Robert E. Lee

B. F. Edwards

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

28 July 1854


I have recd. your letter of the 24th Inst. inquiring as to the practice in the Army, in forming Field foot Arty in line, in parade order; when cavalry is present. Field Arty, however organized, is considered in the Army, in the same light; & in the case in question takes the extreme right.

The directions given to a Col. in par. 527 Army Regns, are not considered applicable to him when more than one Regt. Is under Review, but to the Commander of the troops in Review. Thus in 533 when two or more Battns. are to be reviewed the Brigadier is directed to place himself opposite the centre of his Brigade &c., and in 534 the Major Genl. is directed to be in front of the Col. of the leading Battn of his Division &c.—so also in 537 the General. of the Divisions only accompany the Reviewing officer—The Commander of the body of troops, whatever they may be, is the person indicated; & he alone is entitled to an acknowledgement of his salute by the Revg. Officer—(Par 546). With as much reason might it be said that the Captns. should take their places by the Revg. Officer when a single Battn. is on Review as that the Cols. should, when there is a Brigade or Division—all directions &c. are given through the Commdr.

I wish it was in my power to accept your invitation when here, to be present at your encampment, but it is impracticable.

I remain your most 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. 126. Addressed “Maj. Genl. B. F. Edwards 1st Div. Mass. Vol. Militia Boston, Mass.”