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EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENT
PENSION, BOUNTY, AND PRIZE LAWS
WITH FORMS AND INSTRUCTIONS FOR COLLECTING ARREARS OF PAY,
BOUNTY, AND PRIZE MONEY, AND FOR OBTAINING PENSIONS.
443 & 445 BROADWAY.
EXTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District
of New York,
SERVING on the staff of the Governor of New Jersey. in 1862, it was my duty to visit the transports which arrivei at this port with wounded soldiers on board, and transfer to hospitals in New Jersey the men belonging to the regiments from that State. I was frequently asked questions by these men relating to their pay, bounty, and pensions, and, as I knew about as little concerning the matter as they did, those questions remained, for some time, unanswered. Afterward, the friends of deceased soldiers requested me to obtain their bounty and pensions for them. On attempting to do so, I found that the task was harder than I expected; and I sought in vain for any book containing the information I desired. Indeed, the entire legislation on the subject had then been so recent as to preclude the possibility of learning much from published books. I had to do as well as I could under the instructions of the Second Auditor and the Commissioner of Pensions. I adopted the plan of retaining a copy of the papers in each class of cases, and of altering them in those particulars wherein they proved defective. These copies comprise the prin. cipal portion of the forms in this book. As the matter grew, and new cases multiplied, I conceived the idea of putting them into the form of a book, judging, from my own experience, that such a work had become a necessity. The Government prefers that claimants be their own attorneys; but, under the instructions issued by the Departments, this is, to a great degree, impossible. The mass of claimants are not sufficiently expert to prepare their cases under such directions. The plan pursued in the following pages is to take one of each class of cases, and show every step to be taken, from the beginning to the end ; explaining the matter both by the text and in foot notes. I believe that any person of intelligence may, with this book, prepare the simpler cases of pay and bounty claims, and some pension cases; at the same time, I must confess that there are some in which such a person would probably fail. The large number of clains which have arisen since the present war have scattered claimants all over the country. Naturally these people seek a lawyer for advice as to the manner of proceeding to obtain their rights. In a large majority of cases, gentlemen of the profession have no knowledge on the subject, and do not know how to acquire such a knowledge. I offer this little book with confidence to the profession, as certain to save lawyers, in one case, if they never have any more, more time and trouble than its cost. To the public generally, the book is offered as containing a large amount of useful information on a subject now, unfortunately, brought home to half the families in the land. To the officers and soldiers of the army it will also be found a useful companion; and it is hoped, that by it, an amount of information of great value to the soldiers, and to their families at home, will be disseminated, and the prevailing ignorance respecting the subjects treated of, in a great degree removed.
I acknowledge with great pleasure the obligations which I owe to the following gentlemen, for information and documents furnished me in the compilation of this work: Hon. Joseph H. Barrett, Commissioner of Pensions; Ezra B. French, Esq., Sec ond Auditor of the Treasury; Alpheus Fobes, Esq., Pension Agent, New York, and I. Smith Homans, Esq., of the Treasury Department.
R. S. NEW YORK; December, 1863.