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York County Civil War Veteran Wants Nothing to Do with State Pension.

Civil War veteran George S. Anderson of Rossville didn’t hesitate to express his opinion of the proposed Pennsylvania State Pension bill, or the legislators who favored it, as can be seen by his letter published April 26, 1913 in the Harrisburg Patriot.

Anderson had been a member of Co. H, 87th Pennsylvania Volunteers. Thanks are due to friend Dennis Brandt, author of From Home Guards to Heroes: the 87th Pennsylvania and its Civil War Community for sharing this clipping:

I wish to give my sentiments regarding the State Pension bill, which I have fought for the last two sessions of the State Legislature and which was defeated justly by the Governor. Now I see they are trying to pass it again. There never was a more dishonorable piece of unjust and illegal legislation enacted by a presumed body of pretended law makers than the state pension bill. It is unjust and distinctly an illegal act of usurpation on the honest taxables of the state.

As an old veteran of the Civil War, I, with hundreds and thousands of others, were employed by the National Government. Said Government clothed, fed and paid us our wages and has been paying pensions to us for the last 30 or 40 years–unparalleled in the history of any government in the world. Any honorable soldier should be satisfied with the just and honorable treatment he has received and is still receiving at the hands of the patriotic people. It is only the dishonorable office-seekers and low political henchmen that are seeking to gain favors with the old veterans of the Civil War at the expense of the honest taxables of the state, who must pay the illegal and unjust debt which they have no legal right to pay.

Every member of this legislature who will vote for this state pension steal should be relegated to eternal official obscurity, as only fit to legislate this bogus law to the Sepoys of heathen India.

I fondly hope that the Governor will have the manhood to veto it, if it should pass this incompetent legislature, beyond the hope of a peaceful resurrection.
Rossville, Pa.,
April 24, 1913.

Anderson sees the state pension bill as a way for the politicans to curry favor with the Civil War veterans. This was the 50th anniversary year of the invasion of Pennsylvania, culminating in the battle of Gettysbury. That anniversary might have been what prompted legistators to introduce the act. Anderson would evidently rather forgo the pension than pay the taxes to finance it.

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