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To Major General Ewing E. Booth1
December 23, 1937 Vancouver Barracks, Washington
I have just come in from a before Breakfast ride to find your note of December 20th regarding my hospitalization. The facts are this: I went in the Letterman2 last January feeling better than I ever had but due for a corrective operation for a minor goiter of about fifteen years standing. I made a very quick recovery and was back to normal in heart, blood pressure and BMR inside of ten days. As a matter of fact, all the preliminary tests would show me normal on the last two items, which made the diagnosis rather difficult for the doctors.
Since then I have done two big maneuvers, innumerable fishing and hunting trips, and am riding and playing golf daily. So, I am not the subject for much sympathy, but I do appreciate your interest.
I know how these rumors go. Recently I received a letter from a friend in Washington who said he understood I was crippled. I have often been crippled financially, but not yet physically. . . .
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Vancouver Barracks, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Booth, who had known Marshall since 1906, when Booth was an instructor at Fort Leavenworth, had written: “I had a rumor the other day that you had been in the hospital in Washington, D.C. I am sure that there was nothing serious but I would be delighted to hear from you regarding it any way. You know that as soon as we get along about 50 if we have a bad cold every one has us dying." (Booth to Marshall, December 20, 1937, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Vancouver Barracks].) Rumors of ill health could, and a poor medical examination report would, significantly reduce if not eliminate a senior officer’s chances of promotion. Marshall’s care in this matter is evident in his letters to Morrison C. Stayer of October 18, 1938, January 15, and February 11, 1939, (Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #1-518 [1: 638-9], #1-545 [1: 682-4], and #1-556 [1: 696-7]). The omitted third of this letter was Christmas greetings to Major General and Mrs. Booth.
2. Letterman General Hospital, San Francisco, California.
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. 574-575.