Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

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

18 Jany. 1855


I have the honour to present the merit rolls of the Cadets of the Mil: Acady. determined at the semi annual examination, which terminated yesterday.

I also submit for your consideration, the report of the Academic Board, of the Progress, aptitude &c., of those Cadets of the 2nd & 3rd classes, pronounced not proficient in their courses & recommended for discharge, required by par: 63 Acad. Regns., & the report on those separated from the Acady. since the preceding Examination, required by par. 64.

The Cadets not proficient in their course & not recommended for discharge, it is believed by the Board will be able to proceed with their studies, & may by June if the opportunity is allowed them, retrieve their position.—

I would respectfully recommend that those who may be discharged & who have not recd. over 100 demerit, be allowed the privilege of resigning.

The Cadets declared deficient in conduct & recommended for discharge agreeably to the 72 par: of the Regns., have recorded against them, for the six months ending 15th Dec. 1854, the amount of demerit placed opposite their names respectively. Both the number of names & amount of demerit, on first making up the delinquent Roll were greater; but on a careful review, some who had not much exceeded 100 demerit, were relieved entirely; while that of the others was reduced to the amount now standing against them. Many of these young gentlemen possess qualities which if well directed would make them good soldiers & accomplished officers; & I am happy to say that many of their delinquencies are of a class not affecting their character; but are still violations of good order & military discipline, which it is the object of the Acady. to correct. I know of no way of accomplishing the purpose of the Institution, or of having the prescribed duties properly performed, but by subjecting them to the penalty provided in the Regns. I fear there has been much idleness in the Corps the past term, & as many violations of regns. have not previously come to my knowledge.

I am very respfy. Your Obt. 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. 177. Addressed “Genl: Jos: G. Totten.”