Robert E. Lee

W. Eugene Webster

U.S. Mil. Acady. West Point

25 Feby 1854


Your early departure from the Point prevented my returning your letter of the 13th Inst. to the Honble. Secy of War; which I did not deem advisable to forward with my recommendation for your leave of absence. It is not customary to correspond directly with the Secy. except in the way of appeal, on matters regulated by the rules of service. The reasons you advanced in asking any indulgence, I feared might be considered as more entitling you to a discharge, nor is it usual in making similar requests to couple with it as an alternative the letter of resignation. The letter in question is herewith enclosed.

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. 94. Addressed “Cadet W. Eugene Webster Alexandria, Va.”