Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Mil. Academy West Point

July 18, 1854


I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of Senator M. Mason’s note of the 13th Inst. with the accompanying letter of Cadet F. Lee to him & to the Secy of War all referred to the Supt. Of the Mil. Acady. for such action “as he may deem best.”

I regret that in view of the prohibition contained in the 83 Par. Mil. Acady. Regns and the universal practice of the Supt. Of the Mil. Acady., I am constrained to withhold the indulgence asked by Cadet Lee. His amount of demerit for the first Academic year was 197, being much over the number (100) which deprives him of a leave of absence during the period of the encampment, and is nearly sufficient to have him dismissed from the Institution. In the case referred to by Cadet Lee, the leaves of absence were granted by the Secy of War himself, in view of some peculiar circumstances.

The letters referred to me are herewith returned.

I am very Respectfully Your obedt. Servt.Signd Geo. W. Cullum
Capt. U.S. Engineer
Supt. Mil: Acady

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, p. 122. Addressed “Genl. J. G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington City D.C.”

Cullum signed this letter on behalf of Lee.