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To Bernard M. Baruch
March 29, 1940 [Washington, D.C.]
Dear Mr. Baruch:
I have just received your telegram of March 28th, stating that you would arrive by airplane at eleven o’clock today at Columbia and would visit Benning after April 8th.
I telephoned down to Camp Jackson at Columbia and told the Division Commander, General Trott, to detail a special officer as your Aide, Colonel Peabody.1 I did this because Peabody has been in the War Department and is familiar with our materiel struggles, and has also been present during the formation of this new Division.
I do not know that you can pick up very much information at Columbia at the moment, but I am glad you are going there. What particularly pleases me is that you plan to go to Benning, and I want that visit arranged at the best time and under circumstances which would give you the maximum of information. I propose sending down from the War Department an officer to be your Aide, and also particularly to be your informant on a lot of details which the local men might not have available.
You should not go to Benning before the 15th as that is the period of the First [Fourth] Corps Exercises—incidentally the first one in the peacetime history of our Army, I believe. So please let me know your possible dates well in advance so that I can arrange everything in the best possible manner.
Later on in May you must see something of the big Army Maneuvers when everything will be going full blast, Infantry divisions, Corps organizations, Cavalry divisions, and mechanized divisions, three or four hundred tanks, and the planes in the air.2
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Brigadier General Clement A. Trott had been commander of the Sixth Division and Camp Jackson since October 27, 1939. Lieutenant Colonel Paul E. Peabody served with the Twentieth Infantry of the Sixth Division.
2. Following Baruch’s visit, Trott wrote to Marshall that “we discussed with him the general subject of preparedness, covering all points mentioned in your telephone conversation, together with others which occurred to us.” Although Baruch missed the divisional review he “seemed to be most interested in everything we told him and I feel quite sure that he absorbed a few new ideas concerning Preparedness as well as having others confirmed which he probably had before.” Trott thought it was “a most beneficial visit.” Baruch had promised to visit the corps maneuvers at Fort Benning in April. (Trott to Marshall, March 30, 1940, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected]. See Marshall to Baruch, April 3, 1940, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-151 [2: 188-89].)
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr. (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 180-181.