2 pages, 4to." />
18 December 2003
PATTON, George S., Jr. (1885-1945), General. Autograph letter signed ("G.S. Patton, Jr.") to his mother, 15 November 1918. 2 pages, 4to.
"I HAVE ALWAYS LOOKED AT THIS WAR AS A MEANS FOR GETTING INTO POSITION FOR THE NEXT ONE"
A remarkable letter written four days after the Armistice from his hospital bed, where he was recovering from wounds he suffered in a near-suicidal attack at St. Mihiel: "Well it is over and I at least am not pleased. I had just perfected a new formation which I should have love to have tried also I would like to have rescued a man under fire so as to get the Medal of Honor. Also at my present rate I might have gotten a star for which I should now have to wait a long time. But I have always looked at this war as a means for getting into position for the next one for I have no desire that Nita should be the only four star member of the family" (Nita, Patton's sister, was engaged to General Pershing at the time). Patton career was almost terminated not just by the Armistice, but by the severity of his wound. Under heavy fire at St. Mihiel, Col. Patton (as he recalled in 1927) "was trembling with fear when suddenly I thought of my progenitors and seemed to see them in a cloud over the German lines looking at me. I became calm at once and saying out loud, 'It is time for another Patton to die' called for volunteers and went forward to what I honestly believed to be certain death. Six went with me; five were killed and I was wounded so I was not much in error." Here, he consoles himself with the thought that now no one could say "I hid behind my rank. As Gen. R[achenbach] told men who joked with him about my being hit in the but, 'By God no one can make fun of Patton who was not in front of him and that limits it to the boche.'"
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