16 April 1816 c. 55 3 Stat. 285

An Act making further provision for military services during the late war, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That when any officer or private soldier of the militia, including rangers, sea fencibles and volunteers, or any non-commissioned officer, musician or private, enlisted for either of the terms of one year or eighteen months, or any commissioned officer of the regular army shall have died while in the service of the United States, during the late war, or in returning to his place of residence, after being mustered out of service, or who shall have died at any time thereafter, in consequence of wounds received whilst in the service, and shall have left a widow, or if no widow, a child or children, under sixteen years of age, such widow, or if no widow, such child or children, shall be entitled to receive half the monthly pay to which the deceased was entitled at the time of his death, for and during the term of five years; and in case of death or intermarriage of such widow before the expiration of said five years, the half pay for the remainder of the time shall go to the child or children of said decedent. Provided always, That the secretary of war shall adopt such forms of evidence in applications under this act, as the President of the United States may prescribe. Provided also, That the officers and private soldiers of the militia, as aforesaid, who have been disabled by wounds or otherwise, while in the service of the United States in the discharge of their duty, during the late war, shall be placed on the list of pensioners in the same manner as the officers and soldiers of the regular army, under such forms of evidence, as the President of the United States may prescribe. Provided also, That the provisions of this act shall not extend to any person embraced in the provision of an act, entitled “An act to provide for the widows and orphans of militia slain, and for militia disabled in the service of the United States,” passed the second day of August, one thousand eight hundred and thirteen.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That when any non-commissioned officer, musician or private soldier of the regular army of the United States shall have been killed in battle, or have died of wounds or disease, while in the service of the United States, during the late war, and have left a child or children under sixteen years of age, it shall be lawful for the guardian of such child or children, within one year from the passing of this act, to relinquish the bounty land, to which such non-commissioned officer, musician or private soldier, had he survived the war, would have been entitled; and, in lieu thereof, to receive half the monthly pay to which such deceased person was entitled, at the time of his death, for and during the term of five years, to be computed from and after the seventeenth day of February, one thousand eight hundred and fifteen, the payment thereof to be made when and where other military pensions are or shall be paid; and where a warrant for the military bounty land aforesaid shall have been issued to or for the use of the child or children of any such deceased non-commissioned officer, musician or private soldier, such child or children, or either of them, being under sixteen years of age, it shall be lawful for the guardian of such minor or minors, to surrender and deliver such warrant into the office for the department of war, within one year from the passing of this act; of which surrender and delivery, the secretary of that department shall give notice to the Secretary of the Treasury, who shall thereupon give the requisite orders for the payment of the half pay hereby provided for.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That all soldiers who have been enlisted to serve for five years, or during the war, and were above the age of forty-five, or under the age of eighteen years, who have faithfully served during the late war, and have been regularly discharged, and the representatives of such soldiers as shall have died whilst in the service of the United States, and all soldiers who have been enlisted, and have faithfully served during the late war, until they have been promoted to the rank of commissioned officers, who, if they had served during the war under their enlistment, and been regularly discharged, would have been entitled to a bounty in land, shall be entitled to one hundred and sixty or three hundred and twenty acres of land, according to the term of enlistment: the warrants and patents to issue in the same manner as in the case of soldiers enlisted of proper age, and discharged under similar circumstances.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That for the purpose of carrying the provisions of this act into effect, and other acts giving bounty lands to soldiers of the regular army, the President of the United States is hereby authorized to cause to be surveyed and laid off in one or more surveys, two millions of acres not otherwise appropriated, in addition to the appropriations of lands by the act of May the sixth, one thousand eight hundred and twelve, for designating, surveying and granting military bounty lands according to the provisions of said act.

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That no transfer of land, granted in virtue of this or any other law, giving bounties of land to non-commissioned officers, musicians and privates enlisted during the late war, shall be valid, unless the contract or agreement therefor, or letter of attorney, giving power to sell or convey, shall have been executed after the patents shall be issued and delivered to the persons entitled thereto.

APPROVED. April 16, 1816.

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