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THE bounty of the Government of the United States towards those who engage in its military service, whether by land or sea, usually assumes one or more of three forms, namely: Invalid Pensions, Gratuitous Pensions, or Land Donations. Invalid Pensions are grants of money to persons who become disabled in the service, either by wounds or other injuries received, or by sickness contracted, in the line of duty, whereby the sufferer is rendered incapable, in whole or part, of procuring for himself, and those dependent upon him, a livelihood. When promised at or before the time of entering the service, this class of pensions may be regarded as forming a part of the consideration upon which the contract of service is based, and not as a gratuity merely." When granted at the expiration of the term of service, they partake of the nature of gratuitous pensions; but differ from these in this, that the disabled soldier has an equitable claim, or quasi right, to be provided for by his countrymen, for whose sake he has
* Decision of Secretary Stuart, Oct. 29, 1850.