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To the Military Secretary, Southwestern Division
September 26, 1905 Fort Clark, Texas
Respectfully returned to the Military Secretary, S. W. Division, through the Adjutant, Fort Clark, Texas. While this letter has already caused considerable clerical work I do not care to drop the matter with the following statement of the Chief Comsy. of the Dept. in the 5th End. hereon remaining as an apparently accepted fact: “By comparing these papers with that part of Lieut. Marshall’s letter of August 31, 1905, to the Military Secretary of the Southwestern Division which refers to the purchase of rations, it is thought the letter will show a varying from the facts.”1
To me the conclusion of the foregoing is a most serious charge questioning my veracity and my status as an officer and a gentleman.
I have most carefully gone over the copy of my letter to the Dept. Com’sy., its appended endorsements and my remarks in the within communication and I fail to see wherein I have varied from the facts in the smallest particular. Following the above extract from the 5th Endorsement is the following: “His letter to this office did not ask for rations to be shipped, nor would I have any authority to have authorized such shipments, but he infered the shipments would be made from Fort Clark." There is absolutely nothing in the within letter referring to any request by me to the Dept. Comsy. for authority to have rations shipped me and therefore I fail to see the reason for the foregoing statement.
I fully understand he had no authority to authorize such shipments and had applied direct to the Engineer Officer of the S W Division to secure it for me which he did. I think that if the copies of the endorsements on my letter to the Chief Comsy. of the Dept., on June 23 -05, are read it will be seen that at the conclusion of that correspondence no arrangements had been accomplished whereby I could purchase rations in the field as it was intended for me to do.
I saw the Post Commissary at this post yesterday and he stated that he now has no way of or authority for making arrangements for me to purchase rations in the field nor had he had any since I started on this work.
After seeing the course to be followed in purchasing forage outlined by the Chief Quartermaster of the Dept., after the receipt of this letter I suppose that would be the method to be followed in purchasing rations, but that information was never furnished me or the Post Commissary here.
I do not care to appear in the light of a complainer no[r] as attempting to deceive by incorrect or false statements and I feel confident that if these papers are carefully reread I will be be found guilty of neither. I have completed my work on the military map and there is no further necessity of purchasing rations &c. by me, but I respectfully request that careful consideration be given this matter as it now stands.2
G. C. Marshall, Jr.
Document Copy Text Source: Records of United States Army Continental Command (RG 393), Southwestern Division, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Handwritten letter signed.
1. Captain Samuel B. Bootes was chief commissary of the Department of Texas. His concern was that regulations stipulated that purchases in the field be made only in emergencies. He did not consider Marshal’s situation to have been an emergency.
2. Marshall went to see Brigadier General Jesse M. Lee, a Civil War veteran who commanded the Department of Texas. The matter was settled, hut it had required fourteen indorsements of Marshal’s original August 31 letter and nine weeks of paperwork. Special Orders, No. 134, was issued declaring that Marshal’s purchases had been made under emergency conditions, and the $52.12 was paid.
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. 33-34.