Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Mil: Acady West Point

14 Feby 1853


The proof sheets of the new edition of the Academy regns arrived this morng. I will reply to your notice of the variations from the original in the order in which they stand in your letter of the 11th Inst:

Par. 5. Conforms to usage & existing practice. The Comdt. of Cadets & Inst. of Infy Tactics has been, with two or three exceptions, an offr. of Infy. The Instr. of Artilly always an offr. of Arty. The offrs. of Infy complained, when an Arty officer was selected to instruct in Infy. Tactics, & I presume the Arty would do the same in a similar case.

Proviso. Par. 12. Authority, par.12 old regns, & letter of Engr. Dept. 20 Sept. 1841. The letter of Secy Spencer Nov 26/41, was not constructed as amending par. 16 (old). Par. 166 (new) requires officers making disbursements at West Point, to render their accounts according to the Regns of Engr. Dept. which it was thought embraced its spirit, especially as the Supt. is an Offr. of Engrs. But to remove all doubt par. 14 new, has been made to include pars 9 & 11 Engr. regns.

The authority for relieving the Profs from teaching one particular section, & making them responsible for the instruction of all, depends on practice, which was first commenced under Col: DeRussy, extended under Major Delafield & completed in 1847 under Capt Brewerton. By confining the Prof. to the 1st section, he could pay less attention to the others, that required it most, & could have no opportunity of seeing how their instructors performed their duty of teaching. I found it so established & made the regn. Conform to the fact.

There is nothing on file at the Acady to shew that any proviso was added by Mr. Spencer to par 24 (old), 64 (new).

Par. 71. The amt. of demerit is not increased. An intermediate grade is introduced to relieve the Cadets from offences for which 8 demerit was considered too great.

Par. 99. The uniform of the Cadets is taken from the Genl. Orders prescribing the uniform of the Army. The number of coats &c is not prescribed to soldiers, some Cadets require more than others, all are obliged to have at least one of each article of dress, & enough to present a neat appearance.

Par 118. Par. 116, 117 & 118 were intended to embrace par. 113 (old) which was thus sub-divided for convenient reference. Par 118, was meant more clearly to prohibit a Cadet’s getting drunk either on or off limits.

Par. 163. Embraces the requirements of par. 157 (old) & covers the actual state of things. ordnance stores are furnished to the Mil. Acady as to other posts. Sometimes from one arsenal, & Sometimes from another.

Par. 183. The necessary regulations for interior police have been established by the Supts. under authority of par. 170 (old). The hour for reveille has been changed so as to bring it more within daylight than before.

Par. 188. No uniform was prescribed for Cadets acting as Asst. Profrs. By the former regns. That prescribed in par 188 is the uniform worn by them.

Par 187. Conforms to practice. Cadets have not worn whiskers, except occasionally in the 1st. class when about to graduate. It is embraced in the authority of par 170 (old).

Par. 219. The letter of Secty Spencer of Dec. 10/41 was considered rather as explanatory of par 215 (old) than as amendatory, & intended more for the government of inspecting officers than the Cadets. An acknowledgment of a violation of regns on the part of a Cadet or Officer, does not criminate him in the correct acceptance of the term, & its addition might lead them into error. The principle is distinctly laid down it was thought, by Secy Spencer in his letter of 5 Jany 1843. & by Secy Conrad in his order 6 Sept. 1852. If the reading of this principle is incorrect, the addition in question can be added.

Pars. 251, 252, 261, 262, 291, 293, 310, 311, & 313 are new, & are considered necessary for interior police &c & established under authority of par. 170. (old)

Tables “F” “G” & “H” the rules & articles of war &c, as stated in my letter of 24 Jany 1853, will be appended as usual, but being exactly the same in the new as the old edition, it was not considered necessary to forward them.

It was intended to embrace in the new Edition of the Regns. the whole meaning & intent of the old & to make no changes not authorized, except where the existing practice at the Academy required. I have therefore to request that you will make any alteration or amendment that you may find necessary.

I have a copy of the proof sheet, & should any further reference be necessary it will not be required to return the copy now forwd to you.

I am very respy. your obedt Servt(Signed) R. E. Lee Br. Col.
Supt: Mil: Acady.

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 2, pp. 324–25. Addressed “Genl: Jos: G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington D.C.”