Newspaper Page Text
THE NATIONAL TRIBUNE.
That thoso absent arid soattor&d witnesses cannot
ho produced by the personal exertions of tho distant
claimant, and that tho comrnisaionors will not try
to havo them como, and have no power to compel
them to como.
That no mode is provided in tho hill for transfer
, ring the cases from district to district.
That if tho claimant is too ignorant of tho busi
ness to attend to his or hor case, an attorney must
bo employed, and an attorney in each of tho dis
tricts where a witnesses may bo found to reside.
That on on average sis witnossos are required to
provo up a pension claim, and frequently more ;
and that experience shows that more than half of
these are scattered over every part of our country.
We therefore say that, if this is a remedy for the
present state of things, the remedy is worse than
That tho plan devised in this bill is quadrupling
the time, labor and expense now demanded, and
positively and by necessity bars out forever, a very
large body of just cases, in which the witnesses can
now be Teached and neither can nor will be reached
under the system proposed.
Wo state further that there is scarcely any pro
vision Of tho bill which does not depend and is not
made contingent on the good pleasure of the Com
missioner. The number, of the examiners, the times when
they shall meet, and every other material provision
in the bill may be changed at the pleasure of the
The testimony taken is reduced to writing and
sent to 'the Commissioner and it is for him and
him alone to decido whether he will ' send this un
finished ease on to another set of commissioners or
examiners in. another and remote district. The
claimant's case is taken out of his hands and he has
no control over it whatever.
More than that, this bill affects not only the
claimant just commencing a new case, but every
( pensioner now on the rolls may be ordered to appear
before this board, and that just as often as the Com
Mark these words from this bill ; " And the Com
missioner of Pensions shall cause an invalid pen
sioner to be examined by a surgeon as often as he
shall deem it for the interest of the Government or
the pensioner," and it is the surgeon created hj this
bill that is meant. Mark these other words from
the 9th section : " That if after a pension has been
allowed, the Commissioner of Pe'nsions shall have
cause to believe that the same has been procured
through fraud or misrepresentation; or for any
other cause is of opinion that it ought not to con
tinue, he shall cause vthe case' to bo investigated by
the examiner or surgeon or by both acting together"
&c, &c., &c. Under this bill there is not a pen
sioner on the whole roll that is secure.
It was avowed by Mr. Bentley before the Senate
Committee and by Senator Ingalls by his authority
and in his name in the Senate, that the object was
to re-examine everybody now on the pension rolls,
except those having a specific disability, such as the
loss of a leg; first,' to see if they were properly
rated, and secondly, if they were rightly qn the
Our readers will remember the indignant denun
ciation of this scheme by General Shields, and his
language is just as applicable now. We state fur
ther that the present bill instead of giving a direct
salary tto the proposed examiners, gives the fees
usual for a justice of the peace in a country district,
and yet pretend to Becure tho services of a reputa
ble lawyer, "a person learned in the law, and of not
less than five years' experience in the duties of his
profession." This eminent lawyer is expected to
leave his profession, travel over a whole Congress
ional district, without having his traveling'expenses
paid, and reimburse himself by writing out declara
tions, and taking depositions, "as nearly as may be
in the words of the witness," at fifty cents each.
An eminent surgeon of not less than ten years'
experience in the practice of his profession," is ex
pected to travel over a Congressional district "three
times a year in each county" at his own expense
for traveling, and receivo two dollars and fifty cents
for each "medical examination of a pensioner or
pension claimant, including the taking of such state
ment'from the person examined, as shall be required
by the Commissioner of Pensions,
Whea tho two functionaries, t.he examiner and
the gargcoM flit together to hear witnesses and tako
itpoaitiuig, it in to b presumed they divide the
ifty ototo4b kmA
Where are tho lawyers aud doctors of good repu
tation that want such an office to bo hold "at the
pleasur6 of tho Secretary of tho Interior."
Again this bill is liinitod to Congressional Dis
tricts that is to say to organized States. No pro
vision at all is made for the large population in tho
The local examining surgeons aro abolished by
this bill as jIr. Bontloy has long threatened to do.
They could do tio duty in thoir own neighborhood
for humanity and for the sako of professional honor
cvon at tho shabby pittance, which he allowed
The bill is full of all manner of crude notions ; is
utterly impracticable. It is for those interested in
these questions to decide whether it shall boconie a
law or not If tho old pensioners and the now onos
if all those who seek pensions, on honest gronnds
and all those who will bo injured by this law if it pass
will at once write to their Senators and Repre
sentatives and call thoir attention to this measure
and osk them not to put this load upon them, it
cannot become a law. We ask you to do this and
do ii at once.
REBEL SURGEONS FOR UNION SOLDIERS.
Statutes of the United States with Regard to
Union and Robol Oaths.
ACTION OP TUB COMMISSIONER OP PENSIONS.
Title XIX Secston 1765. JSvcry person eleoted or appointed
to any offlco of honor ro profit, either in the civil, military or naval
service, excepting the President and thd persons oiribracodby tho
aeotion lolloping shall boforo entorinje upon tho duties of said
omco, ana uerore being entitled to any part or tne salary or otner
emoluments thereof tako and subscribe the following oath: UI, A.
Si., do solemnly swoar (or affirm) that I havo never voluntarily
borno arms against tho United States since 1 havo been a
citizen thereof; that 1 havo voluntarily given no aid, counte
nance, counsel or encouragement to persons qngaged in armed
hostlity thereto ; that 1 havo neither sought, hor accepted, nor
attempted tq exorcise the functions of any ofnee whatever, under
any authority or pretended authority, in hostility to the United
States; that 1 have not yielded a voluntary support to any pre
tended government, authority, power Or constitution, within the
tmtted Suites inimical or hostile thereto. And 1 do further swear
(or ilmrm) that to tho best of ray knowledge and ability 1 will
support and defend tho Coustltutlotiof tho United States against
all enemies, foreign and domestic; that 1 will near true faith
and allegiance to tho same ; that I tako thta obligation freely,
without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and thatl
will well and faithfully discharge tho duties of the office on which
I am about to enter. So help me G-od.' '
The above is what is known as the "Iron-clad
oath;" that which every loyal Union man and sol
dier of the war of the Rebellion can freely take.
Title XIX. Section 1T57. Whenever any person who Is not ren
dered ineligible to office by the provisions of tho fourteenth
amendment to tha Constitution is elected or appointed to any
office of honor or trustjunder tho Governmontof tho United States
and is not ablo on account ofhis participation in tho late rebellion
to tako tho oaih prescribed in the preceding soctiou, ho shall be
fore entering upon the duties of his office, tako and subscrlbo, in
lieu of that oath, the following oath: "I, A. B., do solemnly swear
(or affirm) that 1 will support and defend tho Uonsiitutlou of tho
United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will
bear true and laithful allegiance to the s-amo : that 1 tako this
obligation ircely, without any mental reservation or purpuso of
evasion ; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties
of tho office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."
This is the modified or rebel oath, suited only to
thoso who aided and abetted treason during the war
of the Rebellion. In section 1, page 7, bill 496,
(known as the "Sixty Surgeon Bill") we find the fol
lowing words :
The examiners and surgeons provided for by this act boforo
performing any duties thoreunder, shall take and subscribo the
oath proscribed by section seventeen hundred and fifty-six and
seventeen hundred and fifty-seven of tho Revised Statutes as
the circxtmstuitces of each person so to be appointed shall render
or his case ; said examiners ana surgeons snail hold
ces at tho pleasure of the Secrotary of tho Interior,
proper for his case
By this provision of the Bentley bill the door will
be wide opened to bring in confederate or rebel
officers to examine Union soldiers as to their right
to a pension, while fighting against the confederate
or rebel cause. Do members of the Q-. A. R., do
Union soldiers without regard to any political
or society organization sustain this breaking down
of the grand oath of all loyal men, in order to
bring in rebel surgepns ? Have we not enough
Union surgeons .to examine Union soldiers ? Does
Mr. Bentley think these confederate surgeons will
cut down ratings still further? The more wo see
of this infaTOiis bill the more constantly it seems
unworthy of the support of any patriotic citizen or
SOLDIERS, WHAT THINK YOU QT? THIS P
How John A. Bontloy Rated Himself.
How John A. Bontloy Rates Veteran Soldiers
We find the following words, at tho closo of the
Commissioner's report, to tho Secrotary of tho In
terior, page 8 the last recommendation he sug
"That tho salary of tho Commissioner bo increased to
$6,000. JOHN A BENTLEY."
Mr. Bentley 's salary now is $3,600. Well, we'
discovor, on turning to the ovidenco taken before the
committee appointed by the Houso of Representa
tives to examine the Pension Office, in tho appen
dix to the pamphlet of testimony, taking ratings of
soldiers, &c, on page 6, that William J. Hammond,
of Go. A, Fifty-fifth Pa. Volunteers, is rated on his
arrears, by John A. Bentley iovfouiHecn years of tho
time, for which arrears were due at $2 per month,
while his surgeon, Dr. W. B. Lowman of Johns
town, Pa., rated him at $8 per month. Now, is this
Commissioner of Pensions, John A. Bentley, who
never served a day either in the army or navy and
desires his salary nearly doubled, while he cuts
down soldiers to one-half or one-fourth as much, as
their surgeons considered them justly entitled toj-is
he the man on whom soldiers can and should rely
for any bill for their benefit ?
In conclusion, soldiers, if you really think the
Commissioner's salary should be increased, if you
think his Sixty Surgeon Bill should be. adopted,, or
if you oppose his increase and his bill, write at once,
personally or through an influential friend, to your
member of Congress expressing your sontiments,
upon the subject.
Strong hopes are entertained that Oongress will
before the close of the present session, pass oneiof
the seven bills now before it providing for an ex-,
tension of the time for filing claims for pay for
horses lost in the service, claims of this character
which wore filed before January 1, 18? 6, fell under
the bar imposed by statute of limitation. Send,
your claims to a reliable attorney without delay. s
(See advertisement on last page.) , ,
The friends of the Mexican War Service Pen
sion Bill are sanguine of its passage before tho ad
journment of this Cougress. The bill has, on
motion of Senator Williams, been made the special
order for Jan. 5, 1881. Send your claims to a reli
able attorney. (See advertisement on last page.) ,
A bill has been introduced in Congress having
for its object an extension of the time for filing
claims for the extra or additional bounty provided
by the act of Congress, approved July 28, 1866,
which expired by limitation Juno 80, 1880. The-,
time has been so often extended, with but faints op
position, that little room for doubt is left that the
present Congress will do likewise.
Proposed Legislation for tho Benefit of Soldiers.
Hon. John S. Williams, United States 'Senator
from Kentucky, on tho 20th of this month brought
up the bill for pensioning soldiers of the Mexican
war, which was made the special order in the Sen
ate for the 8th of January next.
Hon. Alexander H. Cofl'roth, of Pennsylvania, on
the same day introduced in the House of Represen
tatives a bill providing that pensions on account of
death or wounds received in the service of the
United States since March 4, 1861, shall commence
from the date of death, discharge, or disability.
Seyeral bills wore also introduced in the House
on the wdii day, extending the time for filing claims
I for ftzsttsm of pensioag to July 1, 1882.
A bill has been introduced in Oongress to ex-(
tend the provisions of the act of January 25, 1ST9,
allowing pensions from the date of discharge or
death of a soldier. No person should be deterred
from applying because the act referred to ,exprreit!
by limitation June 30, 1880, as so eminently just a
measure can hardly meet with serious opposition.
(See advertisement on last page.)
Subscribe for Tiie National Tribune,, the
great soldiers' paper of the country, for 188L
Owing to the great pressure on our columns, of
matter of vast importance to the interest' df our
'soldiers, wo are forced to confine the Ladies' and
Children's Departments to one page this month, and
tender our apologies therefor to our lady friends
and the young folks.
Tho Washington Snug Harbor." , ;
A bill has been offered in tho Houso of Repre
sentatives, looking to the establishment of a Hdine
or " Snug Harbor," for the old sailors, at or n'ear
this city, after tho style of that on Staten Island,
New York, and wo would cheer on its passage.
Tho Government owes a groat debt of gratitude to
its bravo tars who fought under Farragut, Foota,
Portor, and others, as well as tho soldiers. Wo
have many homes for the latter, and lot ua not for
get to do justice to the former in the name dbtetoNi.