Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Mil. Acady. West Point

27 Feby 1855


In the execution of the orders of the Secy. of War, communicated in your letter of the 26th Ulto: Cadet J. Sharp as you were advised on the 20th declined the privilege offered him of tendering his resignation. I endeavoured to explain to him that under the circumstances, his resigning would neither injure his case or claims; & that having no option as to my course, I should be obliged if he did not to discharge him.

A copy of the order issued on the occasion is enclosed.

In a letter recently rec’d, he informed me he is now willing to resign his Cadet appointment. But having no longer an appointment to resign, & my former action having terminated my authority, I do not consider I have any further power in the matter.

I should be willing to give him the benefit of his tardy acceptance of the option to resign; as the object of his separation from the Acady. will be attained, & be made more agreeable to him; but having executed the orders of the Secy. I consider I have no more right to alter the proceedings in his case than the others.

The application of Mr. Sharp is therefore submitted to you.

I am very respfy. Yr. 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, pp. 188–89. Addressed “Genl: Jos: G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington City D.C.”