Robert E. Lee

G. Clinton Williams

U.S. Mil. Acady. West Point

26 Dec. 1854

Dear Sir.

I have recd. your letter of the 21st Inst. in reference to text books, for instruction in Sword Exercise for Arty. & Cavalry.—

There is no Sword exercise especially prescribed for the Arty., & the propriety of arming Arty. with Swords is much questioned among Arty. officers. The form of salutes &c. may be found in Army Regns. of 1847, pars: 411, 518, & 526; & in Scott’s Infy. Tactics (Edition ’46) vol. 1 p. 188. The sabre exercise for cavalry (same as for arty) is laid down in the Cavalry Tactics for the U.S. Service of 1846 vol: 1 p. 11 & from page 132 to 143. The General. use of the Sword may be learned from Wayne’s Sword Exercise, published by authority of War Dept. 1850.

I hope from some or all of these sources, the citizen soldiery of your state may learn to handle their swords equal to their Revolutionary forefathers, & if called upon by their country be equally ready & prepared for her defence & protection.

I remain Sir with much respect 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. 166. Addressed “G. Clinton Williams Esq. Brig. de Major & Insp. 1st Bn. C.M. West Woodstock, Con:”