Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

U.S. Mil. Academy West Point

20 Nov. 1854


I have recd by today’s mail your letter of the 17th Inst. & return herewith the drawings last furnished for construction of Embrazure Target at this place.

As they may be called for to be applied elsewhere, I will state that Lt. Gilmore reports that the latch of Embre. Shutter, though made exactly according to the drawing does not operate satisfactorily, & will not resist concussion. With a view to correct it, he cut it underneath about ¼ of an inch (hood shaped) as far as it would allow, as represented in the accompanying sketch. It will now resist a steady force, but not a blow.

Although the center of motion of the latch is as low down as it can be placed, its distance from the Catch is so short, that it flies up on receiving a blow.

I am very respfy. 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. 150. Addressed “Genl: Jos: G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington City D.C.”