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the officer traveled direct and made the full charge, the cost would have been $31.
No reason is seen why “transportation requests” could not have been used for the entire journey—a through ticket obtained at the starting point, thus saving a considerable sum in the cost of this journey. Had “requests” been used for the entire journey and a through ticket obtained at the starting point, the Government would have been entitled to a through rate of $73, from which a deduction of about $4 would have been made on account of the 50 per cent landgrant road between Omaha and Chicago, thus making the entire cost of the transportation only $69 as against $81 cost by following the method of paying local rates east of Omaha.
It is undoubtedly true that the officer had no right to pay full fare over the 50 per cent land-grant road and claim reimbursement for the same; nevertheless he did so, and has charged the Government with the full cost. As he did not make a direct and continuous journey and comply with the conditions entitling him to a through rate between San Francisco and Philadelphia, the Union Pacific is entitled to the special cut rate of $25 as charged from Ogden to Omaha.
What has been said as to the case of Major Williams applies with equal force to the case of his clerk who traveled on request No. 128345, and the account will be settled accordingly.
EDW. A. BOWERS,
MILEAGE OF ARMY OFFICER.
The mileage of an officer of the Army is to be computed by the shortest
usually traveled route regardless of the number of miles actually traveled, unless the orders under which he travels or the necessities of the service (and not the mere convenience of the officer) require the use of a route longer than that usually traveled.
day 15, 1896. SIR: By your reference of the 13th instant I have received a communication from Capt. C. E. Gillette, Corps of Engineers, as follows:
“In compliance with permission given by act of Congress approved July 31, 1894, I have the honor to request that the following matter be submitted to the Comptroller of the Treasury in reference to the payment of mileage to officers traveling between San Francisco and Sacramento, Cal. Iu Circular No. 7, Adjutant-General's Office, July 14, 1891, the right is given to officers to travel between the two above places by the short line (the route via Davis and Benicia). This privilege was given apparently in view of the convenience of that route as regards through trains.
“On the other hand, it is frequently much more convenient to travel by the regular bond-aided route, via Niles and Stockton. Information is requested as to whether there is anything in the above decision that requires journeys between Sacramento and San Francisco to be made by the short route, and if a journey is actually made by the bond-aided route, should mileage be computed by that route.”
Replying to the question asked, I have to state that the act of February 12, 1895 (28 Stat., 657), requires the traveling allowances of an officer of the Army "to be computed over the shortest usually traveled routes.” If the orders under which an officer is traveling, or the necessities of the service require him to travel over a route greater in distance but affecting a saving in time, when essential, the allowances will be computed over the route actually traveled in obedience to his orders or the necessities of the service. (See mileage of Army officers over the shortest usually traveled route, 1 Comp. Dec., 115; also 118 and 209.) In such special cases the greater distance will be held to be the shortest usually traveled route within the meaning of the law.
In these cases, however, the burden of showing sufficient grounds for taking the longer route will rest upon the officer, and in the absence of such sufficient evidence he will be allowed as for the shortest route. The mere convenience of the officer will not justify the selection of the longer route nor the allowance of the increased cost. The letter is herewith returned. Respectfully, yours, EDW. A. BOWERS,
Assistant Comptroller. The CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,
United States Army. 11268—VOL 2— 35
IN RE CLAIM OF GEORGE E. CRANE FOR AMOUNT
PAID FOR PURCHASE OF HIS DISCHARGE. A soldier who has obtained his discharge by purchase under the provisions
of section 4, act of June 16, 1890, is not entitled to recover the money
paid for said discharge in pursuance of law. The accounting officers have no authority to review the action of the War
Department refusing to discharge the soldier for disability and requiring him to purchase his discharge as a condition precedent to his release from the service.
May 16, 1896. George E. Crane, by his attorney, M. V. Tierney, of Washington, D. O., in letter dated November 15, 1895, appeals from the decision of the Auditor for the War Department, as evidenced by settlement No. 223484, dated October 16, 1895.
George E. Crane enlisted May 28, 1890, was assigned to battery E, Third United States Artillery, and was discharged March 13, 1892, having purchased his discharge under General Orders No. 81, Adjutant-General's Office, of 1890, and section 4, act of June 16, 1890 (26 Stat., 158), which provides:
66 That in time of peace the President may in his discretion and under such rules and upon such conditions as he shall prescribe, permit any enlisted man to purchase his discharge from the Army. The purchase money to be paid under this section shall be paid to a paymaster of the Army and be deposited in the Treasury to the credit of one or more of the current appropriations for the support of the Army, to be indicated by the Secretary of War, and be available for the payment of expenses incurred during the fiscal year in which the discharge is made."
The rules prescribed by the President under the said act, so far as applicable to this soldier, are found in General Orders No. 81, Adjutant-General's Office, July 26, 1890, as follows:
“Discharge by purchase shall be confined to the second and third years of the first enlistment, and any enlisted man so serving may apply to the War Department therefor, through the inilitary channel, inclosing with application the following amount of money, which shall be retained by the commanding officer until final action upon the application, viz: During the first month of the second year $120, and thereafter $5 less per month for each succeeding month until the end of the third year.
66 Soldiers discharged as herein provided shall not receive the travel allowances described in section 1290 of the Revised Statutes; and they shall not be eligible to again enlist in the Army for one year from the date of discharge."
The military record on the back of his discharge shows that his physical condition when discharged was bad, that he had received an injury of the right foot in line of duty, and that there were objections to his again enlisting on account of physical conditions.
It appears from his own statement in the case that his application for a discharge on account of disability had been refused.
His claim for the $75 paid as purchase money for his discharge was disallowed by the Auditor upon the ground that as the amount was paid under the act of June 16, 1890, and General Orders 81, Adjutant-General's Office, of 1890, he is not entitled to a refundment of the same.
The claimant urges that as he was suffering from disabilities of a permanent nature and unfit for the service the money should be returned to him, as General Orders 81 contemplated purchase of discharges by men fit for military duty.
The accounting officers have no authority to review the action of the War Department refusing to discharge the solaier for disability and requiring him to purchase his discharge as a condition precedent to his release from the service prior to the date on which he was entitled to his discharge in pursuance of law. The claimant having elected to obtain his discharge by purchase, is not entitled to recover the money paid for the same as provided by law. The action of the Auditor is affirmed.
EDW. A. BOWERS,
USE OF ANNUAL APPROPRIATION IN PAYMENT OF
JUDGMENT OF CONDEMNATION AFTER THE EX
PIRATION OF THE FISCAL YEAR. From an appropriation made for improving the Dalecarlia receiving reser
voir and the purchase of land therefor, for the fiscal year 1896, may be paid the expenses of the suit to condemn the land and the judgment rendered therein where such suit was begun within the fiscal year, although it may not be determined until after the close of the fiscal year.
May 18, 1896. SIR: By your reference of May 14, 1896, I am in receipt of the letter of Capt. D. D. Gaillard of May 12 in reference to the conclusion of certain improvements in connection with the Dalecarlia Receiving Reservoir.
Under the act approved March 2, 1895 (28 Stat., 752), the following appropriation was made:
“For completing the improvement of the Dalecarlia Receiv. ing Reservoir by the works required for cutting off the drainage into it of polluted water and sewage from the surrounding country; for completing the purchase or condemnation of the small amount of land required for the purpose, and the excavation necessary at the head of the reservoir, thirty-seven thousand five hundred dollars, the same to be immediately available, said work to be done and completed under the supervision of Colonel George H. Elliot, Corps of Engineers, notwithstanding his retirement, and said officer shall be allowed until such completion the pay and allowances of officers of his grade on the active list, and in case of the death or disability of such officer the work shall be completed under the direction and charge of the Chief of Engineers.”
It appears that Colonel Elliot referred to was retired by operation of law March 31, 1895, and that in accordance with the terms of the above act he remained in charge of these improvements until November 15, 1895, when he submitted his final report on the improvement of the Dalecarlia Receiv. ing Reservoir, and was relieved from further duty in connection therewith. At that time it was necessary that a small tract of land belonging to one Hickey should be acquired by condemnation proceedings, as the Government had been unable to purchase it at a reasonable rate. Captain Gaillard, then lieutenant, was authorized by the Secretary of War to apply for the condemnation in behalf of the United States of the tract in question; and under the direction of the assistant United States attorney for the district of Maryland, on December 13, 1895, the usual petition was filed by Lieutenant Gaillard. It appears that these proceedings have been diligently pressed, but that owing to the necessity of three months publication “the case has not yet been brought before a jury in order to fix the amount to be paid Mr. Hickey, and that tbere is only a bare possibility that the United States will get final possession of the land before September next.”
Captain Gaillard accordingly asks:
“In view of the preceding facts I have the honor to request to be informed: (1) Whether or not, in case the condemnation proceedings remain in their present state on June 30, 1896, the unknown cost of such proceedings and the unfixed amount