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To General John J. Pershing
August 15, 1920 Lexington, Virginia
My dear General:
I hope you had a fine time in the mountains but I’m afraid it must have been rather rainy as there seems to have been a wet spell all over the Atlantic States. Schneider writes me you plan to leave for the West on Thursday, but I suppose this will depend on the progress your Board makes.1 I have been having a fine holiday, riding three or four hours daily through beautiful country. Mrs. Marshall is looking very well and sends you her love. Also Mrs. Coles wishes me to give you her warmest regards.
I find Lexington still excited over your brief visit. You made a tremendous impression on all these people, which means much as they still live somewhat in the Civil War and are painfully conservative. You charmed them all, old and young.2
I hope your trip West will be cool, and I know you will thoroughly enjoy Cheyenne and Lincoln. I have written Adamson and Schneider about several matters for your attention before you leave.3
As always, I am at your service. With my affectionate regards.
G. C. Marshall, Jr.
Document Copy Text Source: John J. Pershing Papers, General Correspondence, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Handwritten letter signed.
1. General Pershing headed a board charged with selecting, from among the Reserve and temporary officers who had been retained in the service at the end of the war, those officers who would receive commissions in the Regular Army.
2. Pershing had visited Lexington on June 17-18. Marshall later recalled that “the trip with General Pershing up to the V.M.I. was very interesting and delighted him. . . . I had insisted on his going there because he had gone to West Point [June 14-15] and there were so many V.M.I. men in lead positions in the army.” (Marshall Interviews, p. 248.)
The general also visited Robert E. Lee’s tomb at V.M.I.’s neighbor-rival Washington and Lee University, where he was “received in the Washington and Lee Chapel with great ceremony and stood in front of the effigy of General Lee and made his remarks. We immediately received quite a clamor from certain men in Chicago and others who objected to General Pershing going there where Lee was buried. I remember General Pershing left me to answer all the letters. He said, ‘You got me to go there, now you attend to the letters objecting to my having gone.’” (Ibid., p. 99.)
3. George E. Adamson had been Pershing’s private secretary before the war; first commissioned in December, 1917, he was a captain at this time. First Lieutenant John T. Schneider, an artilleryman, joined Pershing’s entourage in 1920.
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. 201-202.