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Editorial Note on the Connecticut Maneuver Campaign
In late April Marshall received a list of six officers’ camps to which he was assigned in June and July. On May 3 he left Boston for the first, at St. Augustine, Florida, May 6-10. After Florida, he expected to attend camps at Raleigh, North Carolina; Winchester, Virginia; Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania; New Haven, Connecticut; and West Newbury, Massachusetts, before returning to his station in Boston. (TAG to Marshall, April 22, 1912, NA/RG 393 [Eastern Division, AG].)
On May 9 Marshall was surprised to receive a telegram ordering him to report to Governors Island instead of Raleigh. (Marshall to the Adjutant General, Eastern Division, May 9, 1912, ibid.) He was assigned to temporary duty assisting Brigadier General Tasker H. Bliss, commander of the Eastern Division, in planning and running the Connecticut Maneuver Campaign scheduled for August 10-20.
The scenario Marshall had to develop was that of a surprise invasion by 100,000 troops of a European power landing in Connecticut and marching on New York City. A total of 17,331 officers and men were to participate, including 2,324 Regular and 15,007 National Guard troops. New England (i.e., Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont) would attack troops from New York and New Jersey; Regular Army troops would fight on both sides. (Report of Brigadier General Tasker H. Bliss, NA/RG 94 [Militia].)
Marshall recalled that he had to “develop the maneuver and everything connected with it and still was tied down to the necessity of having very short marches . . . four miles a day, I think, was the first march. Even that took the blisters on all the feet. But it made it very hard to get a tactical problem that was logical with these restrictions in distances. But that was the way it had to be done, because you can’t take a man from behind the counter in a store, put him in heavy marching shoes the next day, and expect him to be able to trudge about the country without just taking all the hide off his feet." (Marshall Interviews, p. 159.)
As the final battle approached, a journalist commented: “That weary looking young gentleman with a single bar on his shoulder strap over there by the umpire’s car is Lieut. G. C. Marshall, the busiest man on the field. May 10 last he was especially detailed to work out this entire campaign; the most effective and satisfactory military movement ever held in this country in time of peace is the child of his brain. Next Monday he will get his first real night’s sleep in weeks." (New York World, August 17, 1912.)
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. 72-73.