The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 256: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, May-July, 1919. Page: 59
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El PAERTE WEITZ - 9
which provides, in substance, that "retainers to the camp and all per-
sons accompanying or serving with the armies of the United States
* * * in the field," shall be subject to military law. The precise
issues are: (1) Whether the petitioner was a retainer to the camp, or
accompanying or serving with the army; and (2) whether the army
at Camp Devens was an "army in the field. "
While the accident happened within the territorial limits of the
camp, no military jurisdiction attached-or is claimed--by reason of
that fact. It arises, if it exists, solely out of the petitioner's employ-
ment or status. He was not hired by any public officials, and had no
contractual relation with the United States; his employer was Cole-
man Bros. Nor was his work directly connected with the military
activities of the camp; he transported civilian employes of the audit-
ing department. The contract which Coleman Bros. had was "for
certain construction work * * * to be performed within the
cantonment * * * known as Camp Devens."
No case has gone so far as to hold that such a person comes within
the Articles of War. In every case which has come to my notice,
in which the civilian was held subject to military law, he was either
employed by the United States or was directly concerned with the
movement or supply of troops.
"The discipline authorized by the article has mainly been applied to the
description of 'persons serving with the armies of the United States in the
field'-that is to say, civilians employed by the United States or serving in a
quasi military capacity in connection with troops in time of war and on its
theater. But the mere fact of employment by the government pending a
general war does not render the civilian employ so amenable. The employ-
ment must be ip connection with the army in the field and on the theater of
hostilities." Military Law of the United States, by General Davis, late Judge
Advocate General and Professor of Law at West Point Academy (3d Ed.
1915) p. 478.
See, too, Opinions of Attorney General, volume 16, pp. 13, 48.
The expression "retainers to the camp" means "officers' servants
and the like, as well as camp followers generally." Davis, Military
Law, p. 478. It would not, in my opinion, include firms engaged in
construction work, nor their employes. Persons "accompanying or
serving with * * * armies in the field" are those who, though not
enlisted, do work required in maintenance, supply, or transportation
of an army. The work which Weitz was doing was not of that char-
acter. He was no more serving with or accompanying the army than
wAs a carpenter building barracks, or a laborer working on a road in
the camp, or a machinist hired by the day to do work in the machine
shop. There is, I think, a clear distinction between work done in the
erection or maintenance of a camp of semipermanent character, and
work having a direct relation to the transport, maintenance, or supply
of an army in the field. Both sorts of work are necessary to the army,
but only persons engaged in the latter sort are amenable to military
law and punishment. To hold otherwise would be to subject to mili-
tary law a very large body of civilian employes, never directly com-
ing in contact with military authority, and not heretofore generally
supposed to be subject thereto.
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The Federal Reporter with Key-Number Annotations, Volume 256: Cases Argued and Determined in the Circuit Courts of Appeals and District Courts of the United States, May-July, 1919., legislative document, 1919; Saint Paul, Minnesota. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38827/m1/73/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.