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696. Potatoes are much injured by bad cooking.  It should be remembered that potatoes, like any other food, are done at a certain time, and that any further cooking is not only unnecessary, but injurious.  It requires about half an hour to cook them: the time varies a little with the size of the vegetables.  After the potatoes have been placed in cold water and boiled about fifteen minutes, the kettle should be removed from the fire, and the boiling suddenly checked, for five minutes, by pouring in a cup of cold water.  The kettle is placed on the fire again and the boiling continued for fifteen minutes longer; the water is then poured off, and the potatoes covered up until served.  This principle of checking the boiling can be remembered to advantage in cooking other solids that are liable to be under-done in the water.  By checking the heat of the water suddenly, the heat in the potatoes strikes into the centre, and thus aids in cooking it through.

697. Vinegar moderately used, is a great health-preserver in the army.  With salt and pepper added to cold meat, and an onion finely cut up, it makes an excellent relish.  Stale cold meat, soaked in vinegar, and then stewed with potatoes and onions, makes a kind of ragout hash, that is very palatable.  Cabbage, finely cut, with pepper, salt, and vinegar, is more palatable and digestible than when cooked.  An excellent warm dressing for cabbage, salad, or cold potatoes sliced, is made by cutting a piece of fat salt pork or bacon in small pieces like dice, and frying out the fat, then adding a good proportion of vinegar when well heated, and pouring it over the salad, previously seasoned with salt and pepper; a sliced onion is a good addition.

698. Soup, although not a favorite dish of the American soldier, cannot be too soon adopted, and the art of making the many varieties studied.  It is most easily made in quantity, and is by far the healthiest food that can be prepared in the field.  Beef-broth can be used as the basis for nearly all soups: mutton and other meats, and even pork, can be used.  By changing the ingredients added to the broth, great variety can be obtained.  Rice, mixed desiccated vegetables, pulverized hard bread, vegetables of all kinds, flour, butter, &c. can all be used in a variety of proportions and quantities.  An agreeable taste can be given to any soup by adding to it a mixture of scorched flour and fried pork fat.  A handful of dry flour should be scorched in one pan, taking care to stir it constantly that it may not burn; the pork fat, cut up into small pieces and fried brown, should be prepared in another pan, and incorporated with the flour whilst hot.

699. The foregoing suggestions are offered, the result of many years’ experience, and, it is hoped, will give some idea of what may be done in campaign with the ration.  The experience of each soldier will furnish additional aid in sustaining himself on the food furnished.  All soldiers cannot avail themselves alike of the same suggestions; but it is hoped that each one will be assisted by what is here laid down.

700. It is a great mistake to suppose that men cannot live without a systematic supply.  In a country like ours, teeming with every variety of provisions, it is possible to move through the country and live upon it, unless the number of men in the command exceeds in a great degree the resources of the country,—which would rarely be the case.  The Confederate armies have been living in the main on corn and pork.  By carrying along a portable corn-mill for each company, the troops could prepare their own bread; and beef on the hoof, together with what meat can be found in the country, will furnish all that is absolutely necessary to sustain an army for the short periods necessary to accomplish specific results.

701. Even mills are not absolutely necessary where grain can be had; for boiled wheat, and parched corn and wheat, are excellent substitutes for bread.  The early settlers of Oregon, before mills could be built, lived upon boiled wheat instead of bread; and Indians and trappers live for months upon parched corn, either in the grain or pulverized, and mixed with meat or fat, or boiled in soup.

702. In war, if a great end can be accomplished by dispensing for a short time with the conveniences of daily life, it shortens the total amount of suffering and deprivation to do so; and commanding officers should not hesitate to dispense with the comforts to which they may be accustomed, and soldiers should endure, without murmuring, what has a tendency to shorten their sufferings in the aggregate.

703. Such utensils as will enable the individual soldier to be independent of all transportation or movement of troops, in the preparation of his food, are what is mainly required.  A small iron vessel, half pan and half kettle, an iron fork, folding on a hinge, with a hook on the handle, to attach to his cooking-vessel to put it on and take it off the fire, and a suitable knife, would seem to be sufficient to enable a soldier to do all the cooking that is absolutely requisite for short campaigns.

704. With strong and well-made little bags for keeping the sugar, coffee, salt, pepper, flour, &c. separate, his pantry, kitchen, and bed-chamber would be wherever he halted for the night; and in such a case, with no waiting for wagons to come up before supper can be had, and none to load up after breakfast, the march of an army would be greatly facilitated.  It is the necessity of subsistence that compels armies to move upon certain lines, and prevents them from marching where they choose.  Every soldier should make the art of cooking his study: more disease and deaths are occasioned in an army by bad cooking than by any other cause.

705. It may not be out of place here to suggest to soldiers who have been deprived of food for an unusual length of time and are suddenly placed within reach of an abundance of provisions, that by satisfying their hunger at once they are very liable to do themselves a permanent injury.  It is recommended to procure first a cup of moderate coffee or tea, and a cracker.  After eating this, and allowing an hour or so for the stomach to gain strength from this nourishment, a moderately full meal may be eaten without injury.

______________

ON DETACHED SERVICE.

706. ENLISTED men on detached service, unattended by a commissioned officer, are frequently at a loss how to provide themselves with rations and transportation.  The following general principles should be borne in mind under such circumstances.

707. When soldiers are detached from their companies for periods extending beyond a muster-day, they should be accompanied by their descriptive lists and clothing accounts.  If this is not done, they cannot be mustered, or paid, or receive clothing, during their absence.  It is always best to send descriptive lists, as the exigencies of the service may keep the men away from their companies longer than was originally intended.

708. Soldiers on detached service should always be accompanied by the order detaching them, and showing the duty they are on,—which order it is necessary to present to the commanding officers of posts and districts through which the men are required to pass, who will give the necessary orders in the case for the transportation and rations that they require.

709. Where it is very inconvenient to carry rations, or where they cannot be obtained, the soldiers can purchase their own food at their discretion, and will subsequently be reimbursed by the commutation of the ration.  Under any circumstances, where a soldier does not receive his rations in kind, they can always be commuted at the cost-price of the ration, when due. (See paragraphs 36 and 37).

710. Where, from any circumstance, soldiers find themselves separated or detached from their commands, without the necessary means or authority for rejoining, in order to prevent their being reported as deserters, they should at once report in person to the nearest post or command, and state their case to the commanding officer, whose duty it is to provide for them and have them forwarded to their proper commands at the earliest opportunity.

711. The soldier should bear in mind that any failure to take proper steps to join his command, when separated from it, no matter what the cause, involves inconveniences and troubles that are not overcome without much difficulty.  Sickness, insurmountable accidents, &c. all require to be established by conclusive testimony, to free him from the suspicions that always attend an unusual absence from his proper post.

______________

MEDALS.

712. BY a resolution of Congress, approved July 12, 1862, the President was authorized to cause two thousand “medals of honor” to be prepared, with suitable emblematic devices, “to be presented to such non-commissioned officers and privates as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action and other soldier-like qualities during the present insurrection.”

713. This is the only instance in our service of legislation for rewarding soldiers with medals for meritorious services.  During the Mexican War, “Certificates of Merit” were given, that insured an increase of pay; and, as a rule, soldiers have generally been rewarded with money or land for extraordinary services.

714. Medals are lasting mementos of meritorious actions: they survive changes of fortune and station, are cherished with pride and reverence by descendants, and are, therefore, commendable objects of a soldier’s ambition.  It is well at all times for soldiers to procure certificates from their immediate commander for whatever services they have rendered, and the manner in which they have been performed.  It is recommended to enlisted men to provide themselves with a little blank-book, in which such certificates may be entered and preserved.

715. These certificates are particularly valuable to individual soldiers serving on expeditions where their proper companies or regiments are not represented, and where the muster-rolls and reports will fail to show that they participated.  Such papers become exceedingly valuable in the lapse of time, and may, in many instances, involve extra pay or pensions.

______________

SOLDIERS’ LETTERS.

716. BEFORE the 11th section of the act approved July 22, 1861, soldiers are allowed to send letters without prepayment of postage, the postage to be collected on the delivery of the letter.  The Post-Office regulations require that such letter shall be endorsed “Soldier’s Letter” and signed by the commanding officer or a field officer of the regiment to which the soldier belongs.

______________

PENSIONS.

717. THE following are the instructions published by the Pension Office, relative to the manner of procuring pensions by those who are entitled to them.  They are plain and simple, and there is no necessity of feeing a lawyer to make out the applications for a pension.  Any intelligent soldier can do it himself.

“GENERAL PROVISIONS.

“Under the act of Congress approved July 14, 1862, pensions are granted to the following classes of persons:—

“I. INVALIDS, disabled since March 4, 1861, in the military or naval service of the United States, in the line of duty.

“II. WIDOWS, of officers, soldiers, or seamen dying of wounds received or of disease contracted in the military or naval service, as above.

“III. CHILDREN, under sixteen years of age, of such deceased persons, if there is no widow surviving, or from the time of the widow’s re-marriage.

“IV. MOTHERS of officers, soldiers, or seamen, deceased as aforesaid, provided the latter have left neither widow nor children under sixteen years of age; and provided, also, that the mother was dependent, wholly or in part, upon the deceased for support.

“V. SISTERS, under sixteen years of age, of such deceased persons, dependent on the latter, wholly or in part, for support, provided there are no rightful claimants of either of the three last preceding classes.

“The rates of pension to the several classes and grades are distinctly set forth in the first section of the act.  Only one full pension in any case will be allowed to the relatives of a deceased officer, soldier, or seaman, and in order of precedence as set forth above.  When more than one minor child or orphan sister thus becomes entitled to pension, the same must be divided equally between them.

“Invalid pensions, under this law, will commence from the date of the pensioner’s discharge from service, provided application is made within one year thereafter.  If the claim is not made until a later date, the pension will commence from the time of the application.  Pensions of widows and minors will commence from the death of the officer, soldier, or seaman on whose service the claim is based.

“ARMY PENSIONS.

Declarations (including evidence of identity) are required to be made before a court of record, or before some officer of such court duly authorized to administer oaths, and having custody of its seal.  Testimony other than that indicated above may be taken before a justice of the peace, or other officer having like authority to administer oaths; but in no case will any evidence be received that is verified before an officer who is concerned in prosecuting the claim, or has a manifest interest therein.

“The subjoined forms, marked, respectively, A, B, C, D, and E, will guide applicants for pensions, of the army branch, in the several classes.  The forms should be exactly followed in every instance.  No attorney will be regarded as having filed the necessary declaration and affidavits, as contemplated by the sixth and seventh sections of the act, unless the forms, as well as the instructions given in this pamphlet, are strictly complied with.

“In support of the allegations made in the claimant’s declaration, testimony will be required in accordance with the following rules:—

“1. The claimant’s identity must be proved by two witnesses, certified by a judicial officer to be respectable and credible, who are present and witness the signature of the declarant, and who state, upon oath or affirmation, their belief, either from personal acquaintance or for other reasons given, that he or she is the identical person he or she represents himself or herself to be.

“2. Every applicant for an invalid pension must, if in his power, produce the certificate of the captain, or of some other commissioned officer, under whom he served, distinctly stating the time and place of the said applicant’s having been wounded or otherwise disabled, and the nature of the disability; and that the said disability arose while he was in the service of the United States and in the line of his duty.

“3. If it be impracticable to obtain such certificate, by reason of the death or removal of said officers, it must be so stated under oath by the applicant, and his averment of the fact proved by persons of known respectability, who must state particularly all the knowledge they may possess in relation to such death or removal; then secondary evidence can be received.  In such case the applicant must produce the testimony of at least two credible witnesses (who were in condition to know the facts about which they testify), whose good character must be vouched for by a judicial officer, or by some one known to the department.  The witnesses must give a minute narrative of the facts in relation to the matter, and must show how they obtained a knowledge of the facts to which they testify.

“4. The usual certificate of disability for discharge should show the origin, character, and degree of the claimant’s disability; but when that is wanting or defective, the applicant will be required to be examined by some surgeon regularly appointed, unless clearly impracticable.

“5. The habits of the applicant, and his occupation since he left the service, should be shown by at least two credible witnesses.

“If the applicant claims a pension as the widow of a deceased officer or soldier, she must prove the legality of her marriage, the death of her husband, and that she is still a widow.  She must also furnish the names and ages of decedent’s children under sixteen years of age at her husband’s decease, and the place of their residence.  On a subsequent marriage her pension will cease, and the minor child or children of the deceased officer or soldier, if any be living, under the age of sixteen years, will be entitled to the same in her stead, from the date of such marriage, on the requisite proof, under a new declaration.  Proof of the marriage of the parents and of the age of claimants will be required in all applications in behalf of minor children.  The legality of the marriage, in either case, may be ascertained by the certificate of the clergyman who joined them in wedlock, or by the testimony of respectable persons having knowledge of the fact, in default of record evidence, which last must always be furnished, or its absence shown.  The ages and number of children may be ascertained by the deposition of the mother, accompanied by the testimony of respectable persons having knowledge of them, or by transcripts from the parish or town registers duly authenticated.

“A mother, to be entitled to a pension, as having been wholly or partly dependent on a deceased officer or soldier, must prove that the latter contributed to her support for a certain period, showing specifically in what manner and to what extent.

“If the claimant be a dependent sister, like proof will be required of the marriage of her parents, and of her relationship to the deceased.

“Guardians of minor claimants must, in all cases, produce evidence of their authority as such, under the seal of the court from which their appointment is obtained.

“Applicants of the last four classes enumerated on page 115, who have in any manner aided or abetted the rebellion against the United States Government, are not entitled to the benefits of this act.

“Invalid applicants who are minors may apply in their own behalf without the intervention of a guardian.

“Attorneys for claimants must have proper authority from those in whose behalf they appear.  Powers of attorney must be signed in the presence of two witnesses, and acknowledged before a duly-qualified officer, whose official character must be certified under seal.

“In all cases the post-office address of the claimant must be distinctly stated, over his or her proper signature.

“Applications under this act will be numbered and acknowledged, to be acted on in their turn.  In filing additional evidence, correspondents should always give the number of the claim as well as the name of the claimant.

 

“JOSEPH H. BARRETT,

“Commissioner.

“PENSION OFFICE, October 1, 1863.”

______________

A.

FORM OF DECLARATION FOR AN INVALID PENSION.

STATE [DISTRICT OR TERRITORY] of ______________,

}

ss.:

County of ______________,

 

On this ______________ day of ______________ A.D. one thousand eight hundred and ______________, personally appeared before me, ______________ [here state the official character of the person administering the oath] within and for the county and State aforesaid, A. B., aged ______________ years, a resident of ______________, in the State of ______________, who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the identical ______________ who enlisted in the service of the United States at ______________, on the ______________ day of ______________, in the year ______________, as a ______________ in company ______________, commanded by ______________, in the ______________ regiment of ______________, in the war of 1861, and was honorably discharged on the ______________ day of ______________ in the year ______________; that while in the service aforesaid, and in the line of his duty, he received the following wound (or other disability, as the case may be): [Here give a particular and minute account of the wound or other injury, and state how, when, and where it occurred, where the applicant has resided since leaving the service, and what has been his occupation.]

My post-office address is as follows: ______________.

 

(Signature of claimant.)

 

Also personally appeared ______________ and ______________ residents of (county, city, or town), persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who, being by me duly sworn, say that they were present and saw ______________ sign his name (or make his mark) to the foregoing declaration; and they further swear that they have every reason to believe, from the appearance of the applicant and their acquaintance with him, that he is the identical person he represents himself to be; and they further swear that they have no interest in the prosecution of this claim.

 

(Signatures of witnesses.)

 

Sworn to and subscribed before me, this ______________ day of ______________, A.D. 186____; and I hereby certify that I have no interest, direct or indirect, in the prosecution of this claim.

 

(Signature of judge or other officer.)

______________

B.

 FORM OF DECLARATION FOR OBTAINING A WIDOW’S ARMY PENSION.

STATE [DISTRICT OR TERRITORY] of ______________,

}

ss.:

County of ______________,

 

On this ______________ day of ______________, A.D., ______________, personally appeared before me, ______________ of the ______________, A. B., a resident of ______________ and State [Territory or District] of ______________, aged ______________ years, who, being first duly sworn according to law, doth on her oath make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the act of Congress approved July 14, 1862: That she is the widow of ______________, who was a ______________ in company ______________, commanded by ______________, in the ______________ regiment of ______________ in the war of 1861, who [here specify the time, place, and cause of death].  She further declares that she was married to the said ______________ on the ______________ day of ______________ in the year ______________; that her husband, the aforesaid ______________, died on the day above mentioned, and that she has remained a widow ever since that period (or, if she has remarried and again become a widow, the fact must be stated), as will more fully appear by reference to the proof hereto annexed.  She also declares that she has not in any manner been engaged in, or aided or abetted, the rebellion in the United States.

My post-office address is as follows: ______________.

 

(Declarant’s signature.)

 

Also personally appeared ______________ and ______________, residents of (county, city, or town), persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who, being by me duly sworn, say that they wore present and saw ______________ sign her name (or make her mark) to the foregoing declaration; and they further swear that they have every reason to believe, from the appearance of the applicant and their acquaintance with her, that she is the identical person she represents herself to be, and that they have no interest in the prosecution of this claim.

 

(Signature of witnesses.)

 

Sworn to and subscribed before me, this ______________ day of ______________, A.D. 186____; and I hereby certify that I have no interest, direct or indirect, in the prosecution of this claim.

 

(Signature of judge or other officer.)

______________

C.

FORM OF DECLARATION FOR MINOR CHILDREN IN ORDER TO OBTAIN ARMY PENSIONS.

STATE [DISTRICT OR TERRITORY] of ______________,

}

ss.:

County of ______________,

 

On this ______________ day of ______________, A.D. ______________, personally appeared before the ______________ of the ______________, A. B., a resident of ______________, in the county of ______________, and State [Territory or District] of ______________, aged ______________ years, who, being first duly sworn according to law, doth on oath make the following declaration, as guardian of the minor child of ______________, deceased, in order to obtain the benefits of the provision made by the act of Congress, approved July 14, 1862, granting pensions to minor children, under sixteen years of age, of deceased officers and soldiers; that he is the guardian of ______________ [naming the minor child or children, his ward or wards], whose father was a ______________ in company ______________, commanded by ______________, in the ______________ regiment of ______________, in the war of 1861, and that the said ______________ died at ______________ on the ______________ day of ______________, in the year ______________ [here state the cause of death], that the mother of the child ______________ aforesaid died (or again married, being now the wife of ______________) on the ______________ day of ______________ in the year ______________; and that the date of birth of his said ward ______________, as follows: ______________.

He further declares that the parents of his said ward ______________ were married at ______________, on the ______________ day of ______________ in the year ______________, by ______________.

My post-office address is as follows: ______________.

 

(Guardian’s signature.)

 

Also personally appeared ______________ and ______________, residents of (county, city, or town), persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who, being by me duly sworn, say that they were present and saw ______________ sign her name (or make her mark) to the foregoing declaration; and they further swear that they have every reason to believe, from the appearance of the applicant and their acquaintance with her, that she is the identical person she represents herself to be, and that they have no interest in the prosecution of this claim.

 

(Signature of witnesses.)

 

Sworn to and subscribed before me, this ______________ day of ______________, A.D. 186__­__; and I hereby certify that I have no interest, direct or indirect, in the prosecution of this claim.

 

(Signature of judge or other officer.)

______________

D.

FORM OF DECLARATION FOR MOTHER’S APPLICATION FOR ARMY PENSION.

STATE [DISTRICT OR TERRITORY] of ______________,

}

ss.:

County of ______________,

 

On this ______________ day of ______________, A.D. ______________, personally appeared before the ______________ of the ______________, A. B., a resident of ______________ in the county of ______________, and State [Territory or District] of ______________, aged ______________ years, who, being first duly sworn according to law, doth on her oath make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefits of the provisions made by the act of Congress approved July 14, 1862: That she is the widow of ______________, and mother of ______________, who was a ______________ in company ______________, commanded by ______________, in the ______________ regiment of ______________, in the war of 1861, who ______________ [here state the time, place, and cause of death].

She further declares that her said son, upon whom she was wholly or in part dependent for support, having left no widow or minor child under sixteen years of age surviving, declarant makes this application for a pension under the above-mentioned act, and refers to the evidence filed herewith, and that in the proper department, to establish her claim.

She also declares that she has not, in any way, been engaged in, or aided or abetted, the rebellion in the United States; that she is not in the receipt of a pension under the 2nd section of the act above mentioned, or under any other act, nor has she again married since the death of her son, the said ______________.

My post-office address is as follows: ______________.

 

(Declarant’s signature.)

 

Also personally appeared ______________ and ______________, residents of (county, city, or town), persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who, being by me duly sworn, say that they wore present and saw ______________ sign her name (or make her mark) to the foregoing declaration; and they further swear that they have every reason to believe, from the appearance of the applicant and their acquaintance with her, that she is the identical person she represents herself to be, and that they have no interest in the prosecution of this claim.

 

(Signature of witnesses.)

 

Sworn to and subscribed before me, this ______________ day of ______________, A.D. 186____; and I hereby certify that I have no interest, direct or indirect, in the prosecution of this claim.

 

(Signature of judge or other officer.)

______________

E.

FORM OF DECLARATION OF ORPHAN SISTERS FOR ARMY PENSION.

STATE [DISTRICT OR TERRITORY] of ______________,

}

ss.:

County of ______________,

 

On this ______________ day of ______________, A.D. ______________, personally appeared before the ______________ of the ______________, A. B., a resident of ______________, in the county of ______________, and State [Territory or District] of ______________, aged ______________ years, who, being first duly sworn according to law, doth on oath make the following declaration, in order to obtain a pension under the act of July 14, 1862: That he is the legally appointed guardian of ______________ [here give the names and ages of his ward or words], who is the only surviving child ______________, under sixteen years of age, of ______________, and ______________, his wife, and sister of ______________, who was a ______________ in company ______________, commanded by ______________, in the ______________ regiment of ______________, in the war of 1861, who [here state the time, place, and cause of his death].  That the brother of his said ward ______________, upon whom they were wholly or in part dependent for support, having left no widow, minor child or children, or mother, declarant as guardian, and on behalf of his ward ______________, refers to the accompanying evidence, and such as may be found in the department, to establish her (or their) claim under the law above named.

He further declares that his said ward ______________ not in the receipt of any pension under said act.

My post-office address is as follows: ______________.

 

(Guardian’s signature.)

 

Also personally appeared ______________ and ______________, residents of (county, city, or town), persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who, being by me duly sworn, say that they were present and saw ______________ sign her name (or make her mark) to the foregoing declaration; and they further swear that they have every reason to believe, from the appearance of the applicant and their acquaintance with her, that she is the identical person she represents herself to be, and that they have no interest in the prosecution of this claim.

 

(Signature of witnesses.)

 

Sworn to and subscribed before me, this ______________ day of ______________, A.D. 186____; and I hereby certify that I have no interest, direct or indirect, in the prosecution of this claim.

 

(Signature of judge or other officer.)


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Transcribed by Scott Gutzke, 2006.


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