Patton Christmas cards now available from 6th Cavalry Museum
The year was 1944, the place, central Europe. It was a week before Christmas. The German Army had launched a surprise attack on the Allies that came to be known as the Battle of the Bulge. The weather conditions were terrible — cold, snowy, a heavy cloud cover. The Allies in the thick of the battle were running low on supplies.
Gen. George Patton’s Third Army was on the way to help, but it was a 100-mile march and slow going in the awful weather.
Patton had an idea. He asked his chaplain to write a prayer and he had 250,000 copies of it printed and distributed to soldiers. He added his own message of encouragement and holiday greetings to it.
“Almighty and most merciful Father,” the prayer started, “we humbly beseech thee to restrain these immoderate rains. … Grant us fair weather for Battle … (that) we may advance and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies …”
The weather unexpectedly cleared, air forces were able to move in and the Third Army reached its objective the day after Christmas.
One of the original Patton prayer cards is on display at the 6th Cavalry Museum in Fort Oglethorpe and inspired an original Christmas card by the museum each year.
This year’s card features a painting on the front by local artist Durinda Cheek. Cheek is a 6th Cavalry Museum board member and daughter of the late Harry E. Copeland, one of the founding members of the museum. Cheek has painted an original piece for the museum’s Patton Christmas card each year for four years now.
On the reverse side the Christmas card is a reproduction of Patton’s prayer card. Each order of cards also comes with a Patton’s prayer card Christmas ornament.
“General Patton’s grandson encouraged the museum to produce the card,” says Cheek, “and of course he always gets the first order shipped.”
On Nov. 8, Caris Healthcare and a team of people from local veterans groups and schools honored veterans at two nursing homes: NHC Healthcare in Fort Oglethorpe and NHC Healthcare in Rossville. From left: Larry Palmer and David Broyles of American Legion Post 95.