The informant used to live in Fort Myer, Virginia in the 1950’s. She was also an Army nurse, and is very knowledgable about military history. Thus, she is very familiar with the exploits of the famed World War II general General Patton and the subject is a source of pride for her. This particular legend involves General Patton. At three different points from 1911 to 1940, he was stationed in Fort Myer. He was very fond of taking late night horseback rides. The informant learned from her mother that even though he died before they ever got to Fort Myers, the people who lived in General Patton’s old quarters will occasionally hear Patton’s ghost coming back from a midnight ride.
In many places in the United States, especially southern states like Virginia, General Patton is seen as a national hero. This legend may indicate a wish on the part of the people of Fort Myer that Patton were still around. It is a comforting thought to believe that the ghost of the man who got the nation through a great deal of tough situations is still looking over us. While many ghost stories involve fear and supposed ghosts often have malevolent intentions, in this case, the ghost is welcomed. Patton is simply going about his usual business, not interfering with the living, but making his presence known.
The great impact Patton had on Ft. Myer and the esteem in which he is well documented. There are memorials, statues, and buildings named after him in the town. This is shown in the book Images of America: Fort Myer and the subsequent blog made by the author to further explain the town’s history.
Michael, John. “The Legacy Of Patton.” About The Book. Images Of America: Fort Myer, 15 03 2011. Web. 2 May. 2013. <http://www.historic-fortmyer.com/2011/03/15/the-legacy-of-patton/>.