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Report to the Chief, Division of Militia Affairs
October 2, 1911 Boston, Massachusetts
In compliance with instructions from your office in a letter dated July 13, 1911, I have the honor to submit the following report of the duties I have performed, etc., for the period June 1 to September 30, 1911.
I reported for duty to the Adjutant General of Massachusetts on June 3 and found everyone busy with preparation for the extended maneuvers to be held the last week in July. During June and the first three weeks of July, my time was entirely devoted to work in preparation for these maneuvers. I had charge of a number of the arrangements made in the office of the Adjutant General for the organization of a provisional division and the two combatant brigades, the preparation of maps, the leasing of camp sights, etc.
I also conducted a number of tactical walks on Saturdays and Sundays for officers and non-commissioned officers of battalions; gave several lectures; conducted a school of instruction for staff officers of the brigade, method of keeping records of orders issued, messages sent and received, etc. For one week I conducted a series of progressive map problems, or “one sided” war games, for the instruction of one of the brigade commanders. These sessions were about five hours long and a stenographer was used.
During the last week in July, I was assistant to the chief umpire, his Excellency, the Governor, the Commander in Chief, during the maneuvers. I also had charge of a number of details at the Headquarters of the Provisional Division.
During August no schools were held, no instruction given. I was engaged in the preparation of a comprehensive report on the maneuvers, and schedules for the winter training of the troops.
During September I was still engaged in the work on the report, and perfecting schedules for drill instruction, schools, etc. In this month the first meeting of the school for instruction of brigade staff officers was held, the primary object being to instruct these officers in their duties when handling their assembled brigades in the field.
I found during the maneuvers that it was very dangerous to attempt maneuvers involving the handling of brigades, where the troops move constantly from camp to camp, without having given most careful instruction to the brigade staff officers. Heretofore these officers have received little or no instruction in such duties, and are only actively engaged with military matters during the one week of the summer camp. The brigade staffs, therefore, have not a clear conception of their duties, their relations with each other, their commander, and the troops, and consequently there is an utter absence of team work. As I was able, previous to the maneuvers, to give the staff officers of one brigade several evening’s work in practical problems on the map, involving their duties, I had an opportunity of comparing the work of this staff with that of the other brigade, and its effect on the troops was most marked, having a decided influence on the course of the maneuvers.
During the period covered by this report the undersigned had not taken up the routine duties of his position. The early part of the period was entirely devoted to strenuous efforts, exerted to make the summer maneuvers a success. During August and September the time was mostly utilized in preparation for the winter work, investigating and reporting on the methods of conducting business, etc., in the Adjutant General’s office and preparation of reports.
G. C. Marshall, Jr.
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the National Guard Bureau (RG 168), Camps, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed report signed.
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. 57-58.