CLAIM DEPARTMENT OF THE Illinois State Sanitary Commission, Springfield, March 22, 1865.
For the benefit of Widows, Orphans, Minor Children, Mothers, Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, and other heirs of Deceased Soldiers. Also Disabled or Invalid Soldiers to whom are due or may become due, Pensions, Bounties, Back Pay, Pay for Clothing lost in battle, etc., etc.
THE ILLINOIS STATE SANITARY COMMISSION have established in this city a CLAIM DEPARTMENT, at which all claims of the above nature will be promptly collected, the rights of all such claimants protected and false claims against the government prevented. The chief design of the Sanitary Board in connecting a Claim Department with the Commission may be briefly stated as follows, to wit: 1. To secure to soldiers and their families, with the least possible delay and cost, the payment of any claims that may be due them from the Government. 2. To protect soldiers and their families from imposition in the settlement of their claims. 3. To prevent, as far as possible, false claims from being made against the Government. 4. The very general ignorance that prevails respecting the proper manner of transacting business with the Government, together with the difficulty of obtaining the necessary information from officials, renders the facilities possessed by the Commission of great value and importance to all persons requiring correct statements of amounts due them from the Government. 5. To lessen the tax upon many communities for supporting the families or relatives of deceased soldiers, or soldiers incapacitated by wounds or disease contracted in the service, and rendered totally unable to maintain themselves by labor. Very many of this class suffer through the incompetency or neglect of officers in making out discharge papers and final statements, and thus a large portion of the pay due is lost or deferred. Often papers of this description must be sent to Washington for correction, and unless proper attention is paid to them they are delayed till all hope of recovery ceases, when the claim is sold for a trifle. The facilities of the Commission enable them to make all such collections with less delay and expense than they are usually made by any other agency; and it is believed that with the assistance of the friends of the soldier we shall succeed in relieving both claimants and the community of a heavy burden. As it is highly important that all having claims against the Government should avail themselves of the benefits hereby placed within their reach. Soldiers aid societies, and other benevolent associations throughout the State are earnestly requested to act as correspondents and agents in collecting and distributing information and circulars to claimants. The Sanitary Board regarding this as one of the most important of their duties, appeal to the generous and patriotic friends of the soldier for co-operation, support and assistance, in order that it may thoroughly and satisfactorily accomplish the work. Such assistance may be rendered in various ways. Let lists of all claimants, in all precincts or neighborhoods, camps, hospitals, homes and military posts be sent up to this office. Let all claimants be informed where and how they can have their claims adjusted and collected. In many cases the friends of soldiers may be called upon to act as correspondents with this office. Let it be done cheerfully and promptly.
In forwarding applications or information be particular in stating 1. The name, plainly and correctly written, the rank, company and regiment of the soldier. 2. The date of his discharge, or death, or whether wounded, sick or disabled. 3. The name and postoffice address of the person or persons making the claim, and his, her, or their relation to the soldier. 4. State, if known, when the soldier was last paid, and the amount of bounty received. Upon the receipt of such applications at this office, proper blanks will be sent to the applicant with plain directions how to proceed, what witnesses to obtain, and before what legal officers returns must be sworn to. Soldiers arriving at Springfield to be paid off, can have their papers examined without charge. This examination should be made before payment, as many of the papers may contain errors that would be difficult to rectify after settlement. The services of Edward I. Eno having been secured by the Board, he is placed in charge of this branch of the sanitary work. While in the employ of the Commission, as State Sanitary Agent in the Department of the Cumberland, Mr. Eno became well
acquainted with the wants of the soldiers, and made himself perfectly familiar with the manner of adjusting all their claims. 5. A small charge not exceeding two and one-half per cent on the amount collected, will be made to cover expenses of collection. All communications having reference to claims should be addressed, "CLAIM DEPARTMENT, STATE SANITARY COMMISSION, Springfield, Illinois." On all other sanitary matters address COL. JOHN R. WOODS, Sec. St. San. Com. Springfield, Illinois. Let all into whose hands this circular may be placed, feel called upon to aid in this great benevolent enterprise. Let them regard it as a continuation of the sanitary work in which the true friends of our Government have mutually and zealously labored, and which should be vigorously prosecuted till every claimant is found and the claim adjusted. Until then, our efforts in this line of duty should not cease.
JOHN P. REYNOLDS, Pres. JOHN WILLIAMS, Treas. E. B. HAWLEY, } WM. BUTLER, } Directors.
JOHN R. WOODS, Cor. and Rec. Sec.
EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, SPRINGFIELD, ILL., March 22nd, 1865. I heartily endorse the above enterprise, of the Illinois State Sanitary Commission. The plan is conceived in a generous spirit towards the sufferers who have sacrificed almost everything for the country, in its efforts to suppress this infamous rebellion. With the proper encouragement from all parts of the State, incalculable good must result to all those upon whom the burdens of the war have fallen so heavily. R. J. OGLESBY, Governor of Illinois.
We heartily concur in recommending this Department of the Sanitary Commission, wherein our soldiers will be saved from much vexatious delay and cost. SHARON TYNDALE, Secretary of State. JAMES H. BEVERIDGE Treasurer. O. H. MINER, Auditor.
I most cordially approve the plan of the State Sanitary Commission in establishing a Claim Department, and commend it to the confidence and co-operation of all true friends of the soldier. RICHARD YATES.
OFFICE SUPT. PUBLIC INSTRUCTION, ILLINOIS, Springfield, April 8, 1865. I have carefully examined the statement of the objects, and plan of operations, of the proposed Claim Department, of the Illinois State Sanitary Commission, and most cordially approve the same; and recommend the enterprise to the confidence and hearty co-operation of all true friends of our Brave Soldiers, both living and dead, and of their wives and children, widows and orphans. In my estimation this movement inaugurates an agency, the benefits of which, both to the soldiers and to the government, will be incalculable. Such an agency is imperatively needed to shield the soldiers, and their families or representatives, from the unscrupulous schemes of heartless sharpers, who are not ashamed to speculate in the scanty blood bought earnings of the Defenders of the Union, and to take advantage of the ignorance and necessities of the widows and orphans whom they have left behind. The Claim Department thus purposed to be instituted, will supplement and render complete the great Sanitary work in which the Commission has labored so long and faithfully, and to which our people have so nobly responded; and will confer even greater blessings than those bestowed upon the soldier himself, whose deepest concern while living, and whose last thoughts in dying are turned towards the dear ones at home. The work of this department will not be done till the last soldier or soldier's heir in Illinois, has received a fair and equitable adjustment of his accounts. NEWTON BATEMAN, Supt. Pub. Inst. Ill.