The George C. Marshall Papers


George C. Marshall to Major General Edward W. Nichols

My dear General Nichols–

As I have heard nothing from you since your letter of last June, addressed to me at Galveston, regarding the detail as Military Instructor at the Institute, I am wondering if you could have been offended at my delay in answering. I was absent on leave from Galveston at the time your letter arrived there, and on my return I only had time to telegraph you in reply, as I left immediately for San Francisco. I believe I wrote to you from San Francisco.
Upon my arrival in Manila I was put to work on the problem of the mobile defense of the elaborate fortifications at the entrance to Manila Bay, and was made Adjutant General of the force organized for this purpose—all this in addition to the performance of my regular regimental duties. As this force consists of the bulk of the mobile organizations in the Islands—infantry, artillery (mountain), Scouts, Engineers, &c., all at war strength, it involved considerable extra work on my part. When the annual maneuvers occurred in January, I went out as Chief of Staff of the force which put to sea, landed on the beach at Batangas and Lucena and advanced on Manila (60 miles) representing an invading force hostile to the U.S.
You can gather some idea of the difficulties involved in landing, thru the surf, 1100 animals, 125 vehicles, 130,000 rations, 20 days forage, &c. However, I think we pretty convincingly licked the other side (7th Cav., 8th Cav., 8th Inf., Bn. F.A., Scouts Engrs., &c.) When the campaign was completed Gen. Bell gave me two months sick [leave] in which to regain a few lost pounds, and Mrs. Marshall and myself came up here for the cold weather.[1] I have applied for two months regular leave and we expect to go thru Korea, Manchuria (to see all the battle fields) and on down the China Coast to Hong Kong, reaching Manila about June 15th.
Both of us are feeling splendidly and enjoying every moment of the trip.
My tour out here will be completed June 15th, 1916, by which time I hope to have been promoted. We plan to return by the trans-Siberian Ry., and to spend a long time in France, as I hope to be attached to a French regiment for a year.
Mrs. Marshall joins me in warmest regards to Mrs. Nichols and yourself.

Very respectfully yours,

G. C. Marshall, Jr.
VMI/Alumni Pile; H
    [1]On February 5 Marshall entered the military hospital in Manila with an illness diagnosed as "neurasthenia, subacute." He remained hospitalized until February 15. ("Statement of medical history . . . ," May 6, 1916, NA/RG 94 [Document File].) Because of his wife's heart condition, during his tour of duty in the Philippines, Marshall had her go to Japan for about three months each year during Manila's tropical summer. (Marshall Interviews, p. 171.)