The George C. Marshall Papers


George C. Marshall to Bernard C. Newman[1]

My dear Mr. Newman:

I have received your note of August fourth and I am sending you a photograph for the Parish House as requested.
Your letter recalled to me the days of my youth when Saint Peter's and Mr. Wightman exercised a profound influence on my character and life. I mentioned Mr. Wightman because while I was a mere boy in my early teens he honored me with his friendship. We often took walks in the country together and I spent many hours with him at the Parish House which had just been constructed.[2]
You are wrong about my singing in the choir. Up to the present day it would be quite impossible for me to qualify for such service. I did engage in church work, soliciting funds, doing odd jobs, but more particularly in pumping the organ until, to be perfectly honest about this business, I was discharged for failing to provide air at a critical moment, having become deeply engaged in a Nick Carter novel. Miss Fannie Howell was my boss upon whom this unpleasant duty fell but I suffered more at home after the event than from Miss Fannie.[3]
Thank you for your letter and for your prayers. I need them.

Faithfully yours,

G. C. Marshall
GCMRL/B. C. Newman Papers
    [1]Newman was rector at Saint Peter's Episcopal Church in Uniontown, Pennsylvania.
    [2]Reverend John R. Wightman, a young minister new to Saint Peter's Church, became an intimate friend of Marshall. The men of Uniontown worked during the day, and Wightman had few male associates and welcomed Marshal's company. (Marshall Interviews, p. 72.)
    [3]United Press released Marshal's account of the organ-pumping incident on September 23, 1943; and the story was published in several newspapers, including the New York Herald Tribune.