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INSTRUCTIONS AND FORMS TO BE OBSERVED IN APPLYING FOR
PENSIONS UNDER THE ACT OF JULY 14TH, 1862.
PENSION ACT OF JULY 14TH, 1862.
UNDER the act of Congress approved July 14th, 1862, pensions are granted to the following classes of persons :
1st. Invalids disabled since March 4th, 1861, in the military and naval service of the United States, in the line of duty.
2d. Widows of officers, soldiers, or seamen, dying of wounds received or of disease contracted in the military or naval service as above.
3d. Children under sixteen years of age, of such deceased persons, if there be no widow surviving, or from the time of the widow's remarriage.
4th. Mothers (who have no husband living) of officers, soldiers, or seamen, deceased as aforesaid, provided the latter have left neither widow nor children under sixteen years of age; and provided also that the mother was dependent, wholly or in part, upon the deceased for support.
5th. Sisters under sixteen years of age of such deceased persons, dependent on the latter, wholly or in part, for support, provided there are no rightful claimants of either of the three last preceding classes.
The rates of pension to the several classes and grades are distinctly set forth in the first section of the act, a copy of which is herewith published. Only one full pension will be allowed to the relatives of a deceased officer, soldier, or seaman, and in the 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 commence from the date of the pensioner's discharge from service, provided application is made within one year thereafter. If the claim is not made until a later date, the pension will commence from the time of application. Pensions of widows and minors will commence from the death of the officer, soldier, or seaman on whose service the claim is based.
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 a justice of the peace, or other officer 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 therein.
The subjoined forms, marked respectively A, B, C, D, and E, will guide applicants for pensions, of the army branch, in the several classes. The forms should be exactly followed in every instance. No attorney will be regarded as having filed the necessary declaration and affidavits as contemplated by the seventh section of this act, unless the forms, as well as the instructions given in this pamphlet, are strictly complied with.
In support of the allegations made in the claimants de
claration, testimony will be required in accordance with the following rules :
1st. The claimant's identity must be 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 from personal acquaintance or for some other reasons given, that he or she is the identical person he or she represents himself or herself to be.
2d. Every applicant for an invalid pension must, if in his power, produce the certificate of the captain, or some other commissioned officer under whom he served, distinctly stating the time and place of the said applicant's having been wounded or otherwise disabled, and the nature of the disability, and that the said disability arose while he was in the service of the United States, and in the line of his duty.
3d. If it be impracticable to obtain such certificate, by reason of the death or removal of said officers, it must be so stated under oath 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 secondary evidence can be received. In such case the applicant must produce the testimony of at least two credible witnesses (who were in a condition to know the facts about which they testify) whose good character must be vouched for by a judicial officer, or by some one known to the department. The witnesses must give a minute narrative of the facts in relation to the matter, and must show how they obtained a knowledge of the facts to which they testify.
4th. The surgeon's certificate for discharge should show the character and degree of the claimant's disability, and when that is wanting, and when the certificate of an army surgeon is not obtainable, the certificate of two respectable civil surgeons will be received. These surgeons must give in their certificates a particular description of the wound,
injury, or disease, and 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.
5th. The habits of the applicant and his occupation since he 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 the legality of her marriage, the 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 husband's decease, and the place of their residence. On a subsequent marriage, her pension will cease, and the minor child or children of the deceased officer or soldier, if any be living
, under the age of sixteen years, will be entitled to the same in her stead from the date of such marriage.
Proof of the marriage of the parents and of the age of claimants will in like manner be required in all applications in behalf of minor children.
The legality of the marriage may be ascertained by the certificate of the clergyman who joined them in wedlock, or by the testimony of respectable persons having knowledge of the fact, in default of record evidence. The ages and number of children may be ascertained by the deposition of the mother, accompanied by the testimony of respectable persons having knowledge of them, or by transcripts from the parish or town registers, duly authenticated. Similar proof will be required of the marriage of the claimant, if the mother of the deceased officer or soldier, and that she remains a widow.* If the claimant be a dependent sister, like proof will be required 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, under the seal of the court from which their appointment is obtained.
* This is obsolete, see page 111.
Applicants of the last four classes above given, who have in any manner aided or abetted the rebellion against the United States Government, are not entitled to the benefits of this act.
Attorneys for claimants must have proper authority from those in whose behalf they appear. Powers of attorney must be signed in the presence 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 the claimant must be distinctly stated.
Applications under this act will be numbered 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.
To obtain the navy pensions provided by this act, applications must be made, and evidence filed, in strict accordance with the following rules and forms :
Invalids at the time of their discharge may make their applications and subscribe the same in the presence of the captain or executive officer of the vessel or station to which they have been attached, who will countersign the same, and certify to the applicant's identity. The claimant will therewith forward the paymaster's certificate of discharge, indorsed on his application by the paymaster or executive officer.
If the application be made at a later date, it must be before a court of record, or before some officer of such court authorized to administer oaths, and having custody of its seal.
Testimony may be taken before a justice of the peace or other officer having like authority to administer oaths, but in no case will any evidence be received that is verified be