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    George S. Patton, Jr. Autograph Letter Signed. Two pages, 5.5" x 9", in pencil, n.p. [Chihuahua, Mexico], June 16, 1916, to his mother while engaged in the punitive expedition against Pancho Villa. Three months earlier, Mexican Revolutionary General Pancho Villa crossed the border into the United States and raided the town of Columbus, New Mexico, killing eighteen Americans. Fed up with his antics, the U. S. Army launched an expedition into Mexico to capture or kill Villa. The expedition was headed by General John J. Pershing who brought along his personal aide, Lt. George S. Patton, Jr. In May 1916, Patton headed what would be known as the United States' first attack utilizing motorized vehicles, resulting in the death of one of Villa's captains, Julio Cárdenas.

    Patton wrote this letter three weeks later, in part: "We have started to move north a little and our next camp will be 60 miles nearer the border. What the move means no one seems to know at all. Certainly we do no good here it is foolish to stay even if we intend to invade the damned country for this is not the right place to invade from." There is some tension between the Americans and Mexican President Venustiano Carranza's Federal troops, who are in the area: "There has been a very delicate situation here for some days with the Carransa [sic] people but it is all quiet now." Little does Patton realize that the Americans would meet the Mexican Federal troops in combat within the week at the Battle of Carrizal, the last engagement of the expedition. With tension between the two countries nearing the breaking point, the U. S. government ordered the troops to withdraw back across the border. The expedition was a failure.

    Aside from the usual folds and some light marginal toning, the letter is in fine condition.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
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