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To Major General Edward W. Nichols
July 8, 1922 Washington, D.C.
My dear General:
I appreciate more than I can tell you your continued desire to have me at V.M.I., and I am exceedingly sorry that I do not think it would be possible to arrange this detail.1 Under the law, I have to go to troops in a year and a half. Furthermore, I have been trying to get a release from General Pershing for some time in order that I might return to troops. I have been held on detail for so many years that it is quite essential for me to spend a long time with troops, and as there are now so few organizations in the army and so many officers in proportion to the number of organizations, it is essential that I get in my tour with troops as soon as possible; but as I stated before, the law would make my detail impossible.
I do not know at this time just what can be done about Arthur Shipp, but General Farnsworth, of course, could give you a better idea than I can. However, if it is your wish, as I assume it is, I shall leave no stone unturned to secure his detail.
I had dinner with Locke last night and he told me a great deal about finals and what a splendid artillery and cavalry drill the Corps put out.2 It is a matter of great regret to me that I was not present this year, as I certainly will be next year.
With warmest regards to Mrs. Nichols and yourself, and with my very sincere thanks for your offer to take me,
G. C. Marshall, Jr.
Document Copy Text Source: Alumni File, Virginia Military Institute Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
1. Nichols’s letter to Marshall dated July 4, stated that half the cadets at the V.M.I. were in the Infantry R.O.T.C. unit and that this unit was "the more valuable from the standpoint of discipline and we wish to foster it." The best way to do this was to appoint an infantryman as commandant and professor of military science and tactics. Major General Charles S. Farnsworth (U.S.M.A., 1887), the chief of Infantry and former pupil of Marshall’s at the School of the Line (1908-9), "will help me in this. My preference is in the order of their names: (a) George C. Marshall. (b) Arthur M. Shipp. Can you help me?" (Nichols to Marshall, July 4, VMI/RG 2.)
2. Lieutenant Colonel Morris E. Locke, Field Artillery, was a member of the General Staff at this time.
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. 212-213.