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A FEW words only are deemed necessary in introducing a work like this to the public. It speaks for itself. Its arrangement is so simple and natural, and its subjects so presented, that any person, of ordinary intelligence, can understand what is necessary in the prosecution of any just claims against the Government for pension, back pay, bounty, or bounty land.
In this compilation, no laws are introduced but what are now in: force and practical use in the workings of the Pension Office. All others have been carefully excluded.
The forms and instructions in this volume are those authorized and used by the several departments they represent. No others have been admitted.
This is believed to be the first and only volume published containing a complete set of forms and instructions for obtaining the pay of pensions, transfer, and all other changes desired, or necessary, after a pension certificate has been issued, and the pensioner's name entered on the pension roll.
It will be seen that the proceedings necessary to procure a pension, when the claim is well founded, are very simple; and that no man needs the intervention of any intermediate party to obtain a pension who has common intelligence and an honest claim.
The steps to be taken in making up a pension case are :
1st. The declaration, with two witnesses, made before a court of record, or some officer representing it.
2d. The certificate of two surgeons as to the injury received or disease contracted, and the degree of disability resulting thereupon. If civil surgeons, it must be sworn to before some officer authorized to administer oaths.
3d. The certificate of some commissioned officer having personal
knowledge of the facts, stating the time, place, and all the circum stances attending the injury received or disease contracted, or its de. velopment or appearance. If not in the military service at the time the certificate is made, it must be sworn to and properly certified.
These three papers are all that are needed to make out a case, and if they are properly executed and true, will secure a pension. But those who attempt to get up such papers should remember they will be subjected to a comparison with the records of the War Department, as a test of the truth of what is alleged.
With these brief words of explanation, this volume is submitted to the public with the hope that it may prove a help to all those who have occasion to consult such a book, in properly making the claims that are just and true.
It has been the aim to make it a volume of practical value. If it does not prove so, it will be from the want of ability to make it so; not from the want of a disposition, or of effort in that direction.
The compiler desires to express his thanks to the several gentlemen connected with the Pension Office who have rendered him aid, either in preparing papers or by their council and advice; he feels under obligations to them for many valuable suggestions, as well as contributions.
Requiring the commanders of American vessels sailing to foreign ports, and
persons prosecuting claims before any of the departments or bureaus of the United States, to take the oath of allegiance.
APPROVED, JULY 17, 1862. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the commanders of all American vessels sailing from ports in the United States to foreign ports, during the continuance of the present rebellion, and all persons prosecuting claims, either as attorney or on his own account, before any of the departments or bureaus of the United States, shall be required to take the oath of allegiance and to support the Constitution of the United States, (or affirm, as the case may be,) as required of persons in the civil service of the United States, by the provisions of the act of Congress approved August sixth, eighteen hundred and sixty-one.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the oath or affirmation herein provided for in the first section of this act may be taken before any justice of the peace, notary public, or other person who is legally authorized to administer an oath in the State or district where the same may be administered; and that any violation of such oath by any person or persons taking the same shall subject the offender to all the
pains and penalties of wilful, corrupt perjury, who shall be liable to be indicted and prosecuted to conviction for any such ofsence before any court having competent jurisdiction thereof.
In conformity with the foregoing law, the Commissioner of Pensions issued a circular under date of July 29, 1862, requiring all attorneys and agents to take the following oath of allegiance before they would thereafter be recognised as agents or attorneys in the prosecution of claims before his bureau. This oath is required to be duly subscribed before a justice of the peace or other magistrate, whose official character is required to be properly certified under seal. When thus executed, it must be transmitted to the Pension Office.
I, ,- do solemnly that I have never voluntarily borne arms against the United States since I have been a citizen thereof; that I have voluntarily given no aid, countenance, counsel, or encouragement to persons engaged in armed hostility thereto; that I have neither sought nor accepted nor attempted to exercise the functions of any office whatever, under any authority, or pretended authority, in hostility to the United States; that I have not yielded a voluntary support to any pretended government, authority, power, or constitution, within the United States, hostile or inimical thereto. And I do further that, to the best of my knowledge and ability, I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion : So help