Wallace v. United States (257 U.S. 541)

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Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

257 U.S. 541

Wallace  v.  United States (257 U.S. 541)

 Argued: Jan. 27, 1922. --- Decided: Feb 27, 1922

Claiming to be a Colonel in the Quartermaster Corps of the United States Army, the appellant sued in the Court of Claims to recover $6,580.67 salary and commutation of quarters from February 13, 1918, until March 12, 1919. His petition was dismissed.

The President, on the recommendation of the Secretary of War, issued an order dismissing the appellant from the service by General Orders No. 17, of February 13, 1918, of which he was notified on the same day. The United States was then at war with Germany. On March 1, 1918, the President sent to the Senate the following nominations:

'I nominate the officers named for promotion in the Army of the United States:

'Quartermaster Corps

'To be Colonels

'Lieutenant Colonel Robert S. Smith, Quartermaster Corps, with rank from February 14th, 1918.

'Lieutenant Colonel Richmond McA. Scofield, Quartermaster Corps, with rank from February 23rd, 1918.

'To be Lieutenant Colonels

'Major Morton J. Henry, Quartermaster Corps, with rank from February 14th, 1918.

'Major William Elliott, Quartermaster Corps, with rank from February 23, 1918.'

These officers were confirmed March 8, 1918. This filled the complement of 21 officers allowed by law in the grade of Colonel in the Quartermaster Corps.

On July 16th appellant made a formal application in writing for trial by courtmartial, setting forth under oath that he had been wrongfully dismissed. On September 14, 1918, the trial was refused by the Secretary and no court-martial was convened.

Prior to June 24, 1918, plaintiff did not have knowledge of section 1230, Revised Statutes. He had been advised after his dismissal that he could seek relief through Congress.

Messrs. H. Stanley Hinrichs and Frank S. Bright, both of Washington, D. C., for appellant.

Mr. Assistant Attorney General Ottinger, for the United States.

Mr. Chief Justice TAFT, after stating the case, delivered the opinion of the Court.


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).