The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975 Page: 272
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The events that led to Major George T. Langhorne's little punitive expe-
dition into the Mexican state of Coahuila began in 191II. In February of
that year Francisco I. Madero, self-proclaimed provisional president of the
Republic, crossed the Rio Grande from the United States near El Paso to
lead an armed uprising in Mexico. The old regime of President Porfirio
Diaz crumbled. As the revolutionary forces attacked the federal post at
Ojinaga, Chihuahua, formerly known as Presidio del Norte, the Big Bend
tensed. Refugees from Ojinaga deluged the small railroad town of Marfa,
Texas, approximately sixty miles north of Ojinaga, only to be shipped to
El Paso where camps were provided.'
The Diaz government suspected that the insurrectionists were recruiting
men in the Big Bend, particularly in Presidio and Boquillas, Texas, for the
Big Bend was known for its desperados on both sides of the border. The
Mexican Embassy in Washington requested that the United States take
action to assure that the Texan groups would be disbanded before they
crossed the river into Mexico. At the same time, starving guerrillas roamed
northern Mexico, causing many Americans to fear that they might cross
the border and plunder ranches in the Big Bend. Following defeat at Oji-
naga, an estimated 125 revolutionaries took refuge at San Antonio, a village
across the Rio Grande from Candelaria, Texas. Such a combustible situation
led one New York newspaper to report erroneously in 1911 that Terlingua,
Texas, the site of a prosperous mercury mine, had been devastated by
Mexican desperados and many Americans slain.4
Incidents were occurring up and down the Rio Grande. E. S. O'Riley,
an Associated Press reporter in search of a scoop, ventured across the river
to El Polvo early in 1911 and found himself in a personal gunbattle with
government rurales (police) who did not want any stories written about
the insurrectionists. A few months later Inez Salazar and a band of thirty
revolutionists surrounded the ranch house of Lamar Davis, an American
in San Antonio, Chihuahua, demanding provisions, guns and ammunition,
horses, and saddles. The raiders took all that Francisco and Dario Sanchez,
the ranch managers, had. Families in San Antonio fled to the American
Group 94 (National Archives, microfilm), I (quotation), 42; C. A. Hawley, "Life
Along the Border," West Texas Historical and Scientific Society Publications, XX (1964),
74-75. The National Archives reference will hereafter be cited as RG 94.
3Alvey A. Adee to Jacob Dickinson, November 19, g ro, Office of the Adjutant Gen-
eral, Document File, 1716354, Box 6314, Doc. No. 1716354/A, RG 94; The New Era
(Marfa), January 28, g1911 ; Hawley, "Life Along the Border," 74-75; Florence C. Lister
and Robert H. Lister, Chihuahua: Storehouse of Storms (Albuquerque, 1966), 216.
4Copy of telegram from Mexican Embassy in Adee to Dickinson, November 1g, 19I0,
Adjutant General, Document File, 1716354, Box 6314, Doc. No. '716354/A, RG 94;
The New Era, February 11, I9g ; Hawley, "Life Along the Border," 74-75.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975, periodical, 1974/1975; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117149/m1/319/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.