Va Military Institute

                                                                                                Mar 12. 1866

Gen. R. E. Lee

            Prdt. W. C.

General.  Some time in December last, Mr. W. F. Dancy of Canton, Miss. was appointed a cadet in this Institution.  He arrived in Lexington some 10 days ago, and called to see me for the first time today.

            He says he came on, in compliance with the direction of my letter, and under the instructions of his father, to enter the Institute, but from the representation made to him in the Town, he was led to believe, that the Institution was not in practical operation & that the destruction of its buildings had suspended its usefulness.  Under these circumstances, he concluded that he would join the College.  Having understood since then, the true  state of the case with regard to the Institute, he desires to carry out the instructions of his father, and avail himself of the advantages of his appointment to the Institute.

            I have said to him, that I could not receive him, until his formal release had been granted by the authorities of the College, and I would not feel warranted in submitting his case to your consideration, but for the fact that he held authority from this Institute to enter here, and came here for that purpose.

            Still, so solicitous am I, not to interfere with the order of the College, that I submit the question with entire confidence in your decision, whatever that may be

                                                            I  remain, General , very Respy


                                                                        Francis H. Smith



Notation on reverse in General Lee’s  handwriting:

            12 Mar ‘66

Genl Smith

Supt:  Va Institute

In reference to

Mr. W. F. Dancy


Ansd: 13 Mar