Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Mil. Acady.

25 May 1854


In reply to your letter of the 23rd Inst. in reference to the Barracks for Engineer Soldiers. I beg leave to state that the 1st Design refers to the Plan submitted to you with six dormitories in the length of the building, affording the maximum accommodation. The third (3rd) design, refers to the plan with four dormitories, giving the minimum accommodation required. The 2nd design refers to a building intermediate between the two, with five dormitories in the length of the building, of same character & proportion, the drawing of which was not made, & the cost merely introduced for your information.

You will also observe that the cost of the main building, of each design is kept separate from the cost of the stairway towers appropriate for each. And that if wooden floors are introduced for the brick arches, that the total cost of building & towers will be reduced by the amount specified.

The estimate is not very clear as arranged, but I hoped would be sufficiently explicit, with the verbal explanation I gave at the time of submitting it.

I am very respfly. Your Obt. Servt.Signed/ R. E. Lee Br. Col:
Supt: Mil: Acady

Superintendent’s Daily Correspondence
United States Military Academy

Superintendent’s Letter Book No. 3, p. 106. Addressed “Genl: Jos: G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington City D.C.”