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Robert E. Lee

John R. Kerfort

U.S. Military Academy West Point N.Y.

26 July 1854

Sir

An application for a leave of absence from Cadet W.E. Merrill for the purpose of graduation & recg. His diplomat the College of St. James was forwd. On the 12th Inst. to the Honble Secy of War & recomd. for favorable consideration. I t has not been recd, & has probably miscarried or been overlooked. On the reception today of your note of the 22nd, on the subject, finding the occasion to be at hand, I sent to Cadet M. to know, if by leaving at once, which would enable him to reach Baltimore by 4 A.M. tomorrow, he could reach the College in time, with a view of granting him the permission in anticipation of the assent of the Secy of War. He implied he could not arrive at the college in Season, & I therefore saw no benefit in giving him a leave of absence.

As his not being present has not resulted from any fault of his, I hope it will be no bar to his recg. his Diploma, at some future day if it cannot be awarded to him now.

I remain Sir With great respect Your obedt. 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. 124. Addressed “Revd. John R. Kerfort Rector &c. College St. James Md.”