Robert E. Lee

George W. Jones

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

8 Dec. 1854

My dear Genl.

I took great pleasure in the reception of your note of June last, handed me by your young friend Cadet Edwd. T. Jennings of Oregon. Cadet J. has been attentive to his duties, but I am sorry to inform you has made so little progress in his studies, both Mathematics & English, that in the opinion of his Prof. he will not be able to pass the semiannual examination in Jany. I have endeavoured to stimulate him to greater exertion, but either the undeveloped state of his mind, or his impatience in applying its powers, render him I think incapable at present of mastering his course. Under these circumstances I thought it would be more agreeable to him as well as his friends, to resign his appointment, than to be declared deficient. He is aware of his position & wishes to resign. But his father being in Oregon, whose assent is required by the Regns., there is not time to consult him before the Examination. I advised him to write to the Honble. Bernhart Hess, who also takes much interest in him, to see if he could not under the circumstances of his case, take so far upon himself the responsibility of Guardian, as to give him permission, which he informed me he has done. I have thought however it was due to your friendship, as well as to that of your colleague, the Hon. A.C. Dodge, to be apprised of the circumstances, that he might have the benefit of your judgement, as to what was best to be done.

I very much regret that it is not in my power to give you a report of your young friend more in accordance with your feelings & my wishes, but I have thought it best that you should know the facts. The difficulty with him I think is that he has been apptd. too young. I should have written to you before, but was unwilling to give you information which I know would not be agreeable to you, until it became necessary.

I am with much respect my dear Genl. Yours truly & as everSigned/ R. E. Lee Br. Col:
Supt: Mil: Acady

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, p. 156. Addressed “Genl. Geo. W. Jones U.S. Senate Washington City, D.C.”