Newspaper Page Text
Directions for Securing Pensions.
Under the act of Congross approved July 14,
862, pensions are granted to the following class
I. Invamds, disabled since March 4, 1861, in
he military or naval service of the United States,
q the line of duty.
11. Widows of officers, or seamen dying of
rounds received, or of disease contracted in tho
nilitary or naval service, as above.
111. Children, under sixteen years of ago, of
uch deceased persons, if there is no widow's re-
IV. Mothers (who have no husband living)
>f officers, soldiers or seamen, deceased as afbre
laid, provided the latter have left neither widow
lor children under sixteen years of age; and
provided also, that the mother was dependent,
ivholly, or in part, upon the deceased for sup-
V. Sisters, under sixteen years of ago of such
leceasod persons, dependent on the latter, whol
y or in part, for support, provided there are no
rightful claimants of either of the three last pre
Tho rates of pensions to the several classes and
grades are distinctly set forth in the first section
of the act, viz:
Lieutenant Colonel, and all officers of a high
rank, thirty dollars por month ; Major, twenty
five dollars per month ; Captain, twenty dollars
per month; First Lieutenant seventeen dollars
per month; Second Lieutenant fifteen dollars
per month; and non-commissioned officers, mu
sicians and privates, eight dollars per month.
Only one full pension in any case will be allow
ed to the relatives of a deceased ofli ;er, soldier
or seaman, and in order of precedence as set
forth above. When more than one minor child
or orphan sister thus becomes entitled to pension,
the same must be divided equally between them.
Invalid pensions, under this law, will com
mence from the date of the pensioner's discharge
from services, provided application is made
within one year thereafter. If the claim is not
made until a later date, the pension will com
mence from tho time of the application, and will
continue for life, or until he is re-examined.
Pensions of widows and minors will com
mence from the death of the officer, soldier, or
seaman on whose service the claim is, based, and
continue for widows and dependent mothers un
til re-marriage, and for children until they ar
rive at the age of sixteen years.
Declarations are required to be made before a
court of record, or before some officer of such
court duly authorized to administer oaths, and
having custody of its seal. Testimony may be
taken before the justice of the peace, or other of
ficer having like authority to administer oaths,
but in no case will any evidence be received that
Is verified before an officer who is concerned in
prosecuting the claim, or has a manifest interest
In support of the allegations made in the
claimant's declaration, testimony will be requir
ed in accordance with the following rules :
1. The claimant's identity must bo proved by
two witnesses, certified by a judicial officer to be
respectable and credible, who are present and
witness the signature of the declarant, and who
state, upon oath or affirmation, their belief, either
Im personal acquaintance, or for other reasons
en, that he or she is the identical person he or |
I represents himself or herself to be.
Every applicant for an invalid pension must, |
in his power, produce the certificate of tho
been wounded, or otherwise disabled, and the na
ture of tho disability; and that the said disabili
ty arose while he was in the service of the Uni
ted States, and in the lino of his duty!
3. If it be impracticable to obtain such certifi
cate, by reason of tho death or removal of the
officers, it must be so stated under qath by the
applicant, and his averment of the fact proved by
persons of known respectability, who must state
particularly all the knowledge they may possess
in relation to such death or removal: then sec
ondary evidence can be received, In such case
the applicant must produce the testimony of at
least two credible witnesses, (who were in a con
dition to know the facts about which they testi-
I fy,) whose good character must be vouched for
by a judicial officer, or by some one known to
the department. The witnesses must give a min
ute narrative of the facts in relation to the mat
ter, and must show how they obtained a know
ledge of the facts to which they testify.
4. The surgeon's certificate for discharge
should show the character and degree of the
claimant's disability ; but when that is wanting, j
and when the certificate of an army surgeon is !
not attainable, the certificate of two respectable
civil surgeons will be received. These surgeons
must give in their certificate a particular des
cription of the wound, injury or disease, and j
specify how and in what manner his present
condition and disability are connected therewith.
The degree of disability for obtaining subsistence
by manual labor must also be stated.
5. The habits of the applicant, and his occupa
tion since ho left the service, must be shown by
at least two credible witnesses.
If the applicant claims a pension as the widow
of a deceased officer or soldier, she must prove
I the legality of her marriage, tbe death of her
husband, and that she is still a widow. She
must also furnish the names and ages of her
children under sixteen years of age at her hus
band's decease, and the place of their residence.
On a subsequent marriage her pension will
cease, and the minor child or children of the de
ceased officer or soldier, if any be living under
the age of sixteen years, will be entitled to tho
same in her stead, from the date of said mar
riage, _ f
Proof of the marriage of the parents and ol
the age of claimants will, in like manner, be re
quired in all applications in behalf of minor
children. . , ____
The legality of the marriage may be ascertain
ed by the certificate of the clergyman who joined
them in wedlock, or by the testimony of respic- |
table persons having knowledge of the fact, in
default of rocord evidence. The ages and num
ber of children may be ascertained by the testi
mony of respectable persons having knowledge
of them, or from tho transcripts from the parish
or town records duly authenticated.
Similar proof will be required of the marriage
of tho claimant, if the mother of a deceased of
ficer or soldier, and that she remains a widow.
If the claimant be a dependent sister like proof
will be refillired of the marriage of her parents,
and of her relationship to the deceased.
Guardians of minor claimants must in all cases
produce evidence of their authority as such, un
der the seal of the court from which thoir ap
pointment is obtained.
Applicants of the last four classes above given,
who have in any manner aided or abetted the re
bellion against the United States government,
I aro not entitled to the benefits of this act.
ence of two witnesses, and acknowledged before
a duly qualified officer, whose official character
must be certified under seal.
In all cases the post-office address of tho claim
ant must be distinctly stakd.
Applications under this act will be numbored »
and acknowledged, to be acted on in their turn.
In filing additional evidence, correspondents
should always give the number of the claim as
well as the name of the claimant.
Applications for pensions are made to Hon.
Joseph H. Burnett, Commissioner of Pensions,
Washington, D. C, and any claimant addressing
him in person or by letter, will receive tho ne
cessary printed forms and instructions. Appli
cations are commonly made through attorneys,
or the agencies of the Sanitary Commission in
Washington and Philadelphia, or other local
agencies. The agency in Washington at 389 H
street, is intended for applicants of every class,
and from all parts of the country, and does all
the business necessary to secure a claim in as
prompt a manner as is possible, without any
charge to the claimants. Persons wishing their
claims to be prosecuted by this office, should ad
dress Pensions Agency of Sanitary Commission,
Washington, D. C, and everything will be done
for them in the promptest manner which the na
ture of their evidence permits.
Claimants who have recourse to local attorneys
ought to be sure that they are dealing with men
of known fidelity and honor. The fees of agents
and attorneys are fixed by law, and are as fol
•« For making out and causing to be duly ex
ecuted a declaration by the applicant, with tho
necessary affidavits, and forwarding the same to
the pension office with the requisite correspon
dence, five dollars. In case whenever additional
testimony is required by the Commissioner of
Pensions, for each affidavit so required and exe
cuted and forwarded, (except the affidavit of
Surgeons, for which such agents and attorneys
shall not be entitled to any fees,) one dollar and
fifty cents," (see Sec. 6, Oct. to Gen'l Pensions of
July 14, 1862.) The 7th Section of said act pre
scribes a penalty for illegal fees, and in these
words, viz : " That any agent or attorney who
shall, directly or indirectly, demand or receive
any greater compensation for his services under
this act than is prescribed in tho preceding sec
tion of this act, or who shall contract or agree to
other allowance under this act, on condition that
he shall receive a per centum upon, or any por
tion of the amount of such claim, or who shall
wrongfully withhold from a pensioner or other
claimant the whole or any part of tl>e pension or
claim allowed and clue to each pensioner or claim
ant, shall be deemed guilty of a high misde
meanor, and upou conviction thereof shall for
every such offence be fined not oxceeding three
hundrod dollars, or imprisoned at hard labor not
exceeding two years, or both, according to the
circumstances and aggravations of the offence."
The requirements of the law are often evaded,
notwithstanding tho heavy penalties, and will
probably continue to be evaded so long as inva
lids and other claimants are simple enough to
put their trust in total strangers, of whose integ
rity and competency they have no knowledge.
— » _.
The Michigan Legislature proposes to appro
priate $3,500, towards laying out and beautify
ing that part of the Gettysburg Cometry allotted