The George C. Marshall Papers


George C. Marshall to Brigadier General Scott Shipp

My dear General,

I see by the Army and Navy Journal that Major Strother has been ordered away from the Institute.[1]
Now, while I feel that you will consider that I have not enough years on my shoulders yet, I wish to tell you that I would like myself to be considered as an applicant for the detail as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at the Institute now, or at any other time the position may become vacant. I am putting this in the form of a personal letter to you as I do not care to have my name submitted to the Board of Visitors as an applicant for the detail unless accompanied by your recommendation. If you do not see fit to recommend me then the subject can be dropped with the receipt of this letter by you.
Circular No. 101, War Department, series 1905, states that no officer having less than five years service is eligible for the detail. On September 2nd next I will lack five months of having five years service. If this application should be favorably considered I feel sure the War Department would waive the point as I would lack by such a short period of having completed the necessary five years. Please be perfectly frank with me, General, and do not try to avoid hurting my feelings as I really am not at all optimistic about the probable result of this application.
I was much pleased to see of Arthur's detail as A.D.C., to General Buchanan.[2] It is a sure and very flattering sign of his efficiency and popularity.
I spent the past summer in southwestern Texas along the Pecos River and the Rio Grande making a topographical map. The heat was terrific and the country a rocky desert covered with a network of deep canons. I never expect to suffer again such hardships as I did there, but I feel partly repaid since I received a letter from the Chief Engineer Officer of the Division complimenting me on my map and saying it was the best one received and the only complete one. I had a full four months leave after finishing in Texas and went up to New York by boat from New Orleans.[3]
Nicholson,[4] of my class at the Institute, was to have been married at the time I went through New Orleans and had asked me to be best man, but the yellow fever caused the wedding to be postponed.
After my long rest I returned here to find little time for anything but work as I am adjutant, in command of my company and judge-advocate of a general court. Mrs. Coles mentions seeing you, in her letters very frequently. I expect her to arrive here with Mrs. Marshall in about two weeks.[5]
Hoping this will find you enjoying the best of health, believe me,

Faithfully yours,

VMI/Alumni File; T
    [1]Lewis H. Strother (V.M.I., 1877), Twenty-eighth Infantry, was professor of military science and commandant of cadets, 1903–5.
    [2]Arthur M. Shipp (V.M.I., 1897), Superintendent Scott Shipp's younger son, was a first lieutenant in the Twentieth Infantry in the Philippines. On October 16, 1905, he had been appointed aide-de-camp to Brigadier General James A. Buchanan, temporary commander of the Department of Mindanao. By the time Marshall wrote, Shipp had left the Philippines for the United States.
    [3]Marshall was on leave from September 27, 1905, to January 26, 1906.
    [4]Leonard K. Nicholson (V.M.I., 1901), Marshall's roommate all four years at V.M.I., was heir to the New Orleans Times-Picayune Publishing Company. Marshall thought his roommate remarkable because he never lost his temper. (Marshall Interview, p. 117.)
    [5]A story in the Rockbridge County (Virginia) News indicates that Lilly Marshall left Lexington, Virginia, to join her husband in January 1904.]