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Robert E. Lee

George H. Crosman

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

Sept. 23, 1854

Major

I have recd. your letter in reference to the division of the recent 4th Class. The impression of your son as to the basis of division is correct & the principal was stated in the orders on the subject, that all might understand it, all under 18 years old were arranged in the 5th class & all over 18 in the 4th—came from Washington. The Acad. Board were directed to propose a programme of study for a five years course which was submitted for approval & I was directed to carry it into effect. I know of no way of making any change now unless it should be directed by the Secy of War. The promotion from one class to another, except at the regular advancement of the entire class, as you propose, is contrary to Regulations. I am sorry that your son dislikes his assignment to the 5th Class. It will keep him one year longer at the Academy, but will give him a better opportunity to learn & improve himself & I hope will thus eventually benefit him. He must therefore make up his mind to take the good with the bad, & make the best of it. I hope he will not be discouraged but set to work manfully & cheerfully to do his duty & take a high standing in his class.

I remain very respfy 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, pp. 138–39. Addressed “Major Geo. H. Crosman Philadelphia Penn.”