1-301 To General John J. Pershing, December 2, 1931

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: December 2, 1931

To General John J. Pershing

December 2, 1931 Fort Benning, Georgia

Dear General:

Your letter of November 30th has just been received. I find that there is a copy of the book here in the library, and I will undertake to do as you ask as quickly as possible. Parts of this I have seen in serial form, but only gave them a casual reading.1

In a delayed reading of my last copy of Time, I saw a reference to your being ill with a cold in Walter Reed. I hope this is nothing serious, but rather a bit of well advised caution. Your letter evidently was written sometime later, so I take it that you are quite well again.

I have had a very busy fall, as to both official duties and social duties. Mollie has had a young lady visitor for a month and the house has been full of young people. My sister’s husband has been with us a month, recuperating from a bad breakdown.2 He has found Benning a great health resort, having gained ten pounds and refound a vigor for golf and other amusements. Mrs. Marshall and I ride eight to ten miles every afternoon, and I get in tennis and longer rides off and on during the week.

I saw the movies of you at Yorktown, and I have read very complimentary descriptions of the troop display there.3 I see that Colonel Harry Cootes came in for official commendation. In his particular line he does better than almost anybody I know. He has one faculty which is a rare one,—he knows his own limitations, invariably picks efficient people to help him, and always secures their ardent and affectionate support. Can’t you say a word for him towards promotion? I would prefer him to many that have been made,—and he is getting seriously well up in years.

With affectionate regards,

Faithfully yours,

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. In a letter dated November 30, Pershing wrote Marshall about Frederick Palmer’s Newton D. Baker: America at War, 2 vols. (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1931). Pershing thought writers such as Palmer were giving the War Department too much credit for winning the war. “Although I have only just glanced through the book, it seems to contain many inaccuracies, implications, unwarranted claims, and special pleadings.” As Marshall was well aware of the difficulties the A.E.F. encountered in getting trained men and supplies from the United States, Pershing added, “I would like to have you read this book carefully, between the lines and otherwise, and let me know what, if anything, you find that should be corrected or refuted. I think we must insist on keeping the record straight and not permit an exaggerated impression to be created of the efficiency and foresight of the Administration, the War Department, the War Secretary, or the Chief of Staff.” (LC/J. J. Pershing Papers [General Correspondence].)

2. Dr. John J. Singer was a physician from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, who had served as an army surgeon during the World War.

3. General Pershing gave a speech and participated in various ceremonies in connection with the sesquicentennial of the British surrender at Yorktown, Virginia (October 17-19, 1781).

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. 375-376.

Digital Downloads



, ,

Holding Rights: Public Information
Holding ID: 1-301

Rights: Public Information