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Robert E. Lee

Joseph G. Totten

Dec. 10, 1854

General.

I have the honour to enclose a communication from Prof. A.E. Church, recommending a change in the Law of 29 Apl. 1812, so far as relates to the appointment of the Asst. Prof. of Mathematics. I have already stated the objections that occurred to me, should the proposed arrangement be Generally adopted at the Acady. The service of the Officers at the Acady. are in my opinion as beneficial to themselves & Corps; as to the Cadets & Institution. They have opportunities & inducements for reviewing & extending their studies; & in the absence of all other schools of Practice, have facilities as well as obligations, of becoming practical Mathematicians, Astronomers, Observers, Chemists, Artillerists &c. The army is thus kept supplied with officers ready & prepared for any service, & its scientific tone & character preserved & elevated.

There is however much weight in the statement of Prof. Church, of the importance of securing permanently in the Math. Dept. the services of an able & experienced assistant. Two entire classes of cadets are always engaged in the study of Mathematics. It is the subject they first commence on entering the Institution, when they most require skill & consideration in their Instructors.

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. 157. Addressed “Genl: Jos: G. Totten Chief Engineer Washington City, D.C.”