In October, we’re reminded of some significant dates in Patton family history. The above photo is of George S. Patton, Sr., who was a Colonel in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. A member of the class of 1852 from the Virginia Military Institute, he was a student of Professor Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson. George S. Patton, Sr. was injured fighting in the Shenandoah Valley and died of his wounds on September 25, 1864. He is buried in the Winchester National Cemetery in Winchester, Virginia.
Several weeks later, the Battle of Cedar Creek was fought on October 19, 1864. A pivotal battle, it ended Confederate resistance in the Shenandoah Valley and eliminated the valley, known as the “bread basket of the South,” as a source of food for the Confederacy. The victory of the Union Army bolstered morale in the North and helped to reelect Lincoln in November 1864.
George S. Patton, Sr. left behind four children, including George William Patton. To honor his deceased father, George William Patton changed his name to George Smith Patton II. He worked as a lawyer and politician after attending VMI. This second-generation Patton was the father of the famous WWII general, Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.
Learn more about the Patton family across the generations during an upcoming tour of the Patton Family Archives.