1-186 Editorial Note on Pershing and Foch, May 1921

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press

Editorial Note on Pershing and Foch

May-October 1921

On May 13, 1921, after weeks of stories and rumors in the newspapers regarding General Pershing’s future role, the new secretary of war, Naval Academy graduate (1877) John W. Weeks, announced that Pershing was to be army chief of staff beginning July 1. For Marshall this meant not only more office work, but a change of homes. He moved from 2400 Sixteenth Street, Washington, across the river to Quarters No. 3—near the chief of staff’s No. 1—Fort Myer, Virginia, where he was to remain until he left for foreign duty in mid-1924.

General Pershing sailed for France, on September 13, with a commission from the president to lay a Congressional Medal of Honor on the graves of the Unknown Soldiers in Paris and London. Marshall and Major General James G. Harbord, the deputy chief of staff, ran the office until Pershing’s return on October 28.

France’s Marshal Ferdinand Foch, former commander in chief of the Allied armies, also arrived in the United States on October 28. Marshall accompanied Pershing and Foch on the trip to the American Legion convention in Kansas City, Missouri, on November 1, and to the ceremony of entombment for the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, November 11.

Recommended Citation: The Papers 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. 210.

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