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Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Mil. Academy West Point

28 July 1854

General.

In submitting the accompg. communication from Lt. Wm. G. Peck, Asst. Prof. of Math., I feel called on to state the objection that occurs to me, of the arrangement he proposes be generally adopted at the Acady. I consider the service of Army officers at the Academy as beneficial to them & the Corps to which they belong, as to the Cadets & the Institution. They have an opportunity & inducement to review & extend the studies taught at the Acady., & have facilities as well as obligations, to become practical astronomers, observers, chemists, artillerists &c, in the absence of all other schools of practice in these branches, & the Army is thus kept supplied with efficient officers ready for any emergency, & its tone & scientific character indirectly elevated. In consideration however of the difficulty of supplying Lt. Peck’s place if removed, & in view of two entire classes at the Academy being always engaged in the study of Mathcs & the difficulty of obtaining proper & skillful instructors, I am induced to waive my objections in this instance, for what I consider the interests of the Acady & Service; & recommend if practicable the desired appointment.

I have the honour to be 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. 125. Addressed “Genl. J. G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington City D.C.”