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Robert E. Lee

William C. Warren

U.S. Mil. Acady.

26 May 1854

My dear Sir,

It gives me pleasure to inform you that although your son, has as you are aware, incurred a large amount of demerit; he has not been guilty of any grave offence calculated to affect his character or moral standing, but that it has resulted, from inattention to the Regns. & neglect of his duties, which it is the object of the discipline of the Acady. to correct, & which is unbecoming the character of a good soldier. I have endeavoured to impress upon him the importance of a change of conduct in this respect, & the advantage of acquiring a habit of order, punctuality & precision, which his duties as a soldier would hereafter require & which it is the object of the system of education here pursued to enforce. I have discovered in him much manliness & uprightness of character, yet at his time of life it is difficult to understand the responsibility of his acts, or to realize their consequences. I am sorry to add that his amount of demerit since Jany. has exceeded 100, which by the regn. will require his name at the approaching annual examination to be presented to the Secy. of War with a view to his discharge. Nor am I able to assure you that he will pass the required examination in his academical studies, though I much hope he will evince such knowledge of his course, as will enable the Academic board to pronounce him proficient. He is in the last section of his class (7th) in Mathematics, the last in French & next to the last in English studies. I fully understand your great anxiety about your son, & can appreciate all your feelings. I wish it was in my power to give you a more favourable report, but I consider it due to you, as well as for his interest, that you should know his true position & standing at the Academy.

I am Sir, with much consideration & respect your obed. Servt.Signed/ R. E. Lee Br. Col:
Supt: Mil: Acady

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, p. 107–8. Addressed “Wm. C. Warren Esq. Edenton, N.C.”