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To General John J. Pershing
June 2, 1936 Chicago, Illinois
Thanks a lot for your letter of May 26th and for your continued efforts in my behalf. I do appreciated the trouble you have taken and feel very grateful. I am glad to learn that I am to be in on the September appointments, but naturally am sorry that I have to land so seriously blocked by juniority on the list. Your effort to prevent this is all the more appreciated for that reason.
Your Arlington speech was received and I was very glad to have it, as the press quotations out here were not at length, though they gave you a good write-up.1 The news reel of you, with the ladies at the “cake ceremony” was excellent of you, and your “asides” went over very effectively with the movie audience.
By the way, I have a favor to ask. When you are handing out diplomas at West Point you will see a cadet named Clarence Gooding, about 120 in standing. I would greatly appreciate your making some personal comment to this young fellow when you hand him his diploma. He was my office orderly at Benning— for only a few months. Having just enlisted, I was greatly impressed with his efficiency, bearing and general intelligence. I found out that he had been trying for West Point and had had no success. Finally he enlisted for this purpose and was refused permission to join the candidates class of men being coached. Without his knowledge, I wrote to his congressman in Texas and got the promise of an appointment if a vacancy occurred. The first alternate dropped out at the eleventh hour and Gooding received his appointment. The principal failed and Gooding passed. He is a fine boy and would be electrified by a personal word from you.2
Mrs. Marshall and I greatly enjoyed seeing you here, or rather, in Evanston. I particularly enjoyed my talk with you Monday morning.
Affectionately, and grateful your,
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: John J. Pershing Papers, General Correspondence, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Handwritten letter signed.
1. Pershing had given a speech on Memorial Day (May 30) at Arlington National Cemetery.
2. See Marshall to Gooding, March 20, 1933, (Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #1-319 [1: 389]).
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), p. 493.