Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

US Mil: Acady West Point

15 Sept: 1853


I have the honour to submit for your approval the report of a board of survey, ordered at the request of the Instructor of Arty & Cavalry Tactics, to examine the condition of four public horses under his charge, which have been found to be affected with the glanders. This disease, which in the last year or two, has destroyed several of the Public horses, is believed to have been brought to the point by the horses recd from New Port in May 1851; as immediately after their arrival every horse in the stables was seized with a distemper, the obstinate cases of which terminated fatally in Glanders. Every remedy given in the veterinary books, has been tried without success & the disease appears to be incurable. The sick horses were entirely separated from the others & every article of horse & stable furniture in their use has been destroyed or purified, & yet cases of the disease occasionally occur, & I am in constant fear of its spreading.

If these horses are ordered to be sold, I shall consider it proper to state the nature of their disease, & require them to be at once removed from the Point. In the event of their not being sold, I request authority to have them shot.

I am very respectfully Yr. Obt. ServtSigd. R. E. Lee Br. Col.
Supt. Mil. Acady

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, p. 51. Addressed “Genl: Jos: G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington D.C.”