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To General John J. Pershing
February 19, 1924 Washington, D.C.
. . . You will probably have seen from the papers that Duncan Major was confirmed; also that the Executive Session in consideration of his case, lasted two full afternoons. The final vote was 43 to 24, and I am enclosing you the page of the Congressional Record which discloses the vote. Just what occurred during the Executive Session I have not learned definitely, but it is quite apparent that General Edwards’ reputation received a severe jolt. I understand, confidentially, that Senator Reed of Pennsylvania, remarked at the conclusion of the sessions, that if as much had been known regarding General Edwards’ record at the time of his nomination for a Major Generalcy as was now understood, he would never have been confirmed. Personally, I believe that Senator Walsh wanted the vote to go in Major’s favor, but also wished to have it appear that he had made a very desperate fight to prevent confirmation; that his principal desire was to nail General Edwards’ record. If my guess is correct, he carried through all three desires.1
I talked to Johnson about the preparation of Army candidates for the Olympic Games, and am enclosing a mimeograph of what is being done.2 I also spoke to General Hines regarding it. They are carefully training Army candidates in various parts of the country for the modern Pentathlon and have about four promising candidates: two at West Point, one at Benning, and one other, I have forgotten where. Each of course, is weak in some department and is receiving special instruction with regard to that. . . .3
G. C. Marshall, Jr.
Document Copy Text Source: John J. Pershing Papers, General Correspondence, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
1. David A. Reed was a Republican and David I. Walsh was a Massachusetts Democrat. Walsh voted against Duncan K. Major’s confirmation.
2. Lieutenant Colonel Wait C. Johnson was a General Staff officer. General Pershing had written to Marshall: “We should begin now to make preparation for every single event in which representatives from the Army expect to appear. There is one event to which I think this especially applies, that is the pentathlon which to my mind requires some preparation.” (Pershing to Marshall, February 1, 1924, LC/J. J. Pershing Papers [General Correspondence].)
3. Approximately one-third of the letter is printed. The omitted portions referred to Pershing’s return and to his apartment, which had been subleased.
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. 255-256.