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To Brigadier General Hugh A. Drum1
August 11, 1919 [Paris, France]
My dear Drum:
General Pershing has just read the "Report of the Commanding General, 1st Army, American Expeditionary Forces: Organization &Operations, 1st Army, A.E.F."
He is not entirely satisfied with that portion of the report which deals with the period from the organization of the army up to Oct. 15th, and he told me to tell you that he should have been consulted with reference to that portion of the report before it was issued.2
He proposes rewriting parts 1, 2, 3, and part 4 to paragraph 71, and he desires that all copies of the report which have been issued, be recalled. Will you please take steps to gather in as soon as practicable the copies which have been issued? You undoubtedly have a list of those to whom they were furnished. I will attend to the copies furnished General Pershing, General Conner and myself.
We probably will sail from Brest about September 1st so it will not be possible for you to communicate with me again while I am on this side. However, please have waiting for me in Washington a note acknowledging receipt of this letter and such proposals as you desire to make regarding the re-arrangement of the report so that it will show that a certain portion is the report of General Pershing himself and the remainder is the report of General Liggett.3
I am writing a brief note to General Liggett regarding the above but will leave it to you to ascertain his detailed desires in the matter.
Document Copy Text Source: National Archives Donated Materials Group, PRSHG, John J. Pershing Papers, Report of the First Army, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Although Marshall addressed him as brigadier general, Drum had reverted to his permanent rank of major on July 31, 1919. Drum had been chief of staff of the First Army from July, 1918, to April, 1919, when he was transferred to the Service of Supply. In July, he returned to the United States and assumed his new post as commandant of Fort Leavenworth’s Army School of the Line, from which he was a 1911 honor graduate.
2. Between August 10, 1918, when the organization began its formal operations, and October 15, 1918, Pershing commanded the First Army. On October 16, Hunter Liggett took over the First Army, while Pershing assumed command of the Group of American Armies, which now included the new Second Army under General Bullard.
3. Drum replied with an urgent telegram to Marshall in Paris: "In view of following unable to comply with your request. Records first army were turned in part to G.H.Q., and part to War Department. Believe record distribution army report sent to G.H.Q. distribution included Division and Corps commanders, Assistant Chief of Staff and historical section, G.H.Q., remaining copies filed in army records, probably in War Department. In view of foregoing and considering party signing report [Liggett] suggest inadvisability of modifying same especially if first army records not available for detailed examination as particular care was taken to base report upon first army records." On August 25, Drum also sent Marshall a detailed defense of the report and its issuance. (NA/RG PRSHG [J. J. Pershing Papers, Report of the First Army].)
Marshall apparently found the distribution list. On August 16, 1919, he sent out the first of three mass-mailings trying to recall all copies of the report. A second group of form letters was sent in April, 1920, and a final group in May, 1923.
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. 191.