14 July 1862 c. 166 12 Stat. 566

CHAP. CLXVI.- 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, noncommissioned officer, musician, or private of the army, including regulars, volunteers, and militia, or any officer, warrant, or petty officer, musician, seaman, ordinary seaman, flotilla-man, 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, 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, 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, captains’ and paymasters’ clerk, second and third assistant engineer, masters’ 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 such pension as is herein provided for the rank in which they hold commissions.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That if any officer or other person named in the first section of this act has died since the fourth day of March, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, or shall hereafter die, by reason of any wound received or disease contracted while in the service of the United States, and in the line of duty, his widow, or, if there be no widow, his child or children under sixteen years of age, shall be entitled to receive the same pension as the husband or father would have been entitled to had he been totally disabled, to commence from the death of the husband or father, and to continue to the widow during her widowhood, or to the child or children until they severally attain to the age of sixteen years, and no longer.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That where any officer or other person named in the first section of this act shall have died subsequently to the fourth day of March, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, or shall hereafter die, by reason of any wound received or disease contracted while in the service of the United States, and in the line of duty, and has not left or shall not leave a widow nor legitimate child, but has left or shall leave a mother who was dependent upon him for support, in whole or in part, the mother shall be entitled to receive the same pension as such officer or other person would have been entitled to had he been totally disabled; which pension shall commence from the death of the officer or other person dying as aforesaid: Provided, however, That if such mother shall herself be in receipt of a pension as a widow, in virtue of the provisions of the second section of this act, in that case no pension or allowance shall be granted to her on account of her son, unless she gives up the other pension or allowance: And provided, further, That the pension given to a mother on account of her son shall terminate on her remarriage: And provided, further, That nothing herein shall be so construed as to entitle the mother of an officer or other person dying, as aforesaid, to more than one pension at the same time under the provisions of this act.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That where any officer or other person named in the first section of this act shall have died subsequently to the fourth day of March, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, or shall hereafter die, by reason of any wound received or disease contracted while in the service of the United States, and in the line of duty, and has not left or shall not leave a widow, nor legitimate child, nor mother, but has left or may leave an orphan sister or sisters, under sixteen years of age, who were dependent upon him for support, in whole or in part, such sister or sisters shall be entitled to receive the same pension as such officer or other person would have been entitled to had he been totally disabled which pension to said orphan shall commence from the death of the officer or other-person dying as aforesaid, and shall continue to the said orphans until they severally arrive at the age of sixteen years, and no longer Provided, however, That nothing herein shall be so construed as to entitle said orphans to more than one pension at the same time, under the provisions of this act: And provided, further, That no moneys shall be paid to the widow, or children, or any heirs of any deceased soldier on account of bounty, back pay, or pension, who have in any way been engaged in or who have aided or abetted the existing rebellion in the United States; but the right of such disloyal widow or children, heir or heirs of such soldier, shall be vested in the loyal heir or heirs of the deceased, if any there be.

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That pensions which may be granted, in pursuance of the provisions of this act, to persons who may have been, or shall be, employed in the military or naval service of the United States, shall commence on the day of the discharge of such persons in all cases in which the application for such provisions is filed within one year after the date of said discharge; and in cases in which the application is not filed during said year, pensions granted to persons employed as aforesaid shall commence on the day of the filing of the application.

SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That the fees of agents and attorneys for making out and causing to be executed the papers necessary to establish a claim for a pension, bounty, and other allowance, before the Pension Office under this act, shall not exceed the following rates: For making out and causing to be duly executed a declaration by the applicant, with the necessary affidavits, and forwarding the same to the Pension Office, with the requisite correspondence, five dollars. In cases wherein additional testimony is required by the Commissioner of Pensions, for each affidavit so required and executed and forwarded (except the affidavits of surgeons, for which such agents and attorneys shall not be entitled to, any fees,) one dollar and fifty cents.

SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, 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 the preceding section of this act, or who shall contract or agree to prosecute any claim for a pension, bounty, or other allowance under this act, on the condition that he shall receive a per centum upon, or any portion of the amount of such claim, or who shall wrongfully withhold from a pensioner or other claimant the whole or any part of the pension or claim allowed and due to such pensioner or claimant, shall be deemed guilty of a high misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall, for every such offence, be fined not exceeding three hundred dollars, or imprisoned at hard labor not exceeding two years, or both, according to the circumstances and aggravations of the offence.

SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That the Commissioner of Pensions be, and he is hereby, empowered to appoint, at his discretion, civil surgeons to make the biennial examinations of pensioners which are or may be required to be made by law, and to examine applicants for invalid pensions, where he shall deem an examination by a surgeon to be appointed by him necessary; and the fees for each of such examinations, and the requisite certificate thereof, shall be one dollar and fifty cents, which fees shall be paid to the surgeon by the person examined, for which he shall take a receipt, and forward the same to the Pension Office; and upon the allowance of the claim of the person examined, the Commissioner of Pensions shall furnish to such person an order on the pension agent of his State for the amount of the surgeon’s fees.

SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That the Commissioner of Pensions, on application made to him in person or by letter by any claimants or applicants for pension, bounty, or other allowance required by law to be adjusted and paid by the Pension Office, shall furnish such claimants, free of all expense or charge to them, all such printed instructions and forms as may be necessary in establishing and obtaining said claim; and in case such claim is prosecuted by an agent or attorney of such claimant or applicant, on the issue of a certificate of pension or the granting of a bounty or allowance, the Commissioner of Pensions shall forthwith notify the applicant or claimant that such certificate has been issued or allowance made, and the amount thereof.

SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That the pilots, engineers, sailors, and crews upon the gunboats and war vessels of the United States, who have not been regularly mustered into the service of the United States, shall be entitled to the same bounty allowed to persons of corresponding rank in the naval service, provided they continue in service to the close of the present war; and all persons serving as aforesaid, who have been or may be wounded or incapacitated for service, shall be entitled to receive for such disability the pension allowed by the provisions of this act, to those of like rank, and each and every such person shall receive pay according to corresponding rank in the naval service: Provided, That no person receiving pension or bounty under the provisions of this act shall receive either pension or bounty for any other service in the present war.

SEC. 11. And be it further enacted, That the widows and heirs of all persons described in the last preceding section who have been or may be employed as aforesaid, or who have been or may be killed in battle, or of those who have died or shall die of wounds received while so employed, shall be paid the bounty and pension allowed by the provisions of this act, according to rank, as provided in the last preceding section.

SEC. 12. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby, authorized to appoint a special agent for the Pension Office, to assist in the detection of frauds against the pension laws, to cause persons committing such frauds to be prosecuted, and to discharge such other duties as said Secretary may require him to perform; which said agent shall receive for his services an annual salary of twelve hundred dollars, and his actual travelling expenses incurred in the discharge of his duties shall be paid by the government.

SEC. 13. And be it further enacted, That all acts and parts of acts inconsistent with the provisions of this act be, and the same are hereby, repealed.

APPROVED, July 14, 1862.

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