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Robert E. Lee

Charles C. Parrie

West Point

11 Dec. 1854

Sir,

It would afford me much pleasure to be able to comply with your request of the 4th Inst. that your son Cadet W. C. Parrie might be permitted to spend Christmas with his family in Boston; as I know it would be gratifying to him as to you. But the Regns. of the Acady. authorize but one leave of absence to a Cadet while at the Institution, & that is during the period of the Encampment, after he shall have been two years at the Acady., nor has it been customary to grant leaves of absence on Christmas, except to such as reside in the vicinity & who could spend the day with their parents without interruption to their duties. The exercises of the Acady. being suspended on Christmas Day alone. I regret that this would not be possible in the case of your son.

The Semi annual examination commences so soon after Christmas, that it is important to the Corps that they should enjoy every opportunity for the review of their course, & if the indulgence in question was granted to one member, it ought to be extended to all; which would naturally interfere with the prospects & studies of many.

I hope you will be able to carry out your intention of visiting your son, & that you may find him as well as he is at present. I am happy to inform you that his progress in his studies is equally good, & that he is one of the prominent candidates for the head of 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. 158–59. Addressed “Chas. C. Parrie Esq. Boston, Mass.”