Robert E. Lee

Rodman M. Price

U.S. Mil Acady West Point

25 Jany 1853


I have delayed replying to your letter of the 15th Inst: in reference to Cadet R. P. Lewis, until I should have answered the call for a report in his case, which you intimated I would receive.

Cadet Lewis was brought before the Court Martial assembled here for the trial of other Cadets in obedience to Orders from Washington. His case was so simple that he required the aid of no other counsel, than the Judge Advocate of the Court who acted as such. He was informed of all its merits, & I presumed the Court not doubting the general good conduct of Cadet L. wanted no evidence to prove it.

Although not able to take the same view of his offence, or of the feelings which governed him, as you do, I think I can yet see the credit to which he is entitled, & have accordingly reported all that I know in his favor. I am reluctant to attribute to a young soldier, emotions of unnecessary panic or alarm, nor would that justify me in losing sight of the effect that might thus be produced in others.

Whatever may be the result of his trial, I hope his connection with the Military Academy will be of no ultimate disadvantage to him, but will teach him the importance of earnest attention & application & thus pave the way for future success.

I remain very resply. your obt Servt(Signed) R. E. Lee. Br. Col:
Supt: Mil: Acady

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 2, p. 319. Addressed “Honble: Rodman M Price House of Representatives Washington City DC.”