Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

February 19, 1887

To the Senate:

I herewith return without approval Senate bill No. 859, entitled "An act granting a pension to Charlotte O'Neal."

This bill proposes to grant a pension to the beneficiary therein named as the widow of Richard O'Neal, late colonel of the Twenty-sixth Regiment Indiana Volunteers.

In the report of the committee in the Senate to whom this bill was referred it is stated that the deceased soldier was the first colonel of the regiment named; that he resigned from the Army, and was by order of the governor of Indiana put in charge of the United States camps at Indianapolis. A military order is made part of the report, announcing that the funeral of Lieutenant-Colonel Richard O'Neal will take place January 6, 1863, and reciting the fact that the deceased had charge of the camps near Indianapolis for the preceding four months.

It is distinctly alleged in the report that the beneficiary did not apply to the Pension Bureau for relief because the disease of which her husband died was incurred after his resignation.

The records of the War Department fail to show that there was a colonel of the Twenty-sixth Indiana Regiment named Richard O'Neal, but it does appear that Richard O'Neal was lieutenant-colonel of said regiment; that he was mustered in August 31, 1861, and resigned June 30, 1862.

If this is the officer whose widow is named in the bill, the proposition is to pension a widow of a soldier who, after a ten months' service, resigned, and who seven months after his resignation died of disease which was in no manner related to his military service.

There is besides such a discrepancy between the name given in the bill and the name of the officer who served as lieutenant-colonel in the regiment mentioned that if the merits were with the widow the bill would need further Congressional consideration.


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

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