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PART II.

ACT OF JULY 14, 1862,

By this law several important changes in relation to pensions have been made, which must be regarded by all right-minded men as eminently wise and just. Attention is called to a few of these points.

1. Every one conversant with our pension laws has been impressed with the great disparity in the rates of pensions between the army and navy, discriminating most unjustly against the latter. This act has placed every class and grade in the military and naval service of the United States on the same footing, and graduated the rate of each individual's pension by the same principles.

2. This law has made the rates of pension specific and fixed in all cases, instead of contingent and moveable as the most of them were under previous laws.

3. Under this act pensions commence on the date of discharge instead of on the completion of testimony, as under previous laws. But to secure this, application must be made within one year from the date of the discharge. If this is not done the pension will commence on the date of the application. The object of this is, to discountenance and discourage delays and prevent the accumulation of arrears, which usually benefit sharpers and knaves much more than the soldiers or their families.

4. It has equalized, to a certain extent, the rates of pensions between officers and soldiers. This is especially true when taken in connexion with their families.

5. One new principle has been introduced into this law, adopted from the English pension laws, not recognised in any of our previous legislation on this subject. Reference is here had to the provision for pensions to widowed mothers and orphan sisters under sixteen years of age, dependent wholly, or in part, on a deceased soldier for their support. This is so manifestly just that it need only to be stated to .be recognised and admitted.

6. This law is emphatically the people's law. It is a law which looks carefully after the welfare of the workers. It is entirely a new law, wiping the statute books clean of all previous laws, so far as they might have any application to cases arising subsequent to March 4, 1861. All pension cases originating after this date, in all branches and grades of the military and naval service of the United States, will be adjudicated under the provisions of this act only. The wisdom of this change can be appreciated only by those who have had practical experience in the adjudication of pension claims.

This law is designed to be a permanent statute, applying to all wars in which the United States may become involved subsequent to March 4, 1861, and to the military and naval peace establishment'as well, instead of being special and limited like most of the laws heretofore passed. It is the temporary character of most of the provisions of the pension laws heretofore enacted, and the consequent demand for new legislation in the premises, whenever there was occasion to call out any portion of the military forces of the country, that has introduced the doubt and confusion that has afflicted the Pension Office and embarrassed its action. This act happily puts an end to all this, so far as cases may arise subsequent to March 4, 1861.

PENSION ACT OF JULY 14, 1862.

AN ACT TO GRANT PENSIONS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That if any officer, non-commissioned officer, musician, or private of the army, including regulars, volunteers, and militia, or any officer, warrant or petty officer, musician, seaman, ordinary seaman, flotillaman, marine, clerk, landsman, pilot, or other person in the navy or marine corps, has been, since the fourth day of March, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, or shall hereafter be, disabled by reason of any wound received or disease contracted while in the service of the United States, and in the line of duty, he shall, upon making due proof of the fact according to such forms and regulations as are or may be provided by or in pursuance of law, be placed upon the list of invalid pensions of the United States, and be entitled to receive, for the highest rate of disability, such pension as is hereinafter provided in such cases, and for an inferior disability an amount proportionate to the highest disability, to commence as hereinafter provided, and continue during the existence of such disability. The pension for a total disability for officers, non-commissioned officers, musicians, and privates employed in the military service of the United States, whether regulars, volunteers, or militia, and in the marine corps, shall be as follows, viz: Lieutenant colonel, and all officers of a higher rank, thirty dollars per month; major, twentyfive dollars per month; captain, twenty dollars per month; first lieutenant, seventeen dollars per month; second lieutenant, fifteen dollars per month; and noncommissioned officers, musicians, and privates, eight dollars per month. The pension for total disability for officers, warrant or petty officers, and others employed in the naval service of the United States, shall be as follows, viz: Captain, commander, surgeon, paymaster, and chief engineer, respectively, ranking with commander by law, lieutenant commanding, and master commanding, thirty dollars per month; lieutenant, surgeon, paymaster and chief engineer, respectively, ranking with lieutenant by law, and passed assistant surgeon, twenty-five dollars per month; professor of mathematics, master, assistant surgeon, assistant paymaster, and chaplain, twenty dollars per month; first assistant engineers and pilots, fifteen dollars per month; passed midshipman, midshipman, captain's and paymaster's clerk, second and third assistant engineer, master's mate, and all warrant officers, ten dollars per month; all petty officers, and all other persons before named employed in the naval service, eight dollars per month; and all commissioned officers, of either service, shall receive such and only

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