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Major General Charles P. Summerall1 to
The Adjutant General
March 31, 1920 Camp Zachary Taylor, Kentucky
Colonel George C. Marshall, Jr., General Staff.
1. During my service with the First Division, I was intimately associated with Colonel George C. Marshall, Jr., from December 1917 to July 1918. As Operations Officer of the Division, Colonel Marshall was charged with duties of grave responsibility in the training area, in extensive movements of the command and in the operations of the Division in the Ansauville Sector and in the Cantigny Sector. Throughout this period Colonel Marshall displayed high courage, superb loyalty, superior technical skill and thorough mastery of the tactical employment of troops. His tact and sound judgment contributed to the high morale that prevailed in the Division, and he possessed the admiration and confidence of both officers and soldiers. His personality was forceful and appealed to the loyalty and co-operation of every one. He possessed unusual qualities of leadership and administrative ability, and he was conspicuously qualified for the command of a brigade.
2. It is my belief that if he had remained with the Division he would have been recommended and would have received an appointment as a General Officer. I regard him as one of the most efficient officers that I have known and I recommend him for especial consideration for appointment to any grade to which he may be eligible.
C. P. Summerall
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Personal File (201 File), National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
1. Summerall (U.S.M.A., 1892) was commanding the First Division at this time. Between December, 1917, and July, 1918, he had commanded the First Division’s First Field Artillery Brigade. Succeeding Bullard, he commanded the division between July and October, 1918,before moving up to corps commands. He returned to the United States and to the First Division in September, 1919.
In his April 11, 1957, interview, Marshall said of "the iron man" Summerall: "He was the nearest approach to the [Stonewall] Jackson type that I saw in the war. And he was a wonder to watch when the fighting was on as a leader. His influence on the men was tremendous, and my admiration for him was very, very great. . . . I never saw anything to beat him on the battlefield. . . . General Summerall was really unconscious of any feeling of fear." (Marshall Interviews, p. 242.)
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), p. 195.