Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

August 10, 1888

To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 9183, entitled "An act granting a pension to William P. Riddle."

The records of the War Department show that the beneficiary named in this bill was enrolled October 4, 1861, in the Fifth Kentucky Regiment of Cavalry, and was mustered into the service on the 31st day of March, 1862.

From that time to April 30, 1862, he is reported absent sick. On the rolls for four months thereafter, ending August 31, 1862, he is reported as absent and deserted. His name is not borne on any subsequent rolls.

He did not file an application for pension until April, 1879, when the act granting arrears was in force. He then claimed that he contracted pneumonia February 15, 1862; that about a month after he was sent home, and was under medical treatment for two years; that he returned about May 1, 1864, and was discharged about May 15, 1864, but that his discharge papers were lost.

Though he has furnished some evidence in support of the claim that he was sick at about the time alleged and that he returned to the Army after an absence of two years, no record proof of any kind is furnished of an honorable discharge at any time.

He has been informed that the record of his desertion in the War Department will be investigated with a view to its correction if he will furnish direct proof that it is erroneous. No such proof has been supplied, and the case has not been finally acted upon in the Pension Bureau.

It does not seem to me that this case in its present condition should receive favorable consideration.


Grover Cleveland, Veto Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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