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To Major General Edward L. King
May 26, 1933 [Fort Screven, Georgia]
My dear General:
Paragraph 44, Special Orders 119, War Department, C.S., relieves me from duty here immediately and sends me to Moultrie. I have no information on the date Colonel Allen is relieved at Moultrie. My successor Colonel Abraham, is due here after July 1st.1
I do not want to do any thing which might jeopardize my transfer to Moultrie, and so far as my personal affairs are concerned, I can move any day the Quartermaster can provide a van for my freight.
However, there are these official considerations: This is a Forestry District Headquarters. We are deep in establishing Camps, mostly at a considerable distance. My principal assistant Major Matthews is junior to two Majors sent in here for temporary duty.2 Matthews is fully up to the job of handling the District, the Reception Center and the C.M.T.C., but I doubt the complete success of turning all this over on a moments notice to a casual officer unfamiliar with the Post, the District affairs and our C.M.T.C. problem,—which will require some finesse to handle this year.
Moultrie may be in the same predicament, but it is not yet deep in Forestry Camp Construction, which is no path of roses in a swamp region.
I thought that possibly you might see fit to request delay in my departure from here until after July 1st, or at least might authorize me to delay my departure until the last moment of this fiscal year.
I have one company in Camp at Ocala, Florida, another leaving here tomorrow for Camp at Eastport (near Jacksonville, Florida), a camp ready today at Hinesville, Georgia for a Benning Company (they evidently can’t send it immediately), another Camp probably ready Sunday at Homerville, Georgia, for a Georgia Company, another Camp water system, septic tank, etc. is well under way on Sewanee River near Lake City, and work starting today on the Camp at Ocean Pond, Ocala National Forest, near Lake City.
The very few officers I have here have been splendid, each man carries about five jobs, all display fine initiative and I believe, with the absolute minimum of overhead staff, an excellent bit of work has been accomplished. I am now trying to round things out on a more formal basis, and I am ready to put on high speed reconnaissances of new Camp sites when announced, with initiation of most important water and similar installations the same day and hour the reconnaissance officer determines that there is no especial difficulty regarding the proposed camp site.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Fort Screven File, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Marshall was to take command of the Eighth Infantry Regiment, with headquarters at Fort Moultrie, near Charleston, South Carolina. He was replacing Colonel Gilbert M. Allen, who had been detailed as P.M.S.&T. at the University of Florida. Lieutenant Colonel Clyde R. Abraham (U.S.M.A., 1906), at this time a student at the Army War College, was scheduled to take over as commander at Fort Screven on July 1, 1933. Marshall was to be promoted to colonel effective September 1, 1933.
2. Frederick S. Matthews had entered the Regular Army from the Maryland National Guard in 1917. He was a 1932 graduate of the Command and General Staff School.
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. 394-395.