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To General John J. Pershing
August 25, 1926 Tientsin, China
My dear General:
I see by the papers you have been spending the summer in Europe, which I suppose means Paris. There has been no mention in the press of when you might be returning home.
Things go on with me out here much as usual. I really am having a fine time and thoroughly enjoy the life. In ten days I will have completed my first two years in China, and the remaining ten or twelve months will probably fly by. It hardly seems one year since I first came to Tientsin.
The social life here has changed a little since the completion of a Country Club last October. It is sort of an addition to the rich and prosperous Race Club, and has quickly become the focus of almost all social activities. The building is very pretentious (after the style and size of the War College) and is run on a generous scale. They have twelve tennis courts, all croweded each evening, a large and beautifully appointed pool which is usually pretty full from five to eight o’clock each evening, large ball room, out door dancing platform with pavillions, permanent orchestra, tea rooms and terraces, large dining room and a bar as busy as a bee hive. The charges are ridiculously small and, of course, there are swarms of servants at ones beck and call.
We are now doing a great deal of riding in the regiment. We have a mounted detachment of forty on Mongolian ponies, that is a very sporty looking cavalry troop. In addition, the officers own about forty five ponies. I have two. Are polo team is much too good for anything around here. In fact, last year we had three teams in the regiment. When I came here there were only twelve ponies in the corral, so you can see there has been quite a change.
Conditions in China are too confused to admit of a reasonably accurate estimate as to what it is all about. Fighting is continuous, but since March has not been closer to Tientsin on our particular stretch of the railroad, than forty miles north west of Pekin.
I have spent most of the summer at our shooting camp on the ocean, 160 miles north east of here. The bathing here is fine, and the riding in the picturesque country nearby, is delightful. I go back again for the final field firing the first of the week.
I was much surprised to receive a letter from Peter Bowditch telling me of his marriage. I do not know who the lady is, but I suppose it is the same one in whom he was interested in the Islands. His letter was very short and rather sketchy, so I could not tell much about the present status of things.
I hear indirectly, through the Russells, about Governor Forbes’ Naushon parties. Recently he had his Philippine friends all there together. I know he has pressed you to attend. I have very delightful recollections of amusing days at Naushon, particularly in September 1919, and also of our month in October at Lake Brandreth that same fall. I think, however, that the most relaxing and amusing time was during our “ship-wreck” week at the Candado-Vanderbilt in San Juan.1
So far we have not been able to do much traveling because of the continuous civil war with its following of bandits. But we now have several trips on the cards, to be taken poney back with our mounted detachment. One north to the Eastern Tombs, on through the Royal Hunting Park to [Jehol?], and thence down the Lan River on barges to Lanchow, a station on the railroad 100 miles from here. I am very keen to go and I hope the American Minister does not interpose any objections.
Judging from recent pictures of you in the news papers, you must be in fine trim again, and I imagine your summer in France will have been very beneficial. I certainly hope so.
Mrs. Marshall joins me in affectionate regards,
G. C. Marshall, Jr.
Document Copy Text Source: John J. Pershing Papers, General Correspondence, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Author-typed letter signed.
1. On May 10, 1920, the U.S.A.T. Northern Pacific ran aground while leaving the harbor at San Juan, Puerto Rico.
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. 286, 293.