Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

June 19, 1888

To the Senate:

I return without approval Senate bill No. 1957, entitled "An act granting a pension to Virtue Smith."

The beneficiary named in this bill is the widow of David M. Smith (incorrectly named David W. Smith in the bill), who served as a bugler in a Minnesota regiment from August 22, 1862, to September 28, 1862, in a campaign against the Sioux Indians.

He received a gunshot wound in the right elbow, for which in 1867 he was granted a pension of $6 a mouth, which was very soon thereafter increased to $8, and in August, 1875, said pension was further increased to $10 a month, which he received to the date of his death.

He died in the city of Washington on the 22d day of January, 1880.

He obtained a position in the Second Auditor's Office of the Treasury Department in 1864, and worked steadily there until about six months before his death.

Medical examinations had from time to time up to 1877 seem to have found him in excellent physical condition except the wound in his right elbow, which caused stiffness, and an injury to his left forearm not received in the Army.

In 1879 he was examined by a physician of this city who stands among the best in the profession, and found in the last stages of consumption, and this physician declares he died from that cause. A female physician certified that the cause of death was "wounds in the Army." The pensioner was 64 years old at the time of his death.

I am perfectly satisfied from the medical testimony and from other facts connected with this case that the death of the husband of the beneficiary was in no manner related to his military service.


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

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