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General Malin Craig to George C. Marshall
December 1, 1936 Washington, D.C.
My dear George:
I am delighted to have your cheerful note of November 26th.1 I naturally have followed you from the time you left Chicago up to date, and I know you are getting along all right.
May I suggest that you take an early opportunity to drive over to Salem and call on General George White and General Tom Rilea, of the 41st Division.2 White is one of the strongest backers we have and he has changed a good deal in his characteristics since shortly after the War, when he was a little hot headed. These men are both good soldiers and, as I say, will be worth a whole lot to you if you ever need any help. You will naturally find a great deal to interest you in Vancouver, and I personally believe that your contacts and experience will be worth far more to you eventually than had you gone back to take a brigade of the First Division, which might have seemed in order.
You are in a position, George, to keep me informed of your wishes, with the certain knowledge that I will accomplish them for you in so far as lies in my power. I think, between you and me and the fence, you will have to keep in touch with your Division Commander and put some thoughts into his head which will be calculated for him to consider as his own original ideas.3
Dave Stone is a classmate of mine and I love him dearly but he sometimes gives me a pain in the neck. Yesterday he wrote a long letter in here, some four pages, about the heart-breaking of an Aide of his who ought to go to Leavenworth; stated that the morale of these men was affected and that their careers were ruined if they could not go to these schools. I sent him word that he was peculiarly in a position to counteract this lowered morale by throwing out his chest and making the statement, which everybody knows is correct, that he himself managed to scrape through No. 59 in a class of 59 at West Point; that he had never been to any school in his life, and that he was, as everybody could see, a Major General in good standing.
As a matter of fact the school situation is a serious proposition and I am now working on a scheme to throw the onus from my own shoulders to the shoulders of the individuals who are so anxious to go to school. I believe we can figure it out so that each man who is eligible can be notified by the Adjutant General that he is eligible and that he is entitled to apply for an examination test if he desires to qualify, and then have his examination conducted in writing wherever the man is; the papers marked by the board at Leavenworth, and the winners, if their records are all right, given the call.
I can see that pretty house of yours and I believe that Mrs. Marshall will know how to keep the flowers growing and keep it more attractive. A large part of your time will be taken up with CCC inspections and activities. This may be an old story to you but the success of that movement depends upon constant inspections and holding up the standard. I seem to have drifted into a lecture, but I do not mean it that way.
Please remember me kindly to Mrs. Marshall and let me hear from you once in awhile. I always open my own mail and write my own letters, though naturally I am a little slow now and then, as my desk is pretty well crowded.
I saw General Pershing recently and the old gentleman looks quite as well as I have ever seen him look. He is, however, a little feeble, which is noticeable in his walk.
Again, with best wishes and good luck and thanks for your letter.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Vancouver Barracks, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
1. This letter was not found in the Marshall papers.
2. Major General George A. White, the adjutant general of Oregon, commanded the National Guard’s Forty-first Division Brigadier General Thomas E. Rilea, commander of Oregon’s Eighty-second Infantry Brigade, served as vice-president (1934-35) and president (1935-36) of The National Guard Association of the United States.
3. Major General David L. Stone (U.S.M.A., 1898) commanded the Third Division at Fort Lewis, Washington (September 22, 1936-March 30, 1937).
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. 516-517.