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To Major General Adna R. Chaffee
April 7, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]
Our plan for dealing with disturbances, such as those which may arise in the mining area of Eastern Kentucky as outlined by you in your letter of April 3d, places on the Corps Area Commander the responsibility for observing and reporting on conditions which might require federal intervention. He is also charged with the preparation of plans to meet these emergencies.1 However, as you point out, your troops are practically the only ones at his disposal for such use, and I was, therefore, glad to have your report.
In the event of a decision to employ troops it would probably be necessary to release a portion of your command to the Corps Area Commander.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. Chaffee had written to Marshall that 14,000 members of the United Mine Workers (U.M.W.) in Harlan and Bell counties had struck the mines after their contract expired, an action that resulted in violence and several casualties. Governor Keen Johnson of Kentucky emphasized the importance of his state’s coal production to the nation’s defense industries and his lack of police and National Guard troops. For these reasons, Johnson informed Chaffee that he might need federal troops. (Chaffee to Marshall, April 3, 1941, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
2. The bituminous coal operators accepted the U.M.W. position on the union shop and troops were not sent into Kentucky. (Byron Fairchild and Jonathan Grossman, The Army and Industrial Manpower, a volume in the United States Army in World War II [Washington: GPO, 1959], p. 67.)
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. 468,