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To Brigadier General John McA. Palmer
December 21, 1927 Fort Benning, Georgia
My dear General John,
I have started several times to acknowledge your note with the carbon of your talk before the Union League Club in Chicago. I think the latter is delightfully done and very interesting. In other words it is on a par with your article comparing the problems of Lincoln and Wilson. With your permission I am going to keep the carbon.1
I have wanted to write and tell you how I find things here at Benning, but my time has been so completely occupied that there has been no previous opportunity. The place is greatly improved since I saw it in 1924. My quarters are the best I have had in the army; my servants seem most satisfactory; there are excellent horses to ride and beautiful trails to go over; the school is splendidly organized and permeated with a fine spirit, but it has kept me humping to familiarize myself sufficiently with the course to make recommendation which has to be submitted now for next year and to have any affect on the present course before May or June.
If you feel the need of going into retirement for rest or writing, I think my house is just the place for you. You can fish, shoot, find lovely walks, or hunt wildcats. I will write more in detail of my life here after I return from Charlotte [North Carolina], where I am going to be with Mrs. Coles for the holidays.
G. C. M.
Document Copy Text Source: John McA. Palmer Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Typed letter signed.
1. Palmer spoke at a luncheon given in his honor on November 10, 1927. His subject was President Lincoln’s army organization and staffing difficulties in 1861-63 compared with the present superior situation. Had the United States Army been better organized in 1860-61, Palmer said, there would have been no war. “The Civil war came solely because the Southern leaders knew that the adverse ballot majority [the North enjoyed because of its larger population] was not negotiable as a bullet majority." The moral was—preparedness prevents war.
The “article comparing the problems of Lincoln and Wilson,” to which Marshall refers, may have been a draft of an essay ultimately to become chapter twenty-seven in Palmer’s Washington, Lincoln, Wilson: Three War Statesmen (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran, 1930).
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. 321.