Military Map of Mexico with Special Reference to the Situation Developed by the Columbus Raid

On 9 March 1916, General Francisco “Pancho” Villa, leading around 500 cavalrymen of his Division of the North, crossed the border and attacked the town of Columbus, New Mexico. Villa and his forces burned many of the buildings in town, which had a population of around 500 and was located about 3 miles north of the border. Initially taken by surprise, the 270 soldiers of the 13th U.S. Cavalry who were assigned to defend the town quickly recovered and, after a 90-minute fight, were able to force Villa and his men to retreat back to Mexico. More than 90 Mexican soldiers were killed, while 7 American soldiers and 15 civilians lay dead after the battle. The United States responded to the raid by activating 130,000 National Guardsmen, from all 48 states, and sending them to the border, and by placing General John “Black Jack” Pershing in charge of the Punitive Expedition, designed to enter Mexico and try to capture Villa. In those border operations, the Army used airplanes and mechanized vehicles, both firsts for the US Army in a combat situation. This map, published by the Los Angeles Sunday Times on 19 July 1916, describes the situation following the raid on Columbus.