Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Military Academy West Point

21. March 1853.


It will be necessary to purchase for the use of the Academy additional Arty & Cavalry horses.

You are aware that an appn. of $3000. was made 6th of Augt. 1852. for the purchase of 30. The want of stables & the high price of forage, has induced me to delay applying for them till absolutely necessary. The instruction of the Cadets this Spring, will require more horses than we have, but as we will have only stable room for 17 additional horses, after disposing of all those condemned as unserviceable, I recommend that only that number be purchased at this time.

If the horses are not to be purchased by the Qr. Mr. Dept as heretofore. I must ask your instructions as to its accomplishment.

To send an officer specially into the western part of this state, the best market accessible to us, will not I fear enable us to procure the limited number we can now receive at the average price of $100. & I have thought that 17 might be selected from those purchased by the Qr. Mr. Dept: Suitable for our purposes, without injury to the general Service, & more economically than in any other way.

We require compact and active horses, & rather lighter than in the general service.

I am very resply. Your obt Servt.(Signed) R. E. Lee Bvt: Col:
Supt: Mil: Acady.

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, p. 13. Addressed “Genl: Jos: G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington City D.C.”