Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

July 05, 1886

To the House of Representatives:

I return herewith without approval House bill No. 3640, entitled "An act granting a pension to James T. Irwin."

This claimant enlisted in February, 1864, and was mustered out June 10, 1865. He is reported as absent sick from August 20, 1864, until mustered out. He seems to have been treated for remittent fever, chronic diarrhea, general debility, and palpitation of the heart.

In 1876 he filed a declaration for pension, alleging that at Petersburg, July 1, 1864, he contracted fever and inflammation of the eyes.

He filed an affidavit in January, 1877, in which he states that his diseased eyes resulted from diseased nerves, caused by a wound received June 18, 1864, at Petersburg, and from a consequent abscess on the back of the neck.

In an affidavit filed in July, 1878 he states that in June, 1864, in front of Petersburg, he had his gun smashed in front of his face and his eyes injured, and afterwards he had an abscess on the back of his neck, typhoid fever, and disease of the left lung.

His claim founded upon these various allegations of injury was rejected in February, 1879.

In September, 1884, a declaration was filed for a pension, alleging disease of the heart contracted at Petersburg June 16, 1864.

The claimant was examined once in 1882 and twice in 1884 by United States examining surgeons and boards, and it is stated that these examinations failed to reveal any disease or disability except disease of the eyes and an irritable heart, the result of indigestion.

An oculist who made an examination in 1884 reported that the unnatural condition of claimant's eyes was congenital and in no manner the result of injury or disease.

Upon a consideration of the very short time that the claimant was in actual service, the different claims he has made touching his alleged disability, and the positive results of medical examinations, I am satisfied this pension should not be allowed.


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

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