March 14, 2023

Gen. George Marshall’s Map Table

An interesting history

Map table in the Marshall Foundation library.


There is a a large, ornately carved table on display in the Marshall Foundation library. It’s Victorian style, with swirling leaves surrounding green men featured as the drawer pulls.

Green man on the map table


Swirling leaf carvings on the map table.


This table was purchased by Gen. Phil Sheridan with a suite of furniture for the new War Department building c1879, when he was serving as commanding general of the U.S. Army.

Gen. Phil Sheridan in a War Department photo c1880.


Sheridan used this table as his desk. If you look underneath, you can see where short (5’ 5”) Sheridan parked his spurs. Sheridan was proud of being a cavalryman, and liked to wear his spurs.

Officer’s eagle spurs such as Gen. Sheridan wore. M. Simens photo



Where Gen. Sheridan sat.


Close up of spur marks.


When Gen. George C. Marshall moved from the Munitions building in Washington, D.C., to the almost-completed Pentagon in 1942, his much-larger office gave him the opportunity to have a map desk/conference table. Marshall went looking in storage and found this table, which resembled his office desk.

Gen. Marshall visiting with Hollywood star Deanna Durbin in his office.


When members of the GHQ met in Marshall’s office, they used the map table.

Members of the General Headquarters gathered around the map table.


The map table now displays a copy of the most important map; a copy of the last Corps-level D-Day map.

Copy of the last Corps-level D-Day map.


Melissa has been at GCMF since fall 2019, and previously was an academic librarian specializing in history. She and her husband, John, have three grown children, and live in Rockbridge County with two large rescue dogs. Keep up with her @MelissasLibrary.