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To General John J. Pershing
March 28, 1932 Fort Benning, Georgia
I am inclosing a letter from General Gignilliat of Culver which is self-explanatory. I will be very glad to help Gignilliat out in the matter, but it seemed to me best to ask for your assistance.
I have in mind several incidents in your life, prior to your entering the Army, which I think would be of the character desired. However, my recollection of the details is hazy, though I have a very clear recollection of your telling me about them. One refers to your taking over the management of the farm when you were sixteen. Another, to your first experiences as a school teacher with a refractory pupil. With the incidents of your army career, I am, naturally, more familiar. Would you care to give me your opinion of what were the high points of your career? Gignilliat need know nothing about my reference of this matter to you.1
I learned from one of the service papers that you had been in the hospital for bronchitis, but had left fully recovered. Evidently you were being careful, rather than seriously ill. I am very glad you were taking no chances with the uncertain weather of the late winter and spring. Down here it has been extremely warm and then unseasonably cold, the changes coming very rapidly.
We are very busy getting ready for the Corps Area maneuvers which commence in two weeks and have to be woven somewhat into the school work.
I have succeeded in avoiding a desk and getting an assignment to troops and command of a post,—Fort Screven, Georgia. However small, it at least keeps me away from office work and high theory, and I understand it is a very delightful station.
With affectionate regards,
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. Gignilliat’s letter was not found in the Pershing papers. On April 23, 1932, Pershing replied to Marshall, “I appreciate very much your wish to help Gignilliat and also his desire to comply with the request that he has received from A. N. Marquis, but I have been filled up with business affairs and official matters for the last month and this, with preparations for my spring departure for Europe, has made it impossible to give the matter much consideration. (LC/J. J. Pershing Papers [General Correspondence].)
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. 376-377.