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PAUL S. RIDGWAY.
JANUARY 23, 1855.
Mr. ANDREW STUART, from the Committee on Invalid Pensions, made
The Committee on Invalid Pensions, to whom were referred the papers in
the case of Paul S. Ridgway, ask leave to report :
That the said Paul S. Ridgway was a volunteer_in Captain John Sharp's company of volunteers at the battle of the Thames in the last war with Great Britain, in which action he received a wound from a musket-shot—the ball passing through the leg a short space above the ankle ; that said Ridgway again entered the service of the United States as a private in Captain Gill's company, Colonel Miller's regiment of infantry, August 16, 1814, and was honorably discharged at Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1815, after peace was established, for which service a warrant for 160 acres of bounty land was issued to him; that at one time during this service, when carrying a message across the river Thames on the ice, he broke through, and was wet from head to foot; but that he proceeded and delivered his message, and in consequence had one of his feet frozen. At another time, whiie firing at a target with a six-pounder, in consequence of a premature discharge, the cannon struck him in its recoil, producing a slight rupture. He is now eighty years of age, and the effect of these injuries has totally disabled him. He forbore to ask pension until the year 1850, when poverty and inability to earn a livelihood compelled him to make application to the Commissioner of Pensions for relief. He was then unable, by reason of the death and removal of his officers and fellow-soldiers, to produce the testimony required in the Pension Office to establish his claim. After travelling several hundred miles on foot, searching unsuccessfully for some of his fellow-soldiers, he came on to Washington, and was before your committee, who examined his wounds personally; and being also personally known to one of the members of the committee as a man of good standing and character, your committee are as well satisfied of the justice of his claim for pension as if he had furnished the specified proof required at the Pension Office. They therefore think that he should be placed on a similar footing with other disabled soldiers, and ask leave to report a bill.
MILITARY ROAD IN OREGON TERRITORY.
[To accompany bill H. R. No. 543.]
JANUARY 23, 1855.
Mr. FAULKNER, from the Committee on Military Affairs, made the
The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred House bill No.
543, enı itled “An act for the construction of a military road in Oregon Territory," have, according to order, had the same under consideration, and submit the following report:
It appears that the protection of Astoria, for some time to come, must be left to field operations and temporary entrenchments, unaided by permanent defensive works; and so long as this is the case, easy communication with the centre of population will be of great military value; and that, even after this point shall have been guarded by fortifications, the means of rapidly conveying succor to it will be important to maintain it against attack. It further appears that sole communication at present is by water, which is cut off by ice during several weeks each winter ; while, navigation at the mouth of the Columbia being always open, Astoria might be captured or destroyed by a naval force availing itself of a favorable opportunity, with but little loss.
The committee therefore report back the bill, and recommend its passage.
JANUARY 23, 1855.
Mr. FATLKNER, from the Committee on Military Affairs, made the
The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the memorial of certain citizens of Virginia,
praying Congress to grant to Joseph McCormack, a cilizen of Berkeley county, in said State, for his military services in the war of 1812, as well as in the war with Mexico, a pension, hare, according to order, had the same under consideration, and submit the following report :
It appears that, in the war of 1812, the said McCormack served two tours-one to Norfolk as a draughted soldier, and the other to Baltimore as a substitute ; that in the late Mexican war, although he had attained a very advanced age, he was prominent in his efforts to raise the company which was formed in Berkeley county, Virginia ; that he went with said company to Richmond, and was rejected by the inspector general, for the reason that his teeth were tov defective to enable him to bite off the end of a cartridge; that, anxious as he was to engage for the second time in the service of his country, and mortified by his rejection, he refused to remain behind, but persisted in going to the war on his own responsibility. His determined purpose excited the sympathy of the officers, and he was permitted to go along with the Berkeley company, which his efforts had contributed so much to raise. He remained in Mexico during the time that the company remained, supporting himself by honest toil; and although the Virginia regiment had no opportunity of engaging in action on the field of battle, yet the said McCormack always was ready to enter into action when the regiment with which he had gone to the seat of war should be called upon to do so.
It appears that the said McCormack was injured by a fall in landing from the vessel at Brazos Santiago, in which the troops were transported, and that his health was entirely destroyed by the relaxing influence of the Mexican climate upon his aged system.
It further appears that the said Joseph McCormack, now a very old man, is in a state of disability, incurred in the service of his country, unable to earn his daily bread, and is living upon the charity of a few