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Robert E. Lee

R. V. Montague

U.S. Mil: Acady. West Point

25 Feby. 1853

Dear Sir.

I have recd your letter of the 16th inst. in reference to the recent separation of your son from the Mil: Acady.

I assure you its necessity was the cause of much regret to the Academic Board, & the Officers of the Institution, to whom his good Soldiership & correct deportment were well known. The recommendation of the Board in his case, was based entirely upon the want of proficiency in his studies, & the belief that he could not master them sufficiently to graduate, though he should have remained longer at the Institution. His advancement last June was very questionable & due principally to his character & the hope of his ultimate success.

My opinion is therefore that the recommendation of the Board at the recent Jany examination, would have been the same, even had he have had no demerit.

He deservedly has many has many friends in the Corps & at the Institution, & it is natural that your correspondence should have recd the impression of his case which he has communicated to you; and to shew you my own opinion of his character, I enclose for your perusal, a copy of a statement sent to him at his request in Washington, where he informed me he was applying for a situation in the Marine Corps.

The revision you request of his case by the academic board, with a view to his reinstatement, is beyond my power; & if practicable, it would not in my opinion result in any benefit to him.

Wishing him all success and happiness, I remain, Very resply. your Obt. Servt.(Signed) R.E. Lee. Bvt: Col:
Supt. Mil: Acady.

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, pp. 3–4. Addressed “R. V. Montague Esq. Richland. Alaba.”