CHAP. 28.- An act amending the laws granting pensions to the soldiers and sailors of the war of eighteen hundred and twelve, and their widows, and for other purposes.
|Be in enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to place on the pension rolls the names of the surviving officers and enlisted and drafted men, without regard to color, including militia and volunteers, of the military and naval service of the United States, who served for fourteen days in the war with Great Britain of eighteen hundred and twelve, or who were in any engagement, and were honorably discharged, and the surviving widows of such officers and enlisted and drafted men.
SEC. 2. That this act shall not apply to any person who is receiving a pension at the rate of eight dollars per month or more, nor to any person receiving a pension of less than eight dollars per month except for the difference between the pension now received (if less than eight dollars per month) and eight dollars per month. Pensions under this act shall be at the rate of eight dollars per month, except as herein provided, and shall be paid to the person entitled thereto, from and after the passage of this act, for and during their natural lives: Provided, That the pensions to widows provided for in this act shall cease when they shall marry again.
SEC. 3. That before the name of any person shall be placed upon the pension-rolls under this act, proof shall be made, under such rules and regulations as the Commissioner of Pensions, with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, shall prescribe, that the applicant is entitled to a pension under this act; and any person who shall falsely take any oath required to be taken under the provisions of this act shall be guilty of perjury; and the Secretary of the Interior shall cause to be stricken from the rolls the name of any person, when it shall appear, by proof satisfactory to him, that such name was put on the said rolls by or through false or fraudulent representations, or by mistake as to the right of such person to a pension under this act. The loss or lack of a certificate of discharge shall not deprive the applicant of the benefit of this act, but other proof of the service performed and of an honorable discharge, if satisfactory, shall be deemed sufficient; and when there is no record evidence of such service and such discharge, the applicant may establish the same by other satisfactory testimony: Provided, That when any person has been granted a land-warrant under any act of Congress for and on account of service in the said war of eighteen hundred and twelve, such grant shall be prima-facie evidence of his service and honorable discharge, so as to entitle him, if living, or his widow, if he be dead, to a pension under this act; but such evidence shall not be conclusive, and may be rebutted by evidence that such land-warrant was improperly granted.
SEC. 4. That all applications for pensions of the classes provided for in this act heretofore or which may hereafter be made shall be considered and decided as though made under this act; and all laws now in force in regard to the manner of paying pensions, and in reference to the punishment of frauds, shall be applicable to all claims under the provisions of this act.
SEC. 5. That the Secretary of the Interior be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to restore to the pension-rolls the names of all persons now surviving heretofore pensioned on account of service in the war of eighteen hundred and twelve against Great Britain, or for service in any of the Indian wars, and whose names were stricken from the rolls in pursuance of the act entitled “An act authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to strike from the pension-rolls the names of such persons as have taken up arms against the government, or who have in any manner encouraged the rebels,” approved February fourth, eighteen hundred and sixty-two; and that the joint resolution entitled “Joint resolution prohibiting payment by any officer of the government to any person not known to have been opposed to the rebellion and in favor of its suppression,” approved March second, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, and section four thousand seven hundred and sixteen of the Revised Statutes of the United States, shall not apply to the persons provided for by this act: Provided, That no many shall be paid to any one of account of pensions for the time during which his name remained stricken from the rolls.
SEC. 6. That the surviving widow of any pensioner of the war of eighteen hundred and twelve where the name of said petitioner was stricken from the pension-rolls in pursuance of the act entitled An act authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to strike from the pension-rolls the names of such persons as have taken up arms against the government, or who have in any manner encouraged the rebels,” approved February fourth, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, and where, under the existing provisions of law, said pensioner died without his name being restored to the rolls, shall be entitled to make claim for a pension as such widow after the passage of this act: Provided, That no such arrearages shall be paid for any period prior to the removal of the disability of the pensioner, as provided in section five: And provided further, That under this act any widow of a Revolutionary soldier who served fourteen days or was in any engagement shell be placed upon the pension-rolls of the United States, and receive a pension at the rate of eight dollars per month.
SEC. 7. That all laws and clauses of laws in conflict with this act be, and they are hereby, repealed.
APPROVED, March 9, 1878.