Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Mil. Acady

4 March 1854


I have the honour to submit the report of Surgeon Cuyler in relation to the subject of Capt. Kirkham’s letter referred to me on the 1st Inst.

I think it proper that the Cadets who may not have been vaccinated previously to their admission into the Acady., should be as soon thereafter as practicable; & it will be more strictly attended to in future. You are aware that these young gentlemen are not considered exactly in the light of enlisted soldiers, & as much deference as possible is paid to their convenience & wishes in relation to personal matters. They go into Camp immediately after their satisfactory examination by the Medical Board, when their position & duties are not the most favorable for this operation. But as the number who enter the Acady. without having been vaccinated, must necessarily by very small, (the two officers mentioned by Capt. Kirkham being the only graduates that I am aware of) arrangements can be made to receive them in the Hospital. When in Barracks the opportunity of being vaccinated & revaccinated is frequently afforded the Cadets (though it has not hitherto been made obligatory), as is the case at this very time.

The letter of Capt. Kirkham is herewith returned.

I remain Very resply. Yr. obt Srvt.Signed/ R. E. Lee Br. Col:
Supt: Mil: Acady

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, p. 95. Addressed “Genl: Jos: G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington City D.C.”