Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Mil. Academy West Point

7 Jany. 1854


I have recd the letters of Col. J. B. Crane, comdg 1st Arty. to the Adjt. Genl. of the Army:
referred to me on the 4th Inst. for a report.

There are not more officers of the 1st Arty. on duty at the Mil. Acady than there are of the
3rd and 4th. Each of which Regiments furnish the same number—until this year the number of arty
officers has been about equally divided between the Regts. The 2nd has now less than any other.
Before applying for the services of Lt. Frey, at which time were handed in the names of three
other officers. I had asked for the detail of either Br. Major Reynolds of the 3rd Arty., or Lt.
Garische of the 4th.—Had the necessities of service allowed the detachment of either of these
officers from the Regts, there would have been one officer less of the 1st at the Academy, than of
the 3rd or 4th.

Of the five officers now present, Br. Captains Coppee & Boynton, are respectively the 1st
Apts in the Ethical & Chemical Depts,—to fill these positions requires study, knowledge,
experience—neither of them could be relieved without injury to the Acady—2nd Lt. Baird has
charge of 2 sections of the 4th Class in Math & 2nd Lt. Hull of 4 sections of the 2nd Class in
Chemistry. The relief of either of these officers would be of great injury to their classes at this
time, in the midst of their course, & without other instructors to supply their places.

I fully appreciate the desire of the Comdg Officers, to retain the services of their officers
with their Regts., & I have endeavoured in my application to equalize the burden between them.
The wants of the service do not always allow the detail of officers requested, & others are

Should the Comdg. Genl’ find it convenient to detail three additional officers from the 2nd
Arty. for duty at the Acady: I could after June next, relinquish an officer from the 1st, 3rd, & 4th
Arty. & the each Reqt. would be equally represented.

I remain very resply. your obt Servt(Signed) R. E. Lee. Br. Col:
Supt :Mil: Acady

The letter of Col Crane is returned herewith.

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, p. 83. Addressed “Genl. J. G. Totten Chief Engineer”