Family Tree Tuesday – Gen. George Smith Patton, Jr.
General George Smith Patton, Jr. was best known for his command in the European Theater of World War II of the Seventh United States Army, and later the Third United States Army. He had participated in the 1912 Olympic pentathlon and was instrumental in designing the Model 1913 Cavalry Saber referred to as the “Patton Saber”. In between World War I and World War II, Patton remained a central figure in the development of armored warfare doctrine in the U.S. Army. He led U.S. troops into the Mediterranean theater with an invasion of Casablanca during the North African Campaign in 1942, where he later established himself as an effective commander through his rapid rehabilitation of the demoralized U.S. II Corps. Patton was the military governor of Bavaria after the end of the war before being relieved of this post.
George Smith Patton, Jr. was born on November 11, 1885 in San Gabriel, California to George Smith Patton, Sr. and Ruth Wilson. General Patton had a colorful image, hard-driving personality and success as a commander. His philosophy of leading from the front and his ability to inspire his troops with vulgarity-ridden speeches led to new leadership philosophies in the U.S. officer corps. Patton was transformed into an American folk hero through the help of a popular, award-winning biographical film released in 1970.
His paternal grandfather was George Smith Patton, he was a Confederate Colonel during the American Civil War and commanded the 22nd Virginia Infantry. He was killed in the Third Battle of Winchester. He was married to Susan Glassell. She was the sister of Andrew Glassell, one of the founders of the city of Orange, California. Patton’s brother, Waller Tazewell Patton was also an officer of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. Four other brothers were officers in the Confederate States Army: Col. John Mercer Patton, Col. Isaac Patton, Lt. James F. Patton, and Lt. Hugh Mercer Patton.
General Patton’s 3rd great grandfather was Brig. General Hugh Mercer who served in the Continental Army. He was a close friend to George Washington. Mercer became a fallen hero and symbol of the American Revolution after he died as a result of his wounds received at the Battle of Princeton.
Benjamin Davis Wilson, General Patton’s maternal grandfather was a California statesman and politician. He was known to the Native Americans as Don Benito because of his benevolent manner in his treatment of Indian affairs. He became the first non-Hispanic owner of Rancho San Pascual, which is now the towns of Pasadena, Altadena, South Pasadena, Alhambra, San Marino and San Gabriel.
George Patton IV was the son of General Patton and his wife Beatrice Ayers. Patton IV was a Major General in the United States Army. He served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Patton received a Purple Heart in Korea. He wrote The Fighting Pattons alongside author Brian Sobel which served as an official family biography of his father as well as a comparison between the military of his father’s generation and that of his son, a time which covered five conflicts and almost 70 years of combined service.
Check out General George Smith Patton, Jr.’s family tree and see how you may be related!