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In the period August 1956 to April 1957, General Marshall held twenty-five interview sessions at his office in the Pentagon, at Leesburg, and Pinehurst. Some forty hours were recorded on tape and twelve to fifteen hours were taken down by a stenographer or by me in the form of notes. Part of the interviews were recorded by me personally, while others were taped in response to my questions, with Sergeant William Heff ner, the General’s orderly, running the machine. I followed up these latter interviews with questions designed to fill in gaps which might have been left by the General in his previous discussions.
For most of the interviews, General Marshall proposed that I prepare a general outline of a given period which would briefly review the subject matter to be covered and then set forth specific questions. He began the interviews with the World War I1 period, next covered high points of the postwar period, and then later turned to his childhood and early career. He had reached the year 1924 when ill health caused him to terminate the recording. The first interview on his childhood was done spontaneously, but subsequent discussions on his earlier career came in response to my detailed questions. In many cases I checked specifically on accounts published in books and articles which had appeared on his career.
Although gracious in his attitude, the General was not an easy man to interview. Possessed of a strong personal reserve, he considered it unseemly to talk too much about himself and felt that family history was a personal matter. As Chief of Staff he had so strongly impressed on members of his family the necessity of not talking to reporters that his sister and other relatives were hesitant to grant interviews. Some of his military associates were so imbued with the same idea that they talked only after he specifically wrote them that he had completely approved my project. After some of the interviews about his youth he said that he felt embarrassed and warned me not to show the taped material to anyone. Only after a number of letters indicating the importance of these personal details to an understanding of his career did he finally agree to leave to my discretion the publication of what he told me. In the case of some off-the-record interviews, which were not recorded, he suggested that I not print the material during the lifetimes of the individuals involved, but again left it up to me to decide.
The General was a skillful editor and was quite sensitive about the text of his letters and speeches. Had he lived to revise the transcripts of these interviews, which he never saw, he would have eliminated repetitious statements, cut out many “ands” and “buts,” and have substituted precise language for some general or ambiguous remarks. In order to do justice to him and to save the reader passages marked by numerous dots, I have made slight changes in the quotations to increase their readability. The sense has in no way been changed and the flavor of the language has been kept. Exact transcriptions are on file among the Marshall papers in custody of the George C. Marshall Research Foundation.
More than three hundred friends and former associates of the General’s have recorded their recollections of the General. Of these at least a hundred pertain to the period covered by this book. The following persons were interviewed one or more times for this volume. The period covered by their statements is indicated in the notes. Individuals whose names are starred gave material on General Marshall both in interviews and in the form of letters, photographs, clippings, newspapers, and the like: Brig. Gen. and Mrs. Claude M. Adams,* Mr. Billy Albright, Mr. Charles Alexander, Col. Henry Allen, Maj. Edward C. Applegate, Mrs. Catherine Armstrong,* Col. David D. Barrett,* Mr. Bernard Baruch, Brig. Gen. Royden E. Beebe, Mr. Chauncey Belknap,* Brig. Gen. T. J. Betts, Dr. Mercer Blanchard, Col. John R. Boatwright, Gen. Charles Bolt&, Col. E. R. Bowditch, Maj. Gen. Leo Boyle,* Col. Fay Brabson,’ General of the Army Omar N. Bradley, Col. Bowyer Browne, Maj. Gen. Kenneth Buchanan,* Lt. Gen. Harold R. Bull, Col. Mervyn F. Burke,* Maj. Gen. James H. Burns, Brig. Gen. Frederic B. Butler, Gov. James F. Byrnes, Brig. Gen. B. F. Caffey,* Mrs. Robert Carson, Jr., Dr. Taylor Carter, Gen. Mark Clark, Maj. Gen. Harry J. Collins, Maj. Gen. James L. Collins,* Gen. Joseph L. Collins, Mrs. Harry Cootes, Maj. Charles S. Coulter,* Col. William Couper,* Brig. Gen. and Mrs. W. E. Crist, Maj. Gen. Frank L. Culin, Mr. Ralph A. Curtin, Gen. John Dahlquist, Mr. Chester Davis, Mrs. R. E. Dismukes, Sr.,* Mr. James A. Edgar, General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower,” Mr. Leo Farrell,’ Mr. William Frye, Maj. Gen. Philip E. Gallagher,* Mr. Leonard Gaskill, Col. E. A. Goff, Jr.,* Gen. Leonard T. Gerow, Col. Clarence E. Gooding, Mrs. Charles Gorley,* Mr. Thomas Gowenlock, Col. V. J. Gregory,* Maj. Gen. C. C. Haffner, Gen. Wade Haislip, Mr. L. H. Hall, Maj. Gen. E. F. Harding,* Maj. Gen. Charles D. Herron,* Maj. Gen. John H. Hilldring, General Courtney Hodges, Mrs. Nan Wood Honeyman, Mr. W. A. Home,* Col. Morgan Hudgins,’ Mr. Banks Hudson,* Mrs. Thomas C. Hudson, Mr. John C. Hughes, Lt. Gen. Reuben E. Jenkins,’ Col. Charles S. Johnson,* former Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson, Brig. Gen. Neal Johnson, Mr. Thomas M. Johnson,* Mr. Enoch Jones,* Mr. R. C. Jordan, Sr., Maj. Gen. C. E. Kilbourne, Gen. Walter Krueger, Col. Herman 0. Lane,’ Maj. Gen. Charles T. Lanham, Maj. Gen. Samuel T. Lawton, Maj. Gen. H. B. Lewis,’ Col. Landon Lockett, former Senator Scott Lucas, Mrs. Haywood Luckett, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Col. and Mrs. J. E. McCammon, Mrs. Frank R. McCoy, Mrs. Leighton McPherson, Mr. Donald Mace,’ Mr. Bert Manley, Mrs. George C. Marshall,’ Brig. Gen. Richard C. Marshall, Mr. J. Searight Marshall,’ Mr. John Martyn, Mrs. Henry F. Meyer,’ Maj. Gen. Russell L. Maxwell, Mr. A. Erskine Miller, Chaplain Luther Miller, Brig. Gen. H. M. Monroe,+ Mr. Harold A. Moore, Col. William C. Moore, 1st Sgt. Joseph Morossow, Mr. Samuel F. Morse, Sgt. Boleslaus Mschichowski,* Mr. J. Churchill Newcomb,” Col. Isaac Newell, Brig. Gen. Thomas North, Miss Mary Kate O’Bryon,’ Mr. Eugene Overstreet,’ Mrs. Robert Owen, Mr. Arthur W. Page, Mr. George Pattullo,* Brig. Gen. R. T. Pendleton, Maj. Gen. Martin C. Poch,’ Mr. Walter H. Rankins,* Col. Russell P. Reedex-,* Maj. Gen. Charles Rich, Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway, Mrs. George H. Rockwell,* Brig. Gen. Paul &I. Robinett,* Maj. Gen. Charles Roller,” Brig. Gen. Guy I. Rowe, Brig. Gen. Charles H. Royce, Mr. W. Dudley Rucker,’ Mr. Edward Ryland, Mr. Durbin Sayers,” Mr. Germain Seligman,’ Mr. J. T. Shepler, Mrs. J. J. Singer,# Mr. Eddie Smith, Col. and Mrs. Truman Smith, General Walter B. Smith, Col. William Spencer,” Maj. Gen. M. C. Stayer,’ Mr. John Stecklein, Mrs. Joseph Stilwell, Brig. Gen. Ralph C. Talbot, Miss Cora Thomas, Miss Florence Tillery, Maj. Gen. Thomas S. Timberman, Sgt. Thomas Tweed,+ Mrs. George Underwood,” Mrs E. S Waddell, Maj. Gen. Fred L. Walker, Mrs. E. M. Watson, Mr. Mark S Watson, General Lawrence Whiting, Col C. M. Willingham, Mr. Casper N. Wolf, Mr. Erskine Wood, Mr. Paul Wooten, Mrs. Etta Blanchard Worsley.
The General’s personal files contained copies of most of his correspondence for the years 1932-39. Official files helped complete the correspondence for the 1938-39 period. The best collection of Marshall letters for the period 1919-32 is the Pershing-Marshall correspondence, Pershing Papers, Library of Congress. The Pershing Papers also contain letters between Pershing and General Harbord, W. Cameron Forbes, Charles G. Dawes, Frederick Palmer, General Drum, and John Callan O’Laughlin which refer to Marshall. O’Laughlin’s letters to Pershing contain much valuable information on Marshall’s promotion to general and selection of Chief of Staff in 1939. F. Warren Pershing gave permission to quote from his father’s papers. – Some of Marshall’s early letters, as well as the only letters available of his father’s, are in the Alumni files and the Letter Books of the Virginia Military Institute. The General’s sister, Mrs. Singer, preserved a few letters from Dr. Jonathan Bradford to Mrs. Marshall. Mr. John C. Hughes, onetime aide of General Pershing, has several letters from Marshall and his first wife in the period, 1919-27. Major General M. C. Stayer has an interesting file for the years 1928-39. Mr. Leo Farrell presented several letters from General Marshall to him to the Marshall Foundation. Mr. Bernard Baruch permitted the author to copy all letters pertaining to General Marshall in his files. Mr. Lorraine Pitman lent us a number of letters from General Marshall and the first Mrs. Marshall for the period 1923-32.
The author received more than five hundred letters from former associates of General Marshall in response to requests for information. Some of them enclosed letters they had received from the General or other material pertaining to him. Individuals who answered questions and furnished information in the form of photographs, clippings, books, and the like were: Mrs. Samuel G. Allen, Mrs. Frank M. Andrews, Mr. John L. Ames, Jr., Mr. Marshall Andrews, Brig. Gen. Thomas S. Arms, Maj. Gen. Archibald V. Arnold, Mrs. C. L. Ayling, Miss Alma Ayres, Lt. Col. Agard H. Bailey, Mrs. Helen Bailey, Mr. Elliott Bandini, Chaplain Frank Peer Beal, M. Sgt. Chester E. Beaver, Mr. Frank E. Beeton, Sr., Mr. David Z. Beeson, Col. Daniel J. Berry, Lt. Col. Edward L. Black, Capt. William W. Blood, Brig. Gen. Clifford Bluemel, Col. L. C. Boineau, Maj. Henry A. Bootz, Mr. Oliver V. Borden, Col. Edwin T. Bowden, Mr. Everett A. Boyden, Mr. Paul R. Brayton, Mr. Charles B. Briggs, Dr. Philip C. Brooks, Col. R. A. Broberg, Dr. John Brougher, Mrs. Leonard Brozik, Miss Teresa Burus, Mr. Roger F. Camp, Col. Joseph T. Caples, Mr. Richard I. Cargill, Brig. Gen. Arthur S. Champeny, SFC David W. Chase, Mrs. Daniel S. Cheever, Mr. Leo Cherne, Brig. Gen. Frank S. Clark, Mr. M. W. Clement, Mr. Andrew Cognac, M. Sgt. Joseph A. Connell, Mr. Philip E. Connelly, Maj. Gen. Norman D. Cota, Mrs. Matthew J. Coughlin, Maj. Gen. W. E. R. Covell, Miss Mildred C. Cox, Mrs. Amy C. Dabney, Maj. Gen. E. J. Dawley, Mr. Harry A. deButts, Col. Alfred R. W. deJonge, Mrs. Elizabeth Cameron DeWolf, Mr. Harry C. Diamond, Lt. Col. J. S. Douglas, Lt. Col. C. M. Easley, Mrs. Harry Evans, Mrs. Raymond Emerson, Mr. Charles G. Finney, Maj. William Fisk, Mr. William L. Flacks, Mr. J. H. Fleming, Mr. David C. Forbes, Col. J. J. Fulmer, Mr. Don Glass, Mr. George Goldfine, Major Chester B. Goolrick, Miss Isabella Gould, Mrs. Vera Gowaruha, Col. Walter S. Grant, Jr., Mrs. Hal G. Grantham, Col. Haydon Y. Grubbs, Mrs. Walter E. Gunster, Mrs. Beatrice Brandreth Hahn, Mrs. J. R. Hamlen, Col. David L. Hardee, Mr. John C. Hagan, Mr. Walter Hartridge, Maj. Paul Hathaway, Mr. Simeon Hawkes, Mrs. Earl Heartman, Mr. Don Henderson, Mrs. Lida S. Henesey, Mr. Wiley S. Hicks, Brig. Gen. C. C. Hillman, Mrs. C. M. Himmelheber, Miss Ethel Hinton, Mr. William W. Hoffman, Lt. Col. Lawrence E Hohl, Col. William J. Holzapfel, Maj. Gen J L. Homer, Col. Alfred H. Hopkins, Lt. Gen. C. R. Huebner, Miss Anne Hull, Mr. James E. Hunt, Brig. Gen. Barnhard A. Johnson, Dr. Henry J. John, Mr. Robert W. Jeffrey, Miss Elizabeth A Johnson, Mr. H. Gary Johnson, Maj Gen Harold K. Johnson, Lt. Col. Robert A. Johnston, Maj. Gen. Alan W Jones, Col. Bertram Kalisch, Mr. Newton S Kenley, Maj. Hubert H. Kidwell, Col. Joseph C. King, Gen. Julius Klein, Col. Joseph C. King, Brig. Gen. Arthur W. Lane, Mr. Ralston B. Lattimore, Mr. E. W. Lauck, Lt. Col. Clyde B. Leasure, Misses Laura and Eugenia Lejeune, Col. Bernard Lentz, Maj. Gen. Emil Lenzner, Mrs John Leshinsky, Jr., Sgt. Robert G Lewis, Mrs F A. Littlejohn, Mr. Alfred E. Lyons, Mrs Hugh M. Lokey, Mrs Ethel M. Lucas, Miss Ellen Lucey, Mr. Royster Lyle, Brig. Gen. A. T. McAnsh, Mr. William McElrath, Col. Ducat McEntee, Mr Howard Douglas McGeorge, Lt. Col. Thomas L. McKenna, Mrs. Claude H. McKinney, Col. Clenard McLaughlin, Mr. H. L. Mace, Mr. Guy Mahaney, Maj. Gen. F. B. Mallon, Mrs. Stuart B. Marshall, Mr. John M. Martin, Mrs. Julia Martin, Mrs. Ruth H. Martin, Dr. H. Norton Mason, Mr. William R. Mathews, Col Frederick S. Matthews, Mr. Earl S Mattingly, Mr Edward Mayo, Col Samuel E. Mays, Col. Owen R. Meredith, Lt. Gen. Troy H. Middleton, Mrs. Fauntleroy Miller, Col. Luis Monter, Mr. John N. Morton, Dr J. H. Moy, Lt. Col. R. V. Murphy, Miss Reba Nalley, Col. I. J. Nichol, Mr. Joe A. Noake, Mr. Charles O’Neil, Mr Clyde Osborn, Brig. Gen. R. P. Ovenshine, Mr Alfred F. Parker, Brig. Gen. F. LeJ. Parker, Maj. Gen. Frank H. Partridge, Maj. Gen J. D. Patch, Mr. J. C. Pegram, Mrs. Marguerite W. Phelps, Col. Arthur Pickens, Miss Margaret B. Pickens, hfr. Lorraine Pitman, Mrs Juanita Pitts, Mr. Connelly R. Potter, Mrs. Martha Prempert, Col. Roland I. Pritikin, Maj Gen. Walter E. Prosser, Mrs. Dorothy Wells Raney, Maj. Gen. Paul L Ransom, Col Julian E Raymond, Miss Mary Ann Reynolds, Miss Dolores Rhodes, Mr. John L. Rider, Col. Charles S. Ritchel, Brig. Gen. Charles Duval Roberts, Mrs. Anne Robertucci, Miss Bettie Roebuck, Mr. Thomas B Rogers, Mr. Frank Rossiter, Col. Garland T. Rowland, Mr Don Russell, Mr. Alexander H. Sands, Savannah Beach Chamber of Commerce, Col .Feodor 0. Schmidt, Mr. William D. Scholle, Lt. Col. Milton A. Schreiber, Col. Charles T. Senay, Mr. Sidney Shalett, Mrs. William A. Shepherd, Lt Col Walter L. Sherfey, Mrs. N. B. Sherris, Maj. Gen Edwin E. Sibert, Maj. Gen. F. C. Sibert, Mr. M. R. Simmonds, Col. Frank S. Singer, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Smith, Jr., M. Sprinz, Col. James Stack, Mr. Ivan €3. Stanton, Brig. Gen:Alexander N Stark, Brig. Gen. M. L. Stockton, Col. C. E Stodter, Col. Alexander C. Sullivan, Col. Iverson B. Summers, Lt. Gen. W. C. Sweeney, Jr., Col. Samuel G. Talbott, Mr. Marion C. Tarapata, Col. Thomas F. Taylor, Mr Gilbert M. Thompson, Mr. Wyman 6. Tupper, The Editor, Tribune Review Publishing Co., Mrs. Roselma W. DeSellems, Mr. 0. Z. Tyler, Jr., Col. J. H. Van Horn, Miss Mary Bell Vaughan, Gol. John M. Virden, Col. William A. Walker, Mr. Andrew Wallace, Col. John M. Welch, M. Sgt. Joe B. West, Lt. Col. C. W. Westlund, Rev. Harry S. Weyrich, Col. Morris T. Whitmore, Mr. James T. Williams, Maj. Gen. Dunvard S. Wilson, Col. N. B. Wilson, Col. Lloyd N. Winters, Col. Jennings Wise, Mr. Samuel B. Wolfe, Mrs. Elizabeth Bradford Harbeson.
The principal official records for the period igoi-ig3g may be found in the National Archives in Washington listed according to units, posts, or general topics. The chief collections consulted include: 30th Infantry, 13th Infantry, 24th Infantry, 8th Infantry, 15th Infantry, 5th Infantry Brigade, School of the Line and Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, National Guard and Militia, 1st Division, First Army, AEF/GHQ, reorganization of the Army, Inspector General, U S. Army Forces in China, Civilian Conservation Corps. The World War I1 Records Division, National Archives, at Alexandria, still has the main collections for the year 1939 pertaining to Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, War Plans Division, and the like.
For the period prior to World War I, the Appointment, Commission, and Personnel Branch of the Adjutant General’s Office in the National Archives has many personal items pertaining to commissioning, assignments, examinations, and the like. The General’s 201 File for the period since 1919 was, at the time I examined it with General Marshall’s permission, in the General Officers Section, TAGO. This file contains a summary of his record for the 1938-1939 period in addition to assignments, promotions, awards, leave record, efficiency reports, medical examinations, and the like. A few papers on the period 1938-1939 were copied from the Roosevelt collection in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York.
I am deeply obligated to the director and staff of the National Archives, the World War I1 Records Division at Alexandria, the Department of the Army Library, the Manuscripts Division of the Library of Congress, the National War College Library, and the reference section of the Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army. Other libraries which have been of great assistance are: Fort Leavenworth Library and Museum; Public Library, Washington, D.C ; Fort Benning Library and Museum; Virginia Military Institute Library; Archives, State of Georgia; University of Virginia Library; Louisville Public Library; Portland Public Library; Cincinnati Public Library; Union town Public Library; library of the Washington Post, library of the Presidio, San Francisco; Enoch Pratt Library, Baltimore; Pennsylvania State Library; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; files of the National Guard, State of Illinois, through the kindness of Lt General Leo Boyle; Richmond (Virginia) Public Library; Virginia State Library, Richmond; Carmel (California) Public Library; Murray (Kentucky) State College Library.
Only three biographical studies have been published. The first to appear, William Frye, Marshall Citizen Soldier (1947), covers Marshall’s life from his birth until his retirement as Chief of Staff of the Army. Frye interviewed a number of schoolmates in Uniontown, Marshall’s two chief roommates at VMI, and a number of fellow officers. Extracts from General Marshall’s 201 File and from some letters of Marshall’s in the Pershing Papers were made available to him, but he was not given access to the files themselves. He did not interview General Marshall, and the book’s publication was delayed, at the General’s request, until Marshall retired as Chief of Staff. Although the book lacks footnotes, Mr. Frye gave me the names of his sources in several cases. In a few cases, an individual who had earlier supplied information to Mr. Frye in written form made a copy available to me. I have also benefited from Colonel William Couper’s extracts from the VMI files prepared for Mr. Frye and from his corrections of certain items. I have seen Stuart Marshall’s corrections of certain items as well as criticisms on the Philippine chapter contained in letters to the editor in issues of Bamboo Breezes, the publication of the 30th Infantry.
Katherine Tupper Marshall’s Together (1946) is valuable on the period 1930-45. Mrs. Marshall supplements her own recollections with some of General Marshall’s favorite stories. The General checked some of the book, but there are sometimes errors in dates and spelling of names. The book is especially helpful for the human side of the General and for throwing light on a number of points in his career. Mrs. Marshall has filled in a number of details of certain parts of the book on tape for me.
Robert Payne’s book on General Marshall covers the high points of his public career. The author depended largely on secondary sources and on some papers, such as the World War I documents, which were published after Frye’s volume appeared in print. The author is a sensitive writer, but he had no access to Marshall’s papers and he apparently talked to few of the General’s associates. The book, while provocative, is often incorrect in its interpretations.
Marshall Andrews, formerly of the Washington Post, gathered material for articles or a book on General Marshall in 1942 but dropped the project at the General’s request. Andrews interviewed a number of former classmates at VMI and got material from others who knew him as a young officer. He turned over his notes and material contained in letters to the Marshall Research Center.
The following newspaper files were consulted: Genius of Liberty (Uniontown, Pa.), 1869-1900 (microfilm); Rockbridge County News (Lexington, Bibliographical Note 361 Va.), 1897-1901; The Sentinel (15th Infantry, Tientsin, China), 1924-27; Fort Benning News, 1925-32; Savannah Morning News, 1932-38; Charleston News and Courier, 1932-33; Chicago Tribune, 1933-36; Vancouver Columbian, 1936-38; Portland Oregonian, 1936-38; Portland Oregon Daily Journal, 1936-38; Washington Post, 1938-39; Washington Star, 1938-39; The Review, CCC, Vancouver District, 1936-38; New Yqrk Times for items indexed 1918-38 and for background material 1938-39; Time, 1938-39; Newsweek, 1938-39; Army and Navy Journal, 1938-39; Army and Navy Register, 1938-39; scrapbook of clippings from Uniontown papers by Alfred Marshall in Uniontown Library; scrapbook of clippings, 1919-25, in Pershing Papers, Library of Congress; scrapbook on events in China, 1925-27, kept by Mrs. W. E. Crist.