Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mexican Rebel Ranks Swell with Surrendered Federals

The Mexican insurgent army under Francisco Madero is now firmly in control of the border city of Juarez, just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.  General Juan Navarro, of the Mexican Army, surrendered the city at 2:30 P.M. yesterday afternoon after two days of fighting across the city.  50-75 dead and less than 300 wounded have been reported in today's Washington Herald.

The battle was initiated on May 8 when insubordinate commanders under Madero, Cols. Pascual Orozco and Francisco Villa, attacked a Federal outpost on the eastern outskirt of the city and then made there way along the south bank of the Rio Grande to the Santa Fe Bridge.  Beginning in the early morning of May 9, insurrectos began a general assault on the city, finally at the command of Madero.  By 10:30 A.M. yesterday, the Federals had retreated from the old town mission, assuring the fall of the city as they tried to make for the barracks, but by 1 P.M. an armistice was in effect and Navarro formally surrendered a little over an hour later.  The city today remains in good order, with an anti-liquor order in effect, limiting drunkenness among the victorious rebels.

With the capture of Juarez and several other border towns like Tijuana, Agua Prieta, and Mexicali, the Rebels now control the flow of goods from the United States into Mexico and vice versa.  They are also now in a position to march south against federal reinforcements marching north from Mexico City.  One such force, under Gen. Rabago, is marching for Juarez from Chihuahua and it is expected that Madero will move south to meet him in battle.  Madero will be aided in the fight by 150 federal troops who had been part of the federal garrison in Juarez when it fell.  Soldiers and officers who have sworn an oath of allegiance to Madero have been given their freedom and allowed to join Madero's rebel army.  Those who have not have been taken prisoner, including Gen. Navarro.  The general will likely be part of a prisoner exchange with the Diaz government, likely for Eduardo Hayes, a member of the insurrecto board of strategy.

Madero made the following statement yesterday evening:
The Taking of Juarez is of great military and political importance for the revolution and assures our complete triumph in a short time.  The forces which defended the town fought valiantly.  They owe their defeat to the fact that our forces were inspired in the fight by their spirit to win political liberty, while the federal soldiers were in the ranks by yoke of discipline.  The majority are in the army against their will. 
For this reason I wish to announce to all soldiers that I will set them free as soon as I can find a way which will assure them some means of employment.  Those who do not wish to incorporate themselves in our forces at present I cannot set free, as they have no means of sustenance.  As far as I can observe now, the majority of them will augment my forces.  Some of the officers may enter my army if they wish, and the others who wish to remain loyal to the government of Diaz will be exchanged for political and military prisoners.
Link: Rebels Control Border Towns; Take Offensive [The Washington Herald]
Link: Federals Take the Oath of Allegiance to Gen. Madero [The Bisbee Daily Review]

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