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33d CONGRESS, Y HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
LIEUTENANT JOHN CLARK.
January 30, 1855.–Laid on the table, and ordered to be printed.
Mr. Howe, from the Committee on Military Affairs, made the following
The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the petition of
Lieutenant John Clark, of Pennsylvania, for arrearages of pay on account of services as third lieutenant in the 22d regiment of United States infantry in the war of 1812, respectfully submit the following report :
The petitioner, John Clark, formerly a lieutenant of the 22d regiment of United States infantry, states that in May, 1814, he addressed to the Secretary of War a letter of resignation, which he transmitted to the colonel of his regiment, from whom he received in reply an order directing him to repair to his place of residence, there to remain till he should receive an answer from the Secretary of War. He complied with this order, and remained a long time waiting for instructions from the War Department, but never received any. Not receiving notice of the acceptance of his resignation, he considered himself as in the service, and subject to orders, and, in compliance with the orders of his colonel, did remain waiting orders from the War Department, and did not engage in other pursuits. That, having subsequently found it necessary to repair to the seat of government to adjust and settle his public accounts, he was informed that an order accepting his resignation was issued on the 18th of June, 1814; and the accounting officers admitted to his credit a charge for his service up to that date only. Upon investigation, it was found that the acceptance of his resignation had been directed to him at Brownsville, New York, and not at Brownsville, Pennsylvania, the place at which he was serving, and at which place his resignation was dated. That he never received said order, and did not know of its existence until the settlement aforesaid at the seat of government, and of course could have no influence upon his action, and therefore claims such allowance as would have been legally due to him, under the order of his said colonel, if said order accepting his resignation had never been issued-an account for which from June 18, 1814, to June 30 1815, amounting to $792 44, accompanied his petition when presented to the Senate during the second session of the 21st Congress. Said petition was referred to the Committee on Military Affairs on the 3d
of January, 1831; but there was not sufficient evidence at the time before said committee, and an adverse report was made and concurred in, with leave to withdraw, &c., February 9, 1831.
During the present month said claim was presented to the Third Auditor of the Treasury for his adjudication, accompanied by additional evidence in support of the same, which was disallowed for the reasons named in the report of the Auditor, and the decision of the Second Comptroller, which accompany his said petition.
The order of Colonel Hugh Brady is dated Pittsburg, June 3, 1814, in which he says: “I received your resignation, which I have forwarded to the War Department,'' &c.; and after directing him to deliver over his charge to Lieutenant Lawe, says: “You will then return to your place of residence, and there remain until you hear from the War Department.” Signed: “Hugh Brady, colonel 22d regiment infantry, commanding at Pittsburg;" directed to “John Clark, lieutenant 22d infantry, Brownsville, Pa.” A copy of said order is on file with the papers, sworn to be a true copy, before competent authority, by said Lieutenant Clark, on the 18th instant.
A certified copy of the order accepting his said resignation is filed with the papers, and is dated “Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, Washington, 18th June, 1814,” and states: “Your resignation as third lieutenant in the 22d regiment of infantry has been accepted, to take effect this day.” Signed: “J. R. Bell, assistant inspector general;'' directed to “ Lieutenant John Clark, 22d regiment infantry, Brownsville, New York.”
The Second Comptroller, in his decision, which accompanies the papers, states that there is no reason to doubt that he failed to receive it in consequence of an error in the Adjutant General's office;' but “I concur with the Auditor in opinion that Lieutenant Clark, after waiting a reasonable time without receiving notice or reply, should have applied to Colonel Brady or to the War Department for information in regard to the resignation he had tendered,” &c. He further says: “Meritorious as his case may be, however, the accounting officers are precluded, by long practice, by numerous decisions, and by opinions of the Attorney General, from taking jurisdiction of claims after their presentation to Congress. The Attorney General, in an opinion given on the 22d of August, 1845, held that "a party who prefers a claim against the government, which is not passed by the proper officers, and elects to resort to Congress for relief, must abide by his election, and fail or succeed in his application for redress before that body,' &c. Lieutenant Clark, having applied to Congress, must look to a legislative act for relief.”
John Clark, the claimant, in his affidavit, sworn to on the 22d instant, states that, “in obedience to Colonel Brady's order, I repaired to my residence, after having required the postmaster to send any communication that might come from the War Department to me without delay. I remained at home till November, when Colonel Brady came to my place on his way to Erie, accompanied by Adjutant Green. I told him I had not heard from the War Department yetcould I not engage in some business at which I could make something," &c. He said: “Your resignation has gone to the War De
partment; therefore, I have no further business with it. You must have patience; you will probably hear from them shortly, but, as you were in the recruiting service, they may possibly not dismiss you till your accounts are settled."
From the testimony accompanying the re-presentation of the petition of said Lieutenant Clark, of which the foregoing is an abstract, it appears that he, the said John Clark, was a third lieutenant in the 22d regiment of United States infantry, and in the recruiting service in the war of 1812; resigned his office by addressing the War Department, through his colonel, Hugh Brady, who had command of said regiment; that he was ordered by Colonel Brady to repair to his place of residence, and there remain until he heard from the War Department; that although his resignation was received and accepted by the department on the 18th of June, 1814, it was not received by him, for the reason that it was directed to Brownsville, New York, instead of Brownsville, Pennsylvania; that his said claim was disallowed by the Second Comptroller, because said Clark had not, after a reasonable time, applied to Colonel Brady or the War Department for information in regard to his resignation, and also for the reason that he had heretofore applied to Congress for the allowance of his said claim. It also appears, from the affidavit of said Lieutenant John Clark, prepared since the decision of the Second Comptroller, hereinbefore referred to, that he had in the month of November, 1814, several months after his resignation was forwarded to the War Department, informed Colonel Brady that he had heard nothing from the department on the subject; and was told that he must have patience, he would probably hear from them shortly, &c., showing that he had in reality complied with the requirements of the Third Auditor and Second Comptroller.
The committee are of opinion that the acceptance of the resignation of Lieutenant Clark, having through the inadvertence of the War Department been addressed to him at Brownsville, New York, instead of Brownsville, Pennsylvania, was virtually no acceptance; and the said Clark having, in obedience to the order of Colonel Brady, remained at his residence, waiting orders or the acceptance of his resignation, from the 18th of June, 1814, to the 30th of June, 1815, without being at liberty to engage in other pursuits, that he is justly entitled to compensation.
The committee do not conceive that any additional legislation is required, and recommend that the matter be referred to the proper department for settlement; and that, for this purpose, the petitioner have leave to withdraw his papers, and that the committee be discharged from the further consideration of the subject.
JANUARY 30, 1855.
Mr. Eddy, from the Committee on Revolutionary Claims, made the
The Committee on Revolutionary Claims, to whom was referred the petition
of the heirs of Thomas Morris, report :
That the records of the Third Auditor's office, as evidenced by the letter of Peter Hagner, esg., auditor thereof, and herewith attached, show that Thomas Morris was captain of artillery in the Georgia line, and, from the final settlement certificate issued in his favor, he ceased to be an officer in 1781; but whether he died in service, or resigned, is not learned from anything on file in that office.
The depositions of John Christian and Holder Heragin, whose characters for respectability and truth are sufficiently attested, prove to the satisfaction of the committee that Captain Thomas Morris died of smallpox, in Mathew county, Virginia, during the year 1781, and while in service.
The petitioners ask for commutation pay in right of their ancestor; but, from the brief statement of the case here given, it is very
evident that it is not covered by the resolutions of the 22d March, 1783. neither the widow nor children of Captain Morris have had the benefit of any of the pension laws, the committee think the heirs are entitled to the provisions of the resolution of the 24th August, 1780, and therefore report a bill for the payment of the seven years' half-pay to such
Third Auditor's Office, December 10, 1836. Sir: The petition which accompanied your letter of the 9th instant is herewith returned; and, in reply to your inquiries, I have to state, that it appears from the revolutionary records on file in this office, that Thomas Morris was a captain of artillery in the Georgia line, and, judging from the final settlement certificates issued in his favor, he ceased to be an officer some time during the year 1781. Whether he died in service, or whether he resigned, is not ascertainable from the