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To General Adelbert de Chambrun
July 15, 1938 [Washington, D.C.]
The Committee on Arrangements for the Annual Dinner of the Officers of the First Division are very anxious to have you as a guest of honor on that occasion, and they are in hopes that a note from me might help toward influencing you to a favorable decision. I don’t know about that, but I do know that it would be a grand thing if your plans would permit you to accept.1
These fellows in the Division know that you were present at Headquarters during the Cantigny affair, but I doubt if practically any of them have any conception of the important part you played prior to Cantigny in bringing about a practical working solution of our scheme of communications, which remained virtually unchanged throughout the war and undoubtedly had a great deal to do with the successful performance of the Division on important battlefields. Also, I doubt if there are any who realize the calming and steadying influence of your presence during the affair at Cantigny, and the psychological benefits which resulted from your keen sense of humor. All that seems a long time ago—twenty years as a matter of fact—and it would be a delightful thing to listen to your comment on those days.
I was with General Pershing a week during his illness at Tucson, and saw him a few days ago at the Walter Reed Hospital. He is doing famously but moving carefully. He goes out for a short walk every day and for a ride. Will soon move into town. Fox Conner is across the hall from him—or was until day before yesterday when he went off on a final leave prior to retirement. He was operated on this spring for something in regard to his prostate gland, and while on sick leave recuperating from that developed coronary thrombosis. He seems very cheerful, but has a ticklish physical condition on his hands. He and I were to have been a special board this spring for final consideration of the reorganization—material reduction in strength—of the Infantry Division.2 His illness blocked that, and I was not brought into Washington from the Northwest until a week ago.
With warm regards to Madame de Chambrun and yourself,
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, General Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. No reply to this letter has been found, but de Chambrun spoke at the dinner given on March 11, 1939, at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Marshall, master of ceremonies on that occasion, said of de Chambrun’s contribution during the World War: “I doubt if any single individual, other than the highest commanders, played a more important part towards the general success of the Allies." (GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Speeches].)
2. See Marshall to Walker, December 21,1937, and Marshall to Conner, January 7,1938, (Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #1-463 [1: 572-3], and #1-467 [1: 576]).
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. 614.