Remembered as an aggressive, hard-driving disciplinarian, General George S. Patton led a military-themed existence from his childhood until his untimely death in 1945. This 1906 correspondence piece is a rare military artifact penned entirely in Patton’s hand. Composed in black-ink steel tip fountain pen on U.S. Military Academy stationery, the item is dated “August 27, 1906” and addressed “Dear Mama.” The content details Patton’s difficult tasks at West Point, including cooking for fellow soldiers. The page is filled on both sides and, at the conclusion, signed “G S Patton Jr.” (“9-10” strength). LOA from John Reznikoff, University Archives. This item has a reserve (estimated value $1500-$3000). More on our website.
The letter reads (in full):
I was g.m. on the practice march and it was a bad job I was practically cook of course I had a soldier help me and an other to drive they were pretty good and worked hard but drank harder. I had to decide what the meals would be and how much 3 should cook. At first I was inclined to starve them but soon got on to it and managed very well. I brought a good many extra things with my own money and spent about $10, on the company. In the day time it was pretty good for riding through the green fields but when we got to camps had to work like the devil unpacking the wagon and pitching the kitchen tent. In the morning I had to get up at three thirty to see that the cook got breakfast. Once the cook was drunk and I had to get in myself. One day I decided to go with the troops but as we had to advance about a mile through a corn field the corn gave me the worst attack of hay fever I ever had. I even lost my voice for an hour. But it soon got better. I got some pretty good pictures but next to last day the wagon ran over my camera and smashed it all to hell. In fact I have had a run of bad luck for men broken into the trunk room and opened a lot of trunks and suit cases they took my new suit case with my two suits of clothes my watch and my little box of pins and things. Tonight the new marks were read out and I came out (6) corp. I hope that when foot-ball begins I shall be more fortunate. Has papa fixed up his money affairs yet and in what way. I am very well. With lots of love your devoted son
(signed) G S Patton Jr.”