The George C. Marshall Papers

George C. Marshall Report to Major Richard C. Marshall[1]

YOUNG Marshall had reason to press vigorously for action: the positions in the expanded army were being filled rapidly. By September 1901, when he was finally able to take the qualifying examination, there were only 142 vacancies for the new lieutenancies and over 10,000 applications on file. (Report of the Secretary of War, 1901, p. 11.)
In April, armed with one of his father's business cards and some letters of introduction, Marshall journeyed to Washington, D.C. There he visited the newly appointed attorney general, Philander C. Knox, a friend of his father; the chairman of the House Military Affairs Committee, John A. Hull, distantly connected with his mother's family by marriage; and finally President McKinley himself. (Marshall Interviews, p. 85.) But these meetings were perhaps less important than the letters of recommendation his father had persuaded the Republican senators from Pennsylvania, Boies Penrose and Matthew S. Quay, to write to the War Department. (Copies of the documents concerning Marshall's efforts to obtain permission to take the test are in NA/RG 94 [Document File].)
One of the few extant documents produced by cadet Marshall is a report written at the end of his final year at V.M.I. ☆
George C. Marshall, Sr. (1845-1909).
Laura Bradford Marshall (1846-1928).
George C. Marshall, Jr., about 1885.
First Classman Marshall wearing his furlough coat. General Shipp said of him: "He is of fine physique and soldierlike appearance; a young man of marked character and ability, with natural powers of command and control." (Shipp to Whom It May Concern, January 23, 1901, NA/RG 94 [Document File].)
George C. Marshall, third from the left in the front row, with the V.M.I. cadet staff, 1901.
The Marshall-Coles wedding party poses on the front porch of the bride's Lexington home, where the Episcopal ceremony took place. Left to right are Marie (George's sister), Elizabeth Carter ("Lily") Coles, George C. Marshall, Jr., Stuart (George's brother), Mr. and Mrs. George C. Marshall, Sr., and Mrs. Walter Coles.
Marshall's commission as second lieutenant of Infantry.
Report of the Superintendent of the Mess Hall.


I have the honor to submit the following report on the Mess Hall:
During the time I have had charge of the Mess Hall I have not found it necessary to make any definite complaint to the Quartermaster. On a few occasions I have found reason to call the attention of the head waiter to untidiness in the setting of the tables and any lack of neatness in the dress of the waiters.
The fare is an improvement on that of the last three years, and in my judgment is all that could be expected, except in the manner of cooking the meats. The meat itself appears to be of a good quality, but it seems to have been dried up in the cooking.
To the best of my knowledge, no serious breaches of discipline have so far occurred, and the few minor ones have been reported as far as possible.
The practice of carrying coffee, bread, etc., from the Mess Hall has been entirely broken up. I have no knowledge of any cases of this sort, either officially or unofficially, since it was especially forbidden.

Very respectfully,

VMI, Annual Report of the Superintendent, 1900–1901
    [1]Major Marshall (no relation to George) was a V.M.I. graduate (1898) and the acting commandant of cadets.