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YESTERDAY'S BIG BEND NEWS: VILLA MARCHES ON OJINAGA IN 1913 
SALAZAR AND OROZCO WILL RESIST ATTACK BY REBELS

"PRESIDIO, TEXAS (Via United States Army Telephone to Marfa) Special Wire to the El Paso Times, December 9, 1913, 12 Midnight. It is generally believed here that the federals expect and attack here and are preparing to resist."

"If they have any artillery, none of it has been brought to Ojinaga unless it came in since dark. There is great activity here tonight and judging from campfires stretching many miles to the northward and westward, troops are being rushed into position as fast as they come up from the rear and some are being sent out from Ojinaga."

"The commanders of the American forces, while maintaining a rigid guard, profess not to be alarmed by the latest developments. Nothing can be heard across the river direct as all passes are refused by guards posted by General Salazar and General Orozco."

REFUGEES ARE STREAMING IN

"PRESIDIO, TEXAS (Via United States Army Telephone to Marfa) Special Wire to the El Paso Times, December 9, 1913, 10 p.m. In order to be able to cope with any emergency that might possible arise because of the presence of so many troops and disorganized and disheartened civilians across the river, another troop of cavalry was ordered from Marfa tonight to reinforce the Presidio garrison."

"Thus far, there has been no disorder, the few refugees who have crossed being too tired and too intent on getting to places of safety and comfort to be anything but grateful for the attentions that are being showered upon them after they reach the American side of the river."

"Up to this hour, fewer than 100 civilian refugees have reached Presidio among them to two sons of General Jose Ynez Salazar who will leave in the morning for Marfa to take the train for El Paso."

"Susana Perez and her children who live in El Paso and who were visiting in Chihuahua when General Villa captured Juarez, cutting off escape to the border by rail and who came overland with the refugee caravan were permitted to cross tonight and they too will leave in the morning for their El Paso home."

"General Luis Terrazas and his family arrived in Ojinaga this afternoon. They are well and in good physical condition despite their long and perilous journey, having traveled by automobile and being supplied with heavy clothing. They will be permitted to cross to Presidio some time tomorrow. Directly following them into Ojinaga were the Creels, Lujans, Cultrys and other "royal" families of Chihuahua. They all traveled in one party, guarded in front and rear by a specially delegated guard of regular federal troops. They expected to be permitted to cross the river as soon as they arrived, but for some reason, only known by the powers that be, they are being held in Ojinaga overnight."

"The main refugee party is beginning to arrive in Ojinaga by hundreds and animated by a hope that they will be permitted to cross the river as soon as they arrive, it is probable that they will continue to stream into the little Mexican town all night rather that spend another in the open in the desert. Including the soldiers, it is estimated that 4,000 or 5,000 are crowded into the adobe huts and jacals of the little Mexican town giving it the largest population it has ever seen or will ever have again."

PICTURE IS PITIFUL

"The people composing it are from every walk in life, are of all ages, all conditions, and in the main makeup a picture that is pitiful in the extreme. Owning to the confusion, it is almost impossible to get details of the long trek. All are suffering more or less. In the main, they tell the same tale, one of hardship and mental distress. When asked why they left their more or less comfortable homes in Chihuahua, they all say that they were led to believe that when the city fell into the hands of General Villa's soldiers, it would be looted and burned and those who had remained while it was a federal strong hold would be executed or at least imprisoned and otherwise made to pay heavily for their devotion to their homes."

WOMEN AND CHILDREN WALK

"Women and children who have all their lives been used to comfort, many of them to luxury, have walked the entire distance from Chihuahua to Ojinaga, many of them reaching that point barefoot and in rags, having hardships which they never dreamed of in their happier days."

MANY DIE ON JOURNEY

"Many deaths occurred while the journey was being made, but as no one was delegated to keep a list of those who perished, no accurate estimate has been made or probably ever will be made of the total number of victims of the order to evacuate the state capitol. From those already encamped it is learned that the total number of deaths will probably reach 75 but that is a mere guess."

FACING A FAMINE

"Refugees will have to be kept on the move if they are not to suffer from famine, even after the port is opened to them on Wednesday morning. Presidio is filled to overflowing now and the chances to get something to eat or a bed to sleep on are absolutely nil. Twenty-five men arrived from Marfa Tuesday. They forgot to bring their blankets with them and had to sit up all night Tuesday night around campfires, in the open, not being able to find a bed, a blanket or a roof to spread it under in either town."

IMMIGRATION MEN OPEN "OFFICE"

"The immigration men and others connected with the United States government who will assist in getting the crowd of refuges across the river have build an "office" on the banks of the river in the form of a corral, into which all refugees will be herded as fast as they reach the American side, while they are waiting to be questioned and indexed before being given permission to pass on into the interior. The office equipment consists of a desk made of a dry goods box turned upside down and soap boxes for chairs."

The El Paso Times correspondent who wrote this article is unknown. This may have been written either by Luther Barnard or Bertram B. Caddle. Both of these fine journalists were staff correspondents who worked for the El Paso Times in those years writing many of their stories about the Mexican Revolution from the Big Bend. Gj




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