Puslapio vaizdai

town of Cusihuiriachic, and was head- sending despatches back, to be relayed ing for the Durango line.

Acting on this report, the general regrouped his advance cavalry. The information he received was that Villa was traveling painfully, with an immediate escort of only forty men, with a command of about one hundred behind him. This was on April 5, and under orders from Pershing, our flying columns prepared for a superlative effort, though their riding had been superlative all along. With instructions to push horses and men for every ounce that was in them, the columns headed toward Parral, for which place Villa apparently was making. Tompkins, with the Thirteenth, held the lead. Behind him came Colonel W. C. Brown, with a detachment of the black Tenth, and behind him Howze, with the Eleventh, all about a day apart.

On April 6, in order that the forces might be properly coördinated, the general caught Brown by a parachute message dropped from an airplane and sent him to the east, supporting Tompkins's right. Howze was instructed to cover his flank on the left. Dodd, in the meantime, with a selected squadron of the Seventh, was beating west of the Continental Divide, with the idea of heading off any dash Villa might make toward the mountain fastnesses there among the Indians. Engaged in this, he was directed to turn about and proceed east to join the general movement, which he did.

But Pershing at San Geronimo found himself in these circumstances very much as he had been situated near Casas Grandes before his move south. Having manoeuvered his cavalry to close in on Villa, he had of necessity put himself out of touch with them, and to be nearer the scene of action he again broke camp. The chase was on again. On April 8 we left San Geronimo.

As before, the general was accompanied only by his small escort and a few scouts. Behind him, however, came the trucks of the Aero Squadron, for airplanes had preceded us to Satevo, and the trucks were bringing up gasolene and supplies. The aircraft were indispensable both for keeping the general in touch with the troops and for

north by field telegraph or wireless.

About nine o'clock on the night of April 11 we reached the Satevo camp I say camp; it had been a corn-field The cars halted, and we got out stiffly Two figures joined us as we did so. They were aviators, Carberry and Chapman, as I recall them. Having landed ahead of the general and finding no American troops in sight, they had hidden all day for safety. They were equally concerned about Villistas and a Carranza detachment about three miles away. We had passed this outfit as we swung into camp. Bare-footed, dirty, and ragged for the most part, there was no way of telling them from Villistas, although they had appeared friendly enough as the general passed.

Presumably not far behind us were the trucks of the Aero Squadron; but they did not come. On one of them was what little commissary we had, and the general was getting hungry. A food census among the correspondents brought to light some bacon; a few eggs, miraculously unbroken; and coffee. We shared this with him, and we ate.

Presently the trucks came. They had been fired on. From the mesquite along the trail over which Pershing had just passed a hundred or more shots had come. The trucks had halted and, forming a square, had returned the fire, dispersing the attackers with casualties unknown. On the American side there had been no casualties, barring the hat of Pablo, the airmen's Filipino cook.

In view of the presence of the Carranza detachment just over the hill there was considerable conjecture in camp as to who fired the shots at the trucks. It seemed unlikely that any Villistas would be so near a federal command. I recall especially the general's censoring our copy before he turned in. Very naturally, we speculated on the identity of the attacking party. This speculation, from from the writer's despatch at least, Pershing promptly struck out. We were still "cooperating." He did let stand, however, a phrase suggesting that it was a planned ambush, smiling, as though conceding, "Well, you are entitled to that assumption."

We slept unmolested in the corn-field. Our problem next day and that of the general was one of communication, ours to get our stories eastward somehow, his to keep in touch not only with the rear, but with the cavalry, now, according to best reports, only two days behind Villa. But it was not wise to send the aviators farther south, and the general accordingly tried another channel. Chihuahua City lay fifty miles away, nearly due north of us, and Chihuahua City has telegraph lines, running both north to El Paso Junction and south to Parral. So Foulois left by air for Chihuahua City, where on a previous trip the populace had greeted him with shots and stones. Before he had flown to the town from the north; now he headed north.

I am puzzled as to the exact date here; that is, whether Foulois left Satevo on April 12 or 13. But it is of no consequence. He came back safely on April 14, and brought with him news that made the truck-train episode small by comparison. He brought word that our cavalry and the Mexican federals at Parral had clashed, that our men had withdrawn before superior numbers, that there had been a running fight lasting several hours, and that there had been casualties on both sides.

Moreover, all Mexico was now aflame.

All this had occurred only eighty miles from the general's camp two days before, April 12, but such was his isolation that he had not heard a word of it until Foulois brought his report. Meantime a Carranza version had been telegraphed to the States, and both the American and the Mexican press were full of it. But the version reaching the general was garbled and incomplete. Only one thing appeared certain, and that was that we had reached the deadline. Herrera's solicitude about how far south the American troops were going now appeared in a clearer light. As the general learned later, Herrera, after leaving our San Geronimo camp, promising coöperation in the hunt for Villa, proceeded to the town of Minaca, where, a few days later, he accosted Dodd with the Seventh, then turning east to join the enveloping movement heretofore described. "The Americans have gone far enough into the country," said Herrera.

But General Pershing was not even sure from the information at hand which of his detachments had been attacked at Parral. He was inclined to think it was the Tenth, when, as it happened, it was the squadron of the Thirteenth, under Tompkins. To clear up the situation, the general despatched


CU. & U.

First scene of the fight at Columbus, New Mexico. Ranchers identifying dead bandit

armed couriers forthwith toward Parral by motor-car, still further depleting his small escort, and directed Foulois again to proceed to Chihuahua City, this time by car, to telegraph from there to Washington a preliminary report of the affair. As soon as he heard the first word of the episode, the general had announced himself as confident of one thing, that the American troops were not the aggressors.

As details subsequently learned showed, it was an opera-bouffe affair, as fighting standards go nowadays. We correspondents described it as an ambush at the time, but now it appears to me that the Mexicans simply lost their heads. The Thirteenth, needing supplies, had ridden into Parral at the invitation of the presidente, and was riding out peacefully enough when some one among the Carranza troops started shooting. Two of our troopers were immediately killed, and six were wounded. Tompkins himself got a bullet through the shoulder. He threw his pack-mules forward, however, and kept up a running fight for about fifteen miles, making a stand at the Rancho Santa Cruz to the north of the town. There the Americans let the jubilant and excited Mexicans approach close, then poured into them a withering fire, killing thirty.

As unimportant as the affair appears in retrospect, it brought the Villa campaign to a sudden and unexpected crisis -a crisis that found General Pershing and his little headquarters outfit in a situation delicate, to say the least. Almost within rifle-shot of his camp was the Carranza detachment referred to; less than a hundred miles away was the now aroused Parral command, smarting after that incident; Chihuahua City itself was full of Carranza troops, and somewhere about was our erstwhile ally, Herrera, with his fighting men. At his camp Pershing was nearly five hundred miles from the border, and with him were not more than twenty armed men, including cooks, correspondents, and mechanics.

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inside with shallow trenches, and between the wheels was piled all the camp equipment collectable, bags, boxes, and bedding. Within this barrier most of the outfit crawled. An exception was the general. He turned in alone some fifty yards away.

But the night passed without incident, and the next day, Saturday, the general received full reports of what had happened to the Thirteenth. The couriers sent toward Parral by automobile brought these details, reporting also that all the flying cavalry units had united at Santa Cruz for mutual protection and that the nicely coördinated envelopment of Villa was at an end. Barricaded in the Santa Cruz Ranch, confident of their ability to meet any eventualities, and itching to deliver a retaliatory blow, the Thirteenth, the Seventh, the Tenth, and the Eleventh, their mounts out of forage, their troopers out at the seat, awaited the general's orders.

Pershing now had two alternatives. He could order the cavalry to join him, and, thus assured of personal protection, make his way north to Namiquipa, now become a base of some importance, with both field telegraph and wireless equipment, or he could make a dash for it alone, as it were, leaving the cavalry to hold its ground, ready to resume the Villa chase should Washington so decree. Meantime he could throw infantry and artillery forward to back up the cavalry, besides sending cavalry reinforcements southward.

Obviously, all depended on whether Washington wanted to see the thing through. What instructions came to the general via Chihuahua or otherwise we with him never knew; but on that afternoon of Saturday, April 15, 1916, we began our withdrawal. The cavalry units remained near Parral, and General Pershing and his escort climbed into cars and trucks and started the trek north over the same trail we had come.

It was sunrise Sunday morning when we reached Namiquipa. There, notwithstanding his fatiguing ride, the general made to the War Department a full account of the situation as he saw it. To the correspondents he issued no

statement explaining his withdrawal campaign,-Boyd and Adair, mentioned

and made no apology for himself or his superiors. He said nothing. But what his plans were we had surmised as we neared Namiquipa about dawn. Swinging down the trail, heading south, singing, were the doughboys, the Sixteenth Infantry, as I recall it. At last, so they felt and hoped, they were going to see some fighting. Behind them came the guns and ammunition-carts of the Fourth Field Artillery. I sent to my paper, and General Pershing censored it, a despatch in which I said:

The United States Punitive Expedition directed against Pancho Villa and his followers has apparently come to a standstill. Whether the halt is to be permanent depends largely on circumstances beyond the control of General Pershing. From a military standpoint he has for the time being come to the end of his lane.

And so he had. Villa, wounded, his mounts ridden out, his men ragged and weary, was allowed to escape. Having aroused the Carranza troops and the populace to open resistance, the United States punitive expedition "ate crow.' Its line was shortened, and the expedition thereafter held what might be styled a cramped tactical position, waiting developments. The pursuit was over.

The guard came to the border. Pershing remained weeks at Namiquipa, then established permanent headquarters near Colonia Dublan, whither he had set out in March.

In mid-June the Carranza troops again attacked the American cavalry, this time the black Tenth, at Carrizal. Besides inflicting considerable losses in killed and wounded, including the only two officers killed in action during the

at the outset of this narrative,-they took seventeen prisoners and transported them to Chihuahua City. We at headquarters with the general were betting three to one that this time it meant war. We would ask the general what he thought. "What do you think?" he would invariably retort.

That was more than three years ago. In the time intervening Pershing has become a world figure. The country has all but forgotten the slogan of the spring of 1916, "Villa, dead or alive," but I am sure the general has not, nor have the fighting men, the old regulars, doughboys and cavalry, who pushed their way southward with him over the desert. Many of those men, officers and privates, now lie in France. What general Pershing thought of them in Mexico may be indicated by the statement he dictated to the writer some weeks after our withdrawal from Satevo. Brief reference has been made to it previously as marking the only occasion when the general showed open annoyance over the flings at his "retreat." His teeth clicked and his gray eyes snapped when he said:

"You can state for me that there never was a command which left the borders of the United States by sea or land that more nearly represented the flower of the American Army or was better qualified to take care of itself in any emergency. They [the Mexicans] can't make this expedition budge one inch unless so ordered. It stands ready to hold its ground, to meet all emergencies, face all contingencies; and I wish you would emphasize that reports of nervousness and feverish preparation are the sheerest nonsense and wildest exaggeration."

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London Discovers "Uncle Abe"


London has taken over the spirit of Abraham Lincoln and now shares its influence with the United States. Historians, poets, and dramatists write of the great American. All London, and soon all England, will be happier and wiser in knowing about "the great heart of humanity."


N event is happening in London which every American ought to know of. It may not in itself appear to be of great importance, but on reflection it becomes a matter of pregnant significance. In an obscure suburb, buried away among shops and booths, is a small theater with the somewhat grandiloquent title of the Lyric Opera House. A year or so ago not one Londoner in ten thousand could have told you where the Lyric Opera House was. Then one day some enthusiasts from Birmingham, with a passion for reforming the stage, came to London. Finding themselves crowded out of all the West End theaters, where revues and pajama farces were in complete sway, they came across this obscure theater and put on a play. It was a purely experimental play, the kind of thing that any theatrical expert would have prophesied as being good for a few matinées, or probably a week's run at a loss. The play concerned the life of an American. It is true, it was a great probably the greatest American who ever lived. But that was all it was. It could not be called a good play in any sense. It certainly had none of the ingredients of a popular success. There was no plot, no sensational development, very little humor, and, strangest of all, no love interest. It just portrayed the character, and some of the human episodes in the political career, of a rugged


But the Londoner, who is slow in the uptake, but persistent when he wants a thing, gradually began to trace his footsteps, as though compelled by some mesmeric force, in the direction of the

Lyric Opera House. To say that the play caught on would be too mild a way of expressing the peculiar grip which the life of Abraham Lincoln has got upon us. London has fallen under the spell of "Uncle Abe." The thing has been an enormous popular success. It has been going on months, and still every performance is crowded out. Only last week a bishop drove up. He had come to town specially from the country to see the play, and he could not get a seat! Now everybody knows the Lyric Opera House and is anxious to direct you thither. But it is n't only the box-office which interests us. The play has been more than a popular success. It has been a symbol, an inspiration.

The people who crowd the theater are not a clique of literary or theatrical dilettante; they are the people. You see them sitting there in rows, the seats are all low-priced,-mixed up and familiar, princes and publicans, bankers, bishops (I hope he got a seat the next night), clerks and green-grocers, horsylooking men and poets, little shop girls and old duchesses. They are peculiarly silent, thrilled, moved. If you ask them, they can't tell you why, but they say, "It 's wonderful," and they go away and come again and again.

How much of this wonder may be due to the genius of Mr. John Drinkwater, who wrote the play and produced it, or to the clever company who interpret it, is difficult to determine. I have spoken to hundreds of people who have been, and many have criticized the acting or the producing or the play itself; but I have not met one who did not think that somehow it was "wonderful" and

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