Badeau v. United States

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Badeau v. United States by Samuel Freeman Miller
Syllabus
Court Documents
Opinion of the Court

United States Supreme Court

130 U.S. 439

BADEAU  v.  UNITED STATES

On the 21st day of June, 1883, the secretary of the treasury, pursuant to section 1063 of the Revised Statutes, and in compliance with the certificate of the second comptroller of the treasury, transmitted to the court of claims the claim of Adam Badeau for pay as an officer of the United States army, 'together with all the vouchers, papers, documents, and proofs pertaining thereto, that the same might be proceeded in, in said court, as if originally commenced therein by the voluntary action of the claimant;' and thereafter, upon the 19th day of February, 1884, the claimant filed his petition, in which, after making certain averments, and stating that he was secretary of legation at London from May 19 to December 6, 1869, and consul general at London from April 28, 1870, to September 16, 1881, and at Havana, Cuba, from November 25, 1882, to the date of the filing of the petition, and that he had received pay as a military officer from December 6, 1869, to April 30, 1870, and from September 16, 1881, to November 25, 1882, he claimed to be entitled to 'the amount of pay and allowances of a captain, mounted, retired from active service, for the period from April 28, 1870, to September 16, 1881, and from November 25, 1882, up to the present time, amounting to the sum of $18,852.65, not having received such pay or allowances during said period; also to the additional pay and allowance provided by section 1262 of the Revised Statutes, which section is as follows: 'There shall be allowed and paid to each commissioned officer below the rank of brigadier general, including chaplains and others having assimilated rank or pay, ten per centum of their current yearly pay for each term of five years of service.' A general traverse was filed by the United States, March 8, 1884, and on the 10th of February, 1885, a counter-claim, stating 'that Adam Badeau, the claimant in the above-entitled cause, before and at the time of the commencement of this suit was, and still is, indebted to the said defendants in a large sum of money, to-wit, two thousand five hundred and sixty dollars and ten cents, ($2,560.10,) for money erroneously paid to said Badeau without authority of law, the same being on account of payments of salary made to him as an army officer, (captain, retired,) from December 31, 1869, to October 31, 1882, during all of which time said Badeau was not in fact in the army, nor an officer thereof;' to which the claimant filed a replication March 9, 1885. The United States also pleaded the statute of limitations to the larger part of petitioner's claim. Findings of fact and conclusions of law were announced by the court of claims, May 9, 1887, as follows:

'(1) On the 21st April, 1869, the claimant, then being a first lieutenant of infantry in the army of the United States, unassigned, was appointed by the president assistant secretary of legation at London. On the 19th May, 1869, he accepted the appointment, filed in the department of state his oath of office, and embarked for his post, reaching England May 31, 1869.

'(2) On the 15th May, 1869, a military board was convened by the following order: Headquarters of the Army, Adjutant-Gen'l's Headequarters of the Army, Adjutant-Gen'l's Office, Washington, May 15, 1869. 12. By direction of the president, a board of officers will assemble in New York city at 12 M. on the 18th inst., or as soon thereafter as practicable, for the examination of Bvt. Brig. General Adam Badeau, 1st lieutenant U.S. army, for retirement, in pursuance of the act of congress of the 3d of August, 1861. * * * Upon completion of the examination of General Badeau the president of the board will dissolve the board, and order the officers composing the same to resume their proper duties. * * * By command of Gen'l Sherman. E. D. TOWNSEND, Adjutant General.'

' The board met in New York on the 18th May, 1869, and the following proceedings took place:

"New York, May 18th, 12 M. The board met pursuant to above order. Owing to the illness and consequent absence of Gen'l Reeve the board adjourned.

"New York, May 18th, 4 P. M. The following telegram was received: 'Washington, D. C., May 18th. General McDowell, New York City: By direction of the secretary of war, General Rufus Ingalls is detailed as a member of the retiring board, vice Reeve Acknowledge receipt. E. D. TOWNSEND, Adjutant General.'

"On receipt of the above telegraphic order the board reconvened. Present all the members and the recorder. The board proceeded to consider the case of 1st Lieut. Adam Badeau, bvt. brig. gen'l U.S. A., who appeared before the board, and, having heard the orders convening it read, was asked if he objected to any member named in the orders. He having no objection, the board was duly sworn in his presence by the recorder, and the recorder by the president. * * * The board was cleared, and after mature deliberation find 'that 1st Lieutenant Adam Badeau, U.S. Infantry, bvt. brig. general U.S. A., is incapacitated for active service, and that said incapacity is due to a wound received in the foot whilst on duty as captain and additional aide-de-camp to Brig. Gen'l T. W. Sherman in the assault on Port Hudson in May, 1863.' IRWIN MCDOWELL, Bvt. Maj. Gen'l, Pres'd't Board. H. STOCKTON, 1st Lieut. Ord., Bvt. Capt., A. D. C., Recorder of Board.'

' On the 22d May, 1869, this was approved by the secretary of war, and on the 25th May the president made the following order:

"[Special Orders, No. 126-Extract.] Headquarters of the Army, Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, May 25, 1869. * * * 12. Brevet Brigadier General Adam Badeau, 1st lieutenant U.S. army, having, at his own request, been ordered before a board of examination, and having been found 'incapacitated for active service, and that said incapacity is due to a wound received in the foot whilst on duty as captain and additional aide-de-camp to Brigadier General T. W. Sherman in the assault on Port Hudson in May, 1863,' the president directs that his name be placed upon the list of retired officers of that class in which the disability results from long and faithful service, or from some injury incident thereto, in accordance with sections 16 and 17 of the act approved August 3, 1861. In accordance with section 32 of the act approved July 28, 1866, General Badeau is, by direction of the president, retired with the full rank of captain, to date from May 18, 1869. * * * By command of General Sherman. E. D. TOWNSEND, Adjutant General.'

'(3.) The claimant held the office of assistant secretary of legation, and received the salary thereof, until the 6th December, 1869, when he resigned. By order of the president, December 23, 1869, he was 'assigned to duty in the city of Washington,' as an officer of the army, it being stated that the order was to date from December 6, 1869. He drew from the pay department of the army the pay of an active captain for the period from December 6, 1869, to February 21, 1870, and the pay of a retired captain from February 21, 1870, to April 30, 1870; the pay so drawn amounting to $621.84. He was appointed consul general at London, Eng., April 28, 1870, and was in the consular service of the government until the commencement of this suit, except for a period of about fourteen months, beginning in September, 1881, and ending in November, 1882.

'(4) From May, 1869, until May, 1878, the claimant was borne upon the retired list of the army as having been retired with the rank of captain on the 18th May, 1869. On the 7th May, 1878, the following order was issued:

"[General Orders, No. 20.] Headquarters of the Army, Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, May 7, 1878. The following are announced: Dropped. * * * In conformity with section 1223, Revised Statutes, and opinion of attorney general dated December 11, 1877. (1) Captain Adam Badeau, U.S. army, retired, to date from May 19, 1869. * * * By command of General Sherman. E. D. TOWNSEND, Adjutant General.'

'The claimant thereupon applied to have the above order revoked upon the ground that he was disabled within the intent of the act 3d March, 1875, and he produced and filed the following certificate:

"Bangor, Maine, Feb. 20, 1878. I, Eugene F. Sanger, physician and surgeon, certify that I was medical director of the second division, 19th army corps, before Port Hudson, May 27, 1863, and that Captain Adam Badeau, A. D. C. on Brig. Gen'l T. W. Sherman's staff, received a bullet wound penetrating the instep of the left foot, and making its exit below the internal malleolus. I resected the 2d cuniform bone, parts of the 1st and 3d cuniform, and the proximal end of the 2d metatarsal bone, on acc't of which resection he was sent to the rear at New Orleans. Respectfully, your ob't servant, EUGENE F. SANGER, Brevet Lt. Col. and late Brigade Surgeon, late Medical Director, 19th Army Corps, now Examining Surgeon Pension Bureau.'

'The foregoing surgeon's certificate was duly referred to the surgeon general of the army. The order of reference and the surgeon general's report thereon were as follows:

"War Department, Adjutant-General's Office, Washington, March 4, 1878. Respectfully referred to the surgeon general, U.S. army, for his opinion as to whether the disability of Captain Badeau, for which he was retired, can be regarded as bringing him within that class of officers specified in the proviso of section 2, act of March 3, 1875, (G. O. 16 of 1875) who have 'an arm or leg permanently disabled by reason of resection on account of wounds.' The proceedings of the retiring board in Captain Badeau's case and other papers are inclosed herewith. By order of the secretary of war. E. D. TOWNSEND, Adjutant General.'

"Surgeon-General's Office, March 6, 1878. Respectfully returned to the adjutant general of the army with opinion that the evidence submitted is sufficient to establish that Captain Badeau's case comes properly within that class of officers specified by section 2, act of March 3, 1875, as one in which an arm or leg is permanently disabled by reason of resection on account of wounds. J. W. BARNES, Surgeon General.'

' Whereupon the secretary of war, on the 3d July, 1878, made the following order, under which the claimant was borne on the retired list of the army up to the time of his bringing this action:

"War Department, July 3, 1878. Respectfully returned to the adjutant general of the army. The former decision in Capt. Badeau's case was correct, as the record then stood, but it now appearing that his case comes clearly within the provisions of the proviso to section 2, act of March 3, 1875, his name will be restored to the retired list. GEORGE W MCCRARY, Secretary of War.'

'(5) From the 18th May, 1869, to the 6th December, 1869, the claimant received no pay as a military officer, nor has he received military pay at any time while holding a diplomatic or consular office. From the 6th December, 1869, to the 21st February, 1870, while assigned to duty in the city of Washington as a retired officer under the act 21st January, 1870, (16 St. at Large, 62,) the claimant was paid as a captain in active service the sum of $396.92, during which period he was rendering service as an officer. From the 21st February, 1870, to the 31st October, 1882, the claimant was paid as an officer on the retired list, for periods when he was not holding a diplomatic or consular office, the sum of $2,163.18. There has been withheld from the claimant while not holding a diplomatic or consular office his pay as a retired officer from November 1, 1882, to November 25, 1882, amounting to $_____. There has been withheld from the claimant while holding a diplomatic or consular office between the 19th May, 1869, and the 19th February, 1884, when this action was brought, his pay as a retired officer, amounting to the sum of $_____.

'(6) The claimant was beyond the seas at the times when the foregoing claims accrued, and his petition was filed in this court within three years after the disability had ceased.'

'CONCLUSIONS OF LAW.

' The court being equally divided upon the foregoing findings as to the claimant's right to recover, does, for the purposes of an appeal, frame the following conclusions of law: The petition of the claimant, and the counter-claim of the defendants, should both be dismissed.'

Thereupon judgment was entered dismissing the petition of the claimant and the counter-claim of the United States. Appeals were prosecuted by both parties to this court, and the records filed herein August 10 and October 5, 1887. On the 5th of October, 1888, a stipulation was filed, adding to the record certain conclusions and order of the court of claims, and certain matters introduced in evidence, at a stage of the case prior to the final findings.

MILLER, J., dissenting.

Daniel P. Hays, for Adam Badeau.

Asst. Atty. Gen. Howard and F. P. Dewees, for the United States.

Mr. Chief Justice FULLER, after stating the facts as above, delivered the opinion of the court.

Notes[edit]

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).