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THE COMMISSIONER OF PENSIONS
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Pension Office, October 25, 1866. Sir: The transactions of this bureau during the past year, as concisely reported in the following statements, surpass in importance those of any like period since its organization. The aggregate amount of the pensions paid during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1862, just prior to the passage of the liberal and comprehensive pension act of July 14, 1862, was only $790,384 76. the close of the four years succeeding that date the annual amount thus paid had increased to more than $13,000,000. For the current year there will be a much larger aggregate, and the estimates for the next fiscal year, the rates of pensions having been increased at the last session of Congress, call for a sus exceeding $33,000,000. Under the bounty-land acts of 1850 and 1855, the labor devolving upon the Pension Office was very great for a brief period; yet the entire aggregate value of all the bounty-land warrants issued under the various acts since the formation of the government, estimating the public lands so granted at $1 25 per acre, only amounted, as stated in my annual report for 1862, to $82,252,327 50. The whole amount added during the last four years will not raise the aggregate above $83,000,000. The total sum paid in pensions proper, down to 1862, was $90,668,521 06. During the four years next succeeding, the whole amount paid was $27,518,908 63. The amount of business now annually devolving upon the bounty-land division is relatively insig. nificant; while the pensions granted during the last year, under all the acts of a date prior to that of July 14, 1862, are numerically unimportant, in comparison with those allowed under that and the supplementary acts. In view of the large number of applications which continue to be received each month, on account of casualties in the late war, it is manifest that the aggregate annual amount of pensions will continue to swell for some years to come.
Only one of the soldiers of the Revolution whose names are inscribed on the pension rolls is now living-SAMUEL DOWNING, of Edinburg, Saratoga county, New York. This veteran, distinguished by fortune as the last known survivor of the heroic men who achieved by arms our national independence, enlisted from Carroll county, New Hampshire, and is now more thau one hundred years old.
At the close of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1861, there were sixty-three officers and soldiers of the Revolution whose names still appeared on the returns of payments made by the pension agents. Of this number only fourteen resided in the States then in insurrection. No one of the last-mentioned pensioners has since claimed his pension, and it is reasonably presumed that all had deceased before the authority of the federal government was fully restored in those States. Of the forty-nine residing in the loyal States, nearly two-fifths had disappeared from the returns for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1862, lear.
ing but thirty survivors. A year later, in 1863, there remained but eighteen, and in 1864 but five. Since the 30th of June, 1865, William Hutchins, of Maine, and Lemuel Cook, of New York, of the three survivors at that date, have died, each having attained an age exceeding one hundred years.
The surviving revolutionary soldier receives, in addition to his original pension, $100 per annum under an act approved April 1, 1864, and $300 per annum under an act approved February 27, 1865.
The whole number of the widows of revolutionary soldiers on the pension rolls, as returned at the close of the last fiscal year, was 931-a diminution of eighty-four during the year. Under the act approved July 4, 1836, pensions were granted only to those widows who were married to the deceased soldiers prior to the close of the latters' military service. All the pensioners of this class are deceased but the two following, viz: Jane Slaughter, widow of Isaac Slaughter, of Orange county, New York, who receives $80 per annum; and Nancy Serena, widow of Joseph Serena, of Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, who receives $96 per annum.
The act of February 2, 1848, extended the benefits of the pension laws to those widows of revolutionary soldiers whose marriage with the latter took place prior to January 1, 1794. Of this class of pensioners only ninety-two were living on the 30th of June last-a decrease of sixteen during the yearresiding as follows: In the New England States, forty-one; in New York, twenty-four; in Pennsylvania, one; in Virginia, four; in Ohio, six ; in Kentucky, three; in Tennessee, three; in North Carolina, three; in New Jersey, two; in Indiana, one; in Illinois, one; in Michigan, one; in Louisiana one; in the District of Columbia, one.
The act of July 29, 1848, further extended the benefits of the provisions in behalf of the widows of revolutionary soldiers to those married to the latter before January 1, 1800. Under this act there are sixty-three pensioners, residing as follows: In the New England States, twenty-six ; in New York, seven; in Pennsylvania, four; in Ohio, three; in Indiana, three; in Virginia, seven; in Kentucky, seven; in Illinois, one; in Michigan, one; in Wisconsin, one; iu Tennessee, one; in Mississippi, one; in Maryland, one.
By the second section of the act of February 3, 1853, all limitation as to date of marriage was removed, for the benefit of the widows of revolutionary soldiers. Under this and special acts, the remainder of the pensioners included in the foregoing aggregate of widows of revolutionary soldiers were pensioned.
OTHER ARMY PENSIONERS UNDER ACTS PRIOR TO THAT OF 1862.
As already indicated, the number of pensioners other than revolutionary, under the various pension laws enacted prior to that of July 14, 1862, by reason of deaths or disabilities incurred in the wars subsequent to the Revolution, is comparatively small, and yearly diminishing. After a lapse of more than fifty years since the close of the war of 1812, applications consequent upon that class of service are rare, and of those received, as well as of the suspended or rejected claims called up anew, very few are found admissible. The numbers engaged in the various Indian wars were comparatively small, and the casualties relatively unimportant. The applications resulting
from the Mexican war have also been chiefly disposed of, and but a small number of cases of this class now come up for adjustment. The whole number of invalid pensioners now on the rolls who were disabled in these several wars does not exceed 3,000. The number of widows and minor children whose names appeared on the pension rolls at the close of the last fiscal year, on account of deaths incurred in the service after the Revolution and prior to the 4th of March, 1861, under general and special acts, was 1,227. There will manifestly be a large ratio of diminution in the lists of invalids, widows, and minors of this intermediate period until, within a few years, nearly all of those now remaining will have disappeared from the pension rolls.
ADMISSIONS TO THE ARMY PENSION ROLLS. The number of invalid pensions granted on original applications, during the last fiscal year, was 22,645, at an average individual rate of $77 58, and an a gregate rate of $1,756,812 20 per annum. The number of invalid pensions increased during the same time was 1,263, at an annual amount of increase i $43,946 25. The entire number of army invalid applications of both classa allowed during the year was 23,908, and the annual aggregate of these admi: sions $1,800,764 45.
The number of original applications of widows and dependent relatives of deceased officers and soldiers of the army allowed during the year was 27,076, a: an average rate, each, of $101 33, and an aggregate of $2,743,711 17 per an
Of this class of pensioners, six were increased during the year to thamount of $299 10, making the total number of admissions, under the widow: division, 27,082, with a total yearly amount of $2,744,010 27.
The whole number of new army pensioners, of all classes, added to the roll: during the year ending June 30, 1866, was 49,721, the aggregate of whose persions was $4,500,523 37 per annum. The number dropped from the rolls du: ing the same period, by reason of death, remarriage, and other causes, w: 9,342, at an annual aggregate rate of $880,173 62.
NUMBER AND AMOUNT OF ARMY PENSIONS.
There were on the pension rolls on the 30th day of June last 54,620 invalia: the yearly rate of whose pensions was $4,128,718 15, and 69,889 widows an: dependent relatives, at a yearly rate of $7,284,404 11; making a grand totale army pensioners of 124,509, and a grand annual aggregate of $11,413,122 25
The amount paid during the year to revolutionary pensioners, (including parments to pension agents,) was $252,204 38; to army invalid pensioner $3,815,805 04; and to widows and dependent relatives of deceased officers and soldiers of the army, (other than revolutionary,) $9,109,436 70; giving th total sum of $13,177,446 12.
Of original applications for navy invalid pensions, 238 were allowed during the year ending June 30, 1866, at an average rate of $79 42, and an aggregate amount of $18,902 50 per annum. There were twenty-five pensions of this class increased at an annual aggregate of $917 ; making a total of 266 nary invalid applications allowed, and an aggregate annual rate of $19,819 50. "The number of original applications of widows and dependent relatives of deceased officers and seamen of the navy allowed during the same period was 213, at a average rate of $151 26, and an aggregate of $32,976 per annum.
The total number of navy invalid pensioners on the rolls at the close of the fiscal year was 1,032, at an aggregate annual rate of $72,610 05; and the number of' widows and dependent relatives 1,181, at an aggregate annual rate of $188,742. The whole number of navy pensioners of all classes was 2,213, and the total annual amount of their pensions $261,352 05.
The amount paid to navy invalid pensioners during the year was $56,356 S6, and to widows and dependent relatives of navy officers and seamen $226,193 45. an aggregate of $282,550 31.
Fuller details of the various matters included in the foregoing summary, showing the transactions of this bureau in their relations to the different States and Territories, and at the several pension agencies, are given in the tabular statements, respectively marked A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H, appended to this report.
The following table shows the number of pensioners of all classes, army and navy, on the rolls for the year ending June 30, 1861, and the number added each year since that date, as well as the aggregate number dropped from the rolls during the last five years, by reason of death, remarriage, and other causes :
The following table shows the number of pensioners paid each year, during the six years ending June 30, 1866 :
The respective numbers in each State and Territory are given in an appendix to this report.
ROLLS AND AGENCIES IN STATES LATELY IN REBELLION.
Under the operation of an act approved February 4, 1862, all the names of the pensioners on the rolls of the eleven States confederated in rebellion were, on the restoration of the federal relations with those States, after the disbandment of their armies, stricken from the pension rolls. This was effected by an order issued under the date of June 10, 1865. Previously, after the commencement of hostilities, the operations of this office in those States had of necessity been suspended. At the date of my last annual report, pension agents had been appointed in Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana, with a view to the
resumption of payments to such pensioners as might establish, in the manner prescribed, their continuous loyalty throughout the war, and to the enrolmes: of new pensioners residing in those States, who had been found entitled there! by reason of casualties incurred by service in suppressing the rebellion.
Durix the past year an agency has been opened in the State of North Carolina. Pes sioners residing in Texas are inscribed on the roll at New Orleans. The very small number of pensioners in the remaining five States are chiefly inscribed the rolls of the District of Columbia.
The following statement will show the number of pensioners and the amounts paid at each of the above-named agencies :
The number of bounty land applications allowed during the year ending September 30, 1866, was as follows: Under the act of February 11, 1847, 4 warrants, for 160 acres each.... 649 Under the act of March 3, 1855, 385 warrants, for 160 acres each.... 61, 6(
120 acres each... 844 9 80 acres each
Whole number of warrants.... 406 Whole number of acres...
The number of duplicates issued in lieu of lost warrants was 27, and the number of warrants cancelled 61. The number of original applications for bounty land warrants received was 701, and the number of suspended applications re examined 1,852.
The following list comprises the names of the examining surgeons appointed under the provisions of the eighth section of the pension act of July 14, 1862. who are acting as such at the present date :