General Affidavit of Harriet Tubman Davis Regarding Payment from Government for Services Rendered During the Civil War, ca. 1898
Abolitionist Harriet Tubman Davis aided the Union as a scout, nurse, cook and spy during the Civil War. She received a pension as the widow of Union veteran Nelson Davis, but later petitioned Congress for additional benefits for her own service. In 1899 Congress approved an increase in her pension for her services as a nurse.
Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives and Records Administration
My claim against the U.S. is for three years services as nurse and cook in hospitals, and as commander of several men (eight or nine) as scouts during the late War of the Rebellion
In 1861 Congress enacted legislation granting pension benefits to dependents of Civil War soldiers killed in action as well as to veterans with war-related disabilities. Over the next three decades, Congress expanded the program and the pension office became the largest government department outside the military. Those denied pensions—including women who had served as scouts, disguised themselves as soldiers, or provided auxiliary support—petitioned Congress directly with their claims.