GENERAL GEORGE S. PATTON JR.'S PERSONAL COPY OF THE VIRGINIA CAMPAIGN OF '64 AND '65, TWICE SIGNED BY HIM AND WITH A FEW PENCILED ANNOTATIONS
(PATTON, Jr., George S.) HUMPHREYS, Andrew A. The Virginia Campaign of '64 and '65. The Army of the Potomac and the Army of the James. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1916. Octavo, original blue cloth. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
Later edition of Humphreys' account of the Virginia Campaign during the closing years of the Civil War, signed in block letters in ink on the front board by General Patton and boldly signed and dated by him ("GS Patton Jr., Maj GSC, Jan 29, 1925") on the front free endpaper. With three penciled annotations by Patton as well as a few other marginal markings, indicating that he read at least part of this book.
"General George S. Patton Jr. has earned a place in the pantheon of authentic American heroes…. [Yet] his great success on the battlefield did not come about by chance…. He read voraciously" (D'Este, Patton, 3-4, 317-18). This copy of Humphreys' The Virginia Campaign of '64 and '65—Patton's own copy—is twice signed by him. No other military leader wrote so frequently in his letters or diary what he was reading, and no leader's library was so well-documented since Napoleon's. Patton often traveled with what he was reading, even on campaigns, and his books typically show signs of substantial wear. Patton's library, which was almost entirely inherited by his son, Major General George Patton III, was given to West Point, with just a small portion of books, including this volume, inherited by other descendants or friends. Some years ago, when a prominent bookseller was discussing Patton's library with his son, his son remarked, "My old man could afford to buy the books and he could afford to write in them—nobody else in the army had any money." Patton's book collection remains a testament to the value he placed on books and the interest he took in them as tools for learning.
At the time this book came into Patton's possession, he had been appointed to the General Staff Corps ("GSC") in Boston, Massachusetts, before being reassigned as G-1 (Personnel) and G-2 (Intelligence) of the Hawaiian Division in Honolulu in March, 1925. In addition to his characteristic ownership signatures, he has also made a few penciled marginalia, writing "Leadership" in the margin of page 4, "Army Reserve" on page 39, "G-2" on page 41, as well as a few other penciled markings. First published in 1883; this edition was issued as part of the "Campaigns of the Civil War" series. With ten maps, nine folding.
Interior clean, faint smudge to front cover, minor toning to spine, extremely good. An important military volume from Patton's library.