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To Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.
July 14, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
Dear Mrs. Roosevelt,
I learned late last night of Ted’s death in France.1 You have all of my sympathy.
Ever since I met him on my arrival with the headquarters of the First Division at Gondrecourt in July, 1917, I have felt that we had a close bond of understanding between us. The first raid in the Ansauville sector which he directed and Archie2 led, the early days in the Toul sector and the heavy fighting around Cantigny and later at Soissons, built up in me a great admiration for his courageous leadership and his willingness to give his all to the Army and for the country.
His final service in the fighting in France of 1918 in the grand rush on Sedan and the March to the Rhine marked him as one of the great battalion and regimental commanders of that vast Army. And in this war, in Tunisia and on the beachhead at Gela, he displayed the same fighting, courageous spirit. I am happy in the thought that he had the satisfaction of going into France in the first wave and that if he was to be stricken down it should come in the midst of the fighting.
I know you are a woman of great courage, but this blow will nevertheless be a very hard one for you to bear. However, you have so very much of which to be proud in husband and sons and Ted has left for you and for the country such a wonderful example of good citizenship and in courage and self-sacrifice that you may find a solace for your grief.3
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 Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., died on July 12, 1944, of a heart attack at the Fourth Division command post in the Normandy area. (New York Times, July 14, 1944, p. 1.)
2. Archibald B. Roosevelt was Theodore, Jr.’s, brother.
3. Roosevelt was awarded the Medal of Honor; see Marshall Memorandum for Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, July 24, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-464 [4: 533-34].
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), p. 522.