American General in World War II.
Autograph Letter Signed, four octavo and two quarto pages, Fort Sheridan, Illinois, January 3, 1910. To Dear Papa, with the original envelope.
“It has happened do you know to what it refers? Well I have decided that other things being quiet I shall get married next September. I have not told Mr or Mrs Ayer yet and have not even made B say positively that she would for fear that it might bother her but she will and they will when I write them which will not be until March as I want B to come out to Chicago and see Aunt Nannie in January or February and a premature announcement might upset things. B would not disguss the date but she did every thing else the church the number of people and all. So it is quite settled at least if you agree with me that it is a good thing.
“Several considerations lead me to September we will be through maneuvers then and so I can get a leave. B will be able to get dresses for a definite season Winter. Also in winter I am on the post and not away. Also unless some thing very fortunate happens we are sure to be here all next winter and summer so will be a year at least in one house which would not be the same were it further postponed. Again both of us would be come so damned used to long range affection that we might never elect to change it and B is learning nothing useful by going to dances and operas which I fancy, at times pool greatly on Mrs. Benides. I fear writers cramp and am also tired writing so I have decided Que dit vous?
“Mr Ayer won’t object at all and Mrs Ayer will always which is but right and natural for she is a splendid woman and I am very fond of her and she of me. Have I got any money that is really my own and do I get any thing besides my pay that does not bother you? You told me last summer but I have forgotten. It is just zero out now but I have been walking around in pumps and a cape with perfect comfort only aware of the cold by the hairs in my nose freezing a sure sign of cold.
“B gave me some swords of which she was very fond and her mother begged her not to do where as her father said ‘What difference does it make she is only lending them.’ My present for you has just come I will send it in the morning the box has not as yet reached here but I suppose it will in due course of time. I did not write yesterday as I was on the train and did not get here until two AM today.
“Did that Bissel die yet he is such a mess that he should have got it rather than the girl. Tell Aunt Nannie to come east so as to be here a week or two at least and to write and invite B at once and tell her when to come. I must stop with much love to all your devoted son.”
After his graduation from West Point in June 1909 at twenty-four years of age, George S Patton spent a carefree summer in California, then reported to his duty station at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, near Chicago. He had met Beatrice Ayer in 1902 and courted her while leading an extensive social life. “So many dates prompted remorse, guilt, and a sense of worthlessness. How could he have told Bea of his love for her? He was wicked to have caused ‘such a wonderful girl as Bea to love such a fool.’ George S Patton spent Christmas with the Ayers and discussed marriage with Bea. They settled nothing, but they had to make a decision soon, ‘for I would look like an ass hanging around much longer.’ Her father was reluctant to have Beatrice become an Army wife, and he tried to persuade Patton to resign from the military and enter business. George S Patton informed Mr. Ayer of his affinity for the service. Understanding, Mr. Ayer asked Patton for a financial statement of his assets. Having no idea how much he was worth, he asked Papa for the information. Papa’s response surprised George S Patton. ‘I had no notion I was so wealthy.’ Mr. Ayer was surprised too. Patton proposed by letter. Mr. Ayer gave his blessing and informed Patton of his practice of sending his married children a monthly income and of his intention to do the same with Bea. Their engagement was announced. [They] were married at Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, in May 1910” [Martin Blumenson, Patton: The Man Behind the Legend, 1885-1945].
This item is associated with these categories in our inventory:
- World War II