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under the act of Congress was a full satisfaction, and discharges the defendants from all liability.
The petition was dismissed accordingly: whereupon an appeal was taken to this court.
Ste. Marie having died pendente lite, his executor was substituted in his stead.
Mr. D. B. Meany and Mr. F. Carroll Brewster, for the appellant, cited 14 Pet. 448; 15 id. 337; 18 How. 92; 2 Curt. 617; 1 How. 290; 7 Wall. 666; 1 Nott & H. 292; 4 S. & R. 241; 14 id. 267; 4 Watts, 317; 7 Casey, 263; 4 Barr, 353; 3 P. F. Smith, 207; 15 id. 269; 2 id. 484.
Mr. Assistant Attorney-General Edwin B. Smith, contra.
The offer of a reward, general or special, is a promise conditional upon the rendition of the proposed service before the offer is revoked. Such an offer is revocable at any time before performance; and it is only by performance that it becomes a binding contract. Freeman v. Boston, 5 Met. 57; Loring v. Boston, 7 id. 409; Cummings v. Gann, 52 Penn. St. 590; Ryer v. Stockwell, 14 Cal. 137; Gilmore v. Lewis, 12 Ohio, 285; Crocker v. N. L. R.R. Co., 24 Conn. 261; Janorin v. Exeter, 48 N. H. 83; Jones v. Phenix Bank, 4 Seld. 228; Fitch v. Snedaker, 38 N. Y. 248.
This offer was revoked Nov. 24, 1865. Ste. Marie had rendered no service to the United States : he, at least, had performed no condition of that promise before that date. The revocation was as public, and certainly as authentic, as the original promulgation of the proclamation.
According to the terms of the original offer, Ste. Marie never did that which would have entitled him to $25,000, or any thing more than a “liberal reward,” had there been no revocation. The terms of such an offer are rightly prescribed by the person offering it, and must be strictly complied with by him who claims the reward. Jones v. Phenix Bank, 4 Seld. 228; Fitch v. Snedaker, 38 N. Y. 248; Clinton v. Young, 11 Rich. (S. C.) 546.
His receipt of the $10,000 was in full of all equitable claim: legally, he had none. Marvin v. Treat, 37 Conn. 96; Shole: v. State, 2 Chand. (Wis.) 182; Calkins v. State, 13 Wis. 389.
MR. JUSTICE STRONG delivered the opinion of the court.
We agree with the Court of Claims, that the service rendered by the plaintiff's testator was, not the apprehension of John H. Surratt, for which the War Department had offered a reward of $25,000, but giving information that conduced to the arrest. These are quite distinct things, though one may have been a consequence of the other. The proclamation of the Secretary of War treated them as different; and, while a reward of $25,000 was offered for the apprehension, the offer for information was only a “liberal reward." The findings of the Court of Claims also exhibit a clear distinction between making the arrest and giving the information that led to it. It is found as a fact, that the arrest was not made by the claimant, though the discovery and arrest were due entirely to the disclosures made by him. The plain meaning of this is, that Surratt's apprehension was a consequence of the disclosures made. But the consequence of a man's act are not his acts. Between the consequence and the disclosure that leads to it there may be, and in this case there were, intermediate agencies. Other persons than the claimant made the arrest, - persons who were not his agents, and who themselves were entitled to the proffered reward for his arrest, if any persons were.
We think, therefore, that at most the claimant was entitled to the “liberal reward” promised for information conducing to the arrest; and that reward he has received.
But, if this were not so, the judgment given by the Court of Claims is correct.
The offer of a reward for the apprehension of Surratt was revoked on the twenty-fourth day of November, 1865; and notice of the revocation was published. It is not to be doubted that the offer was revocable at any time before it was accepted, and before any thing had been done in reliance upon it. There was no contract until its terms were complied with. Like any other offer of a contract, it might, therefore, be withdrawn before rights had accrued under it; and it was withdrawn through the same channel in which it was made. The same notoriety was given to the revocation that was given to the offer; and the findings of fact do not show that any information was given by the claimant, or that he did any thing to
entitle him to the reward offered, until five months after the offer had been withdrawn. True, it is found that then, and at all times until the arrest was actually made, he was ignorant of the withdrawal; but that is an immaterial fact. The offer of the reward not having been made to him directly, but by means of a published proclamation, he should have known that it could be revoked in the manner in which it was made.
UNITED STATES v. LANDERS.
1. An honorable discharge of a soldier from service does not restore to him pay
and allowances forfeited for desertion. 2. Under the term “allowances,” bounty is included.
APPEAL from the Court of Claims.
Landers enlisted for three years; was enrolled Jan. 1, 1864; and mustered into service Jan. 16, 1864, to take effect from the date of his enrolment. He deserted Nov. 12, 1864; was arrested June 2, 1865; restored to duty, with the loss of all pay and allowances due or to become due during the term of his enlistment; and honorably discharged on the 8th of August, 1865. The Court of Claims rendered judgment in his favor for an amount equal to his pay and bounty. The United States appealed.
Mr. Assistant Attorney-General Edwin B. Smith for the United States.
The Court of Claims erroneously assumes that this court held in United States v. Kelly, 15 Wall. 34, that the offence of desertion was purged by an honorable discharge. Such is not the
Power to try the soldier, or, further, to punish him for the desertion, is lost by his restoration to duty. Thenceforth there is nothing to be purged. As part and condition of that restoration “by competent authority,” forfeiture may, however, be decreed of his pay and allowances. Army Reg. 159, 160; R. S. 4749; Judge Ad.-Gen. Holt's Op., p. 139, sects. 7,9; p. 136, sect. 1.
If the restoration be, in effect, a pardon (as treated by the Court of Claims), then it can only be authorized by the Presi
dent, who is solely invested with the power to grant an absolute or conditional pardon. Ex parte Wells, 18 How. 307, 314.
Mr. Thomas J. Durant and Mr. A. A. Hosmer, contra.
The plain and definite language adopted by this court in United States v. Kelly, 15 Wall. 34, establishes the presumptio juris et de jure of the thing adjudged ; that is, the honorable discharge is a formal, final judgment in favor of the soldier upon his entire military record. This discharge cannot be impeached collaterally; nor can any officer of the pay department disregard its contents, or refuse to give it its legal effect.
MR. JUSTICE FIELD delivered the opinion of the court.
This was an action in the Court of Claims by the petitioner for pay and bounty as a soldier in the army of the United States. It appears from the findings of the court that the petitioner enlisted in the army for three years; and was enrolled on the 1st of January, 1864; that lie was mustered into service on the 16th of the month, his service to take effect from the enrolment; that he deserted on the 12th of November following; and was arrested on the 2d of June, 1865; and was restored to duty, with the loss of all pay and allowances due or to become due during the term of his enlistment; and that he was honorably discharged on the 8th of August, 1865. His claim was for pay for the whole period from his enlistment to his discharge, including the time of his absence by desertion, and for the bounty allowed to a soldier upon his honorable discharge at the expiration of his service.
The Court of Claims held that he was entitled both to pay and bounty, and gave judgment for the whole amount claimed; being of opinion that his offence of desertion was purged by his honorable discharge within the decision of this court in United States v. Kelly, 15 Wall. 34, and that his case was not covered by the joint resolution of Congress of March 1, 1870. 16 Stat. 370.
We have looked into the record in Kelly's case, and we find it entirely different from this case. Kelly had served from February, 1864, until October, 1865, during the active operations of the war, and then deserted to visit his parents, reported to be seriously ill at their home. After an absence of some
weeks he voluntarily returned, and subsequently made up for the time lost by his absence. The fact that the war had virtually closed at the time, the motives which caused the desertion, and his voluntary return to duty, no doubt had their influence with his commander, upon whose recommendation he was restored to duty without trial, subject only to the condition that he should make good the time lost by his desertion. It was not pretended that his honorable discharge, subsequently granted, gave him a right to pay during the period of his absence from the service, or would have dispensed with the forfeiture of pay prescribed by the army regulations had any pay been due at the time. Army Regulations, 158, 1358. He only claimed subsequent pay and the bounty, after serving the full period of his enlistment and the additional time lost by his desertion.
In this case the petitioner deserted at a time when the war was at its height; and no palliation was proffered for the offence, if any could possibly exist. He kept out of the service, and thus out of danger, during the severest period of the war, and was only returned to his company under arrest; and, though he was restored to duty, it was with the forfeiture of his pay and allowances for the entire period of his enlistment.
It does not appear, from the record before us, whether this forfeiture was imposed by order of the commander of the forces from which he deserted, or by the judgment of a court-martial. Forfeiture of pay and allowances up to the time of desertion follows from the conditions of the contract of enlistment, which is for faithful service. The contract is an entirety; and, if service for any portion of the time is criminally omitted, the pay and allowances for faithful service are not earned. And, for the purpose of determining the rights of the soldier to receive pay
and allowances for past services, the fact of desertion need not be established by the findings of a court-martial: it is sufficient to justify a withholding of the moneys that the fact appears upon the muster-rolls of his company. If the entry of desertion has been improperly made, its cancellation can be obtained by application to the War Department. But forfeiture of pay and allowances for future services, as a condition of restoration to duty, can only be imposed by a court-martial.