Return to Understanding Civil War
Pensions
Selections from Laws of the United States
Governing the Granting of
Army and Navy Pensions
Together with the Regulations Relating Thereto
by John C Black, Commissioner of Pensions,

Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1886
Selections from Laws of the United States Governing the Granting of Army Navy Pensions Together with the
Regulations Relating Thereto by John C Black, Commissioner of Pensions, Washington DC: Government Printing
Office, 1886

                                                        REVISED STATUTES NOW IN FORCE.
Sec. 4692
. Every person specified in the several classes who are entitied to pensions enumerated in the following
section, who has been, since the fourth day of March, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, '' or who is hereafter disabled
under the conditions therein stated, shall, upon making due proof of the fact, according to such forms and
regulations as are or may be provided in pursuance of law, be placed on the list of invalid pensioners of the United
States, and be entitled to receive, for a total disability, or a permanent specific disability, such pension as is
hereinafter provided in such cases; and for an inferior disability, except in cases of permanent specific disability, for
which the rate of pension is expressly provided, an amount proportionate to that provided for total disability; and
such pension shall commence as hereinafter provided, and continue during the existence of the disability.

Sec. 4693. The persons entitled as beneficiaries under the preceding section are as follows:

First. Any officer of the Army, including regulars, volunteers, and militia, or any or any enlisted man, however
employed, in the military or naval service of the United States, or in its Marine Gorps, whether regularly mustered or
not, disabled by reason of any wound or injury received, or disease contracted while in the service of the United
States and in the line of duty.

Second. Any master serving on a gunboat, or any pilot,  engineer, sailor, or other person not regularly mustered,
Resolution, ie serving upon any gunboat or war-vessel of the United States, disabled by any wound or injury
received, or otherwise incapacitated, while in the line of duty, for procuring his subsistence by manual labor.

Third. Any person not an enlisted soldier in the Army, serving for the time being as a member of the militia of any
1873' State, under orders of an officer of the United States, or who volunteered for the time being to serve with any
regularly organized military or naval force of the United States, or who otherwise volunteered and rendered service in
any engagement with rebels or Indians, disabled in consequence of wounds or injury received in the line of duty in
such temporary service. But no claim of a State militiaman, or non-enlisted person, on account of disability from
wounds or injury received in battle with rebels or Indians, while temporarily rendering service, shall be valid unless
prosecuted to a successful issue prior to the fourth day of July, eighteen hundred and seventy-four.

Fourth. Any acting assistant or contract surgeon disabled by any wound or injury received or disease contracted in
the line of duty while actually performing the duties of assistant surgeon or acting assistant surgeon with any military
force in the field, or in transitu, or in hospital,  

Fifth. Any provost-marshal, deputy provost-marshal, or enrolling-offlcer disabled, by reason of any wound or injury,
1866 received in the discharge of his duty, to procure a subsistence by manual labor.

[
Note: As the War of the Rebellion progressed Congress came to see that there more categories than men who had
been mustered into service. These are the categories that had been added by 1886 (1864, 1865,  1868, 1872,
1873)  there still would be more to come and some that never made it.  The woman who spied and scouted for the
United States Army in the Department of the South would never receive recognition in her life time --- Harriet
Tubman.]

Section 4694 No person shall be entitled to a pension by reason of wounds or injury received or disease contracted
in the service of the United States subsequent to the twenty seventh day of July, eighteen hundred and sixty-eight,
unless the person who was wounded, or injured, or contracted the disease was in the line of duty; and, if in the
military service, was at the time actually in the field, or on the march, or at some post, fort, or garrison, or en route,
by direction of competent authority, to some post, fort, or garrison; or, if in the naval service, was at the time borne
on the books of some ship or other vessel of the United States, at sea or in harbor, actually in commission, or was at
some naval station, or on his way, by direction of competent authority, to the United States, or to some other vessel,
or naval station, or hospital.

[Why is this date July 27, 1866 important? This is the legal date for the end of the War of Rebellion. It is the date of
President Johnson's proclamation ending the war.  So now you know....it's not Lee's surrender, Johnson's surrender,
Kirby-Smith running to Mexico. The war ended when ALL areas were restored to Federal control.]   

Sec. 4704. In the administration of the pension-laws, Legitimacy of children born before the marriage of their
parents, if acknowledged by the father before or after the marriage, shall be deemed legitimate.

Sec. 4705. The widows of colored and Indian soldiers and widows of colored and Indian 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 each other as man and wife, and were so 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 date is the
date of the A Bill For the Relief of Certain Colored Soldiers  (
see amendment)
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