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To Lieutenant General John L. De Witt
April 2, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]
Dear De Witt:
It has come to me from several directions that Glass who, I believe, is post Commander at Lewis, has been drinking heavily, and I recall that you spoke to me about this same subject regarding him when he was Chief of Staff of the Third Division at Camp Ord.1
It is rather unusual for me here in Washington to be writing to an Army commander about something that is the immediate responsibility of a Corps Area and possibly tactical Corps Commander; however we suffer very serious reactions from questionable actions on the part of senior regular officers, and I am therefore asking you please quietly to check up on this. I am not going to have a few regular officers exposing the entire regular establishment to destructive criticism.
As I have no positive evidence in this matter, please treat what I have said as merely a suspicion.2
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. Colonel Ralph R Glass was the commanding officer at Fort Lewis, Washington.
2. De Witt’s subsequent investigation did not prove the allegations against Glass. De Witt agreed with Marshall that excessive drinking by senior officers jeopardized the army, but he believed that Glass had conducted himself properly since assuming his present position and had been warned not to allow drinking to interfere with his command. (De Witt to Marshall, April 11, 1941, GCMRL/ G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon office, Selected].)
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. 464,