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To Major Clifton S. Brown
April 18, 1945 Washington, D.C.
I received a V-mail from you and have read a number of yours to your mother.1 You seem to be having an interesting time and I suppose with its moments of excitement.
Your mother is well, also Molly and the children. We hope to get down to Leesburg late this afternoon so that I can get in some of the later vegetables before it is too late. Henry has attended to the planting at Myer but it is rather difficult to manage it down at Leesburg.
I broke my rule about dinners last night and went to the British Embassy for a dinner of six, Anthony Eden being the reason. He is coming over this morning at 9:15 to hear the resume of the war situation before starting off for the meeting at San Francisco.2
I have ridden very little of late because I have gotten my exercise in field work or gotten no exercise at all. President Roosevelt’s death involved us in a great many formalities which took practically all our time for three days. The final interment at Hyde Park was very impressive particularly as there was a clear blue sky and all the spring blossoms were out. The West Point cadets made a picturesque background for the ceremony. I flew up, taking Admiral King with me, and we spent the night at West Point, flying back the next morning immediately after the services. We were supposed to go up on the special train but that would have been too time-consuming in view of the momentous happenings which have to be attended to almost from hour to hour.3
I hope the spring has found you in Germany and that the mud is drying up and you will soon be complaining about the dust.
With my love,
Document Copy Text Source: Research File, Family Folder, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Marshall’s stepson’s message is not in the Marshall Papers.
2. British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Anthony Eden had attended President Roosevelt’s funeral service at the White House on April 14 and was preparing to attend the United Nations Conference on International Organization scheduled to convene in San Francisco on April 25. On April 18 Eden recorded: “Up early and motored with Edward [Halifax] to War Department where Marshall showed his maps and graphs. This is a function that takes place every morning and it is very well done by specially trained young staff officers. Better than any map room.” What interested Eden most was the chief of staff’s view of the Far East campaign. “Marshall’s stern report forecast a prolonged struggle in the Far East, if conventional weapons only were used. The sober reserve with which he recited his appraisal made it all the more disturbing. He was, I knew, no alarmist.” (The Reckoning: The Memoirs of Anthony Eden, Earl of Avon [Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1965], pp. 610-14.)
3. For more information regarding President Roosevelt’s death, see editorial note #5-095, Papers of George Catlett Marshall [5: 141].
Recommended Citation: ThePapers 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. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), pp. 150-151.