United States v. Hunt, 81 U.S. 550 (1871)
U.S. Supreme CourtUnited States v. Hunt, 81 U.S. 14 Wall. 550 550 (1871)
United States v. Hunt
81 U.S. (14 Wall.) 550
In construing the third section of the Act of March 3, 1865, increasing the commutation price of officers/ subsistence, by fixing it at fifty cents per ration, "provided that said increase shall not apply to the commutation price of the rations of any officer above the rank of brevet brigadier-general" -- a brigadier-general is to be regarded as above the rank specified.
The third section of the act of March 3, 1865, * enacts:
"That from and after the first day of March, 1865, and during the continuance of the present rebellion, the commutation price of officers' subsistence shall be fifty cents per ration, provided that said increase shall not apply to the commutation price of the rations of any officer above the rank of brevet brigadier-general, or of any officer entitled to commutation for fuel or quarters."
Under this enactment, Hunt, a brigadier-general of volunteers, filed a petition in the Court of Claims claiming commutation pay. The United States demurred, thus admitting, of course, that the petitioner was a brigadier-general during
the recent civil war, and was not entitled to commutation for fuel and quarters. He was then entitled to the increased commutation for subsistence if his rank of brigadier was not above the rank of brevet brigadier. The question was, was it such?
The Court of Claims gave judgment in favor of the petitioner, and the United States appealed, assigning as error that a brigadier-general is above the rank of a brevet brigadier-general, and therefore not entitled to the benefit of this provision.