<br /> Lee Letter: n1

Washington and Lee University
Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

US. Military Academy West Point.

9. Oct: 1852.


I have the honor to transmit, herewith, an estimate of funds required for the US Mil: Acady. for the fiscal year ending 30 June 1854.

An addition of $2000. to the usual estimate for repairs & improvements is asked for to aid in the construction of a new wharf rendered necessary by the destruction of the floating dock situated on the North side of the Point in the Fall of 1850. A more sheltered position has been selected for the new wharf, & it is proposed to make it more permanent as well as commodious for the landing of Steamboats.
The clerk of the disbursing Officer & of the Qr. Master of the Post, is also the clerk of the Officer charged with the construction of the public buildings, & is paid for this latter service out of the appn. for the buildings upon their completion, now near at hand. His allowance will cease, & his whole compensation will not then be adequate to his services in the former capacity. An additional sum is therefore asked for, to make his compensation somewhat near what it is at present.

In the estimate for Miscellaneous & Incidental Expenses, provision is made for the enlargement of the Reservoir & the extension of the Conduit pipes, to embrace another stream, so as to increase the present supply of water to the Cadet Barrack, which is insufficient, & entirely fails in the hot & dry seasons of the year, where it is most wanted.

The additional compensation to the Librarian, authorized by the 147 par: of Academic regulations is again included in the estimate, he having received no compensation for the extra duty imposed on him since he was appointed.

To place the private soldier employed in the Adjutants Office on the same footing with those in the Lithographic department, an addition is asked of $50. per year to his Army pay. He has become an expert penman & valuable clerk, & it is desired to secure his services by re-enlistment.
The two enlisted men employed in the Philosophical and Chemical departments assist in the experiments in those depts.: & have the care & charge of the valuable apparatus in each. They are experienced and faithful & to induce them to re-enlist, at the expiration of their present terms of service, $50. per annum is asked for each.

In the department of Artillery, the increased estimate, is rendered necessary by increased instruction in fencing. The 4th as well as 1st Class now receive fencing lessons & consequently a larger number of Foils, Masks, Gloves, etc. are required.

The New Cadet Mess Hall has been completed & is occupied. The enclosure of the yard in rear & necessary outbuildings, are yet to be constructed. To accomplish which, & to supply the deficiency in the appropriation for completing the building $3500 are required.

For the want of quarters to accomodate the officers on duty at the Academy fifteen of them, in addition to the four assistant Instructors of Tactics, are now crowded into the Cadet Barracks, to their own discomfort & the inconvenience of the Cadets, for whom the rooms are required.

I therefore respectfully recommend, that an appropriation be asked for the commencement of a range of suitable quarters: South of the Mess Hall. No specific amount is included in the estimate.

So much has been said by the various Board of Visitors of the necessity of an exercise & drill hall, & you are so well acquainted with its importance, that I feel over it unnecessary to do more, than in asking for an appropriation for its construction, to state that the course of equitation cannot in my opinion be properly taught without it, & that the room now used for the purpose is extremely dangerous to the lives and limbs of the Cadets.

In connexion with this subject I beg leave to call your attention to the condition of the Public Stables for the Dragoon & Artillery horses. One of the stables is in such a dilapidated state, that the walls have to be supported & is considered dangerous to the horses that are obliged to be there accomodated. Twenty nine horses are now sheltered in a temporary shed for want of proper stabling, and there is no shelter of any kind for the 30 additional horses for the purchase of which an appropriation was granted at the last session of Congress.

It is proposed to commence a system of stables, necessary for the wants of the Acady to accomodate those horses now without shelter & which may hereafter be extended, to replace those already existing, & to locate the Building convenient to the Riding Hall. The sum of $8000. is asked for this purpose.

All of which is respectfully Submitted(Signed) R. E. Lee. Bvt: Col:
Supt: Mily. Acady

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 2, pp. 293–94. Addressed “Gen: Jos: G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington. DC.”