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THE NATIONAL TRIBUNE: WASHINGTON, 1). C, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14, 1882.
TTJE PICKET LINE.
Stray Shots from The Tribune's Sharpshooters.
'Ism pleased with the Tribute, and glnd to
eec the stand you take in behalf of the soldiers.
I think you appreciate the hardships of a sol
dier's life, and I hope the Triuune will con
tain some grand news for the soldier this
winter. I served in the army myself nearly
three years, having enlisted before 1 was
twenty-one, and three years ago was compelled
to give up my trado on account of disability
resulting from wounds received in the army."
J. E. B., Bo.onsboro, Mich. " We have already
added sixty subscribers to the Tuinuxn that
big gun, whose reverberations have been heard
throughout the. land' II. F. J-, Ithaca, Gratiot
co., Mich. "The TitinuNE is one of the best
papers in existence. I believe it to be the true
friend of the soldier." Vermillion, Ind.
"The Tribune has done a great work in show
ing tho boys what their duty is. May God
bless it and over keep it afloat." C. F. W.,
Blue Earth City, Minn. "Through the
kindness of some soldier friend a copy of Tin:
National Tribune fell into my hands to-day,
and after reading it through I pronounce it
tho best soldiers' paper I ever read' S. V.f
IVellsvillo, Kau. " Why is a soldier's pension
like the sun ? Because it is 95.000,000 miles be
yond hisreach. Again, no soldier need be poor,
for if he applies for a pension he will always
have something coming to him." F. II., Pitts
field Mass. " Tho paper is just what every
ex-soldier should read." C. E. M., Dccorah,
Iowa. "I look for The Tribune every
week as I do for my dinner, and would not bo
without it for twice the price. I first read tho
Soldier's Column,' aud then turn to the ad
dresses of soldiers, after which I raid tho 'Ques
tions and Answers,' to see if I can find tho name
Df some friend, and then I turn to tho fourth
page to see what tho editor has to say in re
gard to soldiers' claims and the equalization of
bounties." Mrs. M. E. A., Stcarnvillc, Ind.
I am a subscriber to your paper,aud should take
It even if I could take no other. I know it to
be tho soldier's friend, and every soldier should
subscribe to it." II. P. H., New Lisbon, Wis.
"I was a member of tho Third Ivy. cav-
elry, Co. B, aud should like to hear from somo
f the boys whom I have not seen since 'G5. I
jrould bo very glad to shake hands with them
nce more, but must bo content, aud hope to
meet them where 'the wicked cease from
troubling and tho weary are at rest."
Joel H. Roach, Magan, Ohio co., Ky.
" Would it not bo a grand and magnanimous
thing for the Government to make an appro
priation for a grand Reunion at Washington
before the internal revenue taxes aro reduced?
Please advocate it through The National
Tribune, and I believe it will meet with gen
eral approval." N. L. B., Delphos, Kan.
"Now, niy dear Comrades, stand firm I There
Is some fighting to do still. I say, fix bayonets,
and let us fight for our rights. Victory is sure."
J. P. M., Kewanna, Ind. " Would to God we
had ono hundred editors like the editor of The
National Tribune. May it increase in circu
lation until it reaches the house of every family
in the United States." W. T. P., Hawthorne,
Iowa. " I cannot speak too highly of The
Tribune. It is certainly tho best soldiers
paper in the country. I will not except any."
Jcdale, Wis. "I am a locomotive
.nd have to run nn hundred miles
in the week (Sundays included;, so
lavo no time to canvass oufcide of
)wn, but will do all I can for The
L. L. T.f Waverly, N. Y. "I
have fattened three-quarters of an inch on each
nb since I commenced to read The Tribune.
Just send in a shot whenever you think it will
tell and I will do the same." D. D. C, Fond
du Lac, Wis. "Please accept four more solid
shot subscriptions for your booming cannon,
hurling defiance at all enemies of the soldier."
L. B. IL, Saybrook, 111. "I cannot read all
of your paper on account of my eyes, but my
boy reads to me aud I listen with delight. Why
not give those who lost an eye in the servico
tho benefit of the $-10 bill ? " S. W. F., Ashton,
Mich. "My wife tells mo that I think more
of The Tribune than I do of her, nevertheless,
Ehe enjoys reading it as much as I do." M. P.
K., Putnamsville, Vt. " The Tribune has
the right ring about it, and I shall try to get
all the boys in Post 102 to subscribe for it." A.
M. II., Union City, Pa. "I have received
Beveral numbers of your paper in place of tho
Union Veteran and am well pleased with it.
The fact is. that I enjoy it moro than all tho
four or five other papers that I takoput to
gether." C. D. G., West Liberty, Iowa.
THE EIGHT SORT OF A DEMOCRAT.
To the Editor National Tribune :
Our Post met last night, and at the close I
made you up a club of seven subscribers. It
was a bad night, and the turnout was not large
else I could have got more subscribers, as those
who have seen the paper think it one of tho
best in the country. I am taking fourteen
different papers and magazines myself, but
your paper would be the last I would want to
give up. I am a Democrat and have always
voted the Democratic ticket, but should the
Democrats come into power and fail to do their
duty towards the soldiers I would never vote
with the party again. The bondholders have
been well paid. Why not pay the poor soldiers
what justly belongs to them?
Respectfully, A. V. Kimball,
Xenia, Ind., Dec. 7, 1652.
WORDS OF "WISDOM FROM A VETERAN'S BON.
To the Editor National Tribune:
31y pa said I might write a letter to you. I
am a little boy twelve years old, four feet four
inches high, and weigh fifty-five pounds. 1
like to read your paper. It tells such good sto
ries about the war. 1 am reading " Little Red
Cop." 1 guess he was about as big as I am
when lie went to war, and I would like to be
drummer boy if there should be another war
I have read, too, about the battle of Gettysburg!
Mission Ridne, and Lookout -Mountain. My
pa was in the battle.-, of Lookout Mountain and
Mission Ridge. I iJke vour paner flrst.rate i
should think the old soldiers would all want to
take it, but my pa &ay8 it is dijJKUfitillJ to w
the excuses tuey give when he tries to get
them to take it. Pa say3 it is lhc cIub of Jlcr.
culcs pounding a little hone.,ty aud sense into
the heads of Congressmen to make them do by
the soldiers what the Government agreed to
ilo in 1SG1 and 18G2, pension them if disabled
My pa got the rheumatism in the army and is
to lame now that he cannot work anj-hardl '
He said he would canvass for The Tiumune"
but he is getting so old and lame he cm hardly
get around; he has been trying to get a p0U
hum for almost four years, but it scum to eoiuo
llow. He has never got all of his wages yet
from the Government. 1 hope wo will always
tako tho paper. Ma says it is a good one, and I
think so too. John Cornell.
Cedar Si-rings, Mich., Dec. 5.
WHAT CHEEKS THE WIDOW'S HOME.
To the Editor National Tribune:
Your excellent paper comes like u friend to
m7 homo and cheers mo by the way it pleads
for the soldiers, their widows, and orphans. 1
lost any husband and father and only reniain
iiifi brother in tho uriny. I urn nroud to say
they defended their country when in need. I
hope soon to succeed in getting my pension, as
I am in need of help, aud I know it is justly
due to mo. I will encourage every ouo to take
Sunbeam, 111., Dec. 5.
we'll do it, comrade!
To the Editor National Tribune:
It is pouring down rain to-day, and my mind
travels rapidly back to the days of the war,
when I tramped-bare footed through just such
rains, snow, and sleet as wo aro having now,
for our country. And to-day tho justice we
ask for is denied us. I wonder if auother Avar
should ravage our land now, if we old vets
would be asked to go. I think our answers
would bo " No." We can do better at home, and
have tho comforts of home, and the reply of
younger men would be, " Why, you havo not
paid the men who fought in the last war, yet."
" But we will pay you by and by," says tho
Government. "You know we're good." "Well,
but that's what you told tho other soldiers,
and they are not paid yet. I guess we'll wait
till you pay them." And who could blame
them? Not any of the old soldiers, I know.
But enough of this. Find enclosed ten more
solid shot for tho enemy. This makes forty
threo subscribers for me, and moro promised.
Rattle it into this session of Congress hot and
heavy until every soldier bill is passed. Ex
tend the arrears bill and all others, and give us
all a chance. So good-bye until another time.
Yours, truly, A. D. Launder,
Late Co. B, O. V. V. I.
Fanesville, Dec. 5.
Anotlior Arrount of the Anilorsonflllo Hanging.
To the Editor National Tribune:
I have socn several statements in your paper
as to tho hanging of the six raiders at Auderson
ville, but none of them aro correct, in my judg
ment. I was nn eye-witness to tho hanging of
these raiders, and will describo it as 1 saw it.
No ono leaped from the platform. Tho six men
that were to bo hung were marched along the
north side of tho scaffold. Ono of them was a
heavy-set man. Ho looked up at tho scaffold
and said ho would "never hang," and broke
away, running through the crowd to the north
side of the swamp, where he was caught aud
brought back by two men and placed on the
platform with tho othor five. The bench was
pushed from under- them and the one farthest
from tho grate broke his rope. Ho was led back
up a ladder and hung. His name was Mosby,
and ho was supposed to bo tho leader of the
Co. D, Slst O. V. I.
Answers to Correspondents.
Constant Render. W. Jiutland, Vt. No. Tho
furniture is usually changed whoa a now Presi
dent takes up his residence thero.
C. J. S., Xew Carlisle, Ind. Wo aro sorry wo
cannot tell you.
A. II. C, Ilutsonville, III. 1. no is liable to
be proceeded against according to law if he re
fuses to return it. Tell him so. 2. Unless tho
original is lost or destroyed, jrou cannot obtain
W. E., Grahamton, Fa. ITe is perfectly com
petent and reliable. We have requested him to
communicate with you.
II. E. S., Worcester, Mass. 1. The widow could
not get a pension, because her husband's death
would not bo regarded as having beon duo to
tho service. 2. Evidence in original invalid
claims is being called for in claims numbered
M. JJ. T., Jiochfidd, Ind.l. If complete, it
should bo in process of settlement now. 2. Wo
do not think the testimony of tho regimental
surgeon will bo insisted upon by the Pension
T. E. I., Hartwick, N. Y.As desirod, your
letter has been referred to tho person named
I. II. D.,HUlsboro, IU. According to its num
ber, ovideuco will soon bo called for in your
Question. Will you please inform J. E. R.,
"West Acton, Massachusetts, if a soldier who was
promoted from tho ranks before serving quite
two years is entitled to tho original ono hun
dred dollar bounty ? Or any part of tho equal
ization bill now pending before Congress?
insurer. He would not bo entitled to tho orig
inal bounty, but would bo entitled to his pro
rata of $3 per mouth if tho equalization of
bounties bill becomes a law.
IP. F., Washington C. IL, O., and many others.
Wo cannot, of course, give tho particular
reason why your claim Is delayed at the Pen
sion Office, but think wo aro safe in saying it
is largely duo to tho mismanagement that
attended tho Bentley administration. With a
commissioner like tho present occupant, and a
largo force of clerks who aro now disposing of the
vast number of claims on file with commenda
ble rapidity, we believe that thoso cases
which have remained so long suspended mav
now be expected to receive the action so Ion"
denied. W. N. E, Brown's Mills, W. Va.l. If the
claim is filed subsequent to January 19, 187a
the fee can bo collected by the attorney at any
time during the prosecution of the claim,
whether ho bo successful or otherwise. 2.
Without further data, impossible to say. 3.
Wo should construe the act to cover a case of
the kind referred to. Tho Adjutant-General
has not as yet put his own construction of the
law upon any one case, so far as we know. 4.
The Adjutant-General, U. S. A.
D. E. Ii., Belfast, Me. We are afraid you.-will
have to lose tho arrears.
& C, Lewis, Iowa. See replies to W. N. E.,
No. 3, and D. E. B.
L. G. Ii., Hampton, Conn. I. We believe not.
2. Yes. But not many.
J. W. M., West Epping, N. H. Wo think it
has a very good chance.
C. S. F., Wanamic, Fa. If you will give us
tho names, wo will advise you whether they are
N. D. HI, Springfield, Mass. Writo direct to
the Commissioner of Pensions, giving the facts
as stated, adding tho No. of claim.
Ii. K., Arena, III. As tho original attorney is
dead, your sister can employ another, which we
think would be tho best course to adopt.
IL N. HI, Holden, Mo. 1. Your attorney
should obtain reasons for delay from the Com
missioner of Pensions. 2. Evidence is called
for in claims as they aro readied for action. 3.
They aro practicing beforo the Pension Office,
A. S. C, Lowell, Mass. You are not compelled
to give tho parties named u power of attorney,
but your case ecems to be somewhat compli
cated, and we should advise the employment of
some attorney oC known ability to tako it in
hand. 2. Eight dollars per month, provided
her husband's death was duo to the disability
for which he drew pension; and if children
under sixteen at date of soldier's death, she,
would ho entitled to two dollars additional for
each child-until they severally reached that
Jv. J. M., Lee Valley, E. Torn,
-He is receiv-
'"gall lie is entitled to.
a.' Remaining answers next week
Ithf-uniatlMii I'osJJhe!)- Cured.
Write for khkb 40-pago pamphlet to R. K
Helphenstine, Druggist and Chemist, Wash
ington, D. C. '
THE PENSION OFFICE,
Commissioner Dudley's Report of lis
Commissioner Dudley'r annual statement of
tho operations of tho Pension Office for the
fiscal year ending Juno 30th is the most com
prehensive that has ever been issued, and con
tains much information of general interest. It
makes a pamphlet of 205 pages and is especially
noteworthy for the accuracy and variety of its
statistical tables. The following abstract of
the Commissioner's report embraces its most
important statements and recommendations :
There wore at the close of the year, June 30,
1S32, 235,697 pensioners, classified as follows:
173,133 army invalids; 70,418 army widows,
minor children, and dependent relatives; 2,3(il
navy invalids ; 1,955 navy widows, minor chil
dren, and dependent relatives; 7,134 survivors
df tho war of 1612, and 24,001 widows of those
who served in that war.
There were added to tho roll during the year
the names of 27,604 new pensioners; and the
names of 6 19, whose pensions had previously
been dropped, were restored to the rolls, mak
ing an aggregate incrcaso to the roll of 28.313.
The names of 11,140 pensioners were dropped
fixjiu tho roll for various causes, leaving a net
increase to tho roll of 10,07 pensioners. At
the close of the year the annual pension to each
pensioner was $102.70, and tho aggregate an
nual valuo of all pensions was $29,341,101.(52.
Tho annual payments, however, exceed this
sum by several millions of dollars; i. c, the
total amount paid for pensions during the year,
exclusive of the arrears duo in pensions which
were allowed prior Xo January 25, 1S79, was
53,92 4,566.20, tho difference being the arrears
due in new pensions from the date of discharge,
in the case of a soldier or sailor, and from death
of the soldier, whero pension was allowed to
the widow or others.
The amount paid during the year upon first
payment to new pensioners is $20,421,069.19 ;
aud this amount was paid to 27,703 pensioners,
averaging to each case as follows: To army in
valids, 904.05; to army widows, minor chil
dren, and dependent relatives, $1,005.44; to
navy invalids, $5-19.99 ; to navy widows, minor
children, aud dependent relatives, $obl.o9; to
the survivors of the war of 1S12, $324.19, and to
the widows of the deceased soldiers and sailors
of that war, $205.24.
Tho Commissioner then proceeds to explain
tho statistical tables accompanying the report,
It will bo seen by computation that of all
claims tiled prior to July 1, 1872, seventy-fivo
per cent, havo already been allowed, and al
though this terminal point is ten years ago, it
docs not represent the maximum of the number
which will bo allowed during tho time stated.
Tho Commissioner goes on to illustrato how
tho work of the office is being concentrated to
wards tho great block of claims filed in 1879
and 1SS0; i. e., of the claims filed during those
years there have been allowed 43.G aud 11.2 per
cont., respectively, out of the numbers 30.S35
and 110,073 claims of invalids then filed, whilo
of tho claims subsequently filed less than 1 per
cent, havo been allowed.
efficiency of the bureau.
In regard to the efficiency of the Bureau tho
Tho commencement of tho last fiscal year
found this office with several troublesome ques
tions to face; and many disastrous occurrences,
and difficulties following difficulties, combined
to render tho beginning inauspicious. First, a
large dischargo of clerks becamo necessary
owing to tho inordinate size of tho rolls as com
pared with tho appropriations for the fiscal
year then boginniug; tho assassination of tho
President caused an almost total suspension of
business, and a distraction of tho attention of
clerks from their work to such an extent that
at that timo moro than a week was consumed be
foro it could again, in any degroo, bo concen
trated upon the work of tho office ; so that it mav
safely bo stated that on this account alono, in
tho month of July, fully ono week's work was
lost. Tho incoming of a new administration of
the office, and the disorganization which, to
somo extent, always follows such a change,
combined with tho knowledge that a largo
number of discharges was impending, militated
also against the efficiency of tho offico for somo
time. Later on, after tho discharges had been
made aud the force had settled down to work,
it was found necessary to take an inventory of
the office, in order that accurate knowledgo
might bo had as to tho condition of its business.
This consumed ono month. Following this
came the fluctuations between life and death of
tho Chief Magistrate, and tho succeeding obse
quies, during which sad time no ono could
work, so that it was about tho 1st of November
beforo the solid work for tho year began. I
estimate that, by reason of the various disturb
ances alluded to, not less than two months'
time, between the 1st of July and tho 1st of
November, ofthewholo force of the office was
practically lost to tho settlement of claims.
From that point on tho efficiency of the offiro
daily increased, and the result of its work at
the end of the year was exceedingly encourag
ing, showing, as heretofore stated, a disposal of
over 59,000 cases. Much of this efficiency I
attribute to tho unusual and most satisfactory
confidence exhibited by Congress in the Bureau
and its officers, aud the certainty felt through
out tho office that its labors wore boing appre
ciated. It is impossible, I find, to reach per
fection in the administration of so largo and
important an office; but I suppose it can be
safely stilted that in no Department of tho Gov
ernment is there a moro conscientious i1iu
charge of duty by the employees -and officer
than in this Bureau. Thero has been nnirri.
cally no change in the organization of tho office
since that mentioned in my last annual report;
and to accommodate the force granted by Con
gress the organization then mado has been
simply broadened to receive the now accessions,
and I think no reorganization will be necessary.
rank and grades of pensions.
Tho Commissioner calls attention to a num
ber of defects in the present pension laws, and,
among other things, recommends that section
4095 of the Revised Statutes which fixes the
various grades of pension, bo amended, so as
to provido a moro equitable distribution and
comport with the actual disabilities of pen
sioners. Ill connection with this subject, ho says:
In fact, tho timo has come, in mvonininn
when Congress should give a thoughtful consid
eration to the entire regrading of pensions, mak
ing disability, rather than rank, the measure
of the pension. There can exist no good reason
in pensioning a volunteer force, when for the
same disability a lieutenant-colonel shall re
ceive thirty dollars per month, and a private sol
dier but eight; both having been drawn from and
returned to the same walks of civil life. This
subject is one, however, which requires a care
ful and searching investigation; and I simply
make this suggestion in tho hope that Congress
may take such steps as will eventually bring
about an entire change; one which, in my
opinion, if carefully done, will prove advan
tageous alike to the pensioner and the Govern
ment. The Commissioner then invites attention to
the accompanying table, in reference to which
he says :
The astonishing fact is there Bhown that
there are 117 dill'ereut grades of pension now
being paid to pensioners. In this brief report
I can hardly ref.-r to tho causes which havo
broti -ill t this about, but would state that, in
opinion, me almost constant v arv mr
provided by new k-giMati
on, some ot
wuich reaches but a small and others a larger
class, makes the rule of grading a constantly
shifting one. This, in my opinion, will bo
remedied by the change referred to.
So long as the amount of nension is fixed bv
rank, respectfully recommend t lie amendment '
oi sua ion -wj oi me Ke vised Statutes bv strik
ing out, the words "that a vacancy existed in
th- rank thereby coifem-d." The effect of
this auw-ndimnt will be to givc an officer the
bciieht of his actual rank, notwithstanding tho
fact that, thero was no technical vacancy at the
time. It is within the experience of every
officer that, had tho actual minimum number
of meu required by the army regulations for
each company beeu strictly regarded in com
missioning volunteer officers, many commands
would have been without commissioned officers
during a good part of their snrvice. It is but
fair, so long as the grade of ponsion is con
trolled by the rank held, that the pensioner
should have the benefit of his actual fccrvico in
the grade for which he held commission.
The following table shows tho different rates
of pension per month and the number pen
sioned to each rate of tho army and navy
invalids on the roll June 30, 1832:
S 1 5 SB?
rt : rt :
c t. c -
O K '- O
-J 'A r X A Bn
$1 00 l,5C- 7S 1.5SC $ir. CO 116 9 125
1 : 1 1 IS 2.-1.... r 17 22
1 TO 1 1 13 Si... 27 27
1 fr7 2 -J IS 50... 10 2 IS
2 OU 17.SP.2 177 1S.009 13 75 10 10
2 25 11 11 14 00... 2,K 2S 2,S1
2 33 : 3 1 1 25...- ! 6 15
2 ,"i0 U' ,- 20 14 33... 2' 2
2 tit) 70t, fl 711 14 50...I -i'""i 5
2 75 1 1 14 75.... fi 5
3 00 3.S0 4; 3.S54 13 00..... 1,530 37 l,5(i7
3 20 1 1 15 25 1 1 2
a 50 1 1 3 15 CO 1 1 2
3 75 235 l 237 15 75 1 11 12
i CO 42,2f.i 51U 42,772 10 00..... 1,01)7 7 1,10
-1 25 2iw 200 1G 25 5 3 S
1 50 10 50... 1 1
I 75 1 1 1( CO.... 12 12
5 00 1.SG3 ir 1,920 1C 75... 7 7
5 25 :t : :$ 17 00 1,05V 2 1,050
fi : tn i frio 17 25 1 2
5 50 2 2 17 5u... . 101 31 41
5 02 0 5 17 75.... 2' 2
5 M 3 :b IS 00..... 12,30')' lldt 12.17S
5 75 1? 13 IS 25 1 3 4
ti 00 24,412 290 27.70S IS 50 8 ?.
G 25".... 5s 5S IS 75... 95 2 97
C 37 It! 10 19 00 4 3 7
(5 50 2 1 3 la 25 7 7
C liG 21 1 25 20 00...". 1,05 32 1,117
0 75 4 1 20 75 1 1
7 00 311 3 314 2100.... 5 f,
7 50 72S 25 753 21 25... -J
7 75 i, 1 7 21 75... II 1
8 00 23,044 130 29,074 22 (K)... 1' 1
8 25 11 ., 11 22 50.... SI 2 ?(
S XI 1 1 23 75 I" I
S 50 909 1 970 210(1 G.973' 109 7.0S2
8 75 ,v 1 9 21 50 2 2
9 00 27 0 33 25 00.... 23SJ 4 212
9 25 10 10 2G 25..... l 1
9 50 11 4 15 2G GO lj 1
9 75 3 5 S 27 00 1
10 00 G.IGO S3 0,210 27 50.... 3 5
10 20 1 1 23 50.... 1 1
10 S3 4 4 2S 75.... 1 1
10 50 K) 4 20 30 00.... 201 4 2(J5
10 G2 7 7 30 75 1 1.
10 75 2 20 22 31 25... 227 5 2:12
11 00 10 9 19 SO 00.... 2fl 1 .
1125 "03 15 20 37 00.... G 0
1133 42 42 33 50 1 1
11 50 23 2 23 40 00.... 1 1
It GO 2 2 50 u0... 415 10 425
11 75 0 -J 8 57 (i0 1 1
12 00 9,093 110 9,209 72 00.... 72! 21 745
12 25 11 11 100 00.... 1 1
12 3S l 1
12 50 153- 20 17 Total.. 17.5,13.- !,rtl 175,499
12 75 4Sl! 1 4-2 I
INCKKASE AND EltKOItS IN KATING.
Tho Commissioner renews his recommenda
tion that in place of the present law an act bo
passed containing substantially tho following
If any invalid pensioner shall feel that his
pension is not commensurato with tho degree
of his disability, either because it has been im
properly rated by the Commissioner of Pen
sions, or because tho disability for which he
was pensioned has increased, or because
of another disability incurred in the
servico for which ho is not pensioned,
he may appeal to the Commissioner of
Pensions for a rerating or an increase, as the
case may be, at any time within ono year im
mediately following tho original adjudication;
and said application shall bo construed aud de
termined in the samo manner as was his origi
nal application, so far as such proceeding shall
be applicable to tho case. And tho Commis
sioner of Pensions shall cause any invalid pen
sioner to be examined by a board of surgeons
as often as he shall deem it for tho interest of
tho Government, or of tho pensioner; and if.
upon such examination, it shall appear that tho
pension enjoyed by tho pensioner is not accord
ing to tho degree of disability, and that such
disability, in its nature, has boon permanent in
the same degree as then found, the same shall
be; readjusted and rerated according to right
awl justice; provided, that in case whero in
cryaso is granted for tho reason that tho disa
bility lias- increased since the pension was last
rated by the Commissioner of Pensions, such
increase shall commence at tho date of tho fil
ing of tho application therefor; and provided
fiwther, that if the disability has not changed,
in degree, since discharge, such increase or rat
ine shall commence on tho date at which tho
original pension began ; provided further, that
all applications for increase on the ground that
the pension lias been improperly rated, made
and filed more than one year after such alleged
improper rating was fixed by the Commissioner
of Pensions, shall be treated and settled as in
tho case of increaso claims on the ground of
increased disability, and the Commissioner of
Pensions is authorized to correct at any time,
on his own motion and without application, a
manifest error committed at any time in the
rating of any pension.
It, should bo enacted that the "permanent
spefie disability" mentioned in section 4G9S of
tho .Revised Statutes bo construed to refer to
any disability, permanent in its character,
and tho increase of pension therefor to com
mence from the date of application, and at tho
rate in which it exists in a permanent degree
The Commissioner also recommends that the
statutes be so amended as to entitlo minor
children to pension from tho date of the sol
dier's death whero tho widow has remarried
prior to July 1, 160, without having received
any pension on account of such soldier's death;
and also, so as to leave it to tho Commissioner's
discretion to grant a pension in tho caso of de
pendent relatives whero actual dependenco as
described in the statute is not proven to have
existed at the time of the soldier's dischargo. As
an illustration of the purpose of the latter recom
mendation he cites the following:
A widowed mother in tho enjoyment of a
competence, and olhorwise in ordinary circum
stances, gives her only sou to the defense of the
country. Sho has fitted him iu every way to
become her prop in life when she shall have
advanced to a greater ago, or to a degree of
helplessness which would require his mainte
nance and support. Theson is killed in battle ;
he does not in fact contribute to the support of
his mother at tho date of his death, but in
leality has been supported by her up to the
time of his enlistment. Increasing years and
adversity overtake the mother, and she be
comes dependent upon tho charity of friends.
Had the son Jived this would not, have been
the case, and yet we are obliged to deny her a
pension because, at the dato of tho soldier's
death, it cannot be shown that she was depend
ent upon him for support, in whole or iu part.
The mere statement of such a case, it seems to
me, carries with it tho argument to convince
all that there is a necessity for an amendment
to this sectiou.
I'KOTKCTION OF TIIU PENSIONER.
The Commissioner is very outspoken as to
the necessity of amending (he laws for tho
protection of the pensioner. He says :
Section -1715, relating to pledge, mortgage,
sale, &c, of a pension certificate, or any right
or title thereunder, has by subsequent legisla
tion been modified so that all after the words
'"no effect," at the close of tho first paragraph
in lino IJ, is practically obsolete. 1 therefore
recommend that the words following "no
effect," in said line, ho stricken out, and the
following inserted in lieu thereof: "And any
person who shall retain the celtificate of a
pensioner, and refuses to surrender the same,
upon the domain of the Commissioner of Pen
sions, or a United States pension agent, or any
other person authorized by tho Commissioner
of Pensions or tho pensioner to receive the
same, shall bo guilty of a misdemeanor, and
upon conviction thereof may bo fined in a sum
not exceeding $100 and tho costs of the prose
cution." The abuse of this section has grown to such
proportions that the abme action is deemed
necessary for tho protection of the pensioners.
Exorbitant rates of interest aro charged by
speculators who evade the exact terms of tho
section forbidding any "mortgage, sale, or as
signment," &c., by becoming tho custodian of
tho pension certificate for the uso of tho pen
sioner. The pensioner must necessarily apply
to them to execute his voucher, as the samo
cannot bo executed without tho exhibition of
the pension certificate to the officer before,
whom the oucher is executed. The broker
then accompanies the pensioner to tho agency
and stays with him until his check is cashed,
when, as soon as conversion into money takes
place, he mulcts tho victim in heavy damages
and retaiua tho pension ccrtificuto to repeat
tho operation at the next quarterly payment.
This leads tho pensioner, in order to avoid tho
usurious interest charged, to allege tho loss of
the original certificate for the purposo of pro
curing a duplicate, which being done, he
evades the broker, often hypothecates with an
other broker tho duplicate, and repeats tho
same transaction at the next quarterly payment.
It is believed that the amendment suggested
will speedily cure tho evils spoken of and bring
about a better condition of things.
Tho Commissioner urges tho necessity of
taking additional measures to establish the
identity of tho pensioner, aud gives it as his
opinion that tho bill now pending before Con
gressconferring upon tho Commissioner the
power in certain cases to require the payment
by the pension agent to tho pensioner in cash,
where the interests of tho Government and the
pensioner seem to require it will rolieve his
office from the necessity of seeing pensioners at
remote places swindled by persons selling their
endorsement, aud enable it to do justice in
many cases whero now it cannot be dono.
AN UNJUST DISCRIMINATION.
Referring to the act of Juno 16, 1880, tho
Commissioner recommends that such legisla
tion be had as will admit those who aro utterly
hclpless to the benefits of the provisions of this
act, to date from the time when they became
utterly helpless; and its benefits should also
extend to those who were entitled, by reason
of their helplessness, to the rate of $50, at a
dato later than the passage of the act, or who,
for some other cause, were not actually upon
the rolls at that grade on that exact day, but
afterwards showed themselves to be entitled
from a date anterior thereto.
PAY OF PENSION AGENTS.
Tho Commissioner is of the opinion that the
present fee system should be abolished, and
each of the eighteen pension agents be allowed
an annual salary of ?5,000, with a reasonable
allowance for clerical assistance, and the right
to use tho penalty envelope, as in other
branches of tho service. " .Such a chauge," says
the Commissioner, " would result in saving to
the Government or. at least, there would be no
increase in the amount annually appropriated
for the payment of their services, and would
greatly simplify the business at their offices.
The size of the bond required, the tremendous
amount of money disbursed by them, and tho
high character of tho men now employed, and
the further fact that it will not materially in
crease the amount required to be appropriated
annually for this service, justify the statement,
and 1 therefore make this recommendation."
Tho Commissioner thinks the system of spe
cial examinations, where abundant opportunity
for the cross-examination of witnesses i- afford
ed both the claimant and the Government, has
been conducive to the establishment of a good
feeling on both sides, and he announces his in
tention, as soon as it can bo conveniently done,
to "divide the country into about two hundred
t districts, within each of which a special ex
aminer will be placed, to whom all cases from
his district, in which there is absence of record,
or where an adverse record is found, and where
the claim is sought to be established by parol
evidence only, will bo referred for special ex
amination. A short, sensible, and careful ex
amination of witnesses at claimant's home, a
contact with tho claimant or pensioner him
self, aud the knowledge acquired as to the esti
mation in which he is held by his comrades
and tho community in which he resides, will,
I think, put the office in pos.-es.sion of the one
thing lacking in order to justly settle claims."
The Commissioner recommends the passage
of a law making the false personation of a
pension- examiner ' :i- felony, and tho enact
ment of tho following touching the dropping
of pensioners from the rolls or the reduction
of rate of pensioner :
That sections 1771, -177-2 and -1773 of the
Revised Statutes of the United States, pro
viding for the biennial examinations of
pensioners, are hereby repealed: Frorided.
That the Commissioner of Pensions shall
nave tlio same power as heretoloro to order
special examinations whenever, in his judg
ment, the samo may bo necessary, and to in
crease or reduce tho pension according to right
and justice; but in no case shall a pension be
withdrawn or reduced except upon notice of
not less than sixty days to the pensioner, and a
hearing upon sworn testimony, except when
the reduction or dropping of an invalid pension
is made upon the certificate of a board of ex
It is the opiuion of the Commissioner that
the question of desertion, so far as it affects
the title to pension, should be definitely settled
by law. He very sensibly says :
A pension is in no sonde a reward for faithful
and meritorious service, but a payment for
loss of phj-sical ability to earn a livelihood.
Therefore, desertion subsequent to the incur
rence of a disability and a refusal of the War
Department to chauge tho record should not
carry with it a forfeiture of right to pension.
The law should provido that pension, in any
case iu which a charge of desertion stands uu
removed, shall commence on the date from
which the contract for service in which disabled
legally terminated, to be ascertained from tho
date to which last paid for service; provided,
however, that the dato of discharge from a
subsequent service entered into before the legal
termination of the servico in which disabled
shall be tho date to commence the pension.
Alluding to the increase of tho force of the
office to 1,559 clerks, involving an annual ex
penditure of $1,957,150 for their payment, the
Commissioner characterizes the new appointees
as for the most part " able aud worth' men,
those who have been soldiers predominating,"
but expresses his regret that tho office could
not havo had the benefit of tho generous
appropriation and the force thereby authorized
tor the whole fiscal year, instead of only about
two-thiids thereof, for tho sake of the results
expected from it. As it is, he saj-s:
Although all the appointments havo been
made, yet there are many who have refrained
from reporting, and it was not until October 1st
that we wore able to largely increase the vari
ous adjudicating divisions, ami not until No
vember 1st that tho bulk of the force was
sworn in and puat work. This, however, may
bo remedied, to some extent, if Congress will
authorize tho employment of'the lapsed fund
created by our inability to use the entire pro
portion of tho whole appropriation for July,
-imgust., oepiemuer, aim wcioikt. I lie pav
roll for those months will havo consumed
l.l,.w0.19, while the four months' proportion
of the whole year's appropriation is $652,o33.33,
leaving an unexpended balance, in tho first
quarter, of $197,hbo.l-l. I would recommend
that you request tSmgress tohice this fund at
your disposal, by joint resolution, for the em
ployment of such a temporary additional force
for this ollice as can bo carried by it for the
remainder of tho fiscal year.
In this connection, ho refers to tho longev
ity of tenure of clerks in his office, as follows:
Aside from the clerks appointed in lciil, the
average tenure of the clerks in office at the
date of preparing this table, to wit, about tho
15th of July, lbS2, had been six years and ono
month, aud counting in the increased force of
1SS1 who are still in office, the average tenure
of tho whole force was four and a half years.
This security of tenure to intelligent and expert
clerks is, 1 believe, greatly conducive to elli
cieney, and oilers an assurance to those therc
alttr uppoiutt d that clerks who possess and
exercise the desirable qualifications so well and
graphically expressed bj' the President in his
message to tho present Congress, namelv,
"probity, industry, good sense, good habit's,
good temper, patience, manly deference to su
perior officers, and manly consideration for
inferiors," will bo recognized as worthy a long
and .secure tenure, not to be ruthlesslv termi
nated, and is therefore
an incentive, to good i
nanus auu conscientious industry in work.
PROTKCTION FOR TIIK FILKS.
The Commissioner alludes briefly to tho
crowded conditiou of tho buildings occupied
by tho pension force and asks, a3 an absolute
necessity, an appropriation of $50,000 for tho
erection of a fire-proof addition to the present
building and the purchase of fire-proof files for
the proper caro and custody of the papers. Ho
also recommends that $6,000 be appropriated
for tho construction of proper fire-escapes.
OUR PENSION POPULATION.
Considerable space is devoted in tho Com
missioner's report to the question of pension
population. It is certainly greatly to be re
gretted, as he says, Unit in taking the last cen
sus no provision was made for ascertaining tho
exact status of the soldier and pension popula
tion of the country, and he is also right in de
claring that little dependence is to be placed
upon the State records of enlistments. Never
theless the statement which he has prepared
from such data as he considered reliable, may
serve, as he suggests, to aw;iken an interest on
the part of Congress in the subject and lead to
the discovery of more accurate information.
Hi'b proposition is as follows:
How many persons arc there now living who
served in the army during the late rebellion,
or who bore a pensionable relation to thoso who
served, who have not jet applied for pension?
The Adjutant-Genenif of the United States
army reports the following aggregate of enlist
ment for the different periods of service, to
wit: For sixty days. -.( 15; for three months'
service, 10s,-lll; for one hundred days' service,
55,507; for four months' service, 42; for six
months' service, -2i,lH; for eight months' ser
vice, 373; for nine months' service, d9,899; for
one year's service. :Ji,706 : for two vears' ser
vice, 11,100; for three years' service, 2,023,630 ;
for four j-ears' service. 1.012; making a grand
total of enlistment. 2,70. I7.s.
Taking this as the basis of my calculation I
have endeavored to ascertain the number of
individual enlistments; that is. excluding sec
ond, third, fourth, and subsequent enlistments
of tho same person. The result of my investi
gation and estimate upon this point shows an
aggregate of 2,016.9G9 different individuals who
enii-ted for greater or les periods during the
war. To this miiulier should be added the
number of persons -erving iu the Regular Army
audXayat the commencement of the war,
viz.. 1'!. lr Suthat the -rand total of indi
vidual iKToiis who entered th ervi during
the war ma' Ih approximately stated to bo
2,Ob"VJ9i, and this number includes all indi
vidual enlistments in the army ami navy em
ployed in the suppression of the rebellion.
Up to the 1st of July. 1---2. there have been
filed by army invalids, .15i..-!M) applications for
pension. Up to the same date there have been
filtd291,2n tnpplicationon behalf of the ser
vice of deceased soldiers. There have been tiled
by navy invalids 7,t3. and by those represent
ing deceased sailors. 3.29 1. This makes an
aggregate of those who have applied for pension
of 75j,l 19 out of the whole number who en
listed, as before stated.
As near as I can ascertain there are about
FfJ.OO representatives of deceased soldirrs who
have not yet applied for pension, and 1.000,-1G9
survivors of the war who have not yet applied for
pension, ami 220,000 who died during and sinco
the war, win left no pensionable relatives sur
The Commissioner estimates that out of tho
total number of soldiers who served during tho
war, pension has been applied for by, or on ac
count of, 26 per cent, of the whole number, and
that there is a surviving soldier population of
a little over ten hundred thousand, out oE
which claims for pension in the future may bo
made bj' those who incurred pensionable dis
On the subject of appeals the Commissioner
During the past year there have been 409
appeals from the decision of the Commissioner
of Pensions to the Secretary of the Interior.
Of this number twenty-six have been reversed
bj- you and the proper action taken in pursu
ance, thereof? In 2- cises -ou have s-en tit to
s'ttstain my action, and e!ghry-threc m'es have
boon reopened by this office, and sixteen cases
still remain undecided.
All of the above-mentioned decisions, which
settle new and leading questions, are promptly
copied and a carefullv printed svllabus of each
' is prepared, and the same distributed among
the lorce lor their instruction. In this connec
tion I cannot in too strong terms state the ben
efits which have been derived by the prepara
tion and general distribution among the exam
iners of the laws, dicl-ions. and rulings of tho
Secretaries and the orders and rulings of Pen
sion Commissioners. It is mj intention to re
publish the same, revised to date, and also a
treatise upon the practice of the Department in
pension cases, which has been prepared-with
great care by Deputy Commissioner (. I. Wal
ker, and will prove of incalculable benefit in
the expedition and Uniform treatment of
Prior to the present administration nothing
of this sort had been attempted, and Commis
sioner Dudley is entitled to the highest praise
for his efforts to harmonize and simplify tho
practice of his office.
Pretty Sharp Shontin?.
From the Uoutsdale (Pa.) Observer.
The increase from the internal revenue tax
is used in the payment of pensions. Abolish
the first and the latter must cejise.
Are pensioners aware of tho fact that the
effort to abolish tho internal revenue tax is
simply a preparatory move toward the repudia
tion of all pension claims?
The internal revenue tax on matches is tha
only oue which the "reformers" do not pro
pose to abolish, and, as a matter of course, it is
the only one by the abolition of which the poor
man will be benefited.
The "reformers" in the political field are
endeavoring to do away with the tax on whisky,
thus stopping all revenue from that source, and
leaving no offset at all for the enormous train
of evils which" follow in the wake of the most
degrading traffic which ever disgraced auy so
called Christian country.
SONGS OF THE CAMP.
In LIbby Prison "ew Year's Etc, lSltt-'til.
'Tis twelve o'clock ! AVithin my prison dreary
My head upon my hand, sittinjjso weary,
Scanning; tho future, musing upon the post.
Pondering the fute that here my lot has east;
The hoarse cry of the sentry, pacing his beat,
Yakens the echoes of the silent street
" All is well : "
Ah, Is it so? Sly fellow-captive sleeping
Where the barred window strictest watch Is keep
ing. Dreaming of home and wife and prattling child,
Of the sequestered vale, the mountain "wild;
Tell me, when cruel morn shall break again,
j Wilt thou repeat the sentinel's refrain
"All is well"
And thou, my country ! wounded, pale and bleed
ing. Thy children deaf to a fond mother's pleading,
Stabbing with cruel hate the uiirturiug breast
To which their infancy in love was pressed ;
Recount thy wrongs, thy many sorrows name,
Then to the nations, if thou canst, proclaim
"All is well!"
But through the clouds the suu is slowly breaking
Hope, from her long, deep sleep is waking;
Speed the time, Father, when the bow of peace,
Spanning the Gulf, shall bid the tempest cease,
When true men, clasping each other by the hand,
Shall shout together iu a united land
"All is well!"
Col. F. A. llatileton, lUOth III. Vol. Inf.
Snakes as Life Dcstrojers.
The loss of lite in India duo to the ravages
of venomous snakes h almost incredible. Yet
Consumption, which is as wily and fatal as the
deadliest Indian reptile, is winding its coils
around thousands of people while tho victims
are unconscious of its presence. Dr. 11. V.
Pierce's " Golden Medical Discovery " must hi
used to cleanse the blood of the scrofulous im.
purities, for tubercular consumption is only a
foriimfscrofulnusdiseasiv "Colilmi M...li.-,il nic.
oery is a sovereign remedy for all forms o
scrofulous disease, or king's-evil, such a tumors
whiteswellings, fever sores, scrofulous sore-eyes,
as well as for other blood and skin diseases,.- Uy