Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

July 05, 1886

To the House of Representatives:

I herewith return without approval House bill No. 1505, entitled "An act granting a pension to William Dermody."

By the records of the War Department which have been furnished me it appears that this claimant enlisted August 19, 1861; that he deserted August 29, 1862; in November and December, 1862, he is reported as present in confinement in regimental guardhouse, to forfeit one month' s pay by sentence of regimental court-martial; he is reported as having deserted again in December, 1863, but as present for duty in January and February, 1864; he reenlisted in the latter month, and was mustered out July 17, 1865, and with his company was paid up to and including July 21, 1865.

He filed a declaration for pension in 1879, alleging that he received a gunshot wound in the thigh at Trenton, N.J., July 21, 1865, and that the wound was inflicted by a member of the Invalid Corps, who was whipping a drummer boy, and the claimant interfered in behalf of the boy. It is quite Certain that the transaction took place July 23.

An examining board, in 1880, found pistol shot in thigh, but refused to give the claimant a rating, because, as they report, "from the evidence before the board there is reason to suppose that he was deserting from the barracks at Trenton July 23, 1865, and was shot by the guard."

This may not be a just suspicion or finding, but he surely was not in the service nor in the performance of any military duty at the time of the injury, nor was he engaged in such manner as to entitle him to indemnification at the hands of the Government.


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

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