Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Mil. Academy West Point

19 Dec. 1853


It has been reported to me by the Comdt. of Cadets, that on the night of the 16th Inst.
Cadets Ferguson, Lee, J. & Lord of the 3rd Class, were absent from their quarters and Barrack,
from about 12 o’clock at night, till 5 in the morng. That Cadets Amory and Deveraux of the 4th
class were absent from about 12 till 1 o’clock the same night; had spirituous liquors in their
possession when they returned, & that Cadets Ferguson & Armory were in citizens dress. Cadet
MacGill of the 4th Class was also discovered absent from his quarters, but as it is not known that
he was absent over half an hour, & as he states that he was visiting in Barrack, his offense is not
of the grave character as that of the others.

The absences of the five named young gentlemen, at the time specified, I regret to say, is
positive & acknowledged, that they have subjected themselves to the severe punishment
prescribed in par. 121 Mil. Acady. regns. Viz: dismissal from the service. Their offense being
beyond my jurisdiction is, accordingly submitted to you, & should the Secy. of War not deem fit
to decide upon their punishment, I have to apply for a Genl. Court Martial for their trial.

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

P.S. I refer you to the report of Major Garnett for the particulars of the case & his views.

R. E. Lee Br. Col.

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

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