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The National tribune. (Washington, D.C.) 1877-1917, December 01, 1877, Image 6

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$1,000. "Wo do not kuow Dr. Olarko, nor his
competency as a surgeon, fchc thoroughness or
character of his investigations, nor of course
the credit justly due him, But it is safe to say
that of the 1,578 examining surgeons, it is not
likely that Br. Clarke, appointed in Alio same
mode as all the rest, occupied, cither profession
ally or otherwise, any position commatidingly
superior to the general average.
Kay, more. Wo feel sure that Br. Clarke's
record as an examining surgeon is in nowise
hotter than that of many others ; and it strikes
us as unfair to a hardworking and meritorious
class of men to select out one single man for
praise, while as to all the others the report is
'silent, or, what is worse, condemns hy contrast.
Br. Clarke, of course, understood the ohject of
his mission ; he knew the theory that was to he
maintained. It is rossible visions of larger and
more permanent jurisdiction and hotter salary
under the new plaii dazzled his mental e'yes,
and his diagnosis was more severe, his rulings
more strict, than they would else have heen.
It is very likely that many other men so sit
uated might have done the 'same. Notwith
standing, we prefer to heliove, until some hotter
proof comes, that the mass of the examining
surgeons do their-duty both by the Government
and the pensioner.
e of the National Tribune stand as sen
tinels to give the alarm when what we consider
injudicious or pernicious action is contemplated,
hut we ean do no more unless the ho&y of men
thus attacked rally for themselves and their
own protection.
This they should do at once, for the recom
mendation Of the Commissioner justly has much
weight with the committees and with Congress.
They must strengthen our hands by prompt
aid, by instant and large additions to the subscription-lists
of our paper, by prompt and
ready support, pecuniary and otherwise, by cor
respondence with us on the subjects of interest
to both, so that we can. come to the attack again
with an assurance of hearty sympathy from a
large and influential body of men.
The. National Tribute has done and will do
its duty by them and all others ; let them do
their duty by the National Tribune.
Thomas B. Hood, M. DM Medical Beferoe.
. A brief sketch of the Medical Referee of the
Pension 0Hco will no doubt be acceptable to
our readers, most of whom are interested in the
accuracy and good faith of his rulings.
It gives us great pleasure to testify, in the
most public manner, to the singular complete
ness of his faculties for the position he occupies,
and the great labor and true judgment with
which he fulfills the delicate and important du
ties of his office.
Br. Thomas B. Hood was born in "West Vir
ginia in the year 1829, and is now in the prime
of manhood.
He graduated at the Ohio "Wesley an Univer
sity, at Belaware, Ohio; and took the degree of
Boctor of Medicine at the Medical College of
Cleveland, Ohio.
He went into the service of the United States
as assistant surgeon of the 76th Ohio Volun
teer Infantry in 1861 and 1862, and was pro
moted to be surgeon of the 0". S. Volunteers, in
which capacity he served in 1864, 1865, and
1866. After the bloody battle of Shiloh, in
April, 1862, he was the surgeon in charge of the
General Hospital for the 3d Division.
He was in charge of the hospital transport
"Connecticut," in the Army of the Potomac,
in 1864 and the early part of 1865, and was
Surgeon in Chief of the District of Mississippi,
from September 1865, to May, 1866, and honor
ably mustered out in October, 1866.
In June, 1870, he was appointed Medical Ref
eree, the duties of which office he has continued
to discharge with great acceptance.
Reforms Needed in the Pension Office.
We use the word c Beforms advisedly, we do
not mean economize we -do not mean reduc-
tion of salaries, we mean such judicious increase
of xay and positions as shall secure more accu
racy, more educated talent, more efficient work
by the officers in "Washington and their local
We, mean that the Commissioner shall be
placed on an equality with the Commissioner of
Patents, that the Medical Referee shall have the
full pay and emoluments of a full Army
Surgeon of ten years standing. That the grade
of examiners and assistant examiners be created
and maintained in the Pension Office as in the
Patent Office, with equal pay; that the examin
ing Surgeons be paid three dollars for each
examination and Jive dollars in obscure and diffi
cult cases. That the board to be ordered by the
Commissioner shall receive each the same pay;
in short, the time, labor, and responsibility, act
ually given to the service of the Government be
remunerated in fair proportion.
We propose to demand and require, good, effi
cient, scientiiic work, and to pay for it what ft is
worth and we commend these views to the
Committee On Pensions in the two Houses, as
the decent and proper solution of the embarrass
ments, which are now alleged to involve the
' administration of the Pan&i-on Office.
Bounty Equalization Bill.
"We have no new steps to chronicle in this
issue in relation to this just and proper law. In
both the, Senate and the House it was long since
referred to appropriate committees, but as yet
no action has been taken. With a bill that has
been so thoroughly ctiscussed. by the press and
in Congress, which has heen approved by com
mittee after committee in both houses, it would
seem that there should not be ground for any
delay, hut that it should be reported back and
passed at once. Both parties have fully indorsed
the principle in their national conventions, and
instructions are on file -from the legislatures of
most of the States demanding its passage. It
is about time that the Committee on Military
Affairs both of the House and Senate should
report favorably, and give the members a chance
for a square vote.
Bet us see as early as wo can who ventures
to vote against this measure of justice so long
and so unreasonably delayed.
Pay up the debt due to the soldiers, gentle
men of the House and Senate, before pay ing off
any other.
Bet claims and questions of currency and all
others of that sort stand out of the way awhile,
and do what you have repeatedly promised and
have as repeatedly failed to perform.
avoid it. While tho inaugural address was being dsltv
orod from this placo, devoted altogether to saving the
Union without war, insurgent agents wero in tho city
seeking to destroy it. without war, socking to dissolve tho
Union, and divido the effects by negotiation.
Both parties deprecated war ; hut one of thorn Would
make war rathor than lot tho nation survivo, and tke
other would accept war rathor than let it perish ; and tho
war came.
One-eighth of tho whole population woro colorod slaves,
not distributed generally ovor the Union, hut looatcd in
tho southern part of it. Those slaves constituted a pecu
liar and powerful interest. All know that thiB interest
was somehow the cause of tho war. To strengthen, p
potuato, aud extend this interest was tho object for which
tho insurgents would road tho Union by war, whilo Gov
ernment claimed no right to do more than to restrict the
territorial enlargement of it. Neither party oxpectod tho
magnitude or tho duration which it luus already attained.
Neither anticipate! that tho causo of the conilict might
cease even before tho conflict itself should cease. Each
looked for an easier triumph, and a result loss funda
mental and astounding. Both read tho samo Bible, and
pray to tho samo Gocf, and each invokes his aid against
the other. It may seem strango that any man should
dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing his bread
from tho sweat of other men's faces.
But lot us judge not, that wo bo not judged. Tho
prayor of both should not be answered. That of noithor
has bcon answered fully. Tho Almighty has His own
purposes. "Woe unto thovorld bocauso of offenses, for
it must needs bo that offenses come ; but woe unto that
man by whom the offense comcth."
If wo shall suppose that American slavery is one of those
offonscs, which, in tho providence, of God, must needs
come, but which, having continued through his appointed
time, ho now wills to remove, and that ho gives to both.
North aud South this terrible war as tho woe duo to thoso
by wfiom tho offense came, shall wo discern therein any
departure from thoso divino attributes which the believers
in a living God always ascribe to him ?
Fondly do we hope, fervently do wo pray, that this
mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet,
if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by
the bondman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited
toil shall bo suuk, and until every drop of blood arawa
by tho lash shall be paid by another diawn with the
sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it
must be said, that tho judgments of the Lord aro true and
righteous altogether.
With malice towards none, with, charity for all, with
firmness in the right, as God gives us to sec tho right, let
us strive on, to finish the work we are in, to bind up the
nation's wound, to caro for him who shall have borne the
battle, and for his widow and his orphans, to do allwbich
may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace among
ourselves and with all liations.
Abraham: Lincoln.
President Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address.
MarcJt, 4t7t, 1SG5.
Fellow-countrymen : At this second appearing to
take the oath of the presidential office, there is less occa
sion for an extended address than there was at the first.
Then, a statement, somewhat in detail, of a course to be
.pursued seemed very fitting and proper. Now, at the
expiration of four years, during which public declarations
have constantly been called forth, on every point and
phase of tho great contest whicli still absorbs tho atten
tion and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that
is new could be presonted.
Tho progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly
depends, is as well known to the public aa to myself, and
it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to
all. "With high hope for tho future, no prediction in re
gard to it is ventured. On tho occasion corresponding to
this four ycai'8 ago all thoughts wero anxiously directed
.to opt iujpQnjlipg civil rar. All dieadftd, i& aliiffb to
Annual Eeport of the Surgeon-General, U. S. A,, 1877.
It is my duty to call attention to the fact that the effi
ciency of the pension division of this office has been seri
ously impaired by tho reduction of clerical force made in
July, 1874, aud October, 187C. The number of clerics
and stewards employed in tho division during the fiscal
year ending June 80, 1874, was 94. They .searched and
sent out replies in 18,535 eases, leaving only 975 on h tad
unanswered at tho close of the fiscal year. In other
words, tho division was then onljr about three weeks be-'
hind its work, which was satisfactorily discharged with
out uuuecessary delay. Tho reduction of force, which
took effect July 1, 1874, diminished tho number of clerks
to G6 ; and, as the number of demands for information
did not diminish, the work began to full steadily behind
hand. July 1, 187U, the number of cases remaining un
answered was 12,919 : nevertheless, October 10, 1876,
another reduction of clerical forco went into effect, still
further diminishing the number of clerks to 46. The
iuovitablo result, in spite of tho most strenuous efforts,
has been the very large number of cases now reported as
awaiting action.
Congress at its last session authorized tho Secretary of
War to detail 20 enlisted men for clerical work in this
office. This act went into effect July 1, 1877. The assist
ance thus afforded wTill certainly bo very, considerable, as
will undoubtedly appear in tho report for tho next fiseal
year ; but it is my duty to point out that this additional
force is not suffioient to meet tho exigencies of the caso.
All that can bo hoped is that, if the number of demands
on the office continues about tho samo as tho average
number received annually for tho last seven years, tho
number of replies will approximate tho number of de
mands made, so that the division will not fall much fur
ther behindhand in its work. But it cannot recover th
lost ground with tho clerical force now allowed ; and every
consideration of justice and economy makes it sodesir
ble that it should do so, that I earnestly recommend tho
employment of fifty additional clerks of Olass I for so
long a timo as may be necessary to enable the division to
dispose promptly of tho work now in arrears.
J. K. Barnes,
Surgton-Qenoral, U. & A.
To Attorneys. Correspondence is invited with
altovne3Ts who are desirous of retiring from tho claim
business and who have claims pending before tie
Departments. Also with such as are uow prose wit'
ing claims, or who may desire to engago in the baa
mess, aud wish to act in conjunction with an attor
ney resident in "Washington. To such, liberal terms
will be offered. Location in "Washington, extensive
accraaintnnce, and many years' experience, give me
facilities not excelled by any attorney.
Lock Box 4t WcuihJpftQtti D 0-
, J1"

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