Robert E. Lee

Joseph S. Donaldson

U.S. Mil: Academy West Point

29 March 1853.


I have been authorized to purchase 17 horses for the use of the Mily Academy, for which an appn. has been made by Congress; but it is thought at Washington, that the Act of Appn. requires that the average price of the horses shall not exceed $100. in as much as it appropriates “$3000. for the purchase of 30 horses.”

We have only stable room at present for 17, & I did not wish to purchase more at this time, & my object is to enquire of you the prospect of procuring such as are suitable for our purchase in Baltimore, & the probability of getting them at the average price of $100. or the probable price we would have to pay.

You are aware of the kind of horses we require for Arty & Cavalry exercise. Compact, Active & kind, rather lighter than are required for the General service of the Army, & with their natural tails.

Should you be purchasing any for the Govt. could you procure us the desired number without inconvenience, or select them from any you may have in depot, & allow me to pay for them out of the Appn. for the purchase?

Very truly your obedt Servt.Signed/ R E Lee Bt Col.
Supt. Mil: Acady.

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, pp. 15–16. Addressed “Major Jos. S. Donaldson Qr Mr. Baltimore Md.”

A note written in the margin reads “A similar letter sent April 1st to Lt. Col. Thos. Swords. New York.”