Robert E. Lee

F. Burt

US. Military Academy West Point. NY.

July 8th 1854


I have the honour to make the following remarks & explanations on Statement of Differences transmitted to me with your letter of April 29th, 1854—as follows—

1. Outstanding difference on Settlement no. 1991, Nov. 29 1852

Abstract for Fort on Sotters Point Flats—4th Qtr. 1850.

Vou. 21—Original voucher, herewith, from which it will be perceived that the no. of lbs. of iron was 78 and not 57 as erroneously entered on the duplicate—please return the latter to me.

Abstract for do do 3rd Qtr. 1851.

Vou. 3—Pay Roll for July 1851—Item Wm. Marshall—Amt. due the U.S. error in extension, arising probably from error in copying from June roll—but as this is not accessible to me the amt. is credited to the U.S. 1.00.

Vou. 15—Pay Roll for September 1851—Item—J.A. Hackett—Amount due the U.S. error in extension—same as no. 3.

Vou. 37—Murry & Hazlehurst—Item 4—20 lbs. At. 06—by original voucher herewith, it will be seen that the price was 0.6¼ per lb. (please return bal. due Col. Lee, error in stating the amount of Sundry items at $301 42/100—instead of $301 44/100.

Amount due United States on acct. of Fort on Sotters Point Flats, which amt. I have deposited to the credit of the United States, with the Asst. Treas. U.S. receipt herewith: $1.58.

2. Account Current U.S. Military Academy 3rd Qtr. 1852.

Vou. 1—Joseph R. Curtis—Transportation from San Francisco, Cal. To West Point, N.Y. & back—3054 miles each way—See Extract no. 1 herewith.

3. Abstract—Military Academy 1st Quarter 1853.

Vou. 5—Jesse C. Jacobs—Transportation from West Point, NY to Woodville N.C. 571 miles—by the “Table of Post Offices” publshd. Jany. 31st, 1842—and which is the latest with distances given—See Extract No. 205—herewith. The distance from West Point N.Y. to Washington City is 278 miles pp. 218 & from Washington City to Woodville N.C. 293 miles pp. 225.

Vou. 6—Eli Dickinson—Transportation from West Point N.Y. to Ottumwa, Wapello Co. Iowa—The distance to Ottumwa is not given on the “Table of Post Offices” and was arrived at as follows—From West Point N.Y. to Keokuk 1291 miles—see Extract No. 3 & 5. From Keokuk by the Des Moines river to Ottumwa—Wapello Co. by measurement on Map & Cadet Statement 77 miles.

Vou.8—John W. Willett. Transportation from West Point N.Y. to Port Elizabeth, Cumberland Co. N.J. 185 miles—as follows—West Point N.Y. to Trenton N.J. by Table of Post Offices—117
miles (on the route from West Point N.Y. to Washington City) & from Trenton N.J. to Port Elizabeth by the same Table it is 73 miles—There is an Elizabethport in Essex Co. which is about 73 miles from West Point.

4. Abstract Board of Visitors—U.S. Military Academy 2nd Qtr 1853.

Vou.3 Joshua Baker. Transp. From Franklin Ga. To West Point & back See extract no. 4.
6 Geo. Temple do Burlington Iowa do do
8 Henry S. Baird do Greenbay Wis. do do

5. Abstract U.S. Military Academy—2nd Qtr. 1853.

Vou. 35 Peter Fonda Jr. Transp. From West Point N.Y. to Troy N.Y. overcharge 6 miles = .36 which sum has been placed to the credit of the U.S. on my account current for 3rd Quarter 1854. By “Table of Post Offices” the distance from West Point to Albany (State Capital) is 92 miles & from Troy to Albany by same Tables 6 miles = 98 miles—the error in charging 104 miles—arose from adding the 6 miles to the whole distance, instead of to 92 miles.

Vou. 49 Morris G. Hull. Transp. From West Point, N.Y. to Warren, Warren Co. Pensa., 457 miles, arrived at as follows

West Point N.Y. to Philadelphia by Table of Post Offices140
Phila. To Harrisburgh by Rail Road106
Harrisburgh to Warren by Table of Post Offices206 = 451

Vou. 51 Geo. W. Palmer Transp. From West Point, N.Y. to Vancouver, Oregon 6420 miles—See Extract No. 2.


The Act of Appropriation for the support of the Mily. Acady. contains all the items under one General. head, and with the exception of that portion which is disposed by the Pay Department, and that for the Board of Visitors, which is not regularly granted—the accounts have been made out as now—when disbursed by the same officer—They are all for the same object or work, though for different portions. As regards the signing of the certificates by the Q.M. of the Academy—the practice has been authorised & sanctioned by the proper authorities at Washington & he in reality is the proper disbursing officer—as he makes the purchases, superintends the work, and is accountable to the Superintendent of the Academy for the proper discharge of these duties & in addition the latter certifies to the Abstracts &c.—The many calls upon the time of the Superintendent, renders it impossible, that he should personally attend to every thing—nor is it desirable that he should have the control of the money, although he has to bear the responsibility.

The money for the wood cut in public land credited to General. & Ordinary expenses of the Academy, has been heretofore considered as a proper credit—the land requiring this improvement being intended for pasturage—and the Military Academy men & horses employed in cleaning it up. Should it however be decided that such is against Law—Hereafter all such sales will be credited to the United States.

I am very respectfully Your obedt. 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. 119–20. Addressed “F. Burt Esq. Third Auditor U.S. Washington City D.C.”