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To Brigadier General John McA. Palmer
January 11, 1924 Washington, D.C.
My dear General John:
. . .1 As luck would have it, a request came from the General just after Christmas, which required a tremendous amount of work on my part and also considerable haste, as he desired the data as quickly as possible. This pretty well filled my holiday period, but fortunately, I had gone to Atlantic City the day before Christmas to spend two days with my mother. I am enclosing a very poor Kodak of the Marshall establishment with a few additions. Unfortunately, Joe, the furnace boy, is absent. It might interest you to know that he is the son of the cook, about thirteen years old, and as a side-line had a job near-by at the Club, but the wife of the Filipino who runs the mess there, hit Joe in the stomach with a hammer on New Year’s Day, and he now works exclusively for me.
There are no indications of when the General will return, but I imagine it will be the latter part of February or March. He has an apartment near the Bois and rides in the park almost every day. From the demands he is making for data, he is evidently working quite hard on his memoirs, but General Dawes’ arrival in Paris may divert him from this task.2
We had a very busy time during the Holidays, going out almost every night. Mrs. Marshall has formed the habit of going home at ten o’clock, usually with Mrs. Hines, leaving me to dance until the last minute and usually bring General Hines home. Sort of a Jack Spratt arrangement.
I am riding every day for longer periods than heretofore, so I have kept in very good physical trim. This afternoon I am taking [Hugh] Drum out for a ride. He was in a few minutes ago to say that the weather was rather threatening, it certainly would be muddy, and he had not ridden for two months; but I gave him no satisfaction and he is in for about fifteen or twenty miles. However, there will be several ladies in the party, which should divert his thoughts from the seat of his breeches.
I find my position on the Foreign Service Roster is receding with each promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, so there is no prospect of my getting such duty unless I can secure a special exception. In any event, I intend to make a formal request of the General to release me in September.
With my love to Mrs. Palmer and yourself,
Document Copy Text Source: John McA. Palmer Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
1. Three paragraphs were omitted in which Marshall mentioned maneuvers in Panama, a photograph of Palmer, and praise of Palmer by Senator Wadsworth and others.
2. Regarding the progress he was making in writing his memoirs, Pershing wrote Marshall on January 9, 1924, that "it could not be published before next fall because it could not possibly be gotten ready, and I get so low in my mind at times that I doubt if it will ever he ready. This happens to be one of the times. I have just remarked to Madame Despecher who is taking this dictation that I would rather fight four wars than write the history of one." (LC/J. J. Pershing Papers [General Correspondence].)
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. 248-249.