cover of book

The Button Box: A Daughter's Loving Memoir of Mrs. George S. Patton
by Ruth Ellen Patton Totten
edited by James Patton Totten
foreword by Carlo W. D'Este
University of Missouri Press, 2005
Cloth: 978-0-8262-1576-5 | eISBN: 978-0-8262-6465-7 | Paper: 978-0-8262-1933-6
Library of Congress Classification E745.P3T67 2005
Dewey Decimal Classification 355.0092


"There was never a moment in our lives that we were not reminded that our father was the finest, bravest, most gallant, and best-looking man who ever lived and that he was destined for unimaginable glory. This we took for granted. Being our father’s children was a special influence in all our lives, but the greatest, most pervasive, and most interesting influence in my life was Ma."

The Button Box is the loving memoir of Beatrice Ayer Patton (1886–1953), the wife of one of the greatest military figures in history, General George S. Patton, Jr. Written by the Pattons’ daughter, Ruth Ellen, the book covers Beatrice’s life from her youth in a wealthy New England family until her death, with an emphasis on her years of marriage to George Patton. A supportive and loving wife, Beatrice was accomplished in her own right as an equestrian, musician, lecturer, sailor, and internationally published author. Courageous and adventurous, Beatrice played a significant role in her husband’s life. Without her, General Patton might never have reached his own level of success.

Although there have been numerous books written on George S. Patton, The Button Box provides a unique perspective on the general’s complex personality as well as a rare and intimate look inside his famous American family, a glimpse of the “Old Army” that formed the cadre of the army of World War II, and a detailed description of life “between the wars” in a society not to be seen again. Most important, though, it is the story of a truly fascinating woman, told with love and a rowdy sense of humor by her daughter.

See other books on: 1885-1945 | 1886-1953 | Marriage | Mothers | Patton, George S. (George Smith)
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