The attack at Columbus, NM, was not a minor border incursion by ragged peasants looking for food. The U.S. Army had to do everything it could to save the small town of Columbus. The army loosed more than 20,000 rounds at the Mexicans. During those dark hours Captain Hamilton Brodie took charge of the town’s defenses and sent Lieutenant Lucas and his men to the center of the town to slow the carnage. For two hours Pancho Villa and his gang looted, pillaged, dragged people into the streets and wantonly murdered them.
At the end of the battle, eighteen Americans and an unborn child were dead. Ninety Villistas were killed. While only about 450 Villistas entered the town, nearly a thousand Villistas participated in the attack.
|U.S. Army Dead||U.S. Civilian Dead|
|Pfc. Thomas F. Butler
Sgt. Mark A. Dobbs
Pvt. Fred A. Griffin
Pvt. Frank T. Kinova
Sgt. John J. Nievergelt
Cpl. Paul Simon
Pvt. Jesse P. Taylor
Cpl. Harry P. Wiswell
James T. Dean
Dr. H.M. Hart
Mrs. Bessie James and her unborn child
Wm. T. Ritchie
The Villistas then murdered a helpless family of five including three infants when they later assaulted a ranch house and stole the family’s horses. Nearly one thousand Villistas then returned to Mexico.
Smoke plumes were seen for fifty miles and the town’s fires burned for several days.
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