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To Major General Ernest D. Peek
September 29, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]
I flew in from Louisiana last night and this morning found your note of September 26th. When I was at the maneuvers last week General De Witt had told me of your misfortune and since my return I have had not only your letter but also a letter from him.1 I am terribly sorry you had such hard luck, and I feel badly because it has been induced by the strenuous program I have called on you to meet in the 9th Corps Area. I might tell you that this has happened a number of times in the last six months and on each occasion it has been the direct result of the terrific demands on the individual concerned. Now I do hope that you will follow the safe course and not wreck your health permanently by attempting to rush back to a heavy military burden, or otherwise call heavily on your reserves.
I am arranging to have Lane take over temporary command of the Corps Area, and I think that General Benedict will probably be given the permanent assignment. He now commands a Corps in the Third Army.2
My sympathy goes as much to Anne as to you because I know how deeply she will grieve over your being laid up at this time.
With affectionate regards to you both,
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. Marshall had left Washington on September 25 to inspect the Louisiana maneuvers and had returned on September 28.
Peek, commander of the Ninth Corps Area, had written expressing his appreciation for Marshall’s “kind consideration and message of thoughtfulness” relayed by Lieutenant General John L. De Witt. Peek had been in the hospital since September 9, recovering from a heart attack, and had written to Marshall concerning command during his absence while on sick leave. (Peek to Marshall, September 26, 1941, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) Meanwhile, De Witt had written to Marshall recommending Brigadier General Arthur W. Lane (U.S.M.A., 1905) to command temporarily the Ninth Corps Area pending disposition of Peek’s case. “He hesitated at first to agree that he should give up command of the Corps Area out of loyalty to you,” wrote De Witt. “He felt that he should retain the command if it is possible for him to do so. I told him that was foolish; that in your conversation with me you clearly indicated that you felt he should retire if he had a heart condition.” (De Witt to Marshall, September 25, 1941, ibid.)
2. Major General Jay L. Benedict, superintendent of the United States Military Academy from February 1938 to November 1940, was commander of the Fourth Army Corps at Jacksonville, Florida. He assumed command of the Ninth Corps Area on November 3, 1941.
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), pp. 622-623.