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THE NATIONAL TRIBUNE: WASHINGTON, D. 0., DECEMBER 31, 1881.
The National Tribune
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XIV. Constitution cf the Uniteb States.
Tntrrrd t the Tbortoc City Fct-Of)M u Kcoad-cIiM matter.
WASHINGTON, D. C, DECEMBER 31, 1881.
During the period commencing August 20
and ending December 24, both dates inclusive,
-we have issued and mailed 341,500 copies of The
The Battle of Stone River was fought Decem
ber 31, 1862 nineteen years ago.
Those desiring the continuation of the series
of articles upon the battle of Stone Eiver, begun
in this number, should send in their subscriptions
Andrew Jackson once said "The Union must
and shall be preserved."
Commissioner of Pensions Dudley says the
good name and fame of his comrades in the late
war must and shall be protected. He will not
allow wholesale and baseless charges of fraud
made against pensioners and claimants before his
office to go uncontradicted.
One-tenth of one per cent of fraudulent
pension claims is rather a small nest-egg from
which to hatch such a brood of lies as the New
York Herald has been parading before the public
for the last few months.
The National Tribune takes especial
pleasure in calling attention to the New York
Herald's interview with Commissioner Dudley,
published elsewhere. Colonel Dudlej's state
ments are in entire harmony with those hereto
fore made by us in reply to the Herald's malicious
slanders of our disabled veterans and the help
less widows and orphans of our fallen comrades.
Our object in sending out sample copies is to
bring in subscriptions. "We are satisfied that
every ex-soldier who examines a copy of The
National Tbibune will desire to have it regu
larly, and hence take this method of bringing
our paper to the notice of all.
After General Dudley's full, fair, and au
thoritative exposition of the affairs of his office,
as made to a correspondent of the New York
Herald, .any paper that renews the charges of
wholesale frauds in connection with pensions
must necessarily be guilty of willfully and ma
liciously slandering the entire soldier element
.of the country.
Desiring to extend the usefulness of our paper
to the widest possible extent, and in order that
no ex-soldier or other person interested in matters
growing out of the war of the rebellion may have
reasonable excuse for not taking it, we have con
cluded to fix the subscription price, until March
31, 1882, at one dollar per annum.
Those who have heretofore sent one dollar and
fifty cents for a single subscription, by sending
half a dollar more with an additional name and
address, will be granted an additional copy, thus
bringing their individual subscription down to
one dollar for fifty-two numbers. Those wishing
to become subscribers, should, in view of the
above offer, send on their one dollar at once, and
those who have already sent one dollar and fifty
cents, should, without delay, remit the remaining
half dollar with another subscriber before the
new year commences.
Commissioner Dudley has pricked the pen
sion frauds bubble with which the New York
Herald, Post, Tribune, Times, and other journals
of the country have been playing for some time
Subscribe for The National Tribune, the
best Soldiers' paper in the country.
There were sneaks in the army during the
war of the rebellion as there were out of it.
There were men who disgraced the uniform they
wore just the same as there were men who
disgraced their manhood at home by resorting to
every subterfuge in order to escape serving the
country that gave protection -to themselves and
property. There were so-called soldiers at the
front who deserted their colors, and there were
self-styled patriots at the rear who skipped to
Canada to avoid the draft, or purchased high
priced substitutes as a means of preserving their
own precious carcasses from the chance impact of
rebel bullets or pieces of shells. But, because
there were scalawags at home, we, who were
soldiers, do not pretend to say that all who did
not enlist belonged to that class; nor should the
loud-niouthed patriots of to-day, who never sac
rificed aught for their country, although abundant
opportunity was offered them in 1861-5, insist,
that because some who entered the service of the
Union were unworthy, all must have been unwor
thy. And yet, this is substantially what many
of them are now doing. To read their utterances
in the papers of the day, a stranger to the facts
would suppose that the United States owe their
present prosperity their existence as a nation,
even, to an army made up of thieves, perjurers,
swindlers, and fraudulent characters generally.
Our copperhead friends abused us roundly
while we were at the front fighting for the Nation's
life they called us mercenary hirelings, "nigger
worshipers," and this, whether we voted with
one political party or the other : and now, the
same sorry lot, under new names, are villifying
us again. And in this fight there is no politics.
"We, as soldiers, were neither Eepublicans nor
Democrats we were Unionists; and to-day, as
ex-soldiers, we remain the same. "We recognize
no party that does not accept folly the principles
for which we fought; nor do we turn away from
any man, Democrat or Republican, who fought
with us. But as for the carpers, who cannot
distinguish between a whistling bullet and a
June bug, or between the smell of gunpowder
and saur-kraut, we have no use for them we
despise them more heartily than we do any other
class of citizens more than we despise any one
of God's creatures, except that chiefest of sinners
in the Nation's eyes Guiteau.
The Battle of Stone River.
The article on Stone River, commenced in this
number, is a chapter from Colonel G. C. Kniffin's
forth-coming history of ': Kentucky in the War,"
kindly furnished by him to the readers of The
Tribune. The incidents referred to will be re
called by thousands of our readers who were par
ticipants in the scenes described. The Tribune
of next week will take up the thread of the nar
rative that memorable Christmas day in 1862
when the magnificent Army of the Cumberland,
50,000 strong, filed out from their encampment
and took up the line of march to Murfreesboro,
and will end with the alignment of both the
Union and confederate armies by brigades on the
historic field of Stone River. The battle will be
described in the succeeding number.
The story of that desperate engagement has
never been related from the standpoint of Colonel
Knifiin. His familiarity with the most minute
details connected with the manceuvering of both
armies evinces close study of Union and confed
erate archives, and his presence upon the field on
the staff of a corps commander enables him to de
scribe with remarkable accuracy the strategical
positions upon the field.
The evident candor with which he regards the
actions on both sides of the stage, his delineation
of the salient points in the character of each, and
his reference to former events in which they have
participated, will create a desire to see the re
mainder of a work to which the author is devot
ing years of patient research . Nineteen years have
passed away since the two armies of Rosecrans
and Bragg met at Stone River in the shock of
battle, but the memory of the hope which dawned
upon our country with the New Year, when the
night of doubt was banished by the announce
ment of victory, will never pass away.
If is Present Opinion.
Hon. Goldsmith "W. Hewitt, of Alabama, who
introduced into the present Congress a bill to
repeal the Arrears of Pension law, in an inter
view with a correspondent of the New York
Herald recently, said :
"Arrearages of pensions are a mere gratuity,
and the law granting them can be at any time
altered or repealed altogether."
In the 4oth Congress, 2d session, the same hon
orable gentleman made a report (No. 64) from the
Committee on Invalid Pensions, in which he
used the following language : " The pensions of
soldiers disabled in the line of duty are in -no
sense a gratuity, but are supported by contract
made by the Government with them at the date
of their enlistment, that if disabled they should
have a pension."
Now, in our opinion, arrearages are simply a
part of the original pension due the soldier under
contract, and wrongfully withheld by the Gov
ernment. No other reasonable view of the mat
ter can be taken and sustained. Mr. Hewitt's
desire to distinguish himself has evidently led
"We trust he will find himself in time to save
his reputation as a lawyer and just-minded man,
which now depends upon his present construction
of Report No. 64 referred to above, which is pub
lished in full in another eoluinn. .
The House Chaplain.
A valued friend writes us, taking exception
to a paragraph or two which appeared in a recent
number of The National Tribune, because in
them we seemed to reflect rather severely upon
the newly-elected Chaplain of the House of Rep
resentatives. Ordinarily we should take no no
tice of such a communication, but out of regard
to our present correspondent we take occasion to
say : First, our remarks in the paragraphs re
ferred to were directed solely to the man, not
against the religion he professes or church he
Second, They were prompted chiefly by the
following language employed by him in a ser
mon delivered in his church in this city shortly
after the assassination of President Garfield, viz.:
"Had there been no Stalwart contest against the
prerogatives of the Executive, there would have
been no such assault on the President's life."
His whole sermon was teeming with similar
bitter denunciations of men, including our pres
ent Chief Magistrate, President Arthur, and, de
livered as it was, and when it was, proved to every
thoughtful mind that its author was more fitted
to fan the flames of discord than to heal strife.
In our view it is the duty of a minister of the
Gospel to follow the teachings of Christ to in
voke peace to counsel, to warn against, not to
point out new ways of doing evil. There was a
suggestiveness in the sermon calculated to induce
others to commit crimes similar to the one he so
His inexperienced youth may have had some
thing to do with fiis ill-advised utterances ; but
for this we made due allowance. We censured him
and must continue to do so; but from our knowl
edge of the Christian Church and of its great and
noble-hearted founder, we are satisfied that the
doctrines promulgated so unwisely by this one of
its disciples have no approval outside of his own
heart, and perhaps even his conscience now ac
cuses him : therefore, we will let the matter rest,
so far as we are concerned.
The Mississippi Plan.
Nevada has followed Ohio, North Carolina,
Virginia, and Wisconsin by adopting the Missis
sippi Plan. A mob recently hung a man accused
of crime in the State first mentioned without the
mtervention of judge or jury.
The caseYairly stated : Colonel Dudley to the
New Yor Herald's correspondent.
Now that Commissioner Dudley has authori-.
tatively denied the New York Herald's allega
tions of fraud in the Pension Office, that menda
cious sheet will have to search for some new
scheme by which to keep up its circulation.
Perhaps its editor will let loose again the
menagerie of wild animals in Central Park.
Mr. Hooker, of Mississippi, who entered the
rebel army in 1861 and served against the Union
during the war of the rebellion, has introduced
a bill to prevent frauds in the Pension Bureau
and to require stated publications of lists of pen
sioners of the Government.
Our soldier friends will note the fact that Mr.
Hooker's name cannot, in any event, appear in
such a list, if published.
Commissioner of Pensions Dudley has in
stilled some pertinent facts into the mind of the
New York Herald's correspondent. We wonder
if the Herald will continue its cry of fraud, now
that the truth has been brought forcibly home
to its editorial chief?
Regular subscribers who receive extra copies
of The National Tribune will please distrib
ute them among their soldier friends.
Before Congress introduces measures to "pre
vent frauds" in the Pension Office, we suggest
that it might be well to first ascertain whether
any and what frauds exist there.
Read the New York Herald's interview with
Colonel Dudley, Commissioner of Pensions.
We think the Herald will now have to take
water on the pension fraud question.
Now let the New York Herald apologize to
the Union ex-soldiers and cease lying about them.
PROMOTION IN THE ARMY.
General Terry makes some pertinent observa
tions on the question of retirement and promo
tion in the army. He thinks that in the Regular
army retirement should be obligatory, a3 it is in
the navy. In other words, when gentlemen reach
a certain age say 62, which is the time assigned
to admirals and other naval officers for retirement
from active service they should go upon the re
tired list. His reason for this is that the keep
ing of old officers on the active list retards pro
motion, and that without a constant flow of pro
motion there is no opportunity for young men to
come to the front.
That republics can be grateful is shown by
the issuance to-day over Secretary Kirkwood's
signature of twenty-seven pieces of bounty-land
scrip to the heirs of John Paul Jones, a captain
in the American Navy, in appreciative acknowl
edgment of brave and meritorious services in
connection witft the capture of certain British
vessels of war. Critic.
If it takes one hundred years to be grateful,
as in the case of John Paul Jones, we wonder
how long it will be before our Republic's grati
tude for the soldiers and sailors of 1861 begins
to manifest itself in a similar manner ?
The price of The National Tribune is re
duced, until March 31st, 1882, to One Dollar per
THE UNFINISHED SHAFT.
The Washington Monument Commission, of
which President Arthur is president ex officio, met
in the library of the Executive Mansion last
week. All the members of the commission were
present, including W. W. Corcoran, Supervising
Architect Hill, Architect Clark, of the Capitol,
extension, and General Wright, Chief of Engineers,
United States Army. Mr. Corcoran occupied the
chair. The annual report of Colonel T. L. Casey,
United States Army, engineer in charge of the
work on the monument, showed that the monu
had now reached the height of 250 feet above its
base; that during the year 74 feet were added,
and involved the cutting and setting of 1,184
blocks of marble, containing 4,224 cubic feet of
material, and 13,481 blocks of granite, containing
44,349 cubic feet. The total height added to the
structure since the 7th of August, 1880, when the
work of building was commenced, is 100 feet
Since the completion of the foundation, on the
29th of May, 1880, the total weight added to the
load then upon it has been 22,353 tons. The com
mission approve and recommend the estimate of
200,000 for continuing the work on the monu
ment for the year ending June 30, 1883. The at
tention of Congress is specially invited to the
necessity of granting this appropriation early in
the session, in order that the work may not suf
fer a delay covering three-quarters of the coming
season. That the monument may be finished as
soon as practicable there should be no interrup
tion in the progress of the construction.
AMERICAN MERCHANT VESSELS.
A casual glance at the shipping lists in the
New York papers shows the great preponderance
of foreign over American vessels ; it is proved,
indeed, by statistics that only 19 per cent, of the
foreign t-rade of the United States is carried in
American bottoms. Public writers in this country
have such a belief in the utter righteousness of
free trade that they attribute the startling de
cline in the mercantile marine of our cousins to
their protectionist heresies. We doubt this. The
most flourishing part of the American merchant
navy is that which is engaged in the coasting
trade, and which is vigorously protected ; and
this trade is of no small importance, seeing that
the trip around the Horn from the Atlantic to
the California ports is officially regarded as
" coasting." We rather incline to the belief that
the falling off in American vessels was greatly
due to the depredations of the confederate priva
teers. Numbers of ships were then transferred
to foreign flags, and the trade has since followed
these flags. But there are deeper causes than
this. The Americans have gradually shifted
westward. They have become a more inland
people. The New Englanders, once among the
hardiest and moat skillful sailors in the world,
have either gone west or have taken to running
mills and factories, and the substitution of iron
for wood in shipbuilding has given "the pull"
to Old England, who used to import her wood,
but grows her own iron, and grows it better and
cheaper than any other country. The thorough
rehabilitation of the war navy, which President
Arthur recommends, will be rendered a more
difficult task from the want of a commercial
navy whence a supply of bold and experienced
seamen can be drawn. London Graphic.
A GREAT BELL,
A great bell for St. Paul's Cathedral, in Lon
don, was recently cast in Leicestershire. It will
take its place as one of the heaviest bells in Eu
rope, being about 17. tons in weight. This mass
of metal, consisting of pure tin and copper, was
about So hours in course of melting, and it was
four minutes in running into the mould. To
guard against accidents the cast-iron case for the
latter was made strong enough to bear a pressure
of 200 tons. There was great anxiety when the
case was being taken to pieces, the clay mould
broken up, and the mighty bell bit by bit ex
posed to view. The casting, however, appeared
to be smooth and delicate in surface and outline.
Its "skin," as the outward covering is technically
called, showed no flaw of any kind whatever.
The bell is 8 feet 10 inches high and 9 feet 6
inches in diameter, while the thickness of the
middle of the sound bow is 8 inches. The cost,
when rigged in the tower, will bebout 3,000,
It will be used for the first time next Easter
A CURIOUS COMPLICATION.
On the 30th day of last June a clerk in the
Treasury Department resigned his position in
consequence of ill-health, on condition that his
wife should take his place. Nearly all the New
York delegation, from which State the gentle
man hailed and was credited, joined in the re
quest, and it was done. His wife, however, was
curiously enough, credited to Kentucky by As
sistant Secretary Upton. In September last the
wife left her husband. The husband is now in
better health and wants to get his place back
but cannot. He has two small children by his
first wife, who was a sister of the present wife.
The Department is in a quandary as to how this
question, in all its bearings, should be settled.
WL, OUTLET VS. THE N. Y. "HRRimn
The New York Herald's regular correspondent in
this city has recently interviewed Commissioner
Dudley in regard to frauds in the Pension Office.
In view of what we have already said upon the same
subject, we publish the result of the interview as
given by the Herald, to show that The National
Tribune was warranted in taking up the cudgelin
behalf of the soldiers, and laying it over the Herald's
editorial head. The Herald correspondent says :
The Arrearages of Pension bill, which was rushed
through Congress in the concluding days of the ses
sion of 1879 and was signed by Mr. Hayes against
the protest, it is said, of many persons who had "iven
the subject earnest attention, provided that all per
sons entitled to pensions on account of death or dis
ability in the service of the United States during the
war of the rebellion and who should file their claims
prior to July 1, 1880, should be paid the arrearages
of pension at the rate allowed to each, commencing
from the date of the death or discharge from the
service of the person on whose account the claim is
allowed. On valid claims filed after July 1 1880
no arrearages are to bo paid, tie pension beginning
from the date of filing the application. No other
change was made in existing laws. Before the pas-
V . 1S umysucn persons who had filed
valid claims withm five years after the date of dis
ability or the time that the rirfht accrued were en
titled to arrearages ; if filed after the five vears the
pension began from the date of the final evidence
filed in the case.
In his last report Commissioner Dudley says that
789,060 original claims have been filed, of which
450,949 have been allowed and inscribed on the pen
sion roll. Under the Arrearages nf Pnic; i
, . . "" -- -.'"J"!"! IrtW
The average amount of arrearages bo. PsHm.,t l
tfki i rrrif
$1,350 for each person, and, after deducting $15,000 -000
as the probable amount due to persons who
should die before their claims are allowed, leaving
no heirs under the law entitled to succeed to the
pension, he thinks $235,000,000 will be needed for first
payments under tho arrearages act. The regular
pension list will also, of course, be increased corres
ponding to the admission of these 193,000 applicants,
and to the admission of those whose claims, filed
subsequent to July 1. 1SS0. shnll bo nlW-i Tfc
FrSSSS l,e?si01? "st amounts in round figures
Commissioner hones tn
- '-.-'.7vv.vvnj. in ci-v i-zwi. -...4-i. ... i. - .1- ii
..-vj,wu,uuv. in S1Y
viw' fum nrs -r
years, within which
1:,,r. .. T . . .""Jvkv. u1TOll .III
J-"" "" i'ing, it will amount to sav $16,000.-
Ann T..- : .... "..
uw. Ainu iiiiuus aresn nrvr.;.,r, ; . i a r-
i. 4-1 4.1 ..:; "" -"" "i 'it uiu raio ul
ucti v nu, tiiuiibjinii a month, and it is difficult to
mnety-iive original ciaims were filed on account of
that war. Commissioner Dudlev thinks however
that enough will be annually dropped from the rolls
to compensate for those admitted, and that the an
nual pension list, after the arrearages are mid will
never be over $50,000,000. i m "IU
PRECAUTIONS AGAINST FRAUD.
In conversation with a Herald correspondent Com
missioner Dudley went over the facts which, in his
opinion, reduce frauds on the pension list to a very
small proportion. It is his opinion that the propor
tion is not over one-tenth of one per cent. He ex
plained that of the total amount of claims hereto
fore filed and passed upon thirteen per cent, have
been rejected. Of those now pending he estimates
that fifteen per cent, will be rejected. The precau
tions against fraud, he says, are extraordinary far
more so than the public generally realizes. The
applicant for a pension must in tho first place fur
nish the Commissioner with a full description of
himself and of his wound or malady. He must
state the time of his enlistment and discharge, the
number of his company and regiment, the date and
circumstances of his wound or disability, the history
and date of his treatment in hospital or elsewhere,
and the general record of his service. He must
secure the affidavit of a commissioned officer of his
company or regiment that his statements are true,
or else of two of his comrades. The comrades must
also furnish the record of their own service, so that
the Commissioner may verify their opportunities of
knowing how and when the disability occurred.
The records of the War Department are then re
ferred to for verification of all the statements made.
The records of the Surgcon-Gpneral's Office are ex
pected to correspond with the assertions of the ap
plicant as to the date of the wound or disability
and his treatment in hospital or elsewhere. If, as
sometimes happens, the records conflict with his
statements or do not corroborate them mistakes
doubtless occurred in the tremendous total of these
records the applicant must furnish an overwhelm
ing array of testimony from his fellow-soldiers or
others to substantiate his assertions. The applicant
must be examined by a regularly appointed surgeon
of the Pension Office, or if that' is not possible, the
affidavit of his family physician must be presented
that his disability was caused by and directly due
to services in the war. Even after he has proved
to the entire satisfaction of the office that he is
entitled to a pension and his name is placed upon
the roll, the Commissioner, upon a bare suspicion
of fraud, can suspend payment of his pension. The
Commissioner has the power, and always exercises
it upon a hint of fraud, to send a special agent to
investigate the facts. He can order any number,
and at any time, of special examinations by a
regular surgeon or a Board of Surgeons of the Pen
sion Office. If he is convinced by the proof sub
mitted on investigation that there has been any
fraud or even misrepresentation he can strike the
name of the pensioner from the rolls. His power
in this respect is absolute. These, he says, are the
main points only of the precautions against fraud
provided by law, and only as to the application of
the survivor himself. In the case of a widow, or
of a child under sixteen after which age children
are not entitled to the benefits of a pension, the
right of a widow terminating when she marries
again the provisions of the law are much more
As to claim agents, Commissioner Dudley says,
that by law, since June 20. 1876, they are entitled
to a fee of only $10 in each case: no mat
ter what is the extent of their labor, they cannot
recover a cent more. If a special contract, made
prior to June 20, 187S, has been entered into between
himself and the applicant, it must be submitted to
the Commissioner for approval or rejection, and in
no "case has the fee under such a contract exceeded
$25 during my administration of the office. If the
application is rejected, the agent is entitled to no fee
whatever. He not only cannot recover, in any court,
a fee larger than $10, except in the case of a special
contract formally opproved by the Commissioner,
but he is especially prohibited by law from holding
any lien whatever upon the pension. Upon inform
ation that he has demanded or received a larger fee,
he can be disbarred from practice before the courts,
and the Secretary of the Interior, even upon suspi
cion, can, at any time, revoke his permission to ap
pear before the Pension Bureau, and can forbid his
acting as a pension claim agent. Upon suspicion
1 1 1 --w .- .A-MfcOU f .4ll
j that he has secured a claim fraudulently, witnesses
i can be subpoenaed to appear before any court m any
State or Territory, and penalties are provided for
their lailure to appear or their refusal to testiry.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that if the cases
adjudicated and passed upon by the bureau were
submitted to men versed in law and accustomed to
weigh evidence and pass judicially upon testimony,
they would say that, under the powers given, the
adjudications of the Pension Office are as judicial in
their character, and would compare favorably with
those of any other judicial tribunal in the land. He
says, if Congress would grant an appropriation that
would enable him to send agents of experience in
weighing testimony, of legal knowledge sufficient to
scrutinize the evidence offered, and to form an in
telligent opinion as to the credibility of witnesses, as
also to extract from them the truth of their state
ments by cross-examination, fraud upon the pension
list would be practically eliminated. It is his opinion
that the reason for the'long delay on the part of per
sons entitled to pensions in filing their claims, nas
been chiefly due to pride, or, in nianv instances, to the
fact that they had not needed the assistance. When
the arrearages bill, however, was passed, enabling
them to secure a considerable sum at once, they
presented their just claims to the Government.
Doubtless, he thinks, manv of the claims filed were
by ex-soldiers, formerly well to do, but who had
been reduced in fortune.
It may be explained here that the widow or child
cannot recover arrearages unless the claim of the
husband or father was filed prior to his death. The
law provides, also, that arrearages, in case of the
death of the applicant before the claim is allowed,
and of the widow, child under sixteen years of age
or other dependent entitled to the pension, cannot
be recovered by any other person. The Commis
sioner estimates that $15,000,000 will never be called
for, fortius reason, out of the amount which would
now be necessary to pay valid claims for arrearages.
A PLEASING CHRISTMAS INCIDENT.
Since the meeting of Congress in December Hon.
David Davis, president pro tern, of the Senate, has
been in the habit of purchasing naners from a rag
ged little newsboy who sells them about the Capitol.
On Saturday last, when the boy came with his pa
pers, the Senator called a messenger and directed
him to go down into the city and purchase him a
new outfit from cap to boots, which was done. He
then took the boy to the barber shop and directed
the barber to cut his hair and give him a bath.
When this wsis done he took the boy to his room
and gave him some good fatherly advice, sending
him away with an additional present in the way ot
small coin to spend Christmas. When tho boy re
turned to his mother he was scarcely recognized in
his metamorphose. The story leaked out through
the barber, to the great disgust of the siistingaished
gentleman, who, as a friend remarked when this in
cident was related to him, "is constantlv doing that
sort of thing."
4,viv original pension claims Had been filed prior
to July 1,1880, and he estimates that 193,000 of these
claims will be allowed and entitled to n-ro-.m,,!
u njwiu uiu ust win amount to twelve years
xo-ua., .uii-i seventy years, there are 1,232 cl
pending on account of the war of isio t cf