Robert E. Lee

R. F. Tirrou

U.S. Mil: Acady. West Point

28 Dec. 1852.

My dear Sir.

Your letter of the 18th inst. asking in behalf of your nephew Cadet Nicholls, permission to visit you for a few days to include Xmas & New Years day; has been referred to me by the Secry of War. It has been just recd & has therefore arrived too late for me to grant him the desired indulgence on Xmas, when I might have included him in the list of some Cadets, whose homes were so near as to enable them to spend that day with their parents, without interfering with their duties.

It is yet possible to allow him the privilege of spending New Years day with you, did not true kindness to him as well as consideration for others compel me to withhold it. The semi-annual examination of the Cadets, commence on Monday next, & it is of great importance to your nephew that he should not be interrupted in his preparation for that event. He is now sixth in his class, and I feel sure, it would be more gratifying to the affection you bear him, that he should maintain his present high standing, than that he should run the risk of losing it, for the pleasure of seeing you. He will have ample time for this, during his furlough of two months next summer. With every disposition then to indulge him, & gratify you, I cannot with a due regard to his welfare, which I understand it is the wish of the Secy to consult, comply with your request. I hope therefore you will excuse me for denying it

I remain, very resply. Yr. obedt. ServtSigned/ R. E. Lee Br Col
Supt Mil. Acady

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 2, p. 308. Addressed “R. F. Tirrou Esq. 70 Wall Street New York”