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To Major General Edward W. Nichols
June 24, 1909 Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
My dear General:-
I owe you an immediate explanation of my telegram of this morning requesting you to withdraw my name as a candidate for the detail of commandant at the Institute.
From your letter of May 27th I gathered the idea that the Board of Visitors would meet and decide the matter on the 19th. In case I was selected this would give the Department of Engineering here an opportunity to select my successor from among the members of the present Staff Class, who graduate and leave here on June 30th. No telegram having been received up to yesterday morning, the head of the Department, Captain Cole,1 became worried and rather reconsidered his original approval of my trying for the detail at Lexington. For that reason I telegraphed you to find out if the Board of Visitors had already acted on the matter. In case it had I was prepared to leave, but otherwise I would be under obligations to act as I finally did.
I enclose a letter the head of the Department addressed me yesterday which is self explanitory,2 and I trust you will understand my position and approve of my action.
I regret to lose this chance of possibly being detailed at the Institute and trust I may have another opportunity at some future date.
Very respectfully yours,
G. C. Marshall, Jr.
P.S. Please return the enclosed letter
Document Copy Text Source: Alumni File, Virginia Military Institute Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Author-typed letter signed.
1. Captain Edwin T. Cole (U.S.M.A., 1889), Sixth Infantry, was the senior instructor in the Department of Engineering. When Cole died in 1940, Marshall wrote: “He was instrumental in having me selected as Instructor though I was but a young lieutenant at the time and the students were all my seniors, some by many years." (Marshall to Captain Charles M. Delp, February 27, 1940, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, General].)
2. This letter was not found in the Marshall papers or in the Alumni File.
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. 48-49.