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To General John J. Pershing
January 16, 1939 Washington, D.C.
I feel sure when you read The President’s message that you must have appreciated the importance of your contribution in this matter. Some time I want to go over all the details with you, but for the moment you can judge from the message what has happened. Let us hope that out of this will come genuine and lasting advantage to the National Defense. Speaking for those who know nothing of what you did, and would be eternally grateful if they did understand what had happened, I want to thank you rather formally for going out of your way and troubling yourself to assist us.
I learned from Adamson that things are going well with you. He turned over the other day some tickets to the National Geographic Society, which I understand you had told him to make available for Mrs. Marshall and myself. We went to the lecture and greatly enjoyed it, and she has asked me to thank you particularly for your thoughtfulness—in which I join.
I have just completed a statement for the Secretary of War to make before the Military Committee of the House tomorrow morning, the first War Department hearing regarding the new National Defense program. He and General Craig and myself go up there at ten-thirty, and at three in the afternoon appear before the Senate Military Committee. Of course, this is only a preliminary hearing, for the general orientation of the Committee members before they go to work on the details. I will be interested in their reactions. Judging from the press there will be not nearly so much opposition as was anticipated, but undoubtedly there will be decided opposition.
I was very sorry to see the New York papers starting discussions as to the next Chief of Staff, in which my name was mentioned. I suppose this is inevitable but it certainly is distasteful to me—and I think not at all helpful.
We received your Christmas telegram, and New Year’s and, I believe birthday greetings from Miss May. Mrs. Marshall gave me a surprise party on New Year’s Eve—my birthday—which did not break up until three in the morning. We had six members of the family with us during the holidays, quite a houseful.
I wrote Warren that his office announcement card was very striking in the name, number, street, and city—Pershing, No. 1 Wall Street, New York City. I want to try to see Warren in New York when I go up for the First Division Dinner, for which I am Toastmaster. Incidentally, if you have any little personal message I could give the officers of that Division, it would give me great satisfaction to present it in my opening remarks.
With affectionate regards to you both,
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: John J. Pershing Papers, General Correspondence, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
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. 684-685.