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Major General James F. McKinley1
to George C. Marshall
October 3, 1933 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Colonel Marshall:
Orders will issue shortly assigning you to duty with the Illinois National Guard as Chief of Staff of the 33rd Division, Chicago, Illinois.2 General Keehn wrote to General MacArthur asking that he assist him in the selection of an outstanding Infantry colonel for this position. General Keehn is by profession a lawyer and is exceedingly anxious that he have an officer assigned to his Division on whom he can completely rely as to military matters. This position is considered in the War Department as one of great importance. In fact, due to the present economic situation, it might be considered as a critical one.
General MacArthur suggested your name to General Keehn. I know that you will be delighted to hear that he stated to General Keehn that you had no superior among Infantry colonels and that, in view of your outstanding ability, he would not send him any other names unless he, General Keehn, asked that it be done.3
I have been told, though I can’t vouch for it, that there are emoluments connected with this position.4
With kindest regards,
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the Adjutant General’s Office 1917- (RG 407), 210.65, Office File, National Archives and Records Collection, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. McKinley had been the army adjutant general since February 2, 1933.
2. War Department Special Orders, No. 231 (October 7, 1933), ordered Marshall to Chicago.
3. “Suggest Lieutenant Colonel George C. Marshall. He has no superior among Infantry Colonels. Have other names if not satisfactory. He is of such outstanding ability however that I suggest you confer with General Parker with reference to him before proceeding further with the matter." (MacArthur to Keehn, September 28, 1933, NA/RG 407 [210.65, Office File].) Major General Roy D. Keehn commanded the Thirty-third Division, Illinois National Guard. Major General Frank Parker commanded the Sixth Corps Area, which included Illinois, from April 7, 1929, to October 22, 1933. General Douglas MacArthur had been army chief of staff since November 21, 1930.
4. “It was the policy of the Commanding General, 33d Division, to provide an allowance to each of General Marshall’s predecessors and his successors, until 1952, to cover the increased costs of living in Chicago, as compared to living on an Army post. These funds, incidentally, were not appropriated funds of the State of Illinois. They were funds belonging to the National Guard Commission, comprised of business men of Chicago who raised and donated the funds for the welfare of the Illinois National Guard for many years." (Major General Leo M. Boyle [adjutant general, state of Illinois] to Forrest C. Pogue, September 28, 1961, GCMRL/Research File [Illinois National Guard].)
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), pp. 398-399.