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Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Military Academy West Point. N.Y.

March 25. 1853.

Genl.

The authority given the Supt: of the Acady by par. 79 A. Regns, to grant leaves of absence to the Cadets during the period of encampment, provides “that each Cadet so permitted to be absent shall have been present at not less than two entire encampments.” Cadets admitted in September cannot under this provision, receive the indulgence of the usual leave of absence granted to their class, at the commence-ment of the 2nd Class course. Yet the practice has been to extend to them the same indulgence as the others, & I can find no authority for this departure from the Regns. The records of the Adjts office do not go back further than 1838, when the office was destroyed by fire, but there is no reference to a change of the Regns in this respect since, & the provision in question is embraced in the edition of the Regns published in Jany 1839. I find however in that very year, 1839, that leaves of absence were granted to the Cadets that were admitted in September, & the present Commdt of the Corps informs me that he was of the number. It has been continued since, & I take it for granted must be authorized. The course of instruction is now such, that if they do not go at that time, they cannot go at all. For after entering the 1st class, the morng during the encampment is devoted to Practical Engg & Arty & the afternoon to recitation in Infy & Arty tactics.

My object is therefore to ask whether I shall continue the practice as heretofore. There are five Cadets in the present class that will be entitled to a furlough in June, who entered in September, & who have applied for the usual leave of absence.

I am Very respectfully Your obedt Servt.(Signed) R. E. Lee Bvt: Col:
Supt. Mil: Acady.

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, p. 14. Addressed “Genl: Jos: G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington City D.C.”