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To Major General George V. H. Moseley1
April 5, 1934 [Chicago, Illinois]
I am very sorry it was my hard luck not to remain in the Fourth Corps Area and serve under you. I spent a year at Screven, but only had four months at Moultrie before the pleasant trend of my duty with a regiment was disrupted.
The C.C.C. in South Carolina was the most interesting problem of my Army career. I built most of the camps in Florida and Southeastern Georgia—had them largely completed before the boys landed—but in South Carolina I had the opportunity both to build the camps and to get in close contact with the boys.
I have never seen a finer group of young men. And the reserve officers did splendidly. These last I gave a preparatory course of three days with the C.C.C. Company at Moultrie, under a reserve officer, and at post headquarters and in the supply depot on the Charleston side of the harbor. Then those destined to command companies were sent through two or three selected camps, for several days at each, so that they had the benefit of seeing the best items of arrangement or management in these camps. When they actually took over command they had the advantage of a rather broad knowledge of the problem, and their prestige with the boys was protected against the unfortunate results of knowing less of the routine and problems than the boys themselves. I made it unmistakably clear to the Captains that their continuance on this duty would depend entirely on the efficiency of their companies, the administration of the camp, excellence of the mess, morale of the men and work done in the woods. I explained that I could not let personal consideration for them and their financial problems or earnest but unsuccessful efforts to perform their duties, carry any weight with me. I would be compelled to protect the interests of 200 boys, rather than one reserve officer. As a result, they uniformly did well and gave me fine, intelligent support.
I picked out sixteen C.C.C. Ieaders who were R.O.T.C. graduates, and had them all ordered to active duty. These men rendered splendid service.
When you visit Screven or Moultrie there are several officers I would like you to meet and look over with some care. They are all fine men, to be trusted with important jobs.
Major Matthews, battalion commander at Screven.
Major Meyers, Surgeon at Screven—the most effective and expeditious surgeon in handling new drafts that I have come in contact with.
Captain Adams, Adjutant at Moultrie.2
All three of these men did the work of the usual dozen officers in helping me through the development of the C.C.C., as well as in post affairs. They are unusual, and can operate with a minimum of red tape, paper and supervision.
With warm regards,
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Illinois National Guard, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Moseley took command of the Fourth Corps Area on January 13, 1934. Previously he had been commander of the Fifth Corps Area (March 26, 1933, to January 12, 1934) and deputy chief of staff of the army (December 22, 1930, to February 22, 1933).
2. The men mentioned were: Frederick S. Matthews, David A. Myers, and Claude M. Adams.
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. 423-424.