John J. Pershing to Henry P. McCain


John J. Pershing to Henry P. McCain


Pershing, John J. (John Joseph), 1860-1948




1918 January 15


Library of Congress, Woodrow Wilson Papers, 1786-1957


Received at the War Department, January 15, 191811.15 ANo. 9 CO From H.A.E.F. To The Adjutant-General, Washington.

Number 493, January 14th.
For the Chief of Staff.

Following cable sent this date to General Robertson, Chief of Staff British Army:
"Paragraph 1. With reference to our conference in Paris I have forwarded by cable to Washington the substance of your memorandum of January 10th. My cable suggested that your request for battalions of Infantry for service with British Army, three battalions for each of 50 divisions be given serious consideration, and if adopted that the following points be covered. First that the plan be regarded as a temporary measure to meet a probable emergency. Second that as soon as practicable the remaining troops of our divisions thus temporarily disorganized be brought over and the divisions be reorganized for service with our own army. Third that the divisions, brigades and regimental commanders and their staffs of such Infantry be sent over for training with corresponding British Units. Fourth that the Infantry be taken from those divisions that could not otherwise be transported until after June. Fifth that only such battalions or other units be attached to British Army as could be provided with sea transportation by the British Government. Sixth that the transportation of such battalions should in no way interfere with the present plans and means of transporting American Army to France. Seventh that above proposition be considered entirely apart and separate from any plans for sending over our own forces in our own ships through Brest, Southampton or otherwise. Eighth that these battalions loaned to British are to be returned to the American Army when called for probably when the remaining troops of the divisions to which they pertain are brought over which would likely be for at least four or five months.'Paragraph 2. In view of the National sentiment in our country against service under an allied flag at this time, it is deemed of the utmost importance, if the above plans be considered by our Government, that the British Government declare its purpose to exert every energy to keep its own forces as strong in man-power as possible. Only with this general understanding in America would the foregoing plans meet with approval there. I have cabled the substance of this......

To Washington and would request a full statement from you as to British resources in this regard including those at present available and to become available during this year. This information is desired in order that my Government may have all the facts before making a final decision on the important question now under advisement.Pershing."

Copy for Secretary of War.

Original Format



McCain, H. P. (Henry Pinckney), 1861-1941




Pershing, John J. (John Joseph), 1860-1948, “John J. Pershing to Henry P. McCain,” 1918 January 15, WWP22199, World War I Letters, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.