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Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Mil. Academy West Point

Sept. 23rd 1854

General.

I have received from Cadet H. W. Fowler, the accompg. Surgeon’s Certificate which I forward for your consideration originally to par. 87 Acady Regulations, with his application for another extension of his leave. Cadet Fowler recd. a leave of absence, as authorized by your letter of 24th Feby. last, for the benefit of his health, till the 1st July; with permission to join the 4th Class; if in the opinion of the Medical Officers he should be qualified to resume his duties, his leave was subsequently extended under the authority of your letter of 27 June, to the 28th August. Since which time he has been absent without leave, & is reported by Asst. Surgeon L. M. Haden, unable to perform his duty.

I can find no precedent for the permission he requests to join his class in January & think under the circumstances the practice would be injurious to the Academy. His age, (17 years on the 1st Sept. last) had he returned to the Academy at the expiration of his leave of absence, would in the division of the 4th Class, have placed him in the 5th. The course of English is different from that he studied in the 4th Class, & I fear if he joins the class in January, he would be unprepared to go on with them.

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. 138. Addressed “Genl: Jos: G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington City D.C.”