The George C. Marshall Papers

George C. Marshall to Major General Edward W. Nichols

My dear General:–

I have your letter of January 16th and I sincerely appreciate the honor you do me in expressing a desire to have me as Commandant.[1]
While my present detail does not expire until June 1913 I have almost decided to ask to be relieved at the close of the field work next July or August, as I have had an overdose of National Guard instruction work during the past five years and hardly feel equal to the exacting strain of another year of it.
Because of the details that have been given me since 1906 I am not in a position to ask for anything but service with troops, and I therefore could not make application for the detail as Commandant at the Institute. However, if you care to ask for my detail and the War Department sees fit to grant your request, the resulting order would be very pleasing to me.
I regret that on both occasions you have written me in regard to this matter I have had to make such circuitous replies.
Mrs. Coles and Mrs. Marshall join me in warmest regards.

Very respectfully yours,

G. C. Marshall, Jr.
VMI/Alumni File; T
    [1]Nichols said: "I write to ask if you would like to have the position. we wanted you, you recall, three years ago." (VMI/RG 2.) Originally Nichols wanted Morris E. Locke (V.M.L, 1899), one of Marshall's classmates at Fort Leavenworth, 1906–8, and a captain in the Third Field Artillery, as commandant of cadets at the Virginia Military Institute, but Chief of Staff Leonard Wood rejected this request. College details were limited to lieutenants of over five years service because of "the great number of captains detached from their regiments, resulting in a loss of efficiency which was so marked as to require remedy." (Nichols to Wood, January 6, 1912; Wood to Nichols, January 10, 1912, NA/RG 165 [OCS].)