Friday, July 16, 2010

G.A.R. Prevails; Confederate Veterans Don't

Almost four decades later, the United States Congress was still dealing with sectional differences dating back to the Civil War.

On an unremarkable day in 1902, according to a wire service report of legislative activity, the House was engaging in discussion of the pension appropriations bill. Two congressmen—one from Ohio, the other from Iowa—rose to withdraw an amendment giving preferential treatment to Spanish American War veterans. The G. A. R. had lambasted the two congressmen (and threatened others) if claims by Union veterans of the Civil War weren’t given priority.

The G. A. R. prevailed.

Later in the day, Congressman Rixey of Virginia “caused something of a stir by advancing a proposition to open the doors of national soldiers’ homes to ex-Confederates and to furnish federal aid to state Confederate homes.”

Rixey’s proposal went nowhere and congressmen turned to other business.

(See Braver (Okla.) Herald on January 23, 1902)

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