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To Brigadier General Leigh R. Gignilliat
December 10, 1938 [Washington, D.C.]
Lieutenant Colonel Harold R. Bull, Infantry, now Secretary of the General Staff,—to be relieved next summer—told me yesterday that Paul had been talking to him about possible detail to Culver.1 Bull wants to go to troops, though doubts whether he can obtain the assignment. I think the Chief of Infantry wants to send him as Instructor at the Infantry School, and Bull would not be very keen about this.
I am telling you that if you can get Bull you will have about the best man in the Army, even better than Paul. He is a small, trim, red-headed fellow, of charming personality; business all over, yet attractive about it; about the most popular instructor I had at Benning, certainly among the most able; understands boys thoroughly, and practically had charge of a boys’ camp in Vermont for three or four seasons, utilizing his academic leave from Benning. I would pick him as Chief of Staff of an Army, so certainly he ought to be good enough for Culver.
I have been talking to Bull about the business, and I think he is trying to find out definitely from the Office of the Chief of Infantry whether or not they will give him a troop assignment.
I am passing this on to you for your information.
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. Bull (U.S.M.A., 1914) had been an instructor at the Infantry School between August, 1928, and July, 1932. When Marshall arrived at the War Department in mid-1938, Bull was in the Statistics Branch of the office of the Chief of Staff. From November 10, 1938, to July 2, 1939, he was secretary of the General Staff. The “Paul” mentioned is Major Willard S. Paul— in 1929-30 a student in the Infantry School’s Advanced course—who was in the Adjutant Generals Department.
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. 673-674.