Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

February 12, 1889

To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 9163, entitled "An act granting a pension to Eli Garrett."

This beneficiary enlisted in the Confederate Army December 1, 1862. He was captured by the United States forces on the 26th of November, 1863, and enlisted in the Union Navy January 22, 1864.

He was discharged from the Navy for disability September 8, 1869 upon the certificate of a naval surgeon, which states that he had valvular cardiac disease (disease of the heart), and that there was no evidence that it originated in the line of duty.

His claim for pension was rejected in 1882 upon the ground that the act which permits pensions to Confederate soldiers who joined the Union Army did not extend to such soldiers who enlisted in the Navy.

I can see no reason why such a distinction should exist, and the recommendation of the Commissioner of Pensions, made in 1887, that this discrimination be removed should be adopted by the enactment of a law for that purpose.

In this case, however, I am unable to discover any evidence that the trouble with which this beneficiary appears to be afflicted is related to his naval service which should overcome the plain statement of the surgeon upon whose certificate he was discharged to the effect that there was no evidence that his disability originated in the line of naval duty.


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

Simple Search of Our Archives