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The third section of an act approved December 24th, 1861, repealed the portion of the act of June 12th, 1858, giving sutlers a lien on soldiers' pay, and abrogated all regulations giving sutlers rights and privileges beyond the rules and articles of war.
This hasty legislation was caused by the great abuses which had been allowed among sutlers, in the newly organized volunteer regiments. These abuses could probably have been remedied under existing laws and regulations, but as the officers of the new regiments were generally unacquainted with their duties, and often interested with the sutler either as partners or creditors, the whole system was abolished in preference to any attempt at amendment.
It was soon found, however, that sutlers were necessary for the comfort of officers and men. On the 19th March, 1862, an act entitled “An Act to Provide for the Appointment of Sutlers in the Volunteer Service, and to define their Duties," was passed and approved.
By this act it was provided that the inspector-generals of the army should constitute a board of officers, whose duty it should be to prepare, immediately after the passage of the act, a list or schedule of articles, named in the act, which may be sold to officers and soldiers of the volunteer service, the list to be subject to revision and change as, in
the judgment of the board, the good of the service might require. No intoxicating liquors are to be included in the list, and a copy of the list, and of the act, were to be sent to each brigade and each regiment not attached to a brigade in the volunteer service.
The second section provides that on the receipt of this list, the acting brigadier-general, surgeon, quartermaster, and commissary of each brigade shall constitute a brigade board of officers, whose duty it shall be to affix a price to each article in the list. This list is then to be reported to the commanding general of the division, and by him approved or amended, and reported to the board of inspectorgenerals, and, if not disapproved by them, the prices on such list shall be the prices to be charged by the sutlers to the officers and men of such brigade. Where a regiment is not attached to a brigade, the acting colonel, lieutenantcolonel, major, and captains are to form the board and affix the prices, and report the same directly to the inspectorgenerals. These prices may be changed by the board from time to time; not oftener, however, than once in thirty days, and the changes are to be duly reported as before provided.
By the third section of the act, the commanding officer of each brigade or unattached regiment is ordered to command a sutler for each regiment to be selected by the commissioned officers of such regiment, and to report his name to the adjutant-general of the army. Any vacancy in the office of sutler to be filled in the same manner. The sutlers 60 chosen to be the sole sutlers of such regiments.
Section four provides that the sutler shall have a lien on the pay
of officers and men to the extent of one sixth their monthly pay, and that goods sold within that amount may be charged on the pay roll against such officers and men, and the amount so charged and certified shall be deducted by the paymaster from the pay of such officers and men, and by him paid to the sutler. It is also provided that any paymaster paying to a sutler a greater sum than one sixth
of the pay, shall be charged with such surplus, and the amount deducted from his pay, and returned to the officer or soldier from whom it was illegally stopped.
The same section makes it an offence punishable by court martial for any commanding officer of a company to certify on any pay roll a claim of a sutler for any greater sum than one sixth the
officer or man. This section also provides that a sutler shall have no legal claim against any officer or man for articles sold dur ing a month to a larger amount than one sixth his pay.
It is made the duty of the sutler to post in a conspicuous place in the tent or building where he makes his sales, a list of articles which he is authorized to sell, with the prices at: tached, and also a copy of the act of Congress.
The fifth section provides for the inspection, by a person appointed by the inspector-generals, of the place of sales of each sutler, at least once in fifteen days, who shall duly re port such inspection.
The sixth section provides that no person shall be permitted to act as sutler unless appointed according to the provisions of the act. That no sutler shall farm out or underlet the business, and that there shall be but one sutler to each regiment. It also prohibits selling on credit to an en listed man to a greater amount than one fourth his monthly pay, and the use of quartermasters' wagons by sutlers.
The same section prohibits officers from being interested in any way in the stock, trade, or business of a sutler. And provides that officers shall not receive from sutlers money or other presents. An infringement of this rule is made punishable at the discretion of a court martial.
Section seven provides that any sutler who shall violate any of the provisions of this act shall be dismissed the service by the colonel, with the consent of the council of administration, and that such sutler, so dismissed, shall be ineligible to a reappointment as sutler in the service of the United States.
By the Articles of War, sutlers are not allowed to sell liquor, or keep their places open after nine at night, or before reveille in the morning, or on Sundays during divine service, on pain of dismissal.*
They are also obliged to keep wholesome provisions of the kinds allowed to be sold, and it is made the duty of commanding officers to see that they do so.t
Sutlers are not subject to pay State license on sales made by them to the officers and men of their regiments, nor any State tax on any goods kept by them at any military post for that purpose. If, however, they enter into a general trade with others than such officers and men, they are liable to State taxation.
Commanding officers are forbidden to charge sutlers ex: orbitant rents, or to levy any tax, contribution, or toll on them.
Sutlers are subject to orders, according to the rules and discipline of war.
Sutlers must take out license under the Internal Revenue Act.
* Article 29 of War.
# See 7 Opin. of Att'y-General, 878.
The following named physicians and surgeons have been duly appointed, in accordance with the provisions of the eighth section of “An Act Granting Pensions,” approved July 14th, 1862, to make the biennial examinations of invalid pensioners, and to examine applicants for invalid pensions, on special requirement from this office.
Jos. H. BARRETT, Com'r. (THE FOLLOWING LIST INCLUDES ALL APPOINTMENTS TO DECEMBER 220, 1863.)
do Hancock Kennebec.
do . Knox ...
do Lincoln Oxford Penobscot.
do Piscataquis. Sagadahoc.. Somerset. Waldo. Washington