The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954 Page: 285
order /Raids i& the Lower Rio
CHARLES C. CUMBERLAND
AMONG the backlash effects of the long Mexican Revolution
which began in 191o was a turbulent condition along
the Mexican-United States border which often wore thin
the patience of both countries and on a number of occasions
brought the two governments to the verge of a diplomatic rup-
ture. One of the well-known incidents growing out of this condi-
tion was the Francisco Villa raid on Columbus, New Mexico, and
the subsequent punitive expedition led by General John J.
Pershing into Mexico in 1916-1917; but Pershing's pursuit of
Villa was the culmination of a long series of irritating events
antedating the Columbus raid. The most serious of these early
disturbances arose during a time when there was no recognized
government in Mexico and when the Mexican Revolution itself
was reaching its most violent pitch. Lacking the dramatic impact
of the Villa raids during 1916, the raids made into the Lower
Rio Grande Valley in the summer and early fall of 1915 are not
so familiar to Americans as are the Villa raids.
And yet, the 1915 raids are in many respects more important
than the later forays into American territory. It was in 1915 that
the pattern of inter-boundary raiding was established showing
the way for later developments and indicating what could be
gained at little cost. Furthermore, four prosperous counties, com-
prising a total area only slightly less than that of Connecticut,
were temporarily halted in their economic development, hun-
dreds of people were killed, thousands fled from the region, and
property worth millions of dollars was destroyed. In addition to
these material losses, the raids engendered a wave of quasi-hysteria
which in turn induced abandonment of recognized legal pro-
cedures and amplified already existing prejudice and discrimina-
tion. And finally, coming as they did during a time of world
crisis, the raids served to magnify the inadequacy of the American
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954, periodical, 1954; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101152/m1/364/ocr/: accessed November 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.