Friday, February 27, 2009

Chad Miller War Of 1812.

Chad Miller had enlisted in the service of the United States during the war of 1812, on or about the 13th day of July, 1814, and then received $50, part of his bounty; that after marching three days with his company he deserted, and at the expiration of one week he delivered himself up, at Fort Trumbull, to Captain Riley Sweet, in consequence of and under a proclamation of the President of the United States offering a pardon to all those who returned to the service; that he then continued in service until April 10, 1815, at which time, it being understood that peace had been made, and there being then no funds at said post to pay off those soldiers whose term of enlistment had expired, he went home a few weeks, and then returned for the purpose of receiving his back pay; that on his return he learned that funds having in the meantime arrived, the other soldiers who had enlisted during the war had received their pay and discharge, and that he had been returned to the War Department by Captain Riley Sweet as a deserter, and therefore could not receive his back pay, and for the same cause could not, on application to the War Department, draw his bounty land.

Chad was a little up sat to say the lest and wrote to the War Department who returned a answer back in October of 1819, saying that as it was recorded that he was a deserter he would not receive his bounty land, and if he wanted further action he would have to get testimony from his command officer and send a petition before Congress. Chad got Captain Sweet testimony; who stated ; “ Miller did deliver himself up to me, at Fort Trumbull, on the 10th day of August, 1814, in consequence of the President’s proclamation respecting deserters, and he continued faithfully on duty until April 10, 1815.

The committee found that Chad was entitled to his bounty and ordered a Bill to be printed the following is that Bill.

H. R. 391.
JANUARY 23, 1827.

For the relief of Chad Miller.

Be it enacted by the Senate anti House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of War be, and he is hereby, directed to issue to Chad Miller, a soldier of the late war, a land warrant for one hundred and sixty acres of land; which warrant, when issued, shall be located within eighteen months from the passage of this act, on any un-located quarter section of land, in the manner provided by law for other military land warrants issued for services in the late war, and that a patent be granted thereon, as in other like cases.
Sec. 2. .And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of the Treasury pay to said Chad Miller, the amount of pay and bounty that was in arrear and due to him at the expiration of his term of enlistment; and that tile same be paid out of any money in the Treasury, not otherwise appropriated.

This Bill would not pass and went back into committee. Chad’s petition would face the Private land claim committee again in 1828, and after review give this statement.

It appears that the President issued a proclamation, dated June 17, 1814, promising a pardon to such individuals as had deserted from the army who should surrender themselves to the commanding officer of any military post within three months from its date. It is this proclamation under which the petitioner pretends to have delivered himself up, and which pardons his desertion. But this proclamation was issued long before Miller’s first desertion, and even before his enlistment, and does not embrace his case, unless we suppose it to have a prospective operation, which would be contrary to the very terms of the proclamation and all sound legal principles, and at variance with the construction uniformly given to such proclamation by the department.

But supposing the proclamation did embrace the petitioner’s case, as the committee are informed by the War Department, “it could have no effect but to screen him from punishment, and not to restore him to rights which he had forfeited.” Without giving any opinion about the sufficiency of his justification for his second desertion in April, 1815, enough appears to satisfy the committee that the petitioner is not entitled to relief.

It was found by this researcher that Chad Miller’s petition was still making it’s rounds in Congress in 1861, when his petition came before the committee again, further research up to 1865, shows no passage of the Bill. As we are talking of the war of 1812 and now it’s 1865, about 53, years had passed, and the Bill had been in Congress about 33, in it’s self, and as we don’t how old Chad was in the war, more then likely he passed away and most of his heirs and the Bill just died.

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