124 US 391 Marshall v. United States

124 U.S. 391

8 S.Ct. 520

31 L.Ed. 475


January 23, 1888.

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R. B. Warden, for appellants.


Atty. Gen. Garland, Asst. Atty. Gen. Howard, and F. P. Dewees, for appellee.


Mr. Justice HARLAN, after stating the facts in the foregoing language, delivered the opinion of the court: The contention in behalf of the appellants is that, under section 1274, a colonel, upon being retired, should receive 75 per centum of the pay of his rank or grade on the active list, and, in addition thereto, such longevity increase pay as length of service shall entitle him to under section 1262, without regard to what his current pay might have been had he remained on the active list. It is insisted that Col. Marshall was entitled to receive, after 5 years service from July 1, 1870, $2,887.50,—that is, $2,625, or 75 per centum of the colonels' grade pay of $3,500, and $262.50, or 10 per centum of his current yearly pay during that period; and, upon the same basis, $3,176.25 after 10 years of service; $3,493.87, after 15 years of service; and $3,675, after 20 years of service—the increase stopping at the last sum, by reason of the provision in section 1263, that the total amount of longevity increase shall not exceed 40 per cent. of the yearly pay of the grade.


The construction of the statutes which this view would require cannot be sustained. When it is provided, in respect to officers in active service, that in no case shall be 'pay of a colonel exceed four thousand five hundred dollars a year,' and that 'officers retired from active service shall receive seventy-five per centum of the pay of the rank upon which they are retired,' there is no room left for construction. Col. Marshall was retired upon the rank of colonel. The annual maximum pay of that rank was and is $4,500. He received 75 per centum of that maximum pay, and, therefore, received all that congress authorized to be paid to him as a colonel on the retired list. Judgment affirmed.