War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0052 CORRESPONDENCE,ETC.

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the Eighty-eighth and One hundred and twenty-eighth Ohio Volunteers and the Veteran Reserve Corps. The Eighty-eighth is stationed at Camp Chase and the One hundred and twenty-eighth at Johnson's Island. The interest of the service requires that these regiments shall be retained a few weeks longer.


Major-General, Commanding.



Washington, June 10, 1865.

The annexed opinions of the Attorney-General relative to the amounts of bounty payable to certain soldiers and the proper construction of section 4 of the Army appropriation act of March 3, 1865 (General Orders, No. 45, Adjutant-General's Office, March 21, 1865), concerning the allowance of "three months" pay proper" to certain volunteer officers continuing in the service "to the close of the war," are published for the information and guidance of all concerned:



Secretary of War:

SIR: I have considered the several questions presented by the Paymaster-General and the Adjutant-General of the Army in their respective communications of May 3 and May 4, instant, relative to the amounts of bounty payable to the soldiers of certain military organizations now being mustered out of service, and also the point suggested in those communications relative to the proper construction of the fourth section of the Army appropriation act of March 3, 1865 (13 Stat., 497), concerning the allowance of extra pay (as it may be called) to certain volunteer officers continuing in the service "to the close of the war."

The first question is, whether veterans who re-enlisted and persons who enlisted in the regular or volunteer forces of the United States for three years or during the war, under the regulations and orders referred to in the communication of the Paymaster-General issued by the Secretary of War, and by the Provost-Marshal-General with the approval of the Secretary, and who may be honorably mustered out the service by reason of the Government no longer requiring their services, before the expiration of their term of enlistment, are respectively entitled, on being so mustered out, to the unpaid balances of the bounties promised to them by the orders under which they were enlisted.

I am of opinion that they are so entitled, by the operation of the joint resolutions of Congress, approved respectively January 13, 1864, and March 3, 1864, which give the force and effect of law to the regulations and orders of the War Department just referred to, providing for the payment of bounties to the classes of soldiers above named. These regulations and orders, in terms, promise and declare that "if the Government shall not require these troops for the full period of three years,and they shall be mustered honorably out of the service before the expiration of their term of enlistment, they shall receive, upon being mustered out, the whole amount of bounty remaining unpaid, the same as if the full term had been served."

The second question relates to soldiers who entered the service pursuant to and under the provisions of the act of July 4, 1864, promulgated by your Department in General Orders, No. 224; and it in whether they are respectively entitled to receive, on being thus mustered out of the service before the expiration of their respective terms of enlistment, the whole amounts of bounty to which they would have been entitled if they had continued in the service throughout their respective periods of enlistment, or only those proportions or installments of the several bounties which may have actually accrued to them at the dates of their respective discharges.

I am of opinion that a volunteer accepted and mustered into the service under the statute of July 4, 1864, whether for a term of one year, or of two years, or of three years, if he is mustered out of the service, for the reason mentioned, before the expiration of thelisted, is entitled to receive only the proportion of the bounty allowed him by the statute, whether one-third