Monday, August 19, 2013

Poncho Villa and My Great Grandmother

                                               Dear Granddaughter,             July 13th, 1916,  McAllen Texas
                                  Grandma is well and getting along all right.  Since July it has
                               rained a shower every day but two.  They tell us the rainy
                               season has commenced. The poor northern boys are finding it
                               rather hard soldiering.  These boys are ten minutes walk from
                               the center of town guarding McAllen and the borders of the Rio
                               Grande south of here. It is seven miles to Hidalgo and Reynosa,
                               Mexico across the river.  Several thousand soldiers are here now
                               and more coming every day. Looks like a city of tents. It is
                               thundering again so will rain again.

After my great grandfather died in 1911, my great grandmother, Mary, sold the farm and moved to McAllen, Texas with her unmarried son, Ralph.
Mary's Farm House in Freedom Township MN

     She bought this house and grew lovely flowers.
Mary's House in McAllen Texas
Mary tending her flowers
Not long after she settled in McAllen, trouble started brewing on the border between Texas and Mexico. In 1914, President Wilson supported rebel Pancho Villa against the Mexican leader Venustiano Carranza. President Wilson had helped get Carranza into power, but Carranza proved to be a disappointment. Now Wilson supported Pancho Villa .  Villa joined forces with Emiliano Zapata and together they harassed the Mexican government and its leader Carranza.  
Pancho Villa and his Generals

However, about a year later, President Wilson changed his mind again and decided to support the Carranza government and abandoned the support of Pancho Villa.

In January, 1916 the angry Villa turned against the United States and killed 18 Americans when his soldiers took over a train. A few weeks later he attacked Columbus, New Mexico with an army of 1500 guerillas rebels. They killed 19 Americans and burned the town. Now President Wilson vowed to destroy Villa and sent General John J Pershing and 6000 troops into northern Mexico.

US Infantry looking for Poncho Villa
Mexican Cavalry

Mary (1850-1946)
For almost 2 years Pershing and his troops chased Villa, engaging in several bloody battles, but never capturing him.  Villa knew the mountainous region well and he was well hidden in that rough terrain. Pershing finally was forced to abandon his quest for Villa and he returned to the United States.My great grandmother continued to live in McAllen, Texas until her death in 1946 and she loved to tell stories about Pancho Villa, General Pershing and the Mexican border war. 

If you would like to purchase these Mexican Revolution Postcard, or some of the many more I have collected, go to Reuzeit Emporium to view and purchase.

If you like articles like these, please let me know.
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