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To the Chief, Division of Militia Affairs
February 1, 1912 Boston, Massachusetts
I have just received official notification that I am to be relieved from my present duties May 1st and returned to duty with my proper organization. I therefore have the honor to respectfully request that in relieving me from duty here on May 1st the order be so worded as to permit me to draw commutation of quarters, fuel and light until August 31, 1912, for the following reasons:-
On reporting here for duty last summer I found that the lease year commenced either September or October 1st and that they would make no exception in my case. I also found it impossible to lease any quarters (except in expensive apartment hotels) with a provision in the lease which would permit me to cancel the lease on two months notice—similar to the usual provision in all Washington leases. I even offered to pay ten percent more rent in consideration for some such provision. I had reason to feel that my present detail was for two years under ordinary circumstances, and I now find myself confronted with the proposition of paying $200 out of my pay, for the four months beginning May 1st. The reliable realestate [sic] dealers here, and others, inform me that it is practicably impossible to sublease the ordinary apartments in Boston for the summer months, as every one here leaves town for nearby shore resorts.
Without request or application on my part I have been moved about so frequently during the past eighteen months that I have been subjected to very heavy extra expenses. I left Fort Leavenworth in August 1910, sttled at Madison Barracks February 1, 1911, was ordered away from there March 8, 1911; settled here in Boston last summer; and am now to pack up again and leave here May 1st. Furthermore, despite strict economy, I have found it almost impossible to maintain myself on my present detail in a manner suitable to the position I hold, and live within my pay. This last condition I fully expected when I came here and was prepared to make the best of it, but I think this prospective extraordinary expense, considered in connection with the frequent moves I have been ordered to make recently, justifies me in hoping for some special consideration. Such unusual expenses are wholly out of keeping with the pay of a first lieutenant of Infantry.1
G. C. Marshall, Jr.
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the National Guard Bureau (RG 168), Camps, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Author-typed letter signed.
1. The pay of a first lieutenant with five years in grade, which Marshall would have after March 7, 1912, was $183.33 per month. Marshall’s letter prompted the War Department to change its plans. The army chief of staff decided to reassign him, and seven other similarly affected inspector-instructors, only after the National Guard’s summer encampments in their respective states. (Major William J. Snow [acting chief, Division of Militia Affairs] to the Chief of Staff, February 9, 1912, NA/RG 168 [Camps].)
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. 69-70.