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    George S. Patton, Jr. Autograph Letter Signed "George S. Patton, Jr.", three pages, 5" x 6.75", front and verso. On imprinted stationery of the Hotel Continental, Paris, June 20, 1917. To his father whom he addresses as "Papa." In part, "We are getting well settled now and going to fewer dinners hence doing more work. Today I called on Gen. Gerard who is in charge of all the autos in France he sent me to the big depot at Paris where I investigated the methods of accounting for cars. They use a very simple card index system I got copies of it and will try to adapt it to our needs in the morning. I talked Auto French for two hours with an expert...I can do quite well with it and can talk on any subject with ease and considerable fluency so that I feel at home. Even yet I can't believe that we are actually at war it all seems unreal and distant. There are a good many cripples but few of them when you think what a war it really is. We have adapted the Sam Brown [sic] or english belt which you admired in Washington. It is very comfortable and good looking. Gen. Pershing is making a wonderful impression he is such a splendid looking soldier and so much on the job. I hope you get something at Washington and also sell some land soon. The talk of food shortage is all talk we have fine food and plenty of it and in fact it costs less than in Washington. The weather has been terribly hot but is now better as it rained today. I suppose my horses have arrived from El Paso. have any colts come. if they do the mares should be bred in seven days...I am very well and doing fine Give my love to all. Your devoted son."

    General John J. Pershing, Lieutenant George S. Patton, Jr., and 175 soldiers of the American Expeditionary Force arrived in France at Boulogne-sur-Mer on June 13, 1917. They went directly to Paris where they met with French Minister of War Paul Painlevé, Marshal Joffre, and General Foch. Thousands of French citizens mobbed the streets of their capital to cheer the soldiers as they marched to the Place de la Concorde. The Americans were honored at numerous receptions and dinners alluded to by Patton in this letter which he wrote just a week after his arrival. The Sam Browne belt mentioned by Patton is a combination of a pistol belt and shoulder strap which was intended to help carry the weight of a heavy pistol or sword. It was named after General Sir Sam Browne (1849-1898) of the British Army in India, so it was referred to by some as the English belt. On June 28th, a week after Patton wrote this letter, 14,000 American soldiers arrived at the port of Saint-Nazaire. They later formed a liaison with the French at a point a few miles west of Toul and extended to the east of Luneville (called "Looneyville" by the U.S. troops), where they joined the Eighth French Army under General Gerard. Patton's father, George S. Patton, Sr. (1856-1927), was a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and taught there for a year before studying law and becoming a prominent attorney in Los Angeles. He served as District Attorney of Los Angeles County (1886-1887) and was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Congress from California in 1894 and for the U.S. Senate against Hiram W. Johnson in 1916. The letter is double-matted with a 6.25" x 4" photograph of Patton in front of one of his tanks (he was one of the first men detailed to the newly established U.S. Tank Corps in 1917) and framed under glass on both sides, revealing the third page penned horizontally on the verso of the second page. Overall size, 18" x 20.75". With the usual horizontal folds, the letter is apparently in very fine condition.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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