To the Senate of the United States:
I have the honor to return herewith Senate bill No. 490, entitled "An act for the relief of the East Tennessee University," without my approval.
This claim, for which $18,500 are appropriated out of the moneys of the United States, arises in part for the destruction of property by troops in time of war, and therefore the same objections attach to it as were expressed in my message of June 1, 1872, returning the Senate bill awarding $25,000 to J. Milton Best.
If the precedent is once established that the Government is liable for the ravages of war, the end of demands upon the public Treasury can not be forecast.
The loyalty of the people of the section in which the university is located, under circumstances of personal danger and trials, thus entitling them to the most favorable construction of the obligation of the Government toward them, is admitted, and nothing but regard for my duty to the whole people, in opposing a principle which, if allowed, will entail greater burdens upon the whole than the relief which will be afforded to a part by allowing this bill to become a law, could induce me to return it with objections.
Recognizing the claims of these citizens to sympathy and the most favorable consideration of their claims by the Government, I would heartily favor a donation of the amount appropriated by this bill for their relief.
Ulysses S. Grant, Veto Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/203606