General George S. Patton had been hailed by some as the greatest soldier in American military history. He helped put down the Nazi regime and was a great leader who got the most out of his men. But growing up Patton had an interesting hertiage that was directly linked to the Confederacy and its leadership. George S. Patton was born in San Gabriel, California in 1885 because his family had migrated west after the Civil War to avoid reconstruction. Patton's father was a friend of Confederate raider John S. Mosby and had served within J.E.B. Stuarts command during the conflict. As a boy the younger Patton heard his fathers stories of Confederate glory and the Lost Cause.Patton's love for the Lost Cause was futhered by several facts and circumstances in his life outside of his father.
First his great-uncle had served the Army of Northern Virginia faithfully and died from wounds recieved during Pickett's Charge. At the time he was commanding the 7th Virginia infantry and while attacking Cemetary Ridge part of his jaw had been ripped away by an artillery shell fragment. He died in a field hospital eighteen days later.His grandfather, George Smith Patton had been killed during the Second Battle of Winchester in 1864 after fighting for the Confederacy in many of its battles within the Virginia theatre. Another relative named Hugh Mercer was a confederate general whose grandfather had served under Washington during the American Revolution.While growing up the younger Patton's grandmother had paintings of Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee hanging together in the den. Legend tells us that Patton grew up praying to he potroits because he thought that they were God the Father and God the Son. In later years George Patton would have a son and does it surprise you that the child was named George? George Patton IV as he became known, served the U.S. faithfully during three american wars and became a major general like his father. After serving in World War II the fourth George Patton served in Korea and Vietnan. Patton retired from active duty in 1980 and retired to a horse farm in Virginia. He died in 2004, aged 80.
Before I close this blog here are the four George Pattons and a brief description of what they did.
George Patton I-->confederate colonel who was killed in 1864. Buried in Lexington near Stonewall Jackson and R.E. Lee.
George Patton II->confederate officer and father of the famous World War II general. Also buried in Lexington near Lee and Jackson.
George Patton III>the famous general of World War II and also served in World War I. Buried in Europe.
George Patton IV>son of the famous World War II general who served in the Second World War, Korea, Vietnam.