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To Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.
September 28, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
Dear Mrs. Roosevelt:
I appreciate very much your note concerning the ceremony in honor of Ted last week, and I will gladly see that the other officers who were present are made aware of your gracious comment.1
The recommendation for the Medal of Honor was originated with the Fourth Division, but the citation that reached the War Department was apparently written in the First Army Headquarters, and therefore General Bradley was responsible for it. It was approved here substantially as submitted with very minor changes.
I was much moved the other morning by thoughts going back more than twenty seven years to my first meeting with Ted in Gondrecourt on the arrival of the headquarters of the First Division in that dreary little town, and they carried me through my personal arrangements with him for the first American raid actually led by his brother, Archie, and during which I was present with him—actually under the instructions of General Sibert to see that he, Ted personally, did not participate, in addition to his brother.2 Incidentally, the scene of that raid is the scene today of heavy fighting in Patton’s Army.
There was also recalled to my mind his appearance in my dugout on his relief from the front line at Cantigny, to get permission to search for you in Paris—he having just learnt of the German crash-through from the Chemin des Dames, and that further and final war contact of ours when he appealed to me to get him out of his job at Langres and back to the front, and I arranged to have him rejoin his old regiment in time for the Sedan rush, incidentally, under circumstances which caused him to be carried as absent without leave.
All this coupled with his final great display of warrior spirit naturally made a deep impression on me, accentuated by this magnificent climax to his earthly career. You should be very proud.
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. Brigadier General Roosevelt had died in Normandy on July 12, 1944, of a heart attack. The Medal of Honor was awarded for his leadership during the assault landings on June 6, 1944. Concerning the initial actions on the Medal of Honor award, see Marshall Memorandum for the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, July 24, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-464 [4: 533-34]. The medal presentation ceremony was on September 21. Mrs. Roosevelt wrote: “Ted’s citation was one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I have ever seen, especially the part referring to ‘his seasoned, precise, calm and unfaltering leadership.’ I wonder if I might know someday just who wrote that.” (Roosevelt to Marshall, September 23, 1944, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
2. Marshall comments on this November 1917 affair in Memoirs of My Service in the World War, 1917-1918 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1976), pp. 50-52.
Recommended Citation: ThePapers 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. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 611-612.