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Item   Title MB Now at Next bid Bids New bid Max bid  
414   George S. Patton  $500 $605 $666 3 You must login to place a bid.

#414 - George S. Patton

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“It has all the dirt and none of the glory”—with Patton’s snapshots from the Pancho Villa Expedition
Description  

ALS in pencil, signed “George,” one page both sides, 5.5 x 9, April 29, 1916. Letter to his sister Anne, “Nita,” while on the march to Mexico during the US mission against Pancho Villa. In part: “This is a most disappointing campaign it has all the dirt and none of the glory and our hands are so tired that we can’t do much. This country is what France must have been under Louis 16 no windows for fear of taxes no plows for the same reason the only hope for these people is for us to take it as if we leave it will go on just as before and eventually we must take it. A Sonoran officer told me the other day he had not been paid for eight months and their money is worth only 3 cents on a dollar. We have not seen a school for two hundred miles and for four hundred miles were only on four ranches one of them of 3,600,000 acres.” In fine condition, with intersecting folds (one vertical fold passing through the last letter of the signature). Includes eight original matte-finish 2.5 x 1.5 photos taken by Patton and captioned by him on the reverse, including: “Gen P[ershing] eating lunch at Lake Tascate,” “11 cav. going north,” “Capt. Degen after a trip on a truck,” and five others depicting his fellow soldiers, horses, and camp life.

Patton’s boredom was soon relieved when he led a raid against Villa’s second-in-command, Julio Cardenas, on May 14. In what is considered the first motorized raid in US military history, Patton and his men in three trucks sped to Cardenas’s ranch at sixty miles per hour in a surprise attack. Cardenas was killed after refusing to surrender, and Patton took his spurs as a souvenir. The photos here were most likely taken around this time in May 1916, and the military’s trucks can be seen in one. Between Patton’s letter home detailing his experiences with descriptions of the Southwestern landscape and these one-of-a-kind annotated photographs, this is a superb grouping from very early in his career. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

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