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CREJORGE B. LEMON &
Editors and Proprietors
la " Vol. I, No. 3. WASHINGTON D. C, DECEMBER, 1877.
TEBMB, FIFTY CENTS PBB TEAB.
Statrln CotiIrr. I CJesnts in Curronnv or Pofltiurft StaniTiH.
.gViforrrf accornr to XJt ofOmyrttt, in (to jutr ofovr Ird, iSTT, fry Georfa Jrtfnon it Co., in 1M Of eftht 7,ttrrfem eCongrei, at Washington, 1). g. J
TO THE SOLDIERS OF THE TJHION.
ITnitcand Organize at once to secure the passage
- . of the Bounty Bill.
The events of the war, and the men of the
war, are fast fading from the public attention.
Its history is growing to be an " Old, Old Story.
Public interest is weakening day by day. The
.memory of march, and camp, and battle-field,
of the long and manly endurance, of the superb
and uncomplaining courage, of the mass of sacri
fice that redeemed the Nation, is fast dying out.
Those who rejoice in the liberty and peace se
cured by the soldier's suffering and privation,
accept the benefits, but deny or forget the bene
factor. Repeatedly, "while the recollection of these
great achievements were fresh, Congress, in one
house or both, has passed the Bounty Bill, equal
izing, to all soldiers of the Republic, that trib
ute which ail men then confessed to be their
due. But the bill has not yet become a law.
Its enemies the enemies of the soldier
!&ave invented devices from time to time to hin
der its full and complete success.
If "this session Of Congress is iillowedrto-pas
without iinal action the hope of success is gone.
We, the soldiers of the Country, must aban
don at once all loose and straggling formations ;
wo must come into the line of battle, solid, com
pact, with colors flying, and the music of old
patriotic tunes ; we must make our antagonists,
the demagogues and time-servers, respect us,
and they will not respect us until they see our
Let it be known that no member of the House
of Representatives can count on the vote of the
soldier, or the soldier's friend, unless he is the
prompt and ready friend of this measure; let it
be known that no Senator can be elected by our
aid in giving him the General Assembly of his
State, except on the same conditions, and the
half-hearted mdn, who boggle over economy
smd forget justice and gratitude, will be with
It will cost money, no doubt, to do right by
the soldiers. It may cost $20,000,000, but it is
not half of what Congress has been asked to
give, and has given for speculative and doubtful
s The loyal and faithful people of the Country
will pay it without grumbling, in tho time it
will require to perfect the S3rstem ; and if there
are any in these days of general pacification,
who ref use to do their duty by the defenders of
the Country, we want to put them fairly ou the
record. They asked our lives we offered them ;
they asked our courage and self-denial we gave
it freely and gladly.
The Country stands to-day saved, redeemed,
glorious in all its magnificent proportions, and
the success is due to us the rank and file and
officers of the Army and Navy, tho volunteer
and regular soldiers, seaman, and marines of tho
We made no bargains with the Nation. The
Nation would have offeredany thing for success ;
but we did our plain manifest manly duty, in
the darkest hours ; and now, that all is light
and sunshine, we ask recognition and material
Comrades ! the successjof the Bounty Bill de
pends upon yourselves. , Each man of you is
the center of a circle f influence. Each man
is a component part, a scattered drop, of a cur
rent which, if united, will sweep to success with
a majesty of strength.
Let it be your duty to unite, and to unite at
once, and present before the Congress of the
United States the same unbroken front which
won many a glorious battle-field.
The National Tribune is at your service,
devoted to this purpose, and only too glad if,
as an humble bugler, it can sound the call,
which shall bid you "fall in " and "rally on the
But remember, comrades, that you may wait
too long, and if tou let pass this opportunity,
every sign of the times indicates that in a year
or two it will be too late, and that the high
.places will be. filled, hiosc whc,wfc hear.tj-uwill
not beat responsive to the equity of your de
mands or the force of your claims of faithful
service to that American Nation, which you
have made, " One and Indivisible."
PENSION OFFICE BEPOBT.
We publish in this issue of the National
Tribune the Report of the Commissioner of
Pensions and also that of the Surgeon General,
so lar as the latter relates to Pensions.
Mr. Commissioner Bentley notices with just
pride the increased efficiency and accuracy of
his office, and the results of the new system in
troduced and carried into effect by him in the
reorganization of the office, the distribution of
subjects and the improved discipline and mor
ale of the force of employees.
Eor all these good results the country and the
pensioners are greatly indebted to Mr. Bentley,
and no one who has had busness to do with the
office can fail to recognize the great improve
ment that has been made.
With a reduced force better results have been
obtained. This simple, statement covers the
case and reflects great honor upon the organ
izing and informing mind that has devised and
managed the system, as well as to the force of
officers who have effectively aided in carrying
out the plan.
We had occasion in a late issue to dissent
from the recommendation of the Commissioner,
repeated in this report, for tho abolition of ex
amining surgeons and the substitution of pecu
liar boards in districts covering large territory
and involving the examination of many cases.
We have seen no reason to change our views
already expressed and do not care to "repeat the
arguments nov. It is sufficient to say that, in
our judgment, the change proposed would be a
practical denial to many claimants of any hear
ing at all, and that the delays, loss of time, and
necessary expense incident to the system pro-.
posed would work irretrievable injury to the
class most deserving of consideration that very
large class who have no money to pay to enforce
their claim against the United States. i
With this exception the Report is a document ;
of great value, both as showing the present work
ing of the Pension Office and as explaining very
clearly the causes of the outrageous and inex
cusable delay in the adjustment of pension
claims and bringing them to final conclusion.
This delay is naturally charged by claimants
and their friends upon the attorneys in charge.
But the disgraceful fact is that it is due to the
persistent refusal of Congress to furnish sirSi
cient working force in the office of the Surgeon
General to keep up with the demand. That
force has been steadily decreased since 1874.
In the year ending June 30, 1874, ni-nety-faur
clerks were employed ,in "that office, and the
business waslkept up to the standard.
Julv 1. 1874. this force ofclerks was reduced
tosf tctv-sU ixrkt- iu'Mmtofllbhind
On July 1, 1876, there were 12,919 cases m
arrear for that year, and yet in October, 1876,
this clerical force, proved insufficient, was still
further reduced to forty-six; and thus by the
actiQn of Congress itself, the pension claimant
is postponed and delayed in the Surgeon-General's
Office for more than a year and a quarter.
This reduction has been made in the face of
the protest of the Commissioner of Pensions
and of the Surgeon General, with full knowl
edge of the inadequacy of the force employed,
and with full knowledge of the horrible delay
and disappointment to thousands of the poor
and needy, whose claims upon the nation are
the highest and most sacred.
It is without doubt the mo3t criminal legisla
tion ever yet attempted, and the most cruel in
its results. I t
Congress finds money enough to 'pay clerks,
at '$6 per day, for a multitude of committees;
it finds money enough to indulge in all sorts of
gratuitous irmting and distribution of worth
less documents, and a thousand other forme of
expenditure ; but when the crippled veteran or
the widow and orphans of the dead soldier ask
for prompt adjudication of their just claims
against the Government, this paltry and petty
larceny economy denies the necessary machinery
and defers to some distant day tho opportunity
of examination and decision.
Tho Surgeon General shows by his Reporl
the absolute .necessity of fifty (50) addtial
clerks in order to begin to do justice, and an
hundred to do it quickly as it should be dooe,
and every pensioner and pension claimant and
every friend of justice and fair dealing shovH
hold every member that votes against it as jm
reant to thUoause of justice aad kawwftpji
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