Robert E. Lee

Rodman M. Price

U.S. Mil. Acady. West Point

22 Feby. 1855


I have had the honour to receive your letter of the 17th Inst. & am glad to hear that your nephew R. P. Lewis is with you—I regret that he thinks injustice has been done him by his Instructor—

As far as my knowledge extends, no one has had more consideration extended to them than he. I know such opinions are sometimes entertained by the Cadets, but I have never found any real grounds for their belief.

It is difficult to conceive why an Offr. Of the Army, charged with the instruction of ten young gentlm—all having to him the same relation & same interest, & upon whom he looks as future comrades, should single out any of oppression. It is his interest that all should do well; & which it is natural, he should take more pleasure in instructing those who are studious & attentive, than the reverse; there is neither ground or opportunity that I am aware of for injuring any—The Prof. of Mathcs. In his visits to the section informed me he warned them more than once, that unless they showed a marked improvement at the examination, from what they exhibited in their daily recitations, they would certainly fail. Mr. Lewis came up to the Exam. with the lowest recitation marks in his section but one, (Mr. Thruston, who declined his Exam. & resigned), & in the opinion of the Academic Board failed to
show himself proficient in his course.

His Instructor, had no vote in this decision: is not a member of the Board, & was not present when it was made.

As regards his progress & proficiency while at the Acady., they are set forth in his certificate of resignation in the most ample & formal manner that I can give.

I hope it will answer his purpose, & that he will not allow himself to be discouraged in his future efforts by his present disappointment.

I remain Sir, with much esteem 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. 187. Addressed “His Execy. Gov. of N. Jersey Trenton, N.J.”