|Creator:||Marshall, Henry G.|
|Title:||Henry G. Marshall World War II correspondence|
|Quantity:||0.8 Linear feet (308 items in 2 document boxes)|
|Abstract:||This collection contains an immense span of World War II correspondence from Henry G. Marshall, mostly to his parents back in Concord, Georgia. He signed his letters "Grady." It follows him throughout the war, beginning with his basic training in Fort Sill, Oklahoma and ending in Bavaria, Germany. Grady gave an extraordinary amount of detail about the war in his writing, much more so than other soldiers in the same period. Box 1 mainly contains letters from Grady's basic training and State-side service, covering May 1941 to December 1943. In July 1943, he was finally stationed overseas in North Africa. He wrote extensively on the weather, his surroundings, and the local culture he encountered. He was also incredibly clear and descriptive about his movements, thoughts, and actions while invading and occupying Italy. He also expressed a good sense of humor, drawing small faces periodically in his letters. In Folder 1:10, an Intelligence Memorandum from the 45th Division at Camp Barkeley describes the standards of censorship in publications and radio. In Folder 1:13, a Premium receipt from Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, based in Atlanta, GA, directed to Grady can be found, as well as two Western Union telegrams. Box 2 mainly contains letters from January 1944 to September 1945. During this time period, Grady participated in many operations, first in North Africa, then Italy, then France, and finally Germany. He was notably less playful (no more drawn faces) but continued to write extensively about his surroundings, his experiences, and the people he met. In Folder 2:20 and 2:21, there are two letters from Grady's mother to him, which were returned to her, because he was back in the States. These are the only two letters in the collection not written by Grady.|
Henry "Grady" Marshall was born in May 1918 and joined the U.S. Army in May 1941 at the age of 23. He served as a staff sergeant in the United States Army and was stationed in North Africa and Europe during World War II. His brother was in the navy during some of the time he was in the service.
Grady was originally from Concord, Georgia, and was first stationed at Fort McPherson, Georgia then Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He went into field artillery and was assigned to the 45th Infantry Division at Camp Barkeley, Texas. He received excellent marks while at basic.
Grady was later sent to Fort Devens, Massachusetts in early 1942, and visited home once in May 1942. He was still in America in 1943 and was stationed in Virginia. Grady seems to have had a fine time in the States, meeting girls and enjoying the service life. He got a cold in January that developed into pneumonia by March 1943 while at Camp Prickett, Virginia. He was sick until May, around the time he had his tonsils removed while in service.
By June 1943, Grady finally made it overseas to North Africa with the rest of the 45th Infantry Division. In July, he participated in the amphibious assault on Sicily. The rest of 1943, Grady traveled through Italy with his division and likely fought at Salerno in early September 1943.
In January/February 1944, Grady was a participant in the Battle of Anzio (Operation Shingle). He remained at Anzio Beachhead until late May, when the Germans withdrew, then his division moved elsewhere in Italy. In early August 1944, he trained in Taranto, Italy, with the French navy to prepare for the Southern France landing.
By late August 1944, he was allowed to tell his family his location (Southern France), having seemingly been a participant in Operation Dragoon on August 15, 1944 at St. Maxime. In September, he was still on the move in France with the 45th Infantry Division, meeting civilians and noting much about his surroundings.
In March 1945, Grady crossed into Germany with the 45th Infantry Division after more combat then a period of rest and training in France. Like with North Africa, Italy, and France, he commented frequently and in detail about encountering German civilians and German armed forces, admiring and commenting on local culture, acquiring German supplies, meeting Allied P.O.W.s and otherwise moving through Germany.
In late April, the 45th Infantry Division was known to liberate the Dachau concentration camp (though Grady doesn't write it immediately). On May 4th, he had malaria and was in Munich. However, on May 7th, Grady finally told his parents about Dachau, having taken several photographs and calling it a truly "horrible sight." In late May, he wrote about coming home shortly but was only able to return in late August 1945. He moved from Munich to Erding, Bavaria, Germany in June and was stationed there until August. He returned home sometime in very late August or early September.
Henry G. Marshall World War II correspondence, MS 2276. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.
Gift of Mr. Marshall, 1984.
Related materials include: Henry Grady Marshall photographs, MS 3093.