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To Brigadier General John McA. Palmer
March 29, 1935 Chicago, Illinois
I have just gotten your letter of March 26th. I did not misunderstand what you said in any degree, and I think you are too prone to paralyzing accuracy. I treat historical facts in a more casual way than you do and suffer less strain in so doing.
As a matter of fact, your testimony before the Senate Committee reached me in galley proof form almost immediately after you gave it, and I went over it with the General. Later, the next day or the day after as I recall, he testified before the joint Committees. I thought you were right then, I know you are right now. What you have always needed was a manager and a publicity agent, and then a trifling operation in amputation of the conscience. Most people do not require this.1
With my love to Mrs. Palmer,
Ever faithfully yours,
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: John McA. Palmer Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
1. Palmer had been instrumental in significantly changing the original Baker-March proposals to Congress in 1919 concerning army reorganization. He had written in a March 24 letter to Marshall that in the orthodox propaganda, we are given to believe that Congress derived its wisdom from the War Department’s official recommendations and from General Pershing, who was still in France, and knew nothing about the plan until he endorsed it later on as a fait accompli." Two days later, Palmer wrote to apologize for his “half-cocked” reference to General Pershing. “My letter was perhaps inspired by a sense of injustice. I have been silent about this, but it broke away from me in my fraternal feeling toward you." (Palmer to Marshall, March 24 and March 26, 1935, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [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. 461-462.