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To General John J. Pershing
February 25, 1924 Washington, D.C.
My dear General:
Mr. Arthur Page and myself had a long conversation on last Thursday here in the War Department and during lunch at the Club.1 Nothing new came of the interview, except that he made a more definite statement regarding the best time for publication of your Memoirs. He considers the months of October, November, and December to be by far the best periods for publication of such a book. He said that if your volume could not be ready for the book-stands before the end of November, it should be delayed until the following September.
In the copy of the Army & Navy Register which came out last Saturday, I marked for you some comments regarding your bill, written around a recent editorial in the Boston “Transcript.” This sort of thing is more or less to be expected from these two sources, though it is very aggravating to have to forgo open comment in order to avoid dignifying it with too much importance. In a note to me on February 19th, General Harbord wrote: “I saw Mr. Stettinius this morning and he talked to me about General Pershing’s case.2 Apparently the proposed legislation for the General has gone to sleep. It would, of course, be unthinkable to have it come up and be seriously combatted or defeated. On the other hand, it cannot very well, with dignity, be withdrawn. I concur with Mr. Stettinius that the best thing that can be done, in the present state of the Congressional mind, is to let it sleep for a while, trusting to see signs of returning sanity on the part of Congress, which may justify waking it up a little bit later.”
I have casually dropped a few hints in certain quarters which I think will work up quite a bit of feeling among the leading officers of the Reserve Corps, and at the proper time I believe these fellows will wish to bring very strong pressure to bear on Congress. I know most of them feel that you are their great hope and that of the Citizen Army movement in the War Department. As soon as this mud-slinging subsides a little bit, we can size up the situation with more assurance.
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. Arthur W. Page, with whom Marshall had had frequent dealings regarding General Pershing’s proposed memoirs, was a member of the publishing firm of Doubleday, Page and Company.
2. Edward R. Stettinius, a banker connected with J. P. Morgan and Company, had held several important positions connected with supplies for the A.E.F., including the post of second assistant secretary of the War Department.
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. 256-257.