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sels under his command. The captain * or other commanding officer of the vessel capturing takes two twentieths, and the balance is distributed among the officers and crew, in proportion to their rate of pay.t
It is important that officers in command of vessels should, immediately on making a capture, transmit to the Fourth Auditor a complete list of the officers and crew entitled to share in the prize money. I
Before the act of Congress of March 3d, 1863, no person was entitled to prize money, except those on board at the time of the capture; the act referred to, gives it to all men borne on the ship's books at the date of capture, although temporarily absent on duty or otherwise. Thus a prize crew put on board a captured vessel to take her into port lose nothing by their absence from their ship, as they share in all prizes taken while their names are on her books.S
Bounty is paid to the officers and men on board a vessel belonging to the United States, for the destruction of vessels of the enemy, according to the number of persons on board of such enemy at the commencement of the engagement. If the enemy's vessel was of inferior force, one hundred dollars for each person on board of her. If of equal or superior force, two hundred dollars. In case it is impossible to ascertain the number of men on board the enemy's vessel, then they shall be taken to be the same number allowed to vessels of their class in the United States navy. Where a vessel of war captured is destroyed immediately for the public interest, but not in consequence of damage received in action, fifty dollars for every person on board at time of capture shall be paid as bounty. This bounty is to be distributed in the same manner as prize money. (Act of Congress, July 17th, 1862.) Any armed vessel in the service of the United States making or assisting in a capture is entitled to an award of prize money, the same as if said vessel belonged to the navy. (Act of Congress, July 17th, 1862.)
When a prize is taken by a single ship, not under the immediate command of an admiral, or attached to a fleet or squadron, the commanding officer receives as his share three twentieths. Act of Congress, July 17th, 1862.
+ The commander of a squadron, to whose command a ship of war is attached, and under whose orders she sails, is entitled to the flag twentieth of all prizes made by such ship, although the other part of the squadron may never have sailed on the cruise. Decatur vs. Chew, 1 Gall. 506.
| Property in a captured vessel does not vest in the captors till she has been condemned as good prize. Decatur vs. United States. Dev. C. C. 201.
$ When the vessel captured is of equal or superior force to the vessel which captures it, the proceeds of the ship and cargo shall be the sole property of the captors. Where the vessel is of inferior force the proceeds shall be divided equally between the United States and the captors. Act of Congress, July 17th, 1862. It is the duty of the prize commissioners to decide and report whether the prize was of equal, superior, or inferior force to the captor. Where there is a question of this kind the officers should employ counsel to advocate their rights. The counsel will be entitled to fees out of the prize, as the case is one in which the captors have interests conflicting with those of the United States. See act of March 3d, 1863.
Any person in the service of the United States entitled to wages or prize money may have the same paid to an assignee, provided the assignment be attested by the captain and paymaster. The commanders of vessels are, however, required to refuse to certify to any assignment until they are satisfied it is not given in consideration of money advanced on such pay or prize money. This is authorized by
. the act above quoted, and appears to be still the law, although the Fourth Auditor does not allude to it in his circular. The share of the United States in prizes is to be reserved as a fund for the payment of navy pensions.
Where a vessel of the navy is captured by the enemy, and it shall appear by sentence of court martial or otherwise that the officers and men did their utmost to defend their vessel, and after the taking thereof behaved themselves obediently to their superior officers, agreeably to the discipline of the navy, the pay and emoluments of such officers and
* Claims for prize money and for extra pay are capable of alienation. In this they are unlike salary for continuing service. See Alexander vs. Duke of Wellington, 2 Russell & Mylne, 36; Comegys vs. Vasse, 7 Peters, 196; Milnor vs. Metz, 16 Id., 221 ; Couch vs. Delaplaine, 2 Comstock, 397. See page 41.
men shall continue and be paid them until their death, exchange, or discharge. (Act of July 17th, 1862.)
Appeals in prize cases formerly lay from the District Court in Admiralty to the Circuit Court, and thence to the Supreme Court of the United States; they are now, however, to be taken from the District Court to the Supreme Court direct. The appeal must be taken within thirty days after the decree, and lies in all cases where the amount in dispute is over two thousand dollars, and in other cases on the certificate of the district judge that the adjudication involves a question of difficulty and general importance. (See act of Congress March 3d, 1863.)
The Fourth Auditor classifies the persons who are claimants, and who are entitled to prize money, thus : 1st, those in the service of the United States; 2d, those who have been discharged from the service ; 3d, the heirs of deceased persons entitled to prize money.
As the first class are now paid on board their ships by their paymasters, a consideration of their cases does not come within the scope of this work.
The second class of persons must furnish proof of identity and surrender their discharge, or satisfactorily account for its loss.
FORM No. 35.
Form of Oath of Identity in Prize Cases. I, Edward Barnes, do solemnly swear that I am the identical Edward Barnes who served by that name as a seaman on board the United States ship “Bienville," in the year 1862, when she captured the prize “Patras," and who is named in the certificate of discharge dated June 16th, 1863, signed by Captain Richard Meade, which is * here
* If the certificate of discharge is lost, its loss must be accounted for satisfactorily, and the claimant must be identified by an officer; witnesses will not satisfy when the discharge has been lost. See Circular of Auditor, page 134.
with presented and surrendered. I also solemnly swear that I am now 27 years of age; am a native of Maine; that I enlisted at New York on or about the 10th day of June, 1861, in the grade of seaman; that my ship's number was 47. I also solemnly swear that I have not made any previous assignment of, or application for, the prize money now claimed by me, and further, that I now reside in New York, and am employed as a rigger.* JOHN JONES,
EDWARD BARNES. EDWARD SABELL.
Sworn to and subscribed before me, this 10th day of October, 1863. And I certify that, to my knowledge, the statement of deponent in regard to his residence and employment is true, my knowledge t of deponent being derived from credible information, given on oath by the witness, John Jones. And I also certify that the above-named deponent appears to be about the age stated by him ; that he is about five feet eight inches in height, of dark complexion, black hair, and black eyes. [L. 8.] GEORGE P. O'DONNELL,
Notary Public. I certify that the signature to the foregoing oath of identity is witnessed by me; that it was signed in my presence by Edward Barnes, who is well known to me as the identical person who served by that name on board the United States ship “ Bienville," when she captured the “Patras.”
Lieutenant United States Navy. This certificate may be given by any commissioned or
* Residence and employment must be stated; and if claimant is not in employment, that fact should be stated.
† The magistrate must state in what manner he acquired the knowledge of the claimant, and also the personal characteristics of claimant. See Circular of Auditor, page 136.
The certificate of identity of a commissioned or warrant officer should be obtained if possible; when not possible, the same should be stated in the oath, and the reason given, as that there is no officer who served with claimant now in the place where claimant is. See Circular of Auditor.
warrant officer of the navy having a knowledge of the facts. If the claimant cannot obtain the certificate of an officer, he will so state in his oath, and give the reason why such certificate cannot be obtained. In case he surrenders his discharge, the oaths of two witnesses will be accepted as proof of his identity, as follows:
State of New York,
On this 10th day of October, 1863, before me, a notary public in and for the State and county aforesaid, duly qualified to administer oaths, personally appeared John Doe, residing at No. 26 Cherry street, in the city of New York, and employed as a keeper of a sailors' boarding house; and also Richard Roe, residing at said. No. 27 Cherry street, in the city of New York, not at present in any employment,* who are known to me as credible witnesses, residing and employed as stated, and who, being duly sworn, depose and say: That they reside and are employed as aforesaid ; that they have a personal knowledge of Edward Barnes, who signed the annexed oath of identity in their presence; that he is the identical Edward Barnes who served on board the United States ship “Bienville" as a seaman, from the 10th day of March, 1861, to about the 1st day of June, 1863, and who is named in the discharge dated June 16th, 1863, and signed by Captain Richard Meade, which he affixed in their presence, together with said oath of identity, hereto.
That the knowledge t of the said Edward Barnes was
* It is necessary to state the residence and employment of the witnesses.
+ It is of great importance that the means of knowledge of witnesses should be explicitly stated, and in all cases where the knowledge of the claimant was acquired by serving with him in the navy, the witness should state what ship he served with him in, and what his, the witness's, ship's number on such vessel was. See Circular of Auditor, page 137.