Adams Speaks with Patton

Greenville native James Adams recounts the famous Louisiana maneuvers that were later used to win the Battle of the Bulge in Germany during World War II. Image by Jim Satterwhite.

Many spectators came to the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum to observe World War II living history. Today’s event saw “Gen. Patton” inspecting the troops at the encampment. James Adams, a veteran of the US Navy after World War II, was present when the Patton actor made his presence known. James was telling the reenactor that the real General Patton trained in Western Louisiana before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Historian, Ricky Roberts with Stephen F. Austin University, wrote of the prewar encounter in 2015, “General Patton’s greatest achievement during the maneuvers was his “end run” that he used in capturing Shreveport and Barksdale Field during Phase II after having been placed in the Blue Army. He advanced towards Leesville and Peason Ridge against the Red Army. With the Red Army believing that he would attack due north, at Leesville and Merryville he suddenly turned west into east Texas. From Newton north his 2nd Armored rolled in its advance. All the gasoline in local rural service stations was bought up, and tanks that broke down were being repaired in 30 minutes by ordnance repairmen. At Greenwood La. he turned east and came in behind Shreveport and Barksdale Field. With his 2nd Armored Division about to capture these key locations, the Louisiana Maneuvers were called to a halt.”
James Adams recounted the tale as he saw it in 1941 when he was eleven or twelve years of age. He said General Patton ask him his name and he told them. James then asks the General his name, and he said, “George Patton, US Army.” James later joined the US Navy after World War II hostilities ceased and before the United Nations Police Action in Korea. James then said, “this very maneuver that was practiced in East Texas was used to win the Battle of the Bulge.”

The actor portraying General Patton gets a briefing from the Charge of Quarters at the encampment. Image by Jim Satterwhite.

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