Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Mil. Acady.

10 April 1854


I have recd. from Cadet Martin the accounts & communication in reference to his offence. I reported to you on the 7th Inst. his full confession of his act & the clear perception he evinces of the error of his conduct, inclines me to believe he would not again repeat it, & the sincerity of his conviction is I think shown by the offer of his resignation with the assent of his father.

Should you therefore think that his punishment is not necessary to arrest conduct so derogatory to the Corps of Cadets, & which he asserts has been practiced by other members of his class, but I hope not to the extent he says; & that the dishonour of such a course, can be otherwise clearly set forth to the Corps, I would respectfully recommend that as much leniency as possible be extended towards him, & that if his fault cannot be overlooked, that some milder punishment than that of dismissal be inflicted on him.

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

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, pp. 97–98. Addressed “Genl: Jos: G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington City D.C.”