Friday, May 15, 2009

Laws Of The War Of 1812.

I have over the last couple weeks been working on claims, and have learned a lot of interesting things, things like why one person would get a claim while another would not even thro the clams were about the same. The committees try to be fair in all cases, but there were times when the committee themselves felt the laws may be unjust and unfair, but their hands are tied as they are bond to follow the letter of the law.

I have over the years have seen a lot of people asking Why their ancestor didn’t get that claim, or pension or a wife didn’t receive one. I will try to answer some of them. This will help you better understand why they may have or had not got a claim.

The destroying of private property, by the United States Army or Enemy.

There were many cases where a house or a building was owned by a private party and was destroyed by the enemy, and now are asking for pay of that which was destroyed.
In cases of this kind the committee looks at one thing; Was The army in use of the of the private property, as a Headquarters Barracks or for storage, and was the private property destroyed by said use. In most all cases these claims are found in favor of the claimant.

In all cases where the private property, being it house or building is rented to said army and is destroyed in any from, the claim will almost always be in favor of the claimant.

However there are always exceptions to the law. Take the case of one gentleman, who claimed his house was destroyed indirectly by the army by sating up a battery up in front of his house which was heavily damaged by the enemy. It was found to be true that a battery was sat up in front of the said house, however it was also found that the said property had not been sat on by the army, and that the battery had been sat up on a public road. Even thro the said house was destroyed directly or indirectly by the army, the committee found that the said house was damaged by the unfairness of war, and the claim was not granted.

Medical Care.

I will be general in the law of Medical Care, as there are a lot of things the committee will have to look at, But it comes down to this If a solider is wounded in battle or gets sick while on active duty, he is given a chose of going home on furlough or stay and be cared for at the public expense. If he chooses to go on furlough he is now not the responsibility of The United States Government , and if he dies of wounds or his sickness on his way home or at home, his family is responsible for all debts incurred by his sickness or death, and no claim will be granted.

Pensions by disabilities.

Pensions by disabilities, can at times be hard to receive, as the army was not very good at keeping records and those that did make it to Washington, a lot were destroyed in the fires of 1800 & 1814. Many times when a soldier puts in for a disability claim he may find that he can not be found on the regiments rosters. Now he is faced with finding the proof, not only is he faced with getting statements from his commanding officers but witness of the disability that incurred. There are a lot of reason he may not have receive a pension and here are some of them;

1. Evidence incomplete, disability not proved to have arisen from known wound.
2. There are no militia rolls in this office, this would be for the district or State he was from.
3. No evidence of his being in service.
4. No proof of disability.
5. No proof by a physician on his disability.
6. No witness to his disability.
Note. The law of 1776-1783, states no disabilities pension would be given to any one because of any type of sickness.

General Pension.

The pension law here are about the same of those of the Pensions by disabilities, It comes down to proof. Can he prove he was in such and such regiment, can his show his discharge papers, does he have statement of witness &c. Now this may not have been to hard for the husband, but when he dies and the wife asks for his pension she has to meet the same requirements and this in many cases would not be easy.

There were many laws and these were just a few, the laws for the solider was changing all the time in some cases from month to month. Many of the laws of the Revolutionary War would not apply to those of the War of 1812, and so on. So if you looking into why your ancestor don’t get what, or just to see what it all meant be sure to look at only the laws of his or her time.

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