Fort Humboldt, Cal.
March 16th 1854
I would respectfully request that private John Wright of "F" Company, 4th Inf.y, who has been in confinement, at hard labor in charge of the Guard, since the 7th of April 1853, and charges forwarded to Head Quarters of the Division, be restored to duty on condition that he makes good the time lost by desertion and the expenses incured for his apprehension, or, brought to trial at as early a day as practicable.
Private Wright deserted from Benecia on the 3d of September 1852, was apprehended on the 4th of the same month and $30 00 paid. He was tried and punished by stopage of pay and confinement. On the 7th of April 1853 he deserted from Fort Humboldt, Cal. and was apprehended on the 7th and $30 00 paid for his apprehension. For this last offence he is now awaiting trial.
|I am Maj.|
|Your Obt. Svt.|
|To Maj. E. D. Townsend||U. S. GRANT|
|Asst. Adjt. Gen. U. S. A.||Capt. 4th Inf.y|
|San Francisco, Cal.||Comd.g Comp.y "F"|
ALS, DNA, RG 98, Pacific Division, Letters Received. Endorsed by Bvt. Lt. Col. Robert C. Buchanan the same day, "Respectfully forwarded. This man was tried, whipped, and confined at hard labour with a ball and chain on, for four months, and deserted a second time in less than 3 months after his release. I cannot recommend his release at this time." Bvt. Maj. Edward D. Townsend noted that the request of USG would be denied because the commanding officer of the post disagreed.
On March 27, Buchanan wrote to Townsend. "I have the honor to enclose a Certificate of Ordinary Disability, in the case of Pvt. John Wright, of "F" Comp. 4th Inf, and recommend that he be first pardoned in accordance with the recommendation of Capt. Grant as heretofore requested, and that afterwards he be discharged the service. When I forwarded Capt. Grant's application for this man's release a few days ago, I had not been informed that he was physically unable to perform the duties of a soldier, or I should then have approved it." A discharge without pardon was ordered on April 3, 1854. Ibid.