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GEORGE W. McCERREN.
[To accompany J. R. No. 42.]
JANUARY 5, 1855.
Mr. ETHERIDGE, from the Committee on Military Affairs, made the
The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom were referred the memorial and
accompanying papers of George W. McCerren, asking pay and compensation for provisions in barrels which it is alleged were used, in 1847, by order of the officer in command at Brazos Santiago, in the construction of Fort Harney, report:
That in the early part of 1847 the petitioner was the owner of several hundred barrels of hard bread, a lot of pork in barrels, and a few barrels of beans; that these articles had been previously purchased by the petitioner at a public sale made by the proper officers of the government, the same being sold as “damaged.” The petitioner seems to have been engaged in the business of purchasing such provisions as were considered unfit for the use of the army, and transporting the same to New Orleans. It appears that about this time a report reached Brazos Santiago that the Mexicans in great force were crossing the Rio Grande at Matamoros, which caused the officer in command at the former place to order the construction of fortifications for the defence of the post. Under this order the provisions above mentioned were used in the construction of Fort Harney, and wholly lost to the memorialist, without any fault of his own.
The above facts are fully established by the testimony of various witnesses, among whom are Wm. Monaghan and Charles Borland, who at that time were clerks in the commissary department; also the testimony of John Roach, who was at that time employed as clerk in the subsistence department.
The committee have not deemed it proper to inquire into the value of the provisions so used in the construction of Fort Harney, although proof has been taken to that point. They have deemed it right to report a resolution authorizing the War Department to adjudicate the claim of the petitioner, and to provide for its payment, which resolution, together with this report, is respectfully submitted.
JOSEPH DALE-CHILDREN OF.
JANUARY 5, 1855.–Laid upon the table, and ordered to be printed.
Mr. HENDRICKS, from the Committee on Invalid Pensions, made the
REPORT. The Committee on Invalid Pensions, to whom was referred the petition of the
children of Joseph Dale, report: That the petition in this case is signed by one Th. Lumpkin, who represents himself as the attorney for the petitioners; that the petition is not verified by the oath of any one.
The petition sets forth the fact that Joseph Dale, the father of the petitioners, was enlisted as a private soldier on the 5th of January, 1813, for the term of one year; that in May, 1813, he was taken sick, and in August following he was discharged from the service, and returned to his home in the State of Maine; that he continued indisposed until the 8th November, 1813, at which time he died, leaving a widow and nine children, eight of whom were then under the age of sixteen years; that the widow died some three years after the death of the said Joseph.
These are the material facts set forth in the petition and proof in the case, and upon this state of facts the petitioners ask for the half-pay pension for five years provided for certain widows by the acts of April 16, 1816 and 1817. The committee are of opinion that the widow of the soldier, if living, would not be entitled to the half-pay pension under the general law, and that there is no ground that is sanctioned by reason or justice upon which it could be granted to the petitioners.
The law restricts the benefits of the half-pay pension to children under the age of sixteen years, and requires that the pension shall not be allowed to commence until the proof in the case has been completed. In this case, the youngest of the children must be more than forty years old, and the declaration in the case was not made out until the 21st day of January, 1852. The committee therefore report adverse to the prayer of the petitioners.
JANUARY 11, 1855.
Mr. READY, from the Committee of Claims, made the following
REPORT. The Committee of Claims, to whom the petition of Medford Caffey was
referred, praying for compensation for a horse and equipage, lost in
the Seminole campaign of 1818, make the following report: 'It appears that Medford Caffey was a private in the company of Capt. Hugh Kirk, of the first regiment of volunteer mounted gunmen from West Tennessee, in the expedition against the Seminole Indians, in 1818; "that he entered the service on the 31st of January, 1818, with a horse and equipage valued at one hundred and six dollars; and that he lost his horse in the service on the 8th of May, 1818, by reason of forced marches and want of forage, not furnished by government and not by any neglect on his part." Those facts appear from the official certificate of Captain Kirk, which is certified by R. H. Dyer, colonel commandant of said regiment. They are also verified by the affidavit of Captain Kirk, on file.
It is also proved by Robert Jetton, acting major in said regiment, “that Medford Caffey did lose his horse in said campaign, and said loss was sustained, as he believes, for want of forage, not furnished by the government."
It is further proved, by Jeremiah Odle, “that he was a private in Captain Hugh Kirk's company of Tennessee volunteers, in the Seminole campaign of 1818; that he was with the army on the return march from Fort St. Marks to Fort Gadsden, and knows, of his own personal knowledge, that Medford Caffey, a private in said company, lost his horse and equipage for want of forage in the said march, and while he was in actual service.”
James Aubry testifies that he was a private in Captain Kirk's company, in the Seminole campaign of 1818; “that he was present, and knows that Medford Caffey, a private in the same company, lost his horse and equipage, during the service, on the return march from Fort St. Marks to Fort Gadsden;" and “that said horse was lost for want of forage.”
Henry Norman testifies as to the good character of Odle and Aubry. All of said depositions are duly sworn to and certified. The testimony is direct and positive, and at least in part, from eyewitnesses who appear to be respectable; and the committee are of opinion the petitioner has established his right to payment for his lost property. They therefore herewith report a bill for his relief, and recommend its passage.