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To Major General John L. Hines
December 23, 1925 Tientsin, China
My dear General:
Your letter, which came a long time back, was tremendously appreciated by Mrs. Marshall and myself. But I purposely did not acknowledge earlier because I know something of the volume of your correspondence, and did not wish to become a portion of that burden. However, this is a Xmas letter to recall that historic and cheerful period of Gondrecourt and Demange-aux-eaux. That seems a long time ago, which it was; but, if the steam heat and ladies of the family were eliminated, today in China is not so very different from that earlier period. The daily sound of the guns booming is the same and has continued for two weeks;1 the exciting rumors are of the same nature; the young officers are pulling on the leash in the same old way to get the detail for the International Train or for patrols going in the apparent direction of trouble; even the struggle to procure turkeys for the Christmas dinner is the same. A wireless has just been despatched to our isolated company at Tongshan, 85 miles away, that with the turning back of the International Train last night before it reached Taku or Tongku, under threat of bombardment, the hope of sending them their Xmas turkeys has gone glimmering, and the local purchase of chickens is authorized.
My enjoyment of service out here grows with each month. The work is interesting, the conditions exciting and the time flies. Mrs. Coles and Mrs. Marshall also like it, especially the shopping.
Some day will you do a little favor for me? When you are riding near that farm house where all the orphan kids hold out,2 will you stop long enough to give that very kindly and motherly woman my regards—and any of the children who were there in my time. They were a nice, wholesome lot and I would like them to feel that I had not forgotten their existence.
With my affectionate regards to Mrs. Hines and you,
G. C. Marshall, Jr.
Document Copy Text Source: John L. Hines Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Handwritten letter signed.
1. General Feng had made an agreement with one of Chang’s disaffected subordinates, Kuo Sung-ling, who commanded some of the Fengtien army’s best troops. On November 27, Kuo and Feng declared war on Chang. Kuo moved toward Mukden, but was defeated and executed on December 23. Feng attacked the Fengtien garrison at Tientsin.
2. Presumably, Marshall was referring to a house in the Fort Myer, Virginia, area.
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. 283.