Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

April 21, 1888

To the House of Representatives:

I return without approval House bill No. 418, entitled "An act granting a pension to William H. Brokenshaw."

The history of the military service of the beneficiary mentioned in this bill, as derived from the records of the War Department, shows that he was received at draft rendezvous at Jackson, Mich., on the 25th day of March, 1865; that he was sent to the Twenty-fourth Regiment of Michigan Volunteers on the 29th day of the same month, and that he was present with his command, without any record of disability, from that date until the 30th day of June, 1865, when he was mustered out with his company. It will thus be seen that he was in the service a few days more than three months, just at the close of the war. It is not alleged that he did any actual fighting.

In 1883 he filed an application for pension, alleging that on the evening of the 25th of March, 1865, being the day he was received at rendezvous, he was injured in his ribs while getting into his bunk by three other recruits, who were scuffling in the room and who jumped upon him or crushed him against the side of his bunk.

An examination upon such application made in 1884 tended to show an injury to his ribs, but the claim was rejected upon the ground that no injury was incurred in the line of duty. It must be conceded that upon the claimant's own showing he was not injured as an incident to military service.

Aside from this objection, it is hardly possible that an injury of this kind, producing the consequences which it is alleged followed its infliction, could have been sustained by this soldier and not in the least interrupted the performance of his military service, though such service was very short and probably not severe. When with this it is considered that eighteen years elapsed between the date of the alleged injury and the soldier's application for pension, I am satisfied that no injustice will be done if the disposition made of this case by the Pension Bureau is allowed to stand.


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

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