Part three in a post originally published a year ago on blogspot, dkaysdays.
I imagine R.R. Gurley, face marked with concern, sitting by Ira’s bed as he recuperated from heat prostration in August 1892. What are you going to do? How will you take care of yourself? Have you thought about applying for a soldier’s pension?
To receive a pension per the Act of June 27, 1890 the Soldier’s Application states the soldier must have:
1. An honorable discharge (but the certificate need not be filed unless called for ).
2. A minimum service of ninety days.
3. A permanent physical disability not due to vicious habits. (It need not have originated in the service.)
4.The rates under the act are graded from $6 to $12, proportioned to the degree of inability to earn support, and are not affected by the rank held.
5. A pensioner under prior laws may apply under this one, or a pensioner under this one may apply under other laws, but he cannot draw more than one pension for the same period.
Before permitting his elderly friend to board the train to Chase City, I imagine a concerned Mr. Gurley obtaining the help of S.G. MacMaster and M. Holmes. Accompanied by these colleagues Ira Sayles appeared before a notary public on August 2, 1892, to declare that he is
“the identical Ira Sayles who was enrolled on the 19th day of August 1862, in Co. H of the 130th NY Infantry in the war of the rebellion, and served at least ninety days, and was honorably discharged at Suffolk, Va, on the —-day of March, 1863. That he has never been employed in the military or naval service otherwise than as stated above.That he is now unable to earn a support by manual labor by reason of paralysis and general debility result of old age. That said disabilities are not due to his vicious habits, and are, to the best of his knowledge and belief, permanent. That he has never applied for pension. ”
He agreed to appoint James Tanner of Washington, DC his true and lawful attorney, to prosecute his claim, paying him a fee of $10 in the “event of the allowance of the claim by the commissioner of Pensions.” Ira gave his post-office as Chase City, Virginia, and signed his name. S.G. MacMaster and M. Holmes, both of Washington, D.C. swore to his identity and that they had no interest in the prosecution of the claim.
There. Application made. But this is the government, and this application but the first step in proving that Ira Sayles was a soldier honorably discharged, and too debilitated to support himself, through no fault of vicious habits.
next….What the doctors have to say…..