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To Leo A. Farrell
October 31, 1938 Washington, D.C.
Thanks for your fine letter of October 28th, and your items of news and opinion.1 I am doing my reply in long hand for evident reasons.
Reference any publicity regarding me, or “build up” as it is called; I am now, in my particular position with low rank, on the spot in army circles. The fact of my appointment as Deputy while a brigadier general, junior to other generals of the general staff, makes me conspicuous in the army. Too conspicuous, as a matter of fact.
My strength with the army has rested on the well known fact that I attended strictly to business and enlisted no influence of any sort at anytime. That, in army circles, has been my greatest strength in this matter of future appointment, especially as it is in strong contrast with other most energetic activities in organizing a campaign and in securing voluminous publicity. Therefore, it seems to me that at this time the complete absence of any publicity about me would be my greatest asset, particularly with the President. And the army would resent it, even some of those now ardently for me. In other words, it would tar me with the same brush to which they now object.
The National Guard knows me now. The Reserve Corps know me well. The ROTC people, including many college presidents, know me. And the Regular Army know me. It is not time for the public to be brought to a view of my picture.
How does the logic of this strike you? But in any event, be assured that I greatly appreciate your desire to do me a service.
However, we can talk this all over when you come to town.
Meanwhile, and hurriedly, my thanks and warm regards,
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: Leo A. Farrell Papers, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Handwritten letter signed.
1. Farrell’s letter was not found in the Marshall papers.
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. 641-642.