Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

June 26, 1888

To the Senate:

I return without approval Senate bill No. 845, entitled "An act granting a pension to the widow of John A. Turley."

The husband of this beneficiary belonged to a Kentucky regiment of volunteers, and in 1863, having been in camp and on leave of absence, he and others of the regiment embarked on a steamboat, in charge of a lieutenant, to be taken to Louisville, whither they had been ordered.

While on the steamboat an altercation arose between two of the soldiers, and the deceased interfered to prevent, as is alleged, an affray. By so doing he was pushed or struck by one of the parties quarreling and fell upon the deck of the boat, striking his head against a plank, thus receiving a fatal injury.

It is quite clear to me that the death of this soldier was not the result of his military service. His presence on the boat was in the line of duty, but he had no charge of the rest of the men and was in no degree responsible for them, and whether he should be in any way implicated in the dispute which occurred was a matter entirely within his own control and determined by his own volition. If he had refrained from interference, he would have saved himself and performed to the utmost his military duty.


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

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