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Veto Message

March 27, 1876

To the House of Representatives:

I have the honor to return herewith without my approval the bill (H. R. No. 83) entitled "An act for the relief of James A. Hile, of Lewis County, Mo., "for the reasons set forth in the accompanying communication of the Secretary of War.

U.S. GRANT.

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington City, March 25, 1876.

The PRESIDENT.

SIR: I have the honor to return act H. R. 83, with the following report from the Adjutant-General:

"It appears from the records of this office that James A. Hilt, private Company F, Twenty-first Missouri Volunteers, enlisted July 15, 1861; deserted June 14, 1862; returned August 2, 1862; was restored to duty by special order No. 38, headquarters District of Columbus, Department of Tennessee, dated Columbus, Ky., February 26, 1863. He reenlisted February 28, 1864, as a veteran volunteer; was tried by general court-martial for absence without leave from November 25, 1864, to December 13, 1864, and sentenced to forfeit all pay and allowances for time absent by general order No. 48, headquarters Second Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, dated May 22, 1865.

"On the muster-out roll of company dated April 19, 1866, he is reported, 'Deserted March 1, 1866, at Bladen Springs, Ala.'

"This man, in his application to this office for discharge, stated under oath (affidavit dated July 27, 1870) that he left his command without leave and returned to his home February 28, 1866, having previously applied for a furlough, which was refused.

"This man, according to his own statement under oath, did desert as reported, and if this bill becomes a law it will be an injustice to every soldier who served honorably with his command until his services were no longer required by the Government, in addition to falsifying the record, as the bill directs the record shall be made to show he is no deserter .

"This is only one of many similar cases."

The remarks of the Adjutant-General adverse to the passage of the bill are concurred in.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ALPHONSO TAFT,

Secretary of War .

Ulysses S. Grant, Veto Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/204679

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