ONLINE CATALOG SEARCH
To General John J. Pershing
March 10, 1941 Washington, D.C.
I received your note of March 4th, out at the house at Fort Myer, where I was nursing an incipient cold from Friday noon to Monday morning—this morning. Mr. Osborn, Chairman of the Joint Army and Navy Morale Committee, who is an old friend and admirer of Bishop Freeman, had arranged for a conference this week when the Bishop returned to Washington. They have a definite service they would like him to help out with, in inspiring the citizens in communities adjacent to the camps to greater efforts in meeting the present serious situation. I have expected to see the Bishop on his return to the city.1
The fact of the matter is, the past two weeks have been terrific here, due to a number of matters, particularly the preparations for the passage of the Lease-loan Bill, as well as business in connection with its passage. My days have been spent in conferences with the State Department, at the White House, before Committees of Congress, and with the Advisory Committee for National Defense, until I have had but an hour or two to devote to the Army, as such. Probably you can best understand my situation when I tell you that there are five Major Generals on the Staff who have been trying to see me for the better part of a week and I have not yet been able to see them,—there were just not enough hours in the day.
I will see Bishop Freeman before Friday, I hope, as I am expecting to leave here then on a rush trip of about 4,000 miles which I have to complete before Tuesday night in order to be before a Committee of Congress on Wednesday.
I have gone somewhat into detail because I do not want you to feel that I was neglecting a request of yours, but the hours have not permitted me to do what I would like to have done. I have decentralized in every direction possible, yet there is an insistence that I appear personally in this or that conference, along with the tremendous pressures for me to see this or that person individually. A threatened cold has not helped matters, but I took time by the forelock and am entirely out of the woods today and at the office. As a matter of fact, I accomplished more work at Myer than down here.
I am awfully sorry that your Hot Springs visit was disappointing and I hope that the San Antonio weather will be more considerate. You have at least escaped some very disagreeable days here in Washington.
With my love to you and Miss May,
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: John J. Pershing Papers, General Correspondence, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
1. Pershing wrote to Marshall on March 4, 1941, to inquire again if he could give Bishop James E. Freeman “some job in connection with welfare of the Army.” (Pershing to Marshall, LC/J. J. Pershing Papers [General Correspondence]. See also Marshall to Pershing, February 17, 1941, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-373 [2: 425-26].) Freeman requested a blanket letter of authority to visit all army camps and speak to large gatherings of troops. The secretary of war refused this request because it would set a precedent for numerous other groups and individuals. The Morale Branch did want to arrange special speaking tours for Freeman if his health and schedule permitted. (Marshall to Pershing, March 24, 1941, LC/J. J. Pershing Papers [General Correspondence].)
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr.(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 440-441,