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Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Mil. Academy West Point

19 Dec. 1853

Genl:

The substitute for Par. 72 Mil. Acady. Regns.; transmitted in your letter of the 20th
July last: requires that “any cadet who shall at the examinations in June & Jany, have an amount
of demerit exceeding 100 for the previous six months, shall be declared deficient in conduct and
recommended to the War Dept. for discharge.”

The date from which the record of delinquencies for each Academic year commences, is
the 16th of June, for all the classes except the 4th; the members of which being admitted on the 1st
July, are given to the 16th of that month to make themselves acquainted with the regns.

The new regns, or substitute for par. 72, was published to the corps on the 22nd July, & it
would seem just, in making up the conduct roll for the approaching Jany examinations, not to
make it operative anterior to that time; & provided the Cadets have not exceeded the maximum
amt. of demerit since its publication, that they shall not be subjected to the penalty. Many of
them I believe, under the impression at the beginning of the term, that they have a margin of 200 demerit for the year, were less careful of their conduct, than they would have been had the existing reign at the time been in force.

I do not however feel at liberty to adopt this course, without your approval & submit the
question to you for decision.

I am very resp. your Obt. Servt.Sig: R. E. Lee Br. Col.
Supt. Mil. Acady

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, pp. 78–79. Addressed “Genl. J. G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington City D.C.”