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To Mrs. Egbert Armstrong1
May 16, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]
. . . I am sorry you have been so jostled about of late. Of course these sudden changes are old stuff to me, but I gained experience and acquired a philosophy in more youthful days. I never realized how matter-of-fact one can become in such matters until I took Marie down to Fort Benning, Georgia, with me. She had never moved from the time she had married; I was moving into a new post, and of course a new house—actually old as the hills, 1850, but the nicest one I have ever had.
We arrived after dark, and the next morning, immediately following breakfast with friends, we adjourned to the quarters assigned me. I had directed that the freight be delivered at that hour and that a detail of men be on hand to assist. Dividing the latter into three groups, I put one at uncrating in the yard, one at unwrapping and wiping off, and the third at carrying furniture, boxes and barrels into the house; the barrels were to go on the kitchen porch, the boxes spread out in a glassed-in porch, and the furniture into the rooms I indicated, having given them names in a quick survey with those detailed to the carrying duty. Marie was to sit in the house and merely assist in directing the furniture to the various rooms. Under no circumstances was she to endeavor to arrange it at that time— merely to get it into the right room and out of the line of traffic. The formal arrangement would come at the last hour in the afternoon.
I was out in the yard checking off the crates and boxes, overseeing the uncrating, etc., and directing the carrying party as to what room each item was to go to. A darkey soldier came up to me and said: “Say Colonel, you better go into the house, that lady in there is goin’ crazy." I found Marie trying to choose a precise spot for some item, with a line of men holding up tons of stuff awaiting her decision. Her only explanation to me for failure to follow my directions was, “I never heard of such a thing!“. . .
Document Copy Text Source: Katherine T. Marshall Collection, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Mrs. Armstrong (born Catharine Lindsey) was a childhood friend from Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Two omitted paragraphs refer to a possible visit by the Armstrongs.
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. 318-319.