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COMMUTATION OF RATIONS.
Coffee and sugar.
789. For each ration of sugar and coffee not issued, nor July 5, 1838, s. commuted for the extract of coffee combined with milk See. 1294,R.s. and sugar, enlisted men shall be paid in money."
Commutation in the military or naval service is money paid in substitution of something to which an officer, soldier, or sailor is entitled. Commutation, being regulated by statutes and regulations, can not be allowed by inferior authority. The principle which governs the commutation of rations in lieu of subsistence is that commutation will not be allowed where subsistence in kind is provided by the Government. Jaekle v. U. S., 28 Ct. Cls., 133.
Authority to establish the rates of the allowance for commutation of rations has not been given by statute, but these rates have been left to be fixed by Army Regulations. But these amounts are recognized and sanctioned in the provisions of the Army appropriation acts relating to the Subsistence Department. Dig. Opin. J. A. G., par. 1957.
Paragraph 1273, Army Regulations, 1895, in directing that commutation in lieu of rations shall not be allowed to soldiers where subsistence in kind is provided by the Government, excepts cases where the same is specially authorized by the Secretary of War. Held, that this part of the Regulations was substantially superseded by the statutory provision of the existing army appropriation act of February 27, 1893, which enumerates several specific classes of enlisted men as persons to whom the payment may be made without reserving to the Secretary of War any authority to extend the privilege. Par. 1958, ibid.
The allowance for commutation of rations, made payable by the army appropriation act of February 27, 1893, “to enlisted men traveling on detached duty, when it is impracticable to carry rations," etc., held to be restricted to the period covered by the travel, and not to be payable to a soldier for commutation of rations consumed at the destination where he was placed by his orders on detached duty,'viz, for four days' board at a hotel at the terminus of his travel. Par. 1959, ibid.
A claim for commutation of rations on furlough can not be allowed without the production of the furlough issued, or other satisfactory evidence that payment has not been made. The burden of proof rests upon the claimant to establish the validity of his claim by something more than his unsupported statements. 1 Comp. Dec., 513.
Commutation of rations may be allowed at the following rates, under the conditions mentioned, viz:
1. To a soldier at the conclusion of his furlough, provided that on or before the last day
thereof he has reported at his proper station or has been discharged .. 2. To sergeants of the post noncommissioned staff (and soldiers acting as such) on duty
at forts and stations where there are no other troops.. 3. To a soldier on detached duty, stationed in a city or town where subsistence is not fur
nished by the Government 4. To a soldier traveling under orders from a place or station at which his rations have
been regularly commuted.. 5. To enlisted men traveling under orders (when the journey can not be performed in
twenty-four hours and it is impracticable to carry rations of any kind), as follows:
To an enlisted man traveling alone.
sane patient or military prisoner, each.
listed men, to be paid. on the order of the commanding officer, in advance to,
Par. 1272, A. R., 1895.
Commutation of rations will not be allowed to enlisted men serving where subsistence is furnished by the Government; or traveling under orders when they can carry and cook their rations, or can carry cooked or travel rations; or traveling under orders by steamboat or steamship where the pas. sage rates include meals; or failing to report at their proper stations on or before the last day of furlough unless discharged; or recruiting parties at their stations; nor to civil employees. Par. 1273, ibid.
A soldier who has been granted a furlough to expire upon the arrival of his regi. ment in the United States, is entitled to commutation of rations until he receives notice of its arrival and for a time thereafter sufficient to enable him to join it. 5 Comp. Dec., 941.
Mar. 2, 1901, v.
790. Every noncommissioned officer and private of the Pay during
captivity Regular Army, and every officer, noncommissioned officer, 37,214,393, p.1is. and private of any militia or volunteer corps in the service Sec.1288, R. S. of the United States who is captured by the enemy, shall be entitled to receive during his captivity, notwithstanding the expiration of his term of service, the same pay, subsistence and allowance to which he may be entitled wbile in the actual service of the United States; but this provision shall not be construed to entitle any prisoner of war of such militia corps to any pay or compensation after the date of his parole, except the traveling expenses allowed by law.
791. For the payment of the regulation allowances for commutation commutation of rations in lieu of rations: To enlisted men 31,Mpa, soa. on furlough; to ordnance-sergeants on duty at ungarrisoned posts; to enlisted men and male and female nurses stationed at places where rations in kind can not be economically issued; to enlisted men traveling on detached duty when it is impracticable to carry rations of any kind; to enlisted men selected to contest for places or prizes in department and army rifle competitions while traveling to and from places of contests; and to male and female nurses on leaves of absence, to be expended under the direction of the Secretary of War. Act of March 2, 1901 (31 Stat. L., 904). HISTORICAL NOTE. —
:--The office of Commissary-General of Supplies and Purchases was created during the war of the Revolution by a resolution of Congress dated July 19, 1775, and on the recommendation of General Washington, Jonathan Trumbull, of Connecticut, was appointed to the office. The methods of supplying the Army with provisions having proved inadequate, however, the matter was investigated by a committee of the Congress, and the department was reorganized by a resolution of Congress dated June 10, 1777. Under the new arrangement the duties of purchase and distribution were separated and intrusted to independent bureaus under the Commissary-General of Purchases and the Commissary-General of Issues. The duties of the Commissary-General of Issues were defined in the resolution of Congress of June 10, 1777; those of the Commissary-General of Purchases were made the subject of occasional modifications, and will be found in the resolutions of June 10, 1777, and November 30, 1780. By the resolution of July 10, 1781, the departments of purchases and issues were merged in the office of Superintendent of Finance, under whose direction a system of supplying the Army by contracts was established. By a subsequent resolution, dated May 28, 1784, the office of Superintendent of Finance was abolished, its duties being merged in the Board of the Treasury created by that enactment. Under this arrangement, which continued in force after the organization of the Government under the Constitution, all subsistence supplies for the Army
1 L'nder section 1288, Revised Statutes, which provides that any soldier who is captured by the enemy shall be entitled to receive, during his captivity, “the same pay, subsistence, and allowance to which he may be entitled while in the actual service,” a soldier so captured is entitled to commutation of rations during his captivity at the rate provided in General Orders No. 37, A. G. O., of 1865, viz, 25 cents per day from the appropriation “Subsistence of the Army.” '6 Comp. Dec., 846.
H. Doc. 545-20
were purchased by the Treasury Department under contracts entered into under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury (sec. 5, act of May 8, 1792, 1 Stat. L., 280; act of February 23, 1795, ibid., 419). By the acts of July 16, 1798 (ibid., 610), and March 3, 1809 (2 ibid., 535), the present methods of purchasing supplies for the Army, and accounting for the same, were established. The contract system continued to exist until the reorganization of the staff, which was accomplished by the act of April 4, 1818 (3 ibid., 426), when it was replaced by the present Subsistence Department
At the reduction of 1802 a system of military agencies was established in connection with the procurement and distribution of subsistence stores and supplies. Three military agents and such number of assistant military agents, not exceeding one to each military post, as the service might require, were authorized by section 3 of the act of March 16, 1802 (2 Stat. L., 132); the assistants were to be selected from the line of the Army and were to receive additional monthly compensation. By section 4 of the act of March 28, 1812 (ibid., 696), the military agency system was abolished, and the duty of procuring military supplies was vested in the Commissary-General of Purchases and in the Quartermaster's Department thereby created. By section 2 of the act of April 4, 1818 (3 ibid., 426), the office of Commissary-General was created with the rank and pay of a colonel of ordnance, and provision was made for as many assistant commissaries as the service might require; these officers were to be detailed from the line, and were to receive twenty dollers per month additional pay. The duties of the department thus created were restricted to the purchase and issue of subsistence stores and supplies; and the system, which was experimental in character, was to continue for five years from the passage of the act.
At the general reduction of 18212 the organization of the department was somewhat modified, the office of Commissary-General of Subsistence being created and provision made for as many assistant commissaries as the service might require, not exceeding fifty, who were to be taken from subalterns of the line, and were to receive, in addition to their monthly pay, certain sums, to be regulated by the Secretary of War, and to be not less than ten dollars nor more than twenty dollars in amount; they were to perform duty in both the Subsistence and Quartermaster's Departments, as might be required under the orders of the Secretary of War. By the act of June 23, 1823 (3 ibid., 721 ), the existing arrangement of the department was continued for five years. Two assistant commissaries with the rank of major were added to the department by the act of March 3, 1829 (4 ibid., 360), and the system was to be continued for a third period of five years. By section 5 of the act of March 3, 1835 (ibid., 780), the Subsistence Department, which had hitherto been in an experimental stage, was placed upon a permanent basis. By section 11 of the act of July 5, 1838 (5 ibid., 256), there were added to the department one assistant commissary-general of subsistence with the rank and pay of a lieutenant-colonel of dragoons, one commissary of subsistence with the rank and pay of quartermaster, and three commissaries with the rank and pay of assistant quartermasters.
No further change in the composition or duties of the department was made until the outbreak of the war with Mexico, when, by section 5 of the act of June 18, 1846 (9 ibid., 17), the President was authorized to appoint as many additional officers, not exceeding one commissary (major) to each brigade, and one assistant commissary (captain) to each regiment, as he might deem necessary; these appointments, however, were not to extend beyond the period of the existing war. By the act of September 26, 1850 (9 ibid., 469), four commissaries of subsistence (captains) were added to the existing establishment, and these appointments were to be made from the line of the Army:
At the commencement of the war of the rebellion a commissary of subsistence (captain) was allowed for each brigade of the volunteer forces authorized to be raised by the act of July 22, 1861 (12 Stat. L. 269), and four commissaries of subsistence (majors) and eight commissaries of subsistence with the rank of captain were added to the permanent establishment by the act of August 3, 1861 (ibid., 287); by section 10 of the act of July 17, 1862 (ibid., 599), a commissary of subsistence for each army corps, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, was also authorized. By the act of February 9, 1863 (ibid., 648), the department was reorganized, the rank of brigadier-general being conferred upon the Commissary-General of Subsistence, who was to be selected from the department, and one colonel, one lieutenant-colonel, and two majors were added. These offices were to be filled by regular promotion.
1 For a more extended discussion of the methods of procuring supplies during the period between the the organization of the Government under the Constitution and the general reorganization of the staff in 1821, see the note in connection with the Quartermaster's Department, page 290, ante. 2 Act of March 2, 1821 (3 Stat. L., 615).
The peace establishment of the department was fixed by section 16 of the act of July 28, 1866 (14 ibid., 335), as follows: One Commissary-General of Subsistence (brigadier-general), two assistant commissaries-general of subsistence (colonels), two deputy commissaries-general of subsistence (lieutenant-colonels), eight commissaries (majors), and sixteen commissaries of subsistence (captains). The repealing clause of the act of July 28, 1866, having been regarded as including within its scope the provision for additional compensation to officers detailed from the line, which had been authorized by section 3 of the act of March 3, 1821 (3 ibid., 615), it was provided by section 24 of the act of July 15, 1870 (16 ibid., 320), that lieutenants of the line detailed to perform the duties of acting commissaries of subsistence should receive $100 additional pay per annum. Section 6 of the act of March 3, 1869 ( 15 ibid., 318), contained the requirement that there should be no more promotions or appointments in the staff of the Army until otherwise directed by law, but this restriction was removed, as to the Subsistence Department, by section 3 of the act of June 23, 1874, which reorganized the department and fixed its commissioned strength at one brigadier-general, two colonels, three lieutenant-colonels, eight majors, and twelve captains. By the act of February 12, 1895 (28 ibid., 656), the number of captains was reduced to eight. The requirement of the act of March 3, 1883 ( 22 ibid., 457), authorizing captains in this department to be appointed from civil life was repealed by the act of August 6, 1894 (28 ibid., 234), and appointments to the lowest grade are now required to be made from the line of the Army. The act of June 30, 1882 (22 ibid., 118), and subsequent acts of appropriation have made provision for the payment of $100 additional pay to officers detailed from the line to perform the duties of acting commissaries of subsistence. A corps of post commissary-sergeants
was added to the department by the act of March 3, 1873 (17 ibid., 485; section 1142, Revised Statutes). They were to be appointed by the Secretary of War in such number as the service might require, but were not to exceed one for each military post.
By section 2 of the act of July 7, 1898 (30 ibid., 715), there were added to the strength of the department during the war with Spain eight majors and twelve captains of volunteers, and the two assistants to the Commissary-General of Subsistence and the officers in charge of important depots were given one grade of rank and pay in addition to that actually held by them; such increase, however, was not to exceed the rank of colonel in any case, and was to continue for a period not exceeding one year after the close of the existing war.
By section 17 of the act of February 2, 1901 (31 Stat. L., 752), the permanent strength of the department was fixed at one Commissary-General with the rank of brigadier-general, three assistant commissaries-general with the rank of colonel, four deputy commissaries-general with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, nine commissaries with the rank of major, and twenty-seven commissaries with the rank of captain mounted; the existing force of commissary-sergeants was recognized and continued in service and were thereafter to be designated as post commissary-sergeants.
A system of details was also established by the operation of which the permanent commissioned personnel of the department will be gradually replaced, as vacancies occur, by officers detailed from the line of the Army for duty in the Subsistence Department.
Î'he army ration. The army ration, as established by the act of April 30, 1790 (1 Stat. L., 121); section 8, act of March 3, 1795 (ibid., 434); and section 13, act of May 30, 1796 (ibid., 484); consisted of 1 pound of fresh or salt beef, or three-quarters of a pound of pork or bacon; 1 pound of flour, one-half a gill of spirits, and to each 100 rations 1 quart of salt, 2 quarts of vinegar, 2 pounds of soap, and 1 pound of candles. By section 3 of the act of June 7, 1794 (ibid., 242); section 6, act of January 2, 1795 (ibid., 400), and section 11, act of May 30, 1796 (ibid., 184), sundry additions were made to meat, bread, and seasoning components of the ration in the case of troops employed on frontier service. The ration was increased by section 6 of the act of July 16, 1798 (ibid., 605), so as to consist of 14 pounds of fresh or salt beef, or three-quarters of a pound of pork or bacon; 1 pound and 2 ounces of four; 1 gill of spirits; and to each 100 rations 2 quarts of salt, 2 quarts of vinegar, 4 pounds of soap, and 14 pounds of candles; and the ration, as thus constituted, was made permanent by section 6 of the act of March 16, 1802 (2 ibid., 134). By section 22 of the act of March 3, 1799 (1 ibid., 749), the regular spirit ration was reduced to onehalf gill, and commanding officers were authorized to make extra issues of spirits, at the rate of one-half gill per ration, “in cases of fatigue service or other extraordinary occasions.” 1
The spirit ration was replaced by coffee and sugar at the rate of 6 and 12 pounds, respectively, per hundred rations, by section 17 of the act of July 5, 1838 (5 ibid., 256), and the ration of coffee and sugar was increased to 10 and 15 pounds, respectively, by section 4 of the act of June 21, 1860 (12 ibid., 68); by section 10, act of July 5, 1862 (ibid., 510), the extract of coffee was authorized to be issued in lieu of the coffee and sugar ration. A vegetable component, consisting of 15 pounds of beans or peas, or 10 pounds of rice or hominy, was added to the ration by Executive order, under the authority conferred by section 8 of the act of April 14, 1818 (3 ibid., 426), paragraph –, Army Regulations of 1847). An increase in the components of the ration to the following extent was authorized by section 13 of the act of August 3, 1861 (12 ibid., 289); the ration of bread or four was increased to 22 ounces, and an alternate issue of 1 pound of hard bread authorized, and a vegetable ration, to consist of 1 pound of potatoes, was required to be issued at least three times per week, if practicable.” This increase was to terminate at the close of the war, when the ration was to be reduced to the articles and quantities as authorized by law or regulation on July 1, 1861. Pepper was added as one of the seasoning components, at the rate of 4 ounces to the hundred rations, by section 11, act of March 3, 1863 (12 ibid., 741), and section 2 of the act of June 20, 1864 (13 ibid., 144), contained the requirement that the ration should thereafter be the same as provided by law and regulation on the 1st day of July, 1861, with the addition of the pepper ration authorized by the act of March 3, 1863; the components of beans (or peas), or rice (or hominy), at the rate of 15 and 10 pounds, respectively, to the hundred rations, having been added by Executive regulation, were included in the operation of the act of July 1, 1864, and became part of the authorized ration. By section 5 of the act of June 16, 1890 (26 ibid., 158), 1 pound of vegetables was added to the ration, “the proportion to be fixed by the Secretary of War.”
1 Issues of spirits, as a component part of the ration, were discontinued by Executive order in 1832 (General Orders No. 100, A. G. O., 1832), and an issue of coffee and sugar was substituted therefor at the rate of 4 pounds of coffee and 8 pounds of sugar to the hundred rations.
By the act of March 2, 1819 (3 Stat. L., 488), an “extra gill of whisky or spirits" was allowed to enlisted men engaged in the construction of fortifications or the execution of surveys, but by the act of May 19, 1846 (9 Stat. L., 14), this ration was allowed to be commuted in money. Upon the discontinuance of the spirit ration in 1838, section 22 of the act of March 3, 1799 (1 Stat. L., 754), became operative, which authorized the issue of spirits “in case of fatigue service or other extra occasions." This placed the spirit ration upon the basis of an extra issue; such issues, therefore, being discretionary with the Executive. They were discontinued by General Orders No. 120, War Department, of 1865.