Robert E. Lee writes to his wife about one of his former cadets at West Point
James Whistler had been a cadet at West Point under Superintendent Colonel Robert E. Lee. Lee had expelled him in 1854 for persistent infractions and he had left for Europe to begin his career as an artist. From his post in San Antonio, Texas, Lee sent his wife a newspaper clipping describing "little Jimmy Whistler's" successful 1860 exhibition, saying "I wish indeed he may succeed in his career. He certainly has talent, if he could acquire application." (By John Osborne)
Robert E. Lee to Mary Custis Lee, July 15, 1860, quoted in Elizabeth Brown Pryor, Robert Edward Lee, Reading the Man: a portrait of Robert E. Lee through his private letters (New York: Viking Penguin, 2007), 548n.