Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Mil. Academy West Point

June 7, 1854


In submitting the account of Communications from certain officers on duty at the Mily Academy, it may be proper for me to say, that it seems to have been the intention of the law of 29 Apr. 1812, to place the Asst. Profs. there provided for, as far as their pay & emoluments were concerned, on the footing of Captains, as it did the Profs. on the footing of Field Officers. The words used being the same. There is no law giving to other officers employed as instructors, any additional compensation, which would seem to be fair & proper; & I think it would be to the interests of the Acady. that the duty should be more desirable, so as to secure the willing service of those most competent.

The Asst. Profrs., or as they are termed in the memorials the 1st Assts., ought to be able to take the place of the Profrs, in the event of their being removed by absence, sickness, or death, & to carry on the instruction of the several classes without detriment to the Cadets, Acady., or Army. To induce officers to study & prepare themselves for the position, some advantages of permanency ought to be secured to them, & quarters for a family is a great object. If the present mode of selecting quarters is considered to do violence to the rights of any, the difficulty might be obviated by assigning certain quarters to the position of Asst. Profrs as is now done to that of Profr.

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. 109. Addressed “Genl. J. G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington City D.C.”