Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Mil: Acady West Point

8 Oct: 1853


In submitting for your approval the proceedings of a special Board of Survey called at the request of Br. Major Thomas on the 7th Inst: I think it proper to state, that the horses pronounced therein unfit for Cavalry service, will not in my opinion be able to perform during the winter sufficient service to pay for their forage. They have been in service many years, are advanced in age, worn out, broken down, or diseased, & if retained & nursed, the probability are they would eventually have to be sold after all the care & expense bestowed on them, as was the case with those disposed of last spring, some of which had been two years under treatment. It is to prevent this loss that they are now recommended to be sold.

The condition of the first three forbid all expectation of their recovery. No. 1. has been in his present state since July & there is no sign of improvement. Nos. 2 & 3 are afflicted with the glanders which has hitherto baffled all efforts to cure. No. 4 in addition to being frequently lame & 19 years old, is at other times so sullen & unmanageable, that he can only be used by the Cadets at but few exercises. No. 5 has a scrofulous affection, & is so unmanageable that the strongest Cadet in the Corps cannot control him, & can therefore seldom be used. No. 6 is old & worn out. No.7 has some affection that causes him to fall on all occasions & is therefore dangerous for the Cadets to ride. No. 8 is equally so, from a species of blindness, which renders him unsafe as well as unfit for service at the Academy.

I am very resply. Your Obt. Servt.Sigd. R. E. Lee Br. Col.
Supt: Mily. Acady

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, p. 59. Addressed “Genl: Jos: G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington City D.C.”