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To Brigadier General Lesley J. McNair
May 3, 1939 [Washington, D.C.]
I have just gotten back from the West Coast and am off Tuesday to sail for South America. As I will not be back before the end of June, it will not be possible for me to accept your invitation to the graduation exercises at Leavenworth.
I am very sincere in telling you that this is a real disappointment, because as the next Chief of Staff I would have liked the opportunity to be at Leavenworth before the breakup of the present term.
Please accept my apologies and regrets.
They tell me there is a fine letter of congratulations from you, which I have not yet seen, so I will not delay in expressing my appreciation.
You at the head of Leavenworth are one of the great satisfactions I have at the moment in visualizing the responsibilities of the next couple of years. And, as I told you here, speaking merely as Deputy Chief of Staff, I now tell you as a prospective Chief of Staff that your judgment in what is to be done quietly at Leavenworth is to govern.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
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. 714.