U.S. Mily. Academy West Point 3d Sept. 1852.
I have recd your letter of the 28th expressing your fears lest your son Wm. R. Terrill had been guilty of some gross impropriety, from the amount of demerit he incurred in the month of July. That amount is made up by the commission of a number of officers, not immoral in their nature, but unbecoming a Soldier & prejudicial to good order & discipline. The gravest among them was being “off Cadet limits” (27th July), and “Absent (from Camp) 20 minutes after Tattoo” (28th July). Each of these offenses count 12 in the scale of demerit, making together 24. Ten minutes longer absence after tattoo (the hour the cadets retire to bed) would have subjected him to dismissal.
I am sorry to inform you that his demerit in August, exceeded 30. The offenses this amount represents, are of a character similar to those committed in July. I hope however the report of the present month will show a great dimmunition.
The termination of the encampment, & the re-commencement of studies, generally produces a great change in this respect. During the period of encampment, (from last of June to last of Augt.) your son has incurred over 80 demerit. You are aware that over 200 in the year, subjects a Cadet to dismissal. His filial respect will alone, I trust, prevent his incurring such a penalty.
I am Very Respectfully.
Sir Your obedt Serv.
R. E. Lee. Br. Col: Supt: Mil: Acady.
Source: Superintendent's Daily Correspondence United States Military Academy, Superintendent's Letter Book No. 2, p. 284. Addressed “Wm H. Terrill Esq. Warm Springs, Va.”
Uploaded by Colin Woodward, 2015 December 22