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Memorandum for the President
January 14, 1942 Washington, D.C.
Since December 7th, the following military movements have occurred:
Rail Movements (largely to the West Coast):
572,000 troops, with armament and materiel
2,945,000 short tons of freight.
265,000 ship cargo tons.
All this has been handled quietly, without confusion, largely due to the development during the past two years of our base port organization on the East and West coasts, with their depots for reservoirs of supplies;—also, through the vacating of cantonments in the Northeast which have been used as staging areas to accommodate troops en route for overseas convoys. The Quartermaster General’s section for coordinating rail movements has met the test.
The following comments regarding rail movements referred to above were made by the President of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company:1
“I am hearing continuous praise of your Generals and their assistants in the handling of all the problems that come before our people.
“The railroads have never had more cooperation than they are now getting out of the armed forces. At this time, in the last war, we were already on the way to congestion on the Atlantic coast. By this time, in this war, there is little or no congestion in sight.
“The great thing that the armed forces have done is the establishment of the storage bases in the East, where it is possible to assemble, to store, and to dispatch materials as needed, equalizing the accumulation of continuous production and intermittent shipment in a way that has avoided congestion at the tidewater front.”
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: Franklin D. Roosevelt Papers, President’s Secretary’s File, Safe, Marshall, Franklin D. Rooselvelt Library, Hyde Park, New York.
Document Format: Typed memorandum signed.
1. Martin W. Clement, head of the Pennsylvania Railroad, had met Marshall when both were lieutenants: Clement in the Pennsylvania National Guard; Marshall the Regular Army instructor at the guard’s summer camps in 1907-9. Clement made his comments in a letter to Marshall on January 12, 1942. (GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
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. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), pp. 61-62.