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To Major General Roy D. Keehn
January 18, 1936 [Chicago, Illinois]
My dear General:
Roy was just in to see me and spoke of a wire he had received stating that you were improving daily.1 This is good news, indeed, and I do hope you find relaxation in the Florida sun. Up here there has been little or no sun— sort of a general gloom, and today a snow blizzard seems to be starting up.
General Hammond has been in Washington all week struggling against the Quartermaster General’s formal turn down of that heating installation—based on a very adverse report of the civilian engineer who had been causing the trouble.
Lawton came in two days ago, much pleased with his promotion.2 He said he had wired you the night before. That came as a surprise to me, though, of course, I knew from what you had told me, that he had been working hard to get it.
The 8th Infantry was inspected last Tuesday night. They got a very complete and thorough going over. The inspection of all ordnance by the members of the Ordnance Company was a most successful innovation. The Ordnance fellows were pleased to be in the picture and what they did will be productive of good results—for the regiment and for them.
Colonel Warfield seemed much pleased with the affair, and his people made a creditable showing.3 The Division Staff put up a much more workmanlike job than last year, and got in their reports the same evening.
The 202nd will be inspected next Tuesday, and I understand they have been making large preparations.
The final choice of Chief of the National Guard Bureau came as a complete surprise. I understand he is an excellent man—though I do not recall having met him. Anyway, you are well out of it.4
Governor Horner seems to be making quite a fight. I understand he has a pretty good organization set up in all the down state counties and is assured of their strong support. Boyle told me that the Lake County Chairman told him that Lake County would solidly support Horner, and he thought the other counties would do the same.5 However, I am in ignorance in such matters, and have little idea of what is actually going on.
General McCoy has made frequent inquiries regarding you. He fully understood your final decision in the matter of the National Guard Bureau.
Mrs. Marshall is well, and she and I have been having long walks in the snow, and in the Forest Preserve south of Des Plaines, on Sunday mornings, exercising an Irish setter puppy—five months old.
With affectionate regards,
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Illinois National Guard, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Captain Roy D. Keehn, Jr., commanded the elite Black Horse Troop (Troop E) of the 106th Cavalry.
2. On January 14, Colonel Samuel T. Lawton, 122nd Field Artillery, was promoted to brigadier general and assigned to command the 58th Field Artillery Brigade.
3. Colonel William J. Warfield commanded the Eighth Infantry headquarters in Chicago.
4. Keehn had been seriously considered for the post of chief of the National Guard Bureau, but he decided against it. (Malin Craig to Marshall, January 6, 1936, GCMRL/C. C. Marshall Papers [Illinois National Guard].) Major General Albert H. Blanding, commander of the Thirty-first Division in Florida, became chief of the National Guard Bureau on January 31, 1936.
5. Henry Horner was reelected governor of Illinois for the 1937-41 term. Captain Leo M. Boyle served with the Quartermaster section at Thirty-third Division headquarters in Chicago.
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. 484-486.