Monday's editorial about West Virginia's upcoming sesquicentennial described leaders involved in the state's stormy creation during the Civil War -- but a picture of Confederate commander George S. Patton inadvertently was replaced by a photo of his World War II grandson. Here's some background:
The ancestor Patton was born in 1833 at Fredericksburg, attended Virginia Military Institute, then brought his family in 1856 to Charleston to launch a law practice. (He bought the home of the Rev. James Craik, rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, which remains the historic Craik-Patton House museum today.)
Realizing that armed conflict might break out, Patton organized volunteers from the slavery-filled Kanawha Valley into what became the Kanawha Riflemen. Members in elegant dress uniforms were popular at Charleston banquets, balls and parades. One account says Col. Patton took his militia to an 1858 Ohio event, where quarreling with a Yankee militia nearly started the Civil War early.
After the war erupted, Patton's troops fought federal soldiers at Scary Creek in 1861. He was wounded in the shoulder and allowed to return to Charleston as an exchanged prisoner. The following year, he was wounded again at Giles Courthouse and again exchanged as a prisoner. In 1863, his 2,000 troops helped stall Union forces at White Sulphur Springs.
Finally, as Union brigades fought Confederates in the Shenandoah Valley, Patton was wounded in the leg in the third battle of Winchester and was taken prisoner a third time. He refused to let his leg be amputated, and died of the wound in 1864 at merely 32 years of age. The Confederate Congress reportedly had promoted him to general, but no record of the promotion can be found. His brother, Tazewell Patton, died in Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg.
After the war, a son in Charleston -- also named George Smith Patton -- moved to California and became the first mayor of San Marino. His son -- a third George Smith Patton -- was born in 1885 and spent his life in the military, becoming the tough-talking hero general of World War II.