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To General Malin Craig
July 5, 1939 [Washington, D.C.]
Your final note of appreciation and thanks was delivered to me Saturday morning.1
It is impossible for me to put on paper the depth of my appreciation of what you wrote regarding our relations here in the office, and your generous statements regarding my abilities. But however great the exaggeration, I will value your letter, not only as a high compliment, but more particularly as the generous expression of a grand soldier and a very human person—if that is good English.
I hear and read nothing but compliments of you since your departure. Certainly you should now feel that what I indicated earlier in the spring was correct, that is, you leave the War Department appreciated by everybody, beloved of the Army, and leaving behind you a record of progressive accomplishment which reached a peak in the bill which has just passed the Congress. But of course there is more to this than the mere passage of the bill; the fact that you succeeded in controlling the character of the bill is the greatest tribute of your service to the Army.2
I spent the week-end with Mrs. Marshall and flew back last night greatly rested and prepared for the battle.3 I do hope that you and Mrs. Craig are finding utter relaxation, and that you are now willing to bask in the general public approval of your forty-five years as a soldier and your last four years as Chief of Staff.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Craig expressed his deep admiration for Marshall in a letter dated June 30. He lauded his deputy’s “splendid character and able mind,” and added that he had derived “great pleasure and mental stimulus’ from their daily conversations.” (Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #1-579 [1: 721].)
2. On July 2, President Roosevelt announced that he had signed the $223,398,047 supple mental military appropriation bill which included funds for an increase in the Air Corps, for educational orders, and for five new air bases. The bill completed the $552,000,000 emergency defense program that the president outlined in his January 12, 1939, speech to Congress. (New York Times, July 3, 1939, p. 4.)
3. Mrs. Marshall usually spent a portion of her summers on Fire Island, New York.
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), p. 5.