published Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Fort Oglethorpe's 6th Cavalry Museum to sell Patton Christmas cards

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    The 6th Cavalry Museum is offering the George S. Patton Christmas Card

HOW TO GET IT

Order the card online at www.6thcavalrymuseum.com or call 706-861-2860. One card costs $5 plus $1 shipping and handling; 20 cards cost $30 plus $6 shipping and handling; 50 cards cost $50 plus $8 shipping and handling. Other amounts are available.

U.S. Army Gen. George S. Patton delivered what has been called a "miracle-working" Christmas prayer in 1944 before the Battle of the Bulge, when he asked God for four days of clear weather during one of the worst blizzards in European history.

The weather unexpectedly cleared up, prompting Patton's chief of chaplains, Col. (Monsignor) James H. O'Neill to say, "General Patton prayed for fair weather for battle. He got it."

Some of that history is on the back of the 6th Cavalry Museum Patton Christmas card. The Fort Oglethorpe museum introduced the Patton card three years ago as an annual fundraiser that pays homage to the World War II general under whom the 6th served.

"We only had 500 printed the first time," museum Executive Director Chris McKeever said. "They all sold that first day."

This year, the museum printed 4,000 cards and officials hope to raise several thousand dollars from their sale. The price starts at $5 for one card with the per-card price decreasing for larger quantities.

"It's a very patriotic feeling to do the card every year and have so many people come back [to buy them]," McKeever said.

This front of this year's card features an oil portrait of a stern-faced Patton praying for his "Christmas miracle" in a battle-damaged European church. Painted by the late Tom Lovell, an artist known for Western art and illustrations for magazines such as "The Saturday Evening Post," the Patton portrait was featured in a 1947 issue of "True" magazine.

The Patton prayer on an Army poster at the museum runs 12 paragraphs long, and has the general saying that his chaplains tell him World War II was a "religious war."

"They insist we are here to annihilate the German Army and the godless Hitler so that religious freedom may return to Europe," the prayer reads.

about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers Catoosa and Walker counties for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California. Stories he's covered include crime in blighted parts of metro Detroit and Reno, Nev.; environmental activists tree-sitting in California's Sierra Nevada foothills; attempts by the Michigan Militia to take over a township┬╣s government in northern Michigan. A native of Michigan, ...

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