Grover Cleveland

Veto Message

July 06, 1886

To the House of Representatives:

I herewith return without approval House bill No. 4642, entitled "An act granting a pension to James Carroll."

The claimant alleges that he was wounded while in the service as a member of Company B, Third Regiment North Carolina Mounted Volunteers, while securing recruits for the regiment at Watauga, N. C., January 25, 1865.

The records of the War Department develop the fact that the name of this man is not borne upon any roll of the company to which he claims to belong.

He stated in his application that he was sworn in by one George W. Perkins, who, it appears, was a private in said company, and that Perkins was with him at the time he was shot.

This is undoubtedly true, and that the claimant was injured by a gunshot is also probably true. He was not, however, at the time regularly in the United States service, but this objection might in some circumstances be regarded as technical. The difficulty is that the fact that he was creditably employed in a service of benefit to the country is not satisfactorily shown. He gives two accounts of the business in which he was engaged, and Mr. Perkins's explanation of the manner in which the two were occupied is somewhat different still.

Carroll' s claim, presented to the Pension Bureau, was rejected upon the ground that there was no record of his service on file; but in his testimony he stated that Perkins was wounded on the same occasion as himself, and that he (Perkins) was then a pensioner on account thereof.

The records of the pension Bureau show that Perkins was pensioned in 1873 on account of three wounds received at the time and place of Carroll's injury.

It also appears that his name was dropped from the rolls in 1877 on the ground that his wounds were not received in the line of duty.

After an investigation made at that time by a special examiner, he reported that Perkins and Carroll had collected a number of men together, who made their headquarters at the home of Carroll's mother and were engaged in plundering the neighborhood, and that on account of their depredations they were hunted down by home guards and shot at the time they stated.

If this report is accepted as reliable, it should of course lead to the rejection of the claim for pension on the part of Mr. Carroll.


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

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