« PreviousContinue »
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Acts of 3d session.
losing Limbs—Discharge of Soldiers-Pay of Officers—Pay of
ficers forbidden to sell Pay.
to apply for it-Form of Application and Proof—Trusses.
Payment of Arrears—Wills of Officers and Soldiers of Army
VI.-PAY AND BOUNTY OF DECEASED SOLDIERS, .
Who are entitled to collect-Declaration by Widow, Chil-
dren, Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters-Application of
Soldier discharged before service of two years, for bounty-
Instructions for preparing Claims—Application, Prvof, and
Who are to receive-Rates of Pension—Time when Pension
collecting-Circular of Fourth Auditor-Extract of Laws-
Circular of Paymaster-General regarding Payment-Circu-
XIV.-EXTRACTS FROM ACTS OF CONGRESS RELATING TO BOUNTY, PEN-
Application for Information, Furlough, and Discharge-
izing Volunteers-Women Nurses—Furloughs.
RESUMÉ OF MILITARY LEGISLATION SINCE THE OUTBREAK
OF THE REBELLION.
The rebellion of the States of the South, in the spring of 1861, found the country in a very unprepared state to resist the shocks even of an inconsiderable enemy, much less in a position to meet the desperate attack to which it was subjected. The army, which has sprung into being since then, had no existence; and the navy, which has now grown to such great proportions, was then insignificant. They have both been created by the terrible energy of a free people, suddenly awakened to a sense of wrong, injustice, and danger.
The regular army of the United States was but a skeleton force, and circumstances prevented its numerical strength from being largely increased. The volunteer service is more to the mind of our people, and the system is better adapted for recruiting.
The first record of the rebellion in a military point on the statute books of the nation is to be found in the act of Congress approved July 22d, 1861.
This act provides that the President may accept the services of volunteers, not exceeding five hundred thousand, to be mustered into the service for three years, or the war, if sooner ended.
These volunteers were to be organized into regiments and officered by the Governors of the States from which they came, and they were to be placed on the same footing in every respect as soldiers of the regular army.
They were to receive one hundred dollars bounty on their discharge after two years' service, or at the conclusion of the war, if sooner ended.
The law also provided that vacancies in the ranks of officers should be filled by election, but that clause was, shortly afterward, repealed. The act also provided for the examination by a board of officers of all persons appointed as officers.
On the 25th day of July, 1861, another act was passed, authorizing the President to accept the services of five hundred thousand more men, in such numbers as he considered necessary, but they were to be mustered into the service for “ during the war."
On the 29th of July, 1861, an act was passed adding temporarily to the regular army nine regiments, of three battalions each, the battalions containing eight companies. These regiments have been raised only in part.
The act of July 29th, 1861, provided for the calling out of the militia, to repel invasion or suppress insurrection. The old law, which limited the time for which the call was made to three months was repealed, and the time extended to nine months; providing, however, that the militia so called out should not be retained in service by the President more than sixty days after the regular time for the assembling of Congress at its next session. This act was found not to work well. The militia called out under it had to be raised, and the men might as easily have been enlisted for three years, as for the short period. They only got to be good soldiers about the period when their time expired.
On the 6th of August, 1861, an act was passed, raising the pay of privates in the army from eleven dollars a month, at which it had stood prior to the war, to thirteen dollars a month, and the clothing commutation had previously been fixed at three and a half dollars for non-commissioned officers and men.
A provision also existed in the law of July 22d concerning the forwarding of soldiers' letters by mail, without
prepayment of the postage.
Chapter 15 of the first session of the Thirty-seventh Congress, approved July 24th, 1861, granted compensation to the garrison of Fort Sumter for losses sustained by that gallant band at the time of removing from Fort Moultrie.
Chapter 19 of same session, approved July 25th, 1861, provided for the reorganization of the Marine Corps; which was, by this act, made to consist of one colonel-commandant, one colonel, two lieutenant-colonels, four majors, one adjutant and inspector, one paymaster, one quartermaster, two assistant quartermasters, twenty captains, thirty first lieutenants, thirty second lieutenants, one sergeant-major, one quartermaster-sergeant, one drum-major, one principal musician, two hundred sergeants, two hundred and twenty corporals, thirty musicians for band, sixty drummers, sixty fifers, and twenty-five hundred privates.
Chapter 42 of same session, approved August 3d, 1861, is entitled “ An act providing for the better Organization of the Military Establishment." This law provides for the appointment of an Assistant Secretary of War, additional inspector-generals, surgeons, and assistant-surgeons. It also makes changes in the department of the adjutant-general, and in the subsistence department. Sections 3 and 4 relate to the engineer corps, and provide for its increase. Section 5 provides for the appointment of medical cadets, section 6 for female nurses, and section 7 for chaplains. By section 9, the three months' extra pay formerly allowed to soldiers for reënlistment under certain conditions is abolished. Section 10 provides that two dollars a month be retained out of the pay of each enlisted man in the regular army until the expiration of his term of service, and section 11 provides that in all cases of enlistment and reënlistment in the mili