President of the United States; Supreme Allied Commander.
Autograph Letter Signed, Ike, four and one-half pages, quarto, [Algiers], March 15 . To his wife, Mamie, with the original envelope. Dwight D Eisenhower
“I’ve written many notes during the past few days but since I expect to be away from my main headquarters for several days, beginning tomorrow, I’m seizing this chance to send another; so that too long a time will not elapse between the messages you get from me. My greatest pleasure is to receive a letter from you – the next greatest is writing one to you. Although I never violate – so far as I know – any of the censorship regulations there does always seem to be something I want to tell you; or maybe it’s just my natural desire to draw you closer to me in thought even though you’re thousands of miles away, measured on the globe .
“The pictures I signed for you as requested were all taken when I still wore the three stars. I hope that doesn’t ruin their value for the recipients, but I’ve found that, to some extent at least, ‘popularity’ (?) goes according to rank. You’d be astonished how many old friends have suddenly re-discovered their undying affection and admiration for me. Of course they often let me know, also, that I have a profound need for the individual concerned, particularly if a promotion could be arranged!! I think I must have gotten a bit cynical in that para. Actually I didn’t – I just have to smile, at times, when I get letters so incredibly naive in their presentation of the writers self-interest as to presume, on my part, an incredible degree of stupidity. But – maybe they’re right, at that! Anyway – Butch or Lee answers each letter and just says ‘I’m sorry.’
“We (Butch and I [Dwight D Eisenhower]) often discuss some of these things in the privacy we have at home. We’ve been very proud of the way you have reacted to it all; I know that more than one person has probably hinted to you that a request from me might help out a son, brother husband, etc. etc.
“You’ve been a brick – haven’t even passed them on! Usually the people involved are the ones who have spent their army careers on an ‘office hour’ basis. Work if the boss makes you – but don’t overdo!! Well sweet – all I meant to do when I started this was to tell you that you’re a swell gal and that you’d better write to me d— quick and often, or I’d spank you by long distance telepathy. Actually, I don’t mean to scold – you’ve been grand about writing, but I’d like a letter every day. (or more). My latest letter from John is dated February 10, so I don’t yet know how this latest promotion struck him!…”
Dwight D Eisenhower’s son John comments in Letters to Mamie that “About this period the beginning of the evolution in the way General Dwight D Eisenhower regarded himself began to emerge. He was now a four-star general in complete charge of his theater. And the certainty of ultimate success of the North African campaign represented a real milestone. And he could hardly be blamed for a slightly gloating tone when he wrote Mamie on March 15. By then he had time to remark on the numbers of officers who approached him – sometimes through his wife – seeking position and advancement. He had always scorned those officers who had regarded their profession merely a job, and Mrs. Ike had exhibited little sympathy with her husband’s point of view. But now the former ‘eight-to-fivers’ were coming to Mamie in hope of securing favors from her husband.”
This item is associated with these categories in our inventory:
- World War II