Robert E. Lee

John Thoms Newton

U.S. Mil: Acady West Point

26. Sept: 1853

Your letter of the 24th Inst:, has been just handed to me by your nephew. I deeply regret the sudden death of your brother. The application of Cadet Newton for a leave of absence till 1 Dec next, is out of my power to grant. I will however forward it to the Secty. of War if he desires it. But the injury to him will be so great that I cannot recommend it to be granted. It will prevent his continuing with his class, or of his even regaining his position in it. This will be a great injury, It will diminish so much his interest & pleasure in his course & Studies, that it may eventuate in his leaving the Academy. I hope therefore that the necessity of the case does not require it; & although I know how grateful it would be to his feelings to accompany his mother home & see his fathers remains deposited in their last resting place, I hope that some other arrangement can be made, by which he can continue in his course, & that his mother may not suffer by his absence. Please offer her my respectful compliments & sincere sympathy.

I am very truly your friend & ServtSigd./ R E Lee Br. Col:
Supt: Mil: Acady

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, p. 55. Addressed “Commr John Thoms Newton U.S. Navy Commodore.”