                           :

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MAY 27, 1975, WITH ENCLOSURES, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST A REVIEW OF A SETTLEMENT BY OUR TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION DATED APRIL 28, 1975, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM ON BEHALF OF YOUR GRANDFATHER, THE LATE                          , FOR ARREARS OF PAY AND THE VALUE OF A SHIP DESTROYED BY MILITARY AUTHORITIES OF THE UNITED STATES INCIDENT TO MILITARY OPERATIONS DURING THE CIVIL WAR.

YOU INDICATE THAT YOUR GRANDFATHER SERVED AS THE SUTLER FOR FORT PICKENS, FLORIDA, BETWEEN AUGUST 1, 1861, AND AUGUST 1, 1864, DURING WHICH TIME YOU INDICATE THAT BECAUSE THERE WERE MANY BILLS TO BE PAID AND NOT ENOUGH MONEY ON HAND TO MEET THE EXPENSES, YOUR GRANDFATHER PERSONALLY EXPENDED CERTAIN SUMS WHICH WERE PAID OUT TO SOLDIERS AT FORT PICKENS FOR WHICH YOU REQUEST REIMBURSEMENT FROM THIS OFFICE.

WITH REGARD TO THE FOREGOING, WE ARE UNABLE TO DETERMINE FROM YOUR LETTER WHETHER YOUR CLAIM IS FOR ARREARS OF MILITARY PAY OR A GENERAL CLAIM FOR MONIES EXPENDED.

IF YOUR CLAIM IS FOR ARREARS OF PAY BELIEVED DUE YOUR GRANDFATHER INCIDENT TO MILITARY SERVICE WHICH HE MAY HAVE PERFORMED DURING THE CIVIL WAR, THE ACT OF DECEMBER 22, 1911, CH. 6, 37 STAT. 47, 49, PROVIDES THAT ALL CLAIMS FOR ARREARS OF PAY, BOUNTY, OR OTHER ALLOWANCES GROWING OUT OF SERVICE IN THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES DURING THE CIVIL WAR MUST BE FILED IN THE OFFICE OF THE THEN AUDITOR FOR THE WAR DEPARTMENT ON OR BEFORE DECEMBER 31, 1912. ANY CLAIM FOR SUCH ITEMS NOT RECEIVED BY THAT DATE MAY NOT BE CONSIDERED OR PAID BY THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.

SINCE THERE IS NO RECORD OF A CLAIM HAVING BEEN MADE BY OR ON BEHALF OF                          TO THAT OFFICIAL OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR ITEMS OF PAY INVOLVED, ON OR BY THAT DATE, AND SINCE NO EVIDENCE HAS BEEN PROVIDED WHICH WOULD CLEARLY AND CONVINCINGLY SUPPORT THE CLAIM THAT                          DID NOT RECEIVE ALL PAY, BOUNTY, OR OTHER ALLOWANCES INCIDENT TO SUCH SERVICE, THIS OFFICE IS PRECLUDED BY LAW FROM GIVING ANY CONSIDERATION TO THIS MATTER.

IF, ON THE OTHER HAND, YOUR CLAIM IS A GENERAL CLAIM FOR MONIES EXPENDED BY YOUR GRANDFATHER, THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, CH. 788, 54 STAT. 1061, 31 U.S.C. 71A, BARS CONSIDERATION OF ALL CLAIMS COGNIZABLE BY THIS OFFICE UNLESS SUCH CLAIM IS RECEIVED HERE WITHIN TEN YEARS OF THE DATE SUCH CLAIM ACCRUED. SINCE THE CLAIM IN YOUR GRANDFATHER'S CASE AROSE DURING THE CIVIL WAR, IT IS BARRED FROM CONSIDERATION BY THIS OFFICE.

WITH REGARD TO THE CLAIM FOR THE VALUE OF THE SHIP, ELIZA AND ELLA, IT WAS HELD IN THE CASE OF UNITED STATES V. PACIFIC RAILROAD, 120 U.S. 227 (1887), THAT THE UNITED STATES WAS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INJURY OR DESTRUCTION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY CAUSED BY ITS MILITARY OPERATIONS DURING THE CIVIL WAR. THE SUPREME COURT STATED IN THAT CASE AT PAGE 233, 234 THAT:

"*** MORE THAN A MILLION OF MEN WERE IN THE ARMIES ON EACH SIDE. THE INJURY AND DESTRUCTION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY CAUSED BY THEIR OPERATIONS, AND BY MEASURES NECESSARY FOR THEIR SAFETY AND EFFICIENCY, WERE ALMOST BEYOND CALCULATION. FOR ALL INJURIES AND DESTRUCTION WHICH FOLLOWED NECESSARILY FROM THESE CAUSES NO COMPENSATION COULD BE CLAIMED FROM THE GOVERNMENT. BY THE WELL SETTLED DOCTRINES OF PUBLIC LAW IT WAS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THEM. ***"

THUS, SINCE IT WAS INDICATED THAT ELIZA AND ELLA WAS SUNK INCIDENT TO A MILITARY OPERATION, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE SINKING WAS DONE DELIBERATELY OR INADVERTENTLY, THE UNITED STATES APPARENTLY DERIVED NO BENEFIT AND THEREFORE WOULD NOT BE LIABLE FOR THE VALUE OF THE SHIP. SEE ALSO                      V. UNITED STATES, 180 U.S. 261 (1901), JURAGUA IRON CO. V. UNITED STATES, 212 U.S. 297 (1909), UNITED STATES V. CALTEX, INC., 344 U.S. 149 (1952).

ACCORDINGLY, SINCE THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS UPON WHICH YOUR CLAIM MAY BE ALLOWED, THE ACTION TAKEN BY OUR TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION DATED APRIL 28, 1975, IS SUSTAINED.

 

 

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