"DAMN IT WHY DID I EVER GO TO CATALINA ON JULY 1 1902 AND WHY DID I SEE A LITTLE GIRL WHO I THOUGHT I DID NOT LIKE AND WHY HAVE I BEEN IN A HELL OF A FIX EVER SINCE?": LENGTHY PATTON AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED TO HIS YOUNGER SISTER REGARDING HIS FUTURE WIFE BEATRICE AYER
PATTON, George S. Autograph letter signed. West Point, New York, circa 1907. One leaf folded into four pages, 5-1/4 by 6-1/2 inches, on "West Point, New York" stationery.
Lengthy autograph letter signed by West Point cadet George Patton to his younger sister Anne, nicknamed "Nita," bemoaning his romantic difficulties with his wife-to-be, Beatrice Ayer, going so far as to "wish to hell B would get married," because "I think I would be and I know she would be a lot better off for I fear that she would not like the army."
The letter reads, in full: "Dear Nita, you are pretty darned worthless you might have by a little clever talk saved me months of hard work and getting picked out[.] at the end I hope you will see the error of your ways and find out something definite as soon as possible. I just wrote a twelve page letter to B. but said very little nothing to the point.
"I spoke largely of Lucile and said how I was looking forward to seeing her[.] I wish to hell B would get married for if I could only resist the temptation to spring into the river[.] I think I would be and I know she would be a lot better off for I fear that she would not like the army[.] damn it why did I ever go to Catalina on July 1 1902 and why did I see a little girl who I thought I did not like and Why have I been in a hell of a fix ever since?
"Well last night I had lots of fun the broad sword class that I organized fenced informally a bunch of professionals and senior professionals from the 'Jaronverian' [?] in N.Y. (we fenced here)[.] I licked the first one so bad he could not see and then tied with their two best men. I was quite tickled for both of the last two asked specially to fence with me[.] I went to the hop afterwards and nearly died of fatigue. It was strange to fence with a lot of old fat men a lot older than ones self. I certainly was glad to fence them for it may give broad sword a start and perhaps we can fence the Navy next year. Capt Khealey was tickled to death. With lots of love, your devoted brother, George Patton."
"Patton spent one year at Virginia Military Institute before entering the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1904. At the academy, Patton had special difficulty with mathematics and did not graduate until 1909, 46th in a class of 103. One year after graduating he married Beatrice Ayer; the couple had three children" (ANB). Patton was an accomplished athlete and equestrian; in 1912 he competed in the Olympics in the pentathlon, an event that included steeplechase riding, shooting, fencing, swimming, and a 5000-meter race. Some years after this letter, Anne Wilson "Nita" Patton met General John J. Pershing when she traveled to Fort Bliss to visit her brother, George. George served as Pershing's aide (and protege) during the 1916 Pancho Villa Expedition. Pershing, a widower, courted Nita and they became engaged in 1917, but their separation because of Pershing's time in France during World War I ended the engagement. Pershing later expressed regret that he had let Nita Patton "get away"; Nita never married.
Faint fold lines. A fine signed letter, showing a romantic side to the future general that he did not often reveal.