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Robert E. Lee

S. Bell

U.S. Mil. Academy West Point

Dec. 23 1853

Sir.

I have recd your letter of the 13th Inst., asking a leave of absence for your son Cadet M. H. Bell.

I regret the distance is too great to enable me to grant him the opportunity to visit you on Christmas & to return in time to resume his studies, which in some cases has been extended to cadets residing in the vicinity of the Academy.

I remain very resply. your obt Servt(Signed) R. E. Lee. Br. Col:
Supt: Mil: Acady

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, p. 80. Addressed “Mr. S. Bell Esq. West Chester Penna.”