Skip to comments.How George S. Patton Vanquished Pancho Villa’s Lieutenants
Posted on 09/03/2018 9:29:11 AM PDT by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
George S. Patton, Jr. experienced his first combat against men loyal to Pancho Villa, leading a detachment of soldiers who killed three of the enemy.
It was a burial, but certainly not a funeral. One soldier who looked on muttered, Ashes to ashes, dust to dust If Villa wont bury you Uncle Sam must. The three dead men, whose bodies were unceremoniously laid in hastily dug desert graves, had ridden with the revolutionary Pancho Villa, and one of them, Julio Cardenas, was the commander of his personal bodyguard. The men who killed them were U.S. soldiers and their accompanying interpreters, members of a detachment under 2nd Lieutenant George S. Patton, Jr. It was May 14, 1916, and for two months General John Pershing had led an American military expedition into Mexico in search of the elusive Villa and his men, known as Villistas.
Patton Pushes On
Villas brazen raid on the small border town of Columbus, New Mexico, in March had provoked President Woodrow Wilson to order Pershing and several thousand troops into Mexico to bring Villa to justice. Pershing was romantically involved with Pattons sister, Nita, at the time, and the general offered the young officer the opportunity to participate in the expedition as his aide. Although the Americans failed to find Villa, there were moments of retribution. One of those had taken place on this hot, dusty day at the San Miguelito hacienda, where the family of Cardenas was living.
Pershing ordered Patton to lead the detachment of seven soldiers and two interpreters to a nearby farm where they might buy corn. During the transaction, E.L. Holmdahl, a former Villista, recognized a group of men as one-time associates. Although Villa was supposedly hiding somewhere to the south, Cardenas was believed to be nearby. Always ready for a fight, Patton pushed on to Las Cienegas (Springs), his men riding in three Dodge touring cars. There the lieutenant questioned Cardenas uncle without gaining much information, but he was determined to find Cardenas and moved on to San Miguelito.
When they neared the main house, the soldiers noticed someone running inside. Alarmed, Patton ordered six men to cover the house, while two more swept along a wall to the south. Armed with a rifle and pistol, Patton moved quickly beside a wall to the north. Suddenly, three men on horseback burst from the building and charged toward the soldiers. Their way blocked, they turned and came straight at Patton, who fired. A bullet shattered one riders left arm and he crawled out of sight.
A Sign of Greater Things to Come?
Another rider came at Patton, who fired again. Both horse and rider tumbled. When the Villista stood and drew his weapon, Patton and the other soldiers gunned him down. By then the third rider was 100 yards distant, intent on escaping. Several soldiers opened fire, and he fell dead. (The first man shot who was wounded) Later identified as Cardenas, the first Villista was running away. The soldiers shot him again, and as he lay on the ground Holmdahl approached. Cardenas feigned surrender and then reached for his gun. In a flash, Holmdahl shot him in the head.
No one at the scene would positively identify the dead men, and their bodies were tied to the hoods of the cars. A group of at least 40 hostile horsemen was approaching, and Patton ordered a rapid retirement to Pershings headquarters. The impromptu burial followed. Pershing was pleased with Patton and gave him permission to keep Cardenas sword and saddle. The incident made headlines across the United States, and Patton was hailed a hero. He loved the limelight. Destined for even greater fame, he received a quick promotion to 1st lieutenant and made captain within a year.
We need another invasion into Mexico.
Invade, clean it up, give it back along with a bill for services rendered. Payable in affordable installments because we remember Weimar.
Indeed...what most people don’t know is that was the first example of mechanized warfare using automobiles as they did!
Yes. Patton was the real deal. He had flaws, but I have always thought his flaws made him far more interesting and effective!
LOL, currently listening to a 48 hour audiobook about Ulysees S. Grant...another very flawed man whose flaws make him more interesting to me.
So, why hasn’t this been made into a Dodge/Ram commercial yet?
We should have repelled the Mexican invasion of the USA.
The Columbus raid was interesting in that the town pretty much turned out armed and took on the raiders.
The raiders also attacked the wrong end of town first. The military detachment was able to get armed and organized (somewhat) and aid in the defense.
The raiders that were killed were placed in a pile with railroad ties and other wood and then burned.
A great General; his men, well supplied with whiskey, followed him wherever.
Couldn’t agree more. But it was up to three prior administrations and they ALL failed.
Also the first American use of aircraft in combat (although they had been used in Europe for a couple of years by that point.)
Thanks for that post.
n Mexico, Patton impressed Pershing by personally shooting Mexican leader Julio Cardenas during the Battle of Columbus.
Patton wasn’t at the battle of Columbus.
Cardenas died at a ranch in Mexico.
Because Fiat makes Ram trucks in Saltillo, Mexico now. Looks like GM has a factory in Silao, Mexico for the big cab pickups.
If you want an American pickup truck, you need to go with Nissan (Mississippi) or Toyota (Texas). Ford does final assembly in the US.
We used to be serious about repelling invasion...
Uncle Sam: "I've had about enough of this."
General Pershing headed into Mexico.
The end of Pancho Villa, 1923...
Deep State didn’t develop into the gargantuan it is today overnight:
Who thinks they wouldn’t kill a charismatic, effective General who started saying and doing things they didn’t like..?
It’s not all crazy, the stories about Patton’s death.
Four Presidents in a row failed on purpose.
“Indeed...what most people dont know is that was the first example of mechanized warfare using automobiles as they did!”
And Patton would go on to be the first commander of the US army tank school and write the book on the use of armor in battle.
Strapping the dead to the hoods was a nice touch.
"Patton impressed Pershing by personally shooting Mexican leader Julio Cardenas during the Battle of Columbus. Pershing promoted Patton to captain and invited him to lead Pershings Headquarters Troop once they left Mexico." I see 3. Anyone find more?
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