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History Flashback – The Pancho Villa Expedition

In view of the illegal aliens' May Day "boycott," I thought it might be timely to remember not too distant US history.

The following is information gathered from Wikipedia and the Library Of Congress:

An angry General Pershing stomps a nest of rattlesnakes, called bandits and 'villistas,' followers of Pancho Villa

An angry General Pershing stomps a nest of rattlesnakes, called bandits and "villistas," followers of Pancho Villa.

Pancho Villa Expedition

The Pancho Villa Expedition was an abortive punitive expedition conducted by the United States against the military forces of Mexican Revolutionary General Pancho Villa in retaliation for Villa's invasion of the United States and attack on the village of Columbus, New Mexico.

Trouble with Villa had been growing since 1915, when the United States government disappointed Villa by giving its support to the Carranza government of Mexico. In revenge, Villa directed his men to harass and harm U.S. citizens along the border. The most serious incident occurred in January 1916, when several American engineers were removed from a train inside Mexico and summarily stripped, executed, and mutilated.

On March 9, 1916, Villa's forces attacked Columbus and its small military contingent. They killed several citizens, burned the town, and took many horses and mules, along with a small amount of cash and merchandise removed from shops, before they slipped back into Mexico.

On March 19, on orders from President Woodrow Wilson, General John J. Pershing led an invasion force of 12,000 men into Mexico to capture Villa.

Pershing's troops were not allowed to enter any town in Mexico without permission of the mayor; they could not use major roads; and they had to cooperate with government forces. These restrictions made it nearly impossible to find Villa and his men.

While the expedition did make contact with Villista formations and killed two of his generals, it failed in its major objectives, neither stopping border raids (which continued while the expedition was in Mexico) nor capturing Villa.

The bulk of American forces were withdrawn after 11 months, in January 1917. Pershing publicly claimed the expedition was a success, although privately he complained to family that President Wilson had imposed too many restrictions, which made it impossible for him to fulfill his mission.

Pancho Villa makes fun of General Pershing.

Pancho Villa mocks Gen. Pershing in this cartoon.

I suspect there is a lesson in here for all of us.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, April 30th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “History Flashback – The Pancho Villa Expedition”

  1. EL DANNY says:

    Pancho Villa did attack the U.S. To be specific, he cut off the ears of those engineers. One thing that is never mentioned regarding the raid, is that Americans were selling him empty ammunition cartriges and blanks. That was Pancho Villa’s main reason for attacking the U.S.


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