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Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. King

U.S. Mil: Acady West Point

6 April 1853

Dear Sir.

In reply to your note of the 4th Inst: asking whether an application for a leave of absence for your nephew Cadet Gracie, during the first part of the ensuing encampment would be in rule & not otherwise objectionable; I have to state that your nephew had his leave of absence last encampment. That the next encampment, his class will commence the course of Practical Engineering in the field, & the study of Arty. & Inftry Tactics, & that he could not be absent without injury to himself. In addition, that the graduation of one class, & the usual furlough of another, devolves the whole camp duty on the 3rd & 1st. classes (of the latter of which Cadet G. will then be a member) until the 4th class, just admitted, shall have become sufficiently instructed to share the burden. It would neither be just to his class or the rest of the Corps, to grant him an indulgence, equally agreeable to them all, & retain them to do his share of duty.

I regret therefore, that a regard for his own instruction & the general interests of the Corps compel me to object to the leave of absence desired.

I remain Sir,with great respect. Your obedt Servt.(Signed) R. E. Lee Bt Col.
Supt: Mil: Acady

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, p. 19. Addressed “Honble. Jos G. King New York.”

A note in the margin reads “ Cadet G. was in Hospital from 20 Oct ’52 to 1 Feby ’53. & from 8 Feby 1853 to 28 Mar ‘53.”