Return to Understanding Civil War
Pensions
African American Bounties
and Pay Arrears and
Specific Statute References

                                African American Bounties and Pay Arrears
                                 and Specific Statute references
Section 14 Pension Act of July 4, 1864
And be it further enacted, That the widows and children of colored soldiers who have been, or who may be hereafter,
killed, or who have died, or may hereafter die, of wounds received in battle, or who have died, or may hereafter die, of
disease contracted in the military service of the United States, and in the line of duty, shall be entitled to receive the
pensions now provided by law, without other proof of marriage than that the parties had habitually recognized each
other as man and wife, and lived together as such for a definite period next preceding the soldier's enlistment, not
less than two years, to be shown by the affidavits of credible witnesses:
Provided, however, That such widow and
children are free persons:
Provided further, That if such parties resided in any state in which their marriage may have
been legally solemnized, the usual evidence shall be required.

Note:
1. Among slaves there were no legal marriages. There were marriages between free persons and slaves before the
War but these would be by the Pension Bureau  regarded as slave marriages.

2. Because of the
Emancipation Proclamation all slaves of the Confederacy were freed. The difficulty in 1864 were the
boarder states: Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri where slaves were not free. These widows and children
would not be covered under this law. (See
marriage rules for more information on marriages)

3. To complicate matters further some soldiers were enrolled and mustered in (and fighting) before the Emancipation
Proclamation (see
33rd USCT). There were "free" persons of colour in this group but many more were contraband
slaves.  

See
Pension resolution Respecting bounties to colored soldiers June 15, 1866

See USCT
Bounty Back Pay Florida 1868

See
Patsy Murray Form # 3

See Jacob Stuart 34 USCT Bounty Claim August 19, 1871

Section 14 Pension Act of June 18, 1866
Sec. 14. And be it further enacted, That the fourteenth section of an act entitled "An act supplementary to an act
entitled 'An act to grant pensions,' approved July fourteenth, eighteen hundred and sixty-two," approved July fourth,
eighteen hundred and sixty-four, be, and the same is hereby, repealed, and that the widows and children of colored
soldiers and sailors who have been or may be hereafter killed, or who have died or may hereafter die of wounds
received or of disease contracted in the military or naval service of the United States, and in the line of duty, shall be
entitled to receive the pensions, bounty, and back pay provided by law, without other evidence of marriage than proof,
satisfactory to the Commissioner of Pensions, that the parties had habitually recotgnized each other as man and wife,
and lived together as such; and the children born of any marriage so proved shall be deemed and taken to be the
children of the soldier or sailor party thereto.

See
Pension resolution In Reference to the Collection and Payment of Bounties, etc, March 29, 1867

Section 1 March 3, 1873
Sec. 4723. All colored persons who enlisted in the Army during the war of the rebellion, and who are now prohibited
from receiving bounty and pension on account of being borne on the rolls of their regiments as " slaves," shall be
placed on the same footing, as to bounty and pension, as though they had not been slaves at the date of their
enlistment.

Amendment to A Bill for the Relief of Certain Colored Soldiers


Section 4705, Revised Statutes. (1917)
The widows of colored and Indian soldiers and sailors who have died, or shall hereafter die, by reason of wounds or
injuries received, or casualty received, or disease contracted, in the military or naval service of the United States, and
in the line of duty, shall be entitled to receive the pension provided by law without other evidence of marriage than
satisfactory proof that the parties were joined in marriage by some ceremony deemed by them obligatory, or habitually
recognized by their neighbors, and lived together as such up to the date of enlistment, when such soldier or sailor
died in the service, or, if otherwise, to date of death; and the children born of any marriage so proved shall be
deemed and held to be lawful children of such soldier or sailor, but this section shall not be applicable to any claims
on account of persons who enlist after the third day of March, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-three.

Note: This regulation is no longer dependent upon the laws of the State where the veteran or widow resides. It simply
becomes:

1. satisfactory proof that the parties were joined in marriage by some ceremony deemed by the obligatory or
habitually recognized by there neighbors.

2. Lived together as such up to the date of enlistment, when such soldier or sailor died in the service

3. Otherwise to date of death

4. Any children born of any marriage so proved shall be deemed and held to be lawful children of such soldier or
sailor.

FIRST KANSAS COLORED VOLUNTEERS, 1863. ACT MARCH 3, 1891 (26 STAT. L., 1436).
Section 1. That all officers of the First Kansas Colored Volunteers who were mustered into the service of the United
States on or before the second day of May, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, shall take rank and be entitled to pay
from the date when they respectively held and performed the duties of their rank in said regiment, or in the companies
or battalions of which said regiment was composed, of a rank equal to the rank they respectively held when mustered
into the service of the United States in said regiment.

Sec. 2. That Captain Andrew I. Crew, Corporal Joseph Talbot, Privates Marion Barber, Samuel Davis, Henry Gash,
Thomas Lane, Allen Rhodes, and John Sixkiller, who were killed in action at Island Mound, Missouri, October
twenty-eighth, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, whilst on duty with the companies and battalions of which said
regiment was subsequently composed, shall be entitled to the rank, pay, and emoluments conferred by section one of
this act.

Sec. 3. That Privates Edward Curtis, Jacob Edwards, Lazarus Johnson, General Dudley, Manuel Dobson, and
Thomas Knight, of said companies and battalions, who were wounded in action at Island Mound, Missouri, October
twenty-eighth, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, but were not mustered into the United States service, shall be entitled
to all rights, privileges, and benefits conferred upon wounded or disabled soldiers by the provisions of the United
States pension laws.

Note: Notice how this expansion pushes the dates of pensions back before these USCT units were mustered into
active service but were already fighting.
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