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Robert E. Lee

Elijah Smead

U.S. Mil. Acady.

18th May 1854

My dear Sir,

It is with much regret I inform you that your son Cadet Smead at Cavalry exercise on the 16th, was I fear badly injured by his horse falling on him. No injury can be yet discovered but a few unimportant external bruises; but he has continued in a kind of stupor, which causes me to apprehend he may have been more seriously injured than is apparent; & has determined me, without wishing to make you unnecessarily anxious, to apprize you of the fact. He appears to suffer little or no pain, is occasionally aroused & is conscious of what is passing, but immediately relapses with drowsiness & sleep. He yesterday recognized your hand writing among some letters that were presented to him & read a few lines of your letter. You may be assured that he will receive every attention & treatment that his case will admit of & that the skill of the medical officers can bestow; & relying upon his youth & constitution hope I may be able in a few days to speak more encouragingly of his speedy recovery—should any obvious change take place in his condition I will immediately inform you.

I remain sir with much Consideration & esteemSigned/ R. E. Lee Br. Col:
Supt: Mil: Acady

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, p. 105. Addressed “Elijah Smead Esq. Talbotton, Talbot Co., Ga.”