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.
—From the Introduction The Button Box
isthe 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.