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To General John J. Pershing
June 5, 1937 Vancouver Barracks, Washington
I have delayed in answering your letter, written on the eve of sailing for England, while trying to figure out how Katherine and myself could accept your invitation to be present at the dedication of the Meuse-Argonne Memorials in August.1 Naturally, I am terribly keen to go, and she is equally anxious; and for a time I thought we could work it out. But I now find it is not going to be practical for us to have this pleasure. I hate to think of this great work of yours coming to its final head, without my having seen anything of it on the ground. Also, it would give me a great thrill to stand on the Meuse-Argonne Field with you again.
We both have been scheming ever since April, to see our way clear to accept; but there are too many difficulties in the way at this particular time.
I am feeling fine, very fine; riding every day, fishing quite a few evenings each week, and gaining weight in spite of dieting. I had a month of quite strenuous maneuvers with the Third Division at Fort Lewis, and while I grew tired of having breakfast at 2:30 in the morning, nevertheless I enjoyed the affair tremendously.
Katherine and I are off tomorrow for a week of inspection of the CCC in eastern Oregon. I carry her along to fish with me between camps, leaving her at small hotels while I am actually inspecting. We will be trying for Rainbow Trout in the lake just north of Crater Lake, in a small crater lake in the mountains to the east, and in a famous lake near Snake River, east of Pendleton. A few days after we return here, we are off again to inspect camps on the coast south of Astoria. Someone has loaned me a beach cottage which Mrs. Marshall and Molly will enjoy and which I will use as a base for my inspections. It is, as you may see, a very healthy life, and a pleasant one. Do you remember Cameron Forbes jumping on me for my method of landing bass? I have a better technique now.
I have seen a number of photographs of you in England, and have heard over the radio several references to your impressive speech at Romagne on Decoration Day.2 I hope that you have not been overdoing.
With affectionate regards,
G. C. Marshall
McCoy has written, asking me if I care to have him apply for me to command the 1st Division—in October. I have replied that I would like such an arrangement, but I doubt whether it can be arranged, due to my lack of rank.3
Document Copy Text Source: John J. Pershing Papers, General Correspondence, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
1. “It occurs to me that you and your attractive and charming better-half might well consider coming to France this summer for some of our dedications. The main one is to be held August 1st at Montfaucon, which has, as you know, already been classified as one of the fifteen decisive battles of the world by some writer of more or less importance, but whom we like to think of as being of considerable importance.” (Pershing to Marshall, April 21, 1937, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Vancouver Barracks])
2. On May 30, General Pershing had dedicated the new chapel in the A.E.F. cemetery at Romagne-sous-Montfaucon.
3. This postscript was written in Marshall’s hand.
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. 541-542.