Original Documents of the Marine Paymaster, 1853-1954

Item #026090

. Major Russell, William Worthington (1821-1862), the Marine who served as Paymaster for two decades. While serving under the overall command of General Winfield Scott in the U.S.-Mexican War, he was aboard the ship Independence when Captain Shattuck against the orders of Scott ordered Russell to lead a contingent in a counter-attack in a surprise attack by Mexican forces at San Jose, Mexico. He later participated in the Marine successful counter attack at Harper's Ferry but as a staff officer could not perform armed action. At the beginning of the Civil War, he served as aide-de-camp for George McClellan. His alcoholism led to his forced resignation and was followed by his death in 1862. The following are six documents under his control as Paymaster and either signed by Brodhead or others in the chain-of-command. They provide us with the issues of both equal pay between the Quartermasters and the Paymasters (a constant complain until this was resolved in 1853) as well as those who either left the service through illness, claimed extra pay for hardship tours, as well as a special grant by congress for S.G. Schaffer. Such documents are uncommon and show the importance of Major Russell before his extraordinary service and his downfall in the initial year of the Civil War because of alcohol. Document I (April 16, 1853) involves payment of Martin Collier, a settler, whose claim is denied by J.M Brodhead, Controller and addressed to the attention of Major Russell. Document II (August 8, 1853) document to note that the Paymaster [Major Wm. E. Russell] will make certain pay is equalized between those serving in the Office of the Paymaster as well as the clerks of corresponding grade in the Office of the Quarter Master of the Corps. Document III (May 31, 1854) involves the record of Charles Gallottie who served in the Mexican War (noted here as serving in the Pacific Ocean). It notes Gallottie's entire record from his serving as a drummer for the Marines in the 2nd Regiment in 1841 to his discharge on health problems. Document IV (September 8, 1853) full, extra pay of $142.57 received at New York, of Major W.W. Russell extra pay [for S.G. Schaffer] as an act of Congress for the Naval Service, ending June 30, 1854 on board the U.S. Vessel Ohio & Southhampton which served in the Pacific Ocean on the coast of California and Mexico. Signed Samuel G. Schaffer, verso notes served Dec 31, 1847 to May 2, 1849. Now transferred to the Southhampton. Document V (November 14, 1854) regarding claim of Lt. George Holmes of the Marine Corps to double rations "in command of the Marine guard of the U.S. Ship Jamestown, and Senior Marine officer on the Brazil Station", from June 13 to Nov. 8, 1953, 149 days amounting to $119.20. J.M. Brodhead does not find compelling evidence under the Navy Department Order of December 11, 1849. The claim therefore is disallowed. J.M. Brodhead, Controller, to the attention of Maj. W.W. Russell, Paymaster, M. Corps, Washington, D.C. Document VI November 24, 1854, 4 pages, long detailed regulations for terms for those who reenlist in the Marines. Besides regular military pay-grade, there is a bonus of $2 a month. Signed by Wm. Brodhead, Attention: Major W.W. Russell.

Price: $725.00

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