Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

US. Military Academy West Point NY.

15. Dec. 1852


I have recd your letter of the 11th Inst. calling for separate estimates for the construction of the Cavalry Exercise & Drill hall; Stables for the Dragoon & Arty horses; & a new wharf, with plans for the same; in explanation of the amounts asked for these buildings in the general estimate for the next fiscal year.

I took the items for the first & last named objects from the estimates hitherto submitted, & have a copy of a plan for the Cavalry Exercise Hall, approved by the Secty of War on the 3d April 1850. I understand that an Estimate had been sub-mitted with the plan, which I supposed would have been sufficient for the Genl. Purposes of the Dept.

Believing at the time of transmitting the Estimate, that the plan might be improved, & a better location given to the building, I caused a survey to be commenced of the proposed site, & have given a different location to the Cavalry Hall & stable. Plans of these buildings are now in course of preparation. My object at the time was to submit them to your better judgement, that you might be able to consider the whole subject together when an opportunity offered. Having no one to assign specially to this duty, the plans &c are not yet completed, but they shall be forwrd with estimates as soon as finished.
I have had also a survey made for the location of the new wharf & road leading to it, & will forward the drawing & estimate as soon as completed.

I will mention in connexion with this subject, that I have selected a site for Officers Quarters of the Engineer Compy., & had a survey made of the site, embracing the present quarters of the Compy Equipment shed &c that I might explain to you their relative situations on your first visit to the Academy in the hope that it might meet your approval & the circumstances of the case.

I have the honor to be ‹illegible›Signed/ R E Lee Br. Col.
Supt. Mil. Acady

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 2, p. 305. Addressed “Genl: Jos: G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington DC.”