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To Major General Frank R. McCoy
[March 9, 1938] Tucson, Arizona
Katherine forwarded your recent letter—after reading it, apparently, and I was delighted to receive it here. I arrived Sunday after flying from Portland to Washington, and found General Pershing starting on the road to recovery—but pathetically weak. He has improved each day. At first I could see him only a few minutes at a time, but now I can visit with him for a half hour at a time. No one but Miss May Pershing, Warren and I have seen him—except the medical folk.1
Warren’s fiancee is arriving by plane Friday morning. Adamson—his secretary—arrives tomorrow.
Katherine and I were due in Honolulu for February, but the N.Y. Times announcement of a board Fox Conner and I were to form a board for reorganization of the division in February [sic]. So we called off the trip. Then Conner went into the hospital and the board report from San Antonio was delayed, so Katherine and I arranged to leave for Del Monte and Carmel, Cal., a week ago last Monday. Molly had gone on to Honolulu. Instead, I left on an hours notice for Washington and Katherine is alone.
I plan to leave here Friday or Saturday.
I wish we could see you and Francis. We must get together. I fear I go to Washington this summer. If so Katherine will go to Fire Island until the fall, and then settle in Washington. I know she will insist on having you weekend with her down there, and I will get the chance to see you.
Craig talks of War Plans Division, but I am a country boy who rides every morning before breakfast, walks in the woods every evening, or runs about the mountains or down the sea coast inspecting and playing. With affectionate regards to you both,
G. C. Marshall
Document Copy Text Source: Frank R. McCoy Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Handwritten letter signed.
1. Marshall was writing from the Desert Sanatorium, where General Pershing had been in critical condition. On February 26, Marshall had left Vancouver Barracks for Washington, D.C., soon after receiving an order from Chief of Staff Craig to report for special duty in connection with Pershing’s affairs. Two days before, Captain George E. Adamson had written to Marshall: “Of course it is very difficult to think about the General being in a critical condition, but it is something to which we should now give some thought. He has always been so vital that it has never occurred to me that the time would come when his closest friends would be called upon to pay their last tribute of respect. Confidentially, I took up with General Craig’s aide yesterday, Colonel Summers, who in turn talked it over with the Chief of Staff, the question of your being ordered to Tucson in case a critical situation arises. General Craig was rather of the opinion that this should be done at once, but in view of the more favorable reports I thought that it might be premature to take this action. The General has spoken to me about certain details, among which was that he desired you to take charge of arrangements in the event of his passing on.” (Adamson to Marshall, February 24, 1938, LC/J. J. Pershing Papers [General Correspondence].)
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. 582-583.