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Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Mil. Academy West Point

11 Sept. 1854

General.

I recd this morning your letter of the 8th Inst. conveying the decision of the Honble. Secy of War, in reference to the case of Mr. A. M. Powell appointed from the 1st Cong. District of Md., & have informed him that it was unfavourable to his admission.

I had supposed previously to the decision of the Secy. that the Cadet letter of appt. initiated to provide for cases similar to that of Mr. Powell, & that the certificate of an attending Physician, that a candidate had been confined by an attack of sickness & rendered unable to travel, might be considered in the words of the appt. “a satisfactory reason for delay” in reporting at the prescribed time. Such has been the construction; but I shall hereafter consider the decision of the Secy as settling the matter.

I have the honour to be 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. 136. Addressed “Genl: Jos: G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington City D.C.”