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Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Mil. Academy West Point

28 Dec. 1853

General.—

I have the honour to submit for your consideration a special pledge voluntarily given by the members of the 3rd Class, for the purpose of relieving their comrades from the charge reported to you on the 19th Inst.—The subject being beyond my control, I have only to refer it to you & although in a Military point of view I consider this kind of convention between the authorities & the Corps, irregular, & that the oath which each member takes upon receiving his warrant a sufficient guarantee for his effort to perform his duty, yet I believe, experience has shown the happiest results from these specific pledges, & I therefore recommend it for your favorable consideration.

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

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, p. 81. Addressed “Genl. J. G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington City D.C.”