Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Military Acady. West Point.

25 Feby. 1853


Cadets Edward M. Crampton & Wainwright Heilman of the 4th Class, sick in hospital, have applied to me this day for a leave of absence on account of ill-health.

I enclose the certificates of the Surgeon of the state of their health, presented some ten days since, which I have kept back in the hope, that some favorable change might occur, to enable them to resume their studies with their class, & render unnecessary the granting them a leave of absence; which besides the injury to the individuals, I feared might grow into an evil to the Corps & service.

But from their representations to me today, I believe it is impossible for them to continue with their present class, even were they in a situation to resume their studies at once, which they are not. I do not see therefore that any good is to be obtained by retaining them at the Institution.

You will observe that the Surgeon is of the opinion that Cadet Crampton will be restored in a few months, & a visit to his home and friends would no doubt expedite his recovery & render him better able to commence with the next 4th class in June, should he be allowed the opportunity.

With respect to Cadet Heilman he is more doubtful, & recommends freedom from study, exercise & diet. I think it is certain he cannot continue with his present class. Whether he will be better able to resume his duties in June next, I have no means of judging, nor am I aware of any place to which he can repair for the benefit of his health.

I therefore submit the whole to you for your orders.

I am 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. 3, p. 4. Addressed “Genl: Jos: G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington City DC”