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CONGRESS, ,

Session. "

W. J. GILBERT.
[To accompany bill A. R. No. 481.]

May 16, 1862.-Ordered to be printed.

Mr. DUELL, from the Committee of Claims, made the following

REPORT.

The Committee of Claims, to whom was referred the petition of W. J.

Gilbert, have had the same under consideration, and beg leave to report:

That from the evidence before the committee it appears that the petitioner became connected with the Excelsior Brigade, New York volunteers, in May, 1861, and shortly thereafter, and during the same month, was assigned to duty as acting assistant adjutant general, and continued to discharge the duties of the position until the last of August, when he was granted a furlough for a few days, to report at Camp Scott

, Staten Island, or at the headquarters of General Sickles, at Washington. That he did so report himself to General Sickles from time to time for over three months, but was not assigned to duty.

That he expected to be commissioned on the staff of General Sickles, but was never mustered into the service. Upon application

, to the War Department for pay for said services, it was decided that there was no authority, under existing laws, by which he could be paid, on account of his never having been mustered into service.

It appears that, for the time the petitioner was in actual and active service, he would be entitled, according to army regulations, to the sum of six hundred and five dollars. That this service was performed in good faith there is no reason to doubt; that it was faithfully and efficiently done we have the testimony of General Sickles, Colonels Graham and Hall, and more than forty other field and line officers of the brigade.

The act of Congress approved March 25, 1862, was designed to cover similar cases in the department of the west, and as your committee believe that the petitioner ought to be paid, at least for the time he was in active service, they report the accompanying bill for his relief, and recommend its passage.

CONGRESS,

WILLIAM B. MATCHETT.
[To accompany bill H. R. No. 483.]

MAY 16, 1862.-Ordered to be printed.

Mr. Olin, from the Committee on Military Affairs, made the following

REPORT.

The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the memorial

of William B. Matchett, asking compensation for his services as chaplain of the 10th regiment of New York volunteers, and for other relief, make the following report : The following are believed to be the material facts in this case :

Mr. Matchett was regularly appointed chaplain of the 10th regiment of New York volunteers, raised and called into service for two vears, under and in pursuance of the act of the legislature of the State of New York, passed April 16, 1861.

He was appointed on the 30th day of April, 1861, and duly commissioned by the governor of New York on the 4th of July, which commission recites “that he is appointed chaplain of the 10th regi. ment of New York volunteers, with rank from May 15, 1861 ; "that immediately after his appointment on the 30th of April aforesaid, Mr. Matchett entered upon the discharge of his duties, and so continued to discharge his duties with fidelity and efficiency down to about the 12th of December last.

At the time of his appointment Mr. Matchett was a licensed preacher of the Baptist denomination. The rules and regulations of the Baptist denomination of Christians not requiring ordination to constitute a pastor or minister of the church, but only a license to preach, (See Hescox's Baptist Church Directory,) and Mr. Matchett having been regularly licensed as a pastor of the Baptist church, and officiated as pastor of such church for more than two years, to the satisfaction and edification of his congregation, your committee are inclined to believe Mr. Matchett was eligible to the office of chaplain under the act of August last, prescribing the qualifications for chaplains in the volunteer service.

After the passage of the law of August last, before referred to as prescribing the qualifications of chaplains in the volunteer service, Mr. Matchett, to relieve himself from all embarrassment in reference to the question whether he was eligible to the office of chaplain, being a licensed minister and distinguished from an ordained minister, applied for ordination, and was regularly ordained as a minister of the Gospel on the 3d of December, 1861.

Prior to the 12th of December last, Colonel Benedix having super. seded Colonel McChesney in the command of the 10th regiment of New York volunteers, and finding there was some question as to the regularity of Mr. Matchett's appointment as chaplain of the regiment, and desiring the post to be filled by another person, caused Mr. Matchett to be ejected from his camp, and procured some one else to be recommended for the place. The governor of New York, however, has hitherto refused to commission such person, upon the ground, as your committee believe, that Mr. Matchett is the regularly appointed and commissioned chaplain of the regiment.

Mr. Matchett, not having received any compensation for his services as chaplain, applied to the Secretary of War for relief. His case was properly referred to the paymaster general, who reported on the 20th of February last to the Secretary of War, that upon examination of the case that department could find no authority under existing laws to pay the claimant for any period prior to the time when he was both mustered into the United States service and regularly ordained as a minister.

Your committee, in conclusion, beg leave to report a bill paying Mr. Matchett his salary, as chaplain of the said regiment, from the 30th of April, 1861, up to the 3d of December last.

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CONGRESS

J. B. MERWIN.
(To accompany bill H. R. No. 484.]

May 16, 1862.-Ordered to be printed.

Mr. Olin, from the Committee on Military Affairs, made the following

REPORT. The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom the memorial of the Rev.

J. B. Merwin was referred, asking compensation as chaplain, have had the same under consideration, and make the following report :

The committee believe the following and all the material facts in this case upon which is based the claim of Mr. Merwin for compensation.

It is claimed by Mr. Merwin, and your committee believe truly, that upon the suggestion of the Hon. Lewis Cass and Governor Blair, of Michigan, Mr. Merwin came to Washington on the 8th of July last, with a petition addressed to the President and the Secretary of War, asking that he should be assigned to some position in the army which would give him facilities for visiting the various camps and regiments, and for the purpose of addressing the officers and soldiers upon the subject of temperance.

The President and Secretary of War indorsed upon the petition in general terms their approval of the object, and also a reference of the whole matter to Lieutenant General Winfield Scott, who, upon the 24th of July, 1861, made the following memorandum upon Mr. Mer. win's petition, viz : “I esteem the mission of Mr. Merwin to the army a happy circumstance, and request all commanders to give him free access to all our camps and posts, and also to multiply occasions to enable him to address our officers and men.

· WINFIELD SCOTT.''

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General Scott at the same time wrote a note to the Secretary of War, of which the following is a copy : * To the Hon. Secretary of War:

“I beg leave to recommend that Mr. Merwin, temperance lecturer, and now on a mission to this army, may be appointed a chaplain in the same. "With high respect, I remain your obedient servant,

WINFIELD SCOTT." Mr. Merwin proceeded on his mission, and after addressing the troops at Fortress Monroe, then under the command of Major General Butler, received from the general the following certificate :

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