Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

July 31, 1886

To the House of Representatives:

I return herewith without approval House bill No. 8336, entitled "An act granting an increase of pension to Duncan Forbes."

The beneficiary named in this bill enlisted, under the name of Alexander Sheret, January 7, 1862, in the Regular Army, and was discharged January 8, 1865.

He applied for a pension in 1879, alleging that he was wounded in his right breast December 31, 1862, and in his right ankle September 20, 1863. He was pensioned in 1883, dating from January 9, 1865, for the ankle wound, but that part of his claim based upon the wound in his breast was rejected upon the ground that there was no record of the same and the testimony failed to show that such a wound had its origin in the service.

Though the lack of such a record is sufficiently accounted for, I am convinced that, conceding both the wounds alleged were received, this pensioner has been fairly and justly treated.

It appears from the allegations of his application to the Pension Bureau that after the wound in his breast, in December, 1862, he continued his service till September, 1863, when he was wounded again in the ankle, and that with both wounds he served until his discharge in January, 1865. It also appears from the records that after his discharge from the Army, and on the 3d day of February, 1865, he enlisted as landsman in the United States Navy, and served in that branch of the service for three years.

A medical examination in May, 1885, disclosed the appearance of a gunshot wound in the right breast, which is thus described:

The missile struck the seventh rib of right side and glanced off, leaving a horizontal scar 2 1/4 inches long and one-half inch wide, deeply depressed and firmly adherent.

I credit this claimant with being a good soldier, and I am willing to believe that his insistence upon a greater pension than that already allowed by the Pension Bureau, under liberal general laws, enacted for the benefit of himself and all his comrades, is the result of the demoralization produced by ill-advised special legislation on the subject.


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

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