Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Mil. Academy West Point

31 Jany. 1854


In forwarding the resignation of Cadet Heilman, a step which he had meditated for some time, & which in his opinion his health renders necessary, I will state that I consider it impossible he should continue at the Acady, & that I see no benefit in his remaining here longersince his examination & the commencement of the new term, he has done nothing in his studies & has been so negligent in his duties, as to have acquired in the month of January 130 demerit; & thus has already exceeded 100 which subjects him to dismissal—In addition his conduct to his Instructors has not been proper or respectful, & I was obliged yesterday to place him in arrest for repeated misbehaviour in the Mathcal. Academy.

I think it therefore better to allow him to resign, under the circumstances than bring him to trial.

Since the death of his mother, he says he was informed by his sister, that a Mr. Mason had been appointed his guardian, but he does not know his name or residence. I presume it must be Mr. John Mason in Washington, to whom his resignation might be referred for approval if you thought it necessary.

I remain Very resply. Yr. obt Srvt.Signed/ R. E. Lee Br. Col:
Supt: Mil: Acady

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, p. 89. Addressed “Genl. J. G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington City D.C.”