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Major General Edward W. Nichols
to George C. Marshall
November 22, 1915 [Lexington, Virginia]
My dear Marshall:-
. . . With reference to young Williams, we should, of course, be delighted to have him with us at the beginning of another year. . . .1
Now as to the personal reference to yourself. I know of no one in the army of your grade who stands higher. You will perhaps recall the conversation I had with Gen. Weaver about you when, a few years ago, I was trying to secure your services here.2 Now my dear fellow, I would think twice and think long before I gave up my commission were I in your place. You are an eminent success in your present line of endeavor, highly esteemed by every one who knows you and with a standing in the service of the very highest bar none.
Beside, every indication points here to a material increase in the regular establishment. The plan of the administration recently made public contemplates among other things an increase of fifteen regiments in the infantry. This will give you a captain’s commission and obviate the stagnation arising from so large a number of your age and grade.
I would advise you to stick to it. If you do I am very sure in time you will be among the high ranking officers in the service. . . .
Yours very cordially,
Document Copy Text Source: Record Group 2, Virginia Military Institute Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Edwin J. Williams graduated with the V.M.I. class of 1920.
2. Brigadier General Erasmus M. Weaver was chief of the Coast Artillery Corps. Nichols may have meant Major General William H. Carter rather than Weaver. (See Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #1-056 [1: 70-71] Marshall to Nichols, February 3, 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), p.96.