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To Mrs. Claude M. Adams
August 24, 1939 [Washington, D.C.]
I enjoyed your letter and sent it on to Katherine at Fire Island,1 though I must admit that your extreme generosity of expressions regarding me make it necessary for me to have a little salt at hand in order to keep my balance. I am afraid that all the publicity I have gotten recently is very harmful to me in the Army. Had I had any idea of the Hagood article, I would not have allowed the Press Section of the War Department to persuade me into cooperating with “Life” regarding their article.2 However, I will have to live it down, but it is going to cause me a lot of trouble.
Flap’s fish arrived at Fort Myer and were much enjoyed; but I had to write to the Express agent down in Mississippi to find out who sent them. It never occurred to me that he was down there.
I know you will enjoy Leavenworth. As for Flap, that will depend on his stepping out of his nerves and sitting in his skin, and refusing to be irritated or to cherish any contemptuous or violent internal disagreement with the attitude of the faculty. You charge yourself to keep him with both his feet on the ground, and remind him that many hundreds have gone through that school, who have tried to reform it on the basis of a few months’ experience, and all the graduates have a very high opinion of the final result.3
The life there socially for you should be delightful, and Flap should enter into it sufficiently to get his mind off “shop.”
Katherine will not return from Fire Island until about the second week in September. I hope to go up there over Labor Day, but it is merely a hope.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Ruth Adams was the wife of Major Claude M. “Flap” Adams, the executive officer at Vancouver Barracks, Washington, when Marshall was there. The letter mentioned was not found in the Marshall papers. On the long association of the Adamses and the Marshalls, see Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #1-304, #1-344, #1-453, #1-498 [1: 377-78, 424, 551, 612-13].
2. Hugh S. Johnson, “The General Staff and Its New Chief,” Life 7 (August 21, 1939): 60-62, 64-68.
3. Adams attended the 1939-40 course of the Command and General Staff School, which began that fall.
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr.(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 39-40.