2-596 To Lieutenant General Hugh A. Drum, November 12, 1941

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: November 12, 1941

To Lieutenant General Hugh A. Drum

November 12, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]

Personal and Confidential

Dear Drum:

I have just read your letter of November 8th regarding the 28th and 29th Divisions.1 In your previous letter you emphasized the importance of having the prospective commanders of these two divisions present with them for at least the last phase of the maneuvers. As the time for this is rapidly approaching, a decision will have to be made. Therefore, I am placing the matter in your hands as to the attachment of Ord to the 28th, and will send Gerow to report to you for temporary duty at the end of this week.

You can handle the matter with Martin and Reckord and as to the press release. I imagine the best way to meet the latter problem, from the view point of the two National Guard officers, will be to state that at an announced later date after the return of the divisions from the maneuvers the two Regular officers mentioned will be assigned to those commands due to the relief of Martin and Reckord under the age limitation provision; the present attachment was merely to give the Regular officers an opportunity to see the divisions operating under full field conditions—or something of that sort. Knowing how sensitive both these men are, it might be well to let them see the proposed press release before it is issued, in order that they might have an opportunity to offer any suggestions.

The matter of the Corps Area Provost Marshal General has not materialized as I hoped, so do not mention that.

I am planning to look in on the maneuvers next week, earlier if practicable. The trouble now is I am—most confidentially—deeply involved in the possible employment of almost 100,000 troops in the coal mine regions,2 along with a number of serious matters connected with the Japanese crisis, and the presentation of a new six billion dollar deficiency appropriation.

Faithfully yours,

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. Replying to Marshall’s November 3 letter, Drum wrote that in regard to Garesche Ord, “I am willing to try him out and believe that my personal influence will carry him through.” In addition, he had informally discussed their future status with both Martin and Reckord; Drum reiterated his October 31 opinion that they should be relieved after their divisions returned to their home stations following the maneuvers. (Drum to Marshall, November 8, 1941, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)

2. Strikes by the United Mine Workers of America in the “captive” mines (i.e., those owned by the steel companies) threatened to curtail steel production during the autumn of 1941. The principal issue in the strike was the miners’ demand for a union shop (i.e., all nonunion workers would be required to join the union in order to continue working). The strike began on September 15 and was twice interrupted by mediation attempts. On November 10 the National Defense Mediation Board voted against the United Mine Workers and the strike immediately resumed. The War Department debated a plan for sending troops into the coal fields to take control of mine production, but by November 22 President Roosevelt had persuaded the union and the owners to submit to arbitration and the strike was ended. The arbitration board’s decision in the miners’ favor was handed down on December 7. (Fairchild and Grossman, Army and Industrial Manpower, pp. 66-67; New York Times, November 23 [pp. 1, 39] and December 8 [pp. 1, 43], 1941.)

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. 669-670.

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