1-118 Chief of Staff, A.E.F. to Commanding General, First Army Corps, March 9, 1918

Publisher: The George C. Marshall Foundation
Date: March 9, 1918

Chief of Staff, A.E.F.1 to

Commanding General, First Army Corps

March 9, 1918 [Chaumont], France

Major Erickson and Colonel Marshall.

1. Special orders are being issued directing Major Erickson to report to you for duty with the 1st Division.2

2. The object of this order is the eventual transfer of Lieut. Colonel Marshall (Operations Section, 1st Division) to duty at these Headquarters.

3. The necessity for increasing the number of Infantry officers in G-3 (Operations) at these Headquarters is urgent.

It is believed that we have now arrived at the time when the General Staff here should be replenished from the troops. Under these conditions the reasons for the transfer of Colonel Marshall are obvious.

4. Nevertheless, the Commander-in-Chief is determined not to handicap the 1st Division in any way. It is therefore his desire that you and the Commanding General, 1st Division, should agree upon the feasibility of relieving Colonel Marshall.

To this end it appears that the only practicable solution is to send Major Erickson, who at present appears to be the only suitable officer available, for duty with the Operations Section of the 1st Division, General Staff, and to defer issuing orders in the case of Colonel Marshall until you and General Bullard have decided that the change may be effected. It is anticipated that a month or six weeks must elapse before this can be done.

5. In the unexpected event that Major Erickson should not prove satisfactory, effort will be made to find another officer to replace Colonel Marshall.

Document Copy Text Source: Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I) (RG 120), Records of General Headquarters (GHQ), Operations Division Reports (G-3), National Archives and Records Services, Washington, D.C.

Document Format: Typed memorandum.

1. The First Army corps was created on January 15, 1918. Major General Hunter Liggett took command five days later. In addition to the First Division, the Second, Twenty-sixth, Thirty-second, Forty-first, and Forty-second Divisions were assigned to Liggett’s command at is time. The A.E.F. chief of staff was Brigadier General James G. Harbord.

2. Hjalmer Erickson, who had been born in Norway and had begun his career as a private in the Eighth Cavalry, was a major in the permanent establishment. At the time of this memorandum, however, Erickson was a lieutenant colonel in the “National Army,” i.e., the draft-based army as distinct from either the National Guard or the Regular Army.

Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 1, “The Soldierly Spirit,” December 1880-June 1939 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), p. 134.

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