Posts Tagged ‘Mexico’

Cinco de Mayo – Celebrating the Decisive Battle of Puebla

May 5, 2012

THE DECISIVE BATTLE OF PUEBLA.

Mexico’s children everywhere are celebrating today the 59th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla; popularly known as the Cinco de Mayo — 5th of May.

To Americans in general, and to Texans particularly, this battle is of peculiar interest because of its decisive effect in checking the French invasion of Mexico at a most critical time for America. Taking advantage of the fact that the American Union was engaged in civil war, Napoleon III, pursuing his plan to give the French empire supremacy in the New World as well as in the Old, had begun war against the Juarez government of Mexico, in support of the self-styled “government” of Miramon which had been defeated and overthrown in December, 1860, in the battle of Calpulapan.

Previous military operations had resulted in the advance of the French army under Gen. Lorencez, together with a Mexican “conservative” force under Gen. Taboado, to the town of Amazoc, just east of Puebla, on May 2, 1862. The next day, the Mexican national army under Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza — who was born on the Bay of Espiritu Santo, Texas, in 1829 — retreating before the French advance, entered the City of Puebla. On the 4th, Lorencez advanced to Los Alamos, within sight of PUebla, where he camped astride the Vera Cruz road. He had about 6,000 French troops, and 300 Mexican cavalry. The same day, Zaragoza made his preparations for defense. The Arteaga division — commanded temporarily by Gen. Negrete — occupied the Loreta and Guadalupe forts, northwest of Puebla. The infantry of the Toluca brigade of Gen. Berriozabal continued the line from Guadalupe toward the Vera Cruz road. The San Luis Potosi brigade extended the line to the right. The extreme right, on the Amozoc road, was held by the Oaxaca division of Gen. Portorio Diaz. The Mexican cavalry was placed near Azcarate’s brickyard. The artillery was commanded by Gen. Rodriquez. The city itself was held by Tapia’s bridgade, commanded temporarily by Gen. Escobedo. The total Mexican force was about 5,000 men, a great number of whom were recruits.

The French advanced at 4 o’clock in the morning of May 5th, a strong column marching to the northwest for the attack on the forts of Guadalupe and Loreto. After cannonading the forts for two hours, an assault was made on them; the French massing between the two forts as they advanced. Meanwhile, Berriozabal had been sent with his infantry to reinforce Negrete at the forts, together with some cavalry under Gen. Alvarez. After a hard fight the French were repulsed, and retreated. Another French column arriving at this moment, the lines were reformed, and a second, and much more determined attack was made on the two forts and the Resureccion chapel south of Guadalupe. This attack, and a following one, also were repulsed; the Mexican cavalry charging upon the defeated assailants.

On the southeast front, Gen. Diaz ???s? sustained a hard attack, which ???iled like the others. The French returned to their Los Alamos camp at nightfall, and a few days later retreated to Orizaba, followed by Diaz for some distance.

The French loss was 131 killed, and ?45 wounded and sick. The Mexican loss was 87 killed, 132 wounded and 12 missing. By order of Juarez, the sound prisoners were sent back to the French lines; and later all sick and wounded also were returned, provided with money for the journey. All French medals and decorations taken were returned; the Mexicans keeping only one French flag, captured from a famous ????? regiment. This banner is still in the citadel of Mexico.

The result of the battle was decisive for Mexico. It delayed the occupation of the City of Mexico for more than a year, and led to the failure of the French expedition and of Maximilian’s empire. Gen. Zaragoza, the victor, was given a sword by his country, and received other honors; but worn out by the strains of the campaign, he died at Puebla on the following 8th of September. The city where he died is known officially as Puebla de Zaragoza. There are many other places in Mexico which bear his name.

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) May 5, 1921

Colt’s Revolvers

January 4, 2012

THE FIRST COLT’S REVOLVERS.
From the New York Herald.

“There is a romantic side in weapons of war,” said an old army officer the other day. “The origin of our purely American arm, the Colt revolver, furnishes an instance that will illustrate this. It seems perfectly adapted to American frontier conditions. It has given its skillful wielders the victory on many a hard-fought field. And this is why its rise and development should be a part of our country’s military history.

“In the ’30s we were enlarging our national boundaries in the Southwest. We could not consistently develop in any other direction, for the country to the northwest was not very desirable. We were looking for a region that was especially adapted to southern products to be cultivated by slave labor. The South was in the saddle, and meant to remain there if southern blood and valor could accomplish it. The young and thriving republic of Texas was the point toward which the attention of the region south of Mason and Dixon’s line was turned. A handful of daring young Americans had wrested from Mexico a region five times the size of any state in the Union. It was then called the republic of Texas.

“The state of Tennessee was primarily responsible for this daring step. Gen. Sam Houston had gathered together a handful of daring young men full of hot-blooded courage. The blood of the plo??ers that took Tennessee from the most warlike Indian tribe on this continent was in them. For a long time it was an uphill fight. Not only the Mexicans, but the Comanches and Lipans — unequated warriors and daring horsemen — harassed and raided the scattered frontier settlements and towns along the Texas border, until it really appeared as if the entire scheme of the settlement of Texas must go down in blood.

“But the men who started in to do this work were not of the quitting kind. They were of the tory hating, Indian fighting stock that obstacles did not daunt nor danger quell. And they set their teeth hard and swore they would stay. To guard their frontier thoroughly and effectively they organized bands or companies of rangers, under officers who could not only fight Indians and Mexicans, but control and discipline their own men.

“Among these commanders Colonel Hays, better known as ‘Jack’ Hays, was incontestably the ablest. He was a born leader of men, just such men as were peopling that great southwestern frontier. In stature he was about 5 feet 8 inches, and never weighed over 160 pounds. His hair was darkish brown, inclined to be red, and his eyes were of several colors, according to his moods. In his hours of relaxation and among his friends they were of a dark gray with a hue of hazel. In excitement, and especially in a fight, hey were of a color indescribable. They simply seemed to blaze.

“Some time in the late ’30s Colonel Hays was directed by the president of Texas to go to New York and purchase suitable arms to equip his troops. He had then about 150 men, but they were not uniformly armed and lacked equipment suitable for a command. They needed to be equipped alike and with the very best weapons available at that time.

“So, in obedience to his orders, and with a letter of credit on the Texan treasurer, Hays took passage in a schooner bound for New York. He was a month in making the trip, for he started in September, when the gulf is usually stormy and the prevailing winds from the southwest and everywhere else. They were blown into nearly every port from Galveston northward before they got in sight of the island of Manhattan. Colonel Hays went the rounds of the firearms dealers of New York. It was not a difficult undertaking, for there were but four or five of them, but he did not find anything he had not seen before in the way of firearms.

“One day, however, a dealer said: ‘There is a man living over in New Jersey at present who has just invented a pistol which I would like to have you see.’

“‘What is there about it that makes it different from other pistols?’ asked Hays.

“‘Well, for one thing, it shoots six times without reloading.’

“Colonel Hays’ interest was immediately aroused. ‘Indeed, I’d like very much to see it,’ he said.

“‘Very well; then I’ll have him in here with it to-morrow about this time,’ responded the dealer. So the next day about 1 or 2 o’clock the man came in. He was about 30 years old, and chiefly a gun smith by trade, though he did all sorts of work in fine steel. He said he had just concluded an order of sabers for members of the regiment of dragoons just then being raised.

“‘This is my pistol, colonel,’ said he, opening a case and handing the weapon to the Texas colonel. ‘The instant I looked at it I said it was just what I wanted,’ said Hays to his brother, Gen. Harry Hays of New Orleans. There was a 60 foot gallery in the rear of the store for the testing of arms. They took the model pistol, which was about like the Colt’s pocket arm of to-day in size, caliber and weight, and the expert fired all six barrels off in less than a minute. The penetration was good, as was the accuracy.’

“‘Now, I want a pistol of this pattern, but with a long cylinder and eight-inch long barrel, taking a bullet of about 50 grains weight, made as soon as you can make it. I will advance you $?0 on it now to enable you to purchase the material and have the barrels ri??ed. If the pistol shoots as well as I think it will I will talk to you about a contract for 100 of them, and also about a rifle on the same principal.’

“In two weeks the pistol was ready to be tested. It shot very well with sufficient force to kill if it hit a man at from 100 to 150 yards distance. At the same time a rifle was constructed on the same principle. It was about a .44 caliber, with a cylinder that would contain about 80 grains of powder, and carried a round and an oblong bullet. The arm came up to Hays’ expectations in all respects. He took the model to Texas with him and submitted it to his rangers. When it had been thoroughly tested they ordered 100 of the pistols and ?0 of the rifles. The latter was so constructed that when the cylinder was fired it could be slipped out, and another cylinder, all ready loaded, put into the arm in one time and two motions — that is, in 30 seconds.

“Shortly after the troop had been armed with these new weapons they were tried in a sharp fight that settled the question of the superiority over those of their Indian and Mexican antagonists once and for all. About 600 or 700 Mexicans and Comanche and Lipan Indians crossed over into Texas, under the leadership of Canates, a noted ‘raider’ from the other side of the Rio Grande, and with a herd of about 1,000 head of fat beef cattle and perhaps 500 mules, were making their way back to Chihuahua, where Canates had a fine ranch and lived in princely style. He was one of the richest men in Northern Mexico and the ablest soldier in that section.

“The 200 lancers with him charged Hays’ men fearlessly. Hays let them come on until they were within good easy range, and then opened up on them with his 50 rifles. After the first volley Canates thought he had the Americans foul. ‘Meurah los Americanos,’ he shouted, as he dashed at the little band of intrepid fighters commanded by ‘Ned’ Burleson, one of Hays’ most trusted lieutenants. Crash, crash, crash, went the rifles.

“‘Por Dios,’ what sort of a rifle have those devils of Americans?’ they shouted to one another, as leaving the stolen cattle and about one-sixth of their command dead or badly wounded on the ground in the hands of the dreaded Americans, they struck out for the Rio Grande and the other side. Hays had captured a priest, and sent him with others to tell Canates to send an escort and wagons enough to carry away all the wounded that were able to be moved. It was soon reported along the border that las Americans had a dreadful rifle that they used by magic of some sort as long as they wished without reloading.

“Canates offered a great reward for one of these new guns. He was a well-educated man, and realized at once that the Americans had some sort of arm that was not generally known and was vastly superior in rapidity of fire and reloading to any then in use. It was nearly two years, however, before he could get his hands on one of them. Col. Samuel Colt had pledged himself not to furnish his new arm to any but Americans and men who would not suffer if to get into the wrong hands.

“The United States army, particularly the three mounted regiments then in service, the first and second regiments of dragoons and the mounted rifles, were equipped with Colt’s revolving pistols as soon as the ordinance department could be persuaded to adopt them.

“It is a curious feature of our ordinance office that it is always the very last of the military establishments to see any merit in any invention that does not emanate from some member of its corps. That used to be the invariable rule. But it has been a good deal modified in late years, with the invention and adoption of other nations of warlike instruments that were of American invention and plan.

“The renown of the famous American pistol soon spread all over Europe. Russia was the first country to give Colt a big order, and this it did sufficiently to take three years in its completion. when the Crimeah was began the English and the French guard found, to their amazement, that the Russian guard cavalry and some of the picked mounted regiments of the line were armed with a pistol and carbine far excelling that in the hands of the allied armies of England, France and Turkey, and to-day, in spite of multiplicity of inventions, nothing superior has ever been devised.”

The Anaconda Standard (Anaconda, Montana) Nov 2, 1903

More of the “White Man’s Burden”

November 7, 2011

Another collection of the “White Man’s Burden” from various papers and time periods.

Image from the book cover of A Prairie Populist on the Iowa Research Online website

CARRIES WHITE MAN’S BURDEN.

Populist Delegate Holds Their Baby While His Wife Lobbies.

CINCINNATI, May 8. — Mrs. Luna E. Kelli is one of the most active among the delegates and lobbyists gathering here for the anit-fusion populist national convention. In the near vicinity can usually be seen her husband carrying “the white man’s burden” — in this case their infant.

Mrs. Kelli, who is the editor of the Prairie Home at Hartwell, Neb., is here as a delegate both to the Reform Press association and the populist convention. Her husband is also a delegate to the latter body. At home he is a tiller of the soil.

Mrs. Kelli is particularly active in urging the adoption of a universal suffrage plank, and her husband gives hourly proof that he is assisting her in attaining her desire.

Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) May 8, 1900

THE WHITE MAN’S BURDEN

Practically every western state is facing for this year the greatest tax bill on record. In many instances, the tax has been doubled and trebled in the past six years.

Industry will be called upon to pay this burden and there is no way to get out of it, for the bill has been contracted.

The people are largely to blame for the present state of affairs and they will get no relief until by their voice expressed at elections they have the courage to demand tax reduction and to hold public officials to campaign pledges for economy.

Further, the citizen must get out and vote for men and measures which guarantee economy. If this is not done our tax burdens will grow until it will take special deputies to hunt down individuals and confiscate their property, if they have any, to meet the tax bills. This is not an exaggerated picture.

That the power to tax is the power to destroy has been already well illustrated and taxation today is the greatest single item which prevents and will prevent a return to pre-war conditions. Inasmuch as we have an enormous war tax bill to pay in addition to our other taxes, it is all the more necessary that a reduction in local taxrolls be demanded and secured.

Ada Weekly News (Ada, Oklahoma) Jul 28, 1921

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MacNIDER ENLARGES WHITE MAN’S BURDEN
(By Associated Press)

NEW YORK, April 16. — Responsibility for righting the wrongs of the world rests with the people of the United States and Canada, Hanford MacNider, United States Minister to Canada, declared tonight, addressing the annual banquet of the Prudential Insurance Company of America.

“Whether we want the responsibility or not,” he said, “or whether the older countries have any desire to turn their eyes in our direction, it is from the North American Continent that the first move will be expected to right world affairs when they become complicated or confuses.”

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) Apr 17, 1931

CARRY THE WHITE MAN’S BURDEN

France has taken possession of seven islands off the Philippines, with the secret approval of the United States.

This country has lost interest in that part of the world, inasmuch as the Philippines are to be given their freedom, if they so desire.

The United States preferred to have French occupy the islands rather than the Japanese.

From now on the French will be called upon to carry the white man’s burden in that region.

Ogden Standard Examiner (Ogden, Utah) Jul 30, 1933

NEW LANDS ON FRENCH MAPS
[Excerpt]

The despatch boats Astrolabe and Alerte that planted the French flag on Tempest, Loaita, Itu Aba, Thi-Tu and Twin Islands and Amboyne coral reef found inhabitants on only two, Thi-Tu and Twin Islands.

Ogden Standard Examiner (Ogden, Utah) Aug 4, 1933

WHITE MAN’S BURDEN.

The mystery of Italy’s African policy seems to be at least partly explained in the latest statement from the government’s colonial department at Rome.

Under-secretary Allesandro Lessona says:

The Ethiopian situation is a problem of vast importance, embracing the whole European civilizing mission, not merely security for our own lands.”

Americans have not been able to see, from any facts provided by the Italian government, that lawful Italian interests were really threatened in Africa.

The Ethiopian government has seemed eager to settle on any fair basis the trivial boundary dispute that Italy makes so much fuss about. But now the situation begins to clear up. Europe has a “civilizing mission” in Africa, and must make life in that dark continent as “secure” as it is in Europe.

If the Ethiopians have a sense of humor, they must laugh as they read that.

Kokomo Tribune (Kokomo, Indiana) May 11, 1935

THE WHITE MAN’S BURDEN

The Indians of California are on the war path again.

It’s not scalps they’re after, this time, nor are they mobilizing to repulse a new invasion of “pale faces.” They are aroused because a law they pushed through Congress at the recent session was vetoed.

The law was an amendment to an act approved in 1928, which authorized the Indians to sue the U.S. for pay for lands, goods, and other benefits promised in the “Eighteen Lost Treaties” negotiated in 1851 and 1852. It would have made possible suits totalling $35,000,000 instead of just ten or twelve millions, as in now the case.

Of course the Indians are not trying to get back the land itself. But, in view of the hazards of land-owning these days, it might be a break for white men if they did. There is the continual struggle against droughts, insects, weeds and taxes. And now there is this new threat in California to try to support the whole State treasury by a tax on land alone — the Single Tax.

Although such was what Kipling meant by the phrase, nevertheless land seems to be qualifying as the real “White Man’s Burden.” And if this latest tax blow falls on land, we might just as well give it back to the Indians to let it become the Red Man’s Burden.

Arcadia Tribune (Arcadia, California) Jul 20, 1936

THE WHITE MAN’S BURDEN

President Truman has announced that he is considering asking congress for legislation to permit the entry of European refugees — including Jews — to the United States.

How congress will react to this is a matter for speculation, but it is to be hoped that it will be rejected.

From a humanitarian standpoint we will admit that the victims of the World War should be assisted, but it should be in a way of repatriation rather than absorption.

Not so long ago we had an acute unemployment problem in this country, and it is not impossible that it should recur. What it would be if millions of Europeans were received into this country, no one can foretell. It would certainly require more than a glorified WPA, for most of the refugees would be penniless, and would have to  be provided with housing and maintenance until they could become established.

In view of the disturbance which is now in progress in Palestine, it would seem that the admission of Jews would be taking on a problem with which Great Britain has been unable to cope. We might be inviting an explosive situation such as is now besetting the Holy Land.

Somehow Uncle Sam has fallen heir to a large proportion of the white man’s burden of the entire world. We not only financed and furnished munitions and material for our allies in the late war, but have since made them loans, and now the President proposes to adopt all the unfortunates of war-torn Europe.

If the people of the United States are not to be brought to the economic level of Chinese collies, they will have to demand that Uncle Sam quit playing the role of Santa Claus.

Daily Inter Lake (Kalispell, Montana) Aug 17, 1946

J.A. Livingston
Three Major Crises For John Kennedy
[Excerpt]

RECOVERY OR RECESSION

Next week, Secretary of the Treasury Anderson will personally ask Chancellor Adenauer, of West Germany to assume more of the “white man’s” burden and, thus, relieve the drain on U.S. gold. The central bank of West Germany has reduced its discount rate from 5 per cent to 4 per cent in order to discourage the flow of investment funds from the U.S.

2. The new president will have to decide whether the nation is in a recession or recovery is just around the corner. More than 5,000,000 persons will be out of jobs when Kennedy assumes office. Then outdoor work on farms, construction, and the railroads will be at a seasonal low. As many as seven persons out of every hundred may be seeking work.

Mr. Kennedy, therefore, will have to decide whether to cut taxes to stimulate retail sales (see chart), or initiate hurried public works to provide jobs, or both. Such expansionary efforts will unbalance the budget and aggravate international worry about:

3. The soundness of the dollar. Even the richest nation in the world can bite off more economics than it can handle. In recent post-war years, high defense outlays, aid to under-developed nations, and federal social undertakings have overreached taxes. Collectively, as well as individually, Americans have been living on the installment plan.

Big Spring Daily Herald (Big Spring, Texas) Nov 13, 1960

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