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the atlantic coast  •  1928A, p. 2
jan 27 - march 6, 1928

A T L A N T I C    C O A S T    D O C S
thru 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 +

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   THIS IS THE SECOND PAGE of documents for the first HALF of 1928 on Nicaragua's Atlantic Coast region, housing materials dated during the 40 days from January 27 to March 6, 1928. 

     The page consists mainly of periodic intelligence reports from Puerto Cabezas and Bluefields, along with a couple more lengthy letters from Merritt A. Edson to his family, a handful of brief items on the Coast from the Managua daily La Noticia, and various other illuminating items.  We see the Marines getting a better sense of the lay of the land, as in Capt. Sage's perspicacious March 3 letter from Bluefields to Colonel Dunlap, where he writes that "this part of the country is absolutely different in population, actions, customs, language, and topography than anything on the West Coast.  The bulk of the people here are black, English is spoken more than Spanish and all travel is by water ... the Cuyamel Fruit Company ... practically runs the town here, all of the leading men being Americans and most of the natives in town employed by the Cuyamel when they feel like working."  Major Utley's unfinished manuscript on the Eastern Area (Feb 18) offers an excellent capsule summary of the US intervention to this point.  The forthright honesty in some of these missives is refreshing, e.g., Major Utley's February 6 remark to Major Floyd that "There is absolutely nothing on record here either written or verbal as to our precise duty in Nicaragua" (we learn from the same letter that even the highest-ranking American military officer in the region, Major Utley, had time to play chess by radio, an illuminating hint about the relative tranquility of the region).  The case of Jamaican immigrant James Hibbert of Bluefields also commands attention for its vivid depiction of the racist and violent behavior of the drunken US Marines at his canteen, and for Hibbert's insistence on his rights as a Nicaraguan citizen (March 6). 

     Just becoming familiar with the region's social and cultural landscape, the Marines will soon be stirred from their relatively quiet duty on the Coast.  These various reports offer many illuminating details.

 

PERIOD MAPS

1894 mosquito shore

27 MB, library of congress

1920s Standard Fruit

6.5 mb, US National archives

1928 Rio wanks Patrol

3 mb, us national archives

1931 Moravian

2.4 mb, coMENius press

1.   27 January 1928.

Letter from Capt. Merritt A. Edson, Cristobal, Canal Zone, to "the two of you," p. 1.   "To the two of you: -  ¶  Where were we before?  Just leaving Bluefields for Cristobal, I believe, and what a trip!  All the way down I worked on the report of the board of investigation and just about got down by the seas.  You know how it feels to be on the verge of mal-de-mar and still carry on – and that is the way I felt the day out. Just after daylight on the morning of the 14th we entered the headwaters in Cristobal.  We had expected to be in the Zone not over twelve hours – just long enough to [?] our provisions but the night before another radio arrived with instructions to lay over until the arrival of the Chateau [Thierey] so as to take Major Utley back to Bluefields.  All that day I worked on the report of the board – finishing it at the fine hour of one on Sunday morning.  I did get . . . "

2.   27 January 1928.

Letter from Capt. Merritt A. Edson, Cristobal, Canal Zone, to "the two of you," p. 2.   " . . . over to Coco Solo, trying to locate our household things, but got no trace of them there. I radioed Phila last month, you know, to have them hold them, but they were already shipped by that time, with the exception of the automobile. That is still in Phila – probably rusting itself out.  ¶  Monday, the sixteenth, Mr. [Dawson?] and I went over to Balboa.  We just went to Colon solo, hoping to get a ride by plane across the isthmus. The thing took off, however, about five minutes before we docked, and they refused to furnish us with another.  So we went into Colon, had luncheon, and took the noon train over.  Upon arriving in Balbon I got a release from the customs for such things as I sought with to ship into Balboa and Panama, and then went to the 15th Naval District headquarters on the search for our things.  No one was to be found – for with the exception of one girl and one telephone boy, everyone had stopped work for the . . .'

3.   27 January 1928.

Letter from Capt. Merritt A. Edson, Cristobal, Canal Zone, to "the two of you," p. 3.   " . . . day at one o’clock.  So then two of us decided to stay on until morning. It was a memorable occasion.  We dined well and heartily – called in the Commander who supplied us well with wine – and then we gathered at the well known cabaret of Kelleys.  While sitting there, who should walk up and speak to me but Herman Knicker of Burlington – UVN ’19 – whom I had not seen since college.  He is on two stripes in the Navy and is on the tanker [Kanawha], which had arrived from San Diego that day and would be in Cristobal than next.  I invited him over for dinner on the Denver and he was over the next night for dinner and a bridge game the first we have played since I have been on the ship.  That shows how well my bridge is progressing.  I do not think there are four people on board who would play contact bridge – it is hard enough to find four, outside the Captain, who can play auction well enough to make it . . ."

4.   27 January 1928.

Letter from Capt. Merritt A. Edson,Cristobal, Canal Zone, to "the two of you," p. 4.   " . . . interesting.  ¶  The next morning in Balboa I went back to the 15th Naval District and in due time located our things in their store boxes.  I took out my two trunks and left the rest of the things. I also requested that they be shipped to Boston for storage, for from all the information I can get, this is a very bad place to keep anything due to the humidity and heat.  There is a slight possibility that they will be sent to Boston on the Vega which goes through next week.  ¶  Every afternoon except Monday, I was out with the baseball team.  Wednesday, the 18th, we played Truman Field, then army aviation team.  While there I met Lieut. Jones, who I knew down at Kelly.  He and Mrs. Jones had me out for dinner that evening at the Strangler’s Club, where we danced until one o’clock in the morning.  Incidentally, they extended a very hearty invitation to you and the youngster to come and stay at their quarters when [and] for as . . . "

5.   27 January 1928.

Letter from Capt. Merritt A. Edson, Cristobal, Canal Zone, to "the two of you," p. 5.   " . . . long as you might wish during my time down there.  They have quarters at the field – as do all army fliers stationed here.  ¶  The next day I flew over to Balton in an army plane for a short visit at the hospital.  I learned that Richal was there as I went over purposely to see him.  He was wounded on New Years day near Quilalí, Nicaragua and is quite down in the spirits now, as he may well be.  His right eye is shot out and although they have every hope of saving his left eye, he cannot see anything out of it now.  He lies there with nothing to do but think – and most of the thoughts are rather unpleasant often.  I am enclosing a Christmas card which came in the first mail I received (January 13th) (we have had one more only since then.  There is another due here day after tomorrow, but of course we get under way before it gets here). I am sure that Mrs. Richal would be only too glad to hear . . . "     

[NOTE: 1st Lt. Merton A. Richal was wounded in action at Zapotillal Ridge on the first of January; see USMC CASUALTIES and the original patrol report describing the event:  PC28.01.04a BROWN]

6.   27 January 1928.

Letter from Capt. Merritt A. Edson, Cristobal, Canal Zone, to "the two of you," p. 6.   " . . . from you, for I imagine that she too is feeling none too cheerful.  ¶  The next day the Chateau Thierey came in. I went on board her to meet Major Utley and bring him on board the Denver. There were also on board Major Dulty Smith from Phila, and none other than Jake Lienhart.  They were bound for the west coast of Nicaragua.  Lieut. Marshall, who was then quartermaster this past summer, was also with them.  The Oglala, carrying the east coast portion of the 11th Regiment went through the Sunday morning before – January the 15th.  She stopped on this side only an hour so I did not get a chance to see Ridderhof, Jackson, or any of them.  If we ever go up the west coast to Corinto, I hope to see them all as well as Bob Blake, but there is no possibility of meeting them on the east coast.  ¶  An hour after the major came on board, we were off for Bluefields . . . "

7.   27 January 1928.

Letter from Capt. Merritt A. Edson, Cristobal, Canal Zone, to "the two of you," p. 7.   " . . . Besides him there were Lieut. Shearer and 15 men being sent up as replacements. The major is to take charge of all activities, both Marines and Guardia, on the east coast.  ¶  We fully expected to stay put this trip, but the very next day came a radio to proceed to Puerto Cabezas, pick up Mr. Eberhardt, American Minister to Nicaragua and take him to the Zone for a steamer leaving later the night of the 23rd.  We stopped one hour at Bluefields, and another at Puerto Cabezas and then weighed anchor and headed for Cristobal again, arriving here last Monday night at seven thirty.  Since that time we have been lying here, crated and provisioned, waiting to take General Lejeune up to the east coast on an inspection trip.  He was to arrive here next Monday, but at six this evening a message came saying he would go home via San Diego . . . "

[NOTE:  Major General John A. Lejeune was the Major General Commandant — the top officer — of the U.S. Marine Corps.]

8.   27 January 1928.

Letter from Capt. Merritt A. Edson, Cristobal, Canal Zone, to "the two of you," p. 8.   " . . . and ordering us out as soon as possible for Bluefields, Cape Gracias, etc. so tomorrow at nine thirty we weight anchor once more and head north. This time I guess we will be up there for a month or six weeks.  ¶  I have not been out a single day or night from the ship except with the baseball team or on duty so you see I have settled down for keeps.  Every afternoon with the team, however, certainly does eat into the available time for other things.  In addition to other duties, I have been made Judge Advocate of all general court martial, so that will keep me fairly busy, I guess, from here on.  There are three cases at Bluefields waiting trial now.  ¶  Besides the card from the Richals', I have some here from Russell Smith, Mike and Alice, Major and Mrs. Morse, and Sgt. and Mrs. Tom Weeks, and Glen Chamberlain and his wife.  I will send most of them . . . "

9.   27 January 1928.

Letter from Capt. Merritt A. Edson, Cristobal, Canal Zone, to "the two of you," p. 9.   " . . . later when the letters are not as fat.  ¶  Incidentally I am nearly out of envelopes.  If you can duplicate them – “Bryon Weston Company, [Linen Record]” – will you please send me a box of 250 of them?  I cannot get them here.  ¶  With the gift of your father, I am getting a copy of Kipling’s Complete Verse.  The book which I am to get here has been located and the next time I come in to port I shall part with $7.50 and acquire it.  ¶  Are you having Barber's and other bills charged to you?  If you do, you enter on the face of the receipted bill the following:  “Paid to ______, $____.  (Mrs. Merritt A. Edson, #58392.”   And send them to the Association of Army and Navy Stores, Inc. 469 Fifth Ave., New York.  I can see no reason why that should not be done, do you?  ¶  I have taken my annual physical and was all ok except for my eyes.  For the first time in history I could not pass . . . "

10.   27 January 1928.

Letter from Capt. Merritt A. Edson, Cristobal, Canal Zone, to "the two of you," p. 10.   " . . . a 20/20 test getting only 18/20 with each eye.  ¶  Kiss Austin good night and tell him that I am missing the two of you more than you know.  Good night and lots of kisses.  I do not know when we will get our next mail off, but this I promise faithfully no less than three letters to be written each week to you.  ¶  Good night once more.  ¶  Merritt"

30 January 1928.

Weekly Record of Events from 0000 22 January to 2400 29 January, 1928, Capt. D. J. Kendall, Bluefields.    " ... Map used  ¶  None.  ¶  LOCATION of outposts  ¶  Puerto Cabezas, El Bluff, Ell Gallo, Rama.  ¶  Location of main body  ¶  Bluefields.  ¶  Patrols sent out to  ¶  1 Sgt and five men to Rama, outpost established.  ¶  Course sailed and distance  ¶  Escondido River sixty miles Bluefields to Rama.  ¶  Duty performed  ¶  Maintaining order in districts.  ¶  Composition of Roads  ¶  Muddy  ¶  Composition of rivers  ¶  Normal.  ¶  Ammunition of hand  ¶  F.A.  None, Rifle 78400, M.G. only, 10600, Pistol 500, 37mm 150.  ¶  Rations on hand  ¶  45 days.  ¶  Health of troops  ¶  Good. Sick one."

6 February 1928.

Weekly Record of Events from 0000 30 January to 2400 5 February, 1928, Major H. H. Utley, Bluefields.    " ... Map used  ¶  None. ¶  Location of outposts  ¶  Puerto Cabezas, El Bluff, El Gallo, Rama.  ¶  Location of main body  ¶  Bluefields.  ¶  Patrol sent out to;  ¶  Area Commander and one enlisted man from El Gallo by motor boat to Tourmarine (14 miles); on foot to mahogany camp to Caraola Creek (16 kiolmeters); by cuyuke to CAMP #6 on Curinhuas River (70 miles estimated); by tug to Bluefields via PERIA CITY (120 miles); for the purpose of observing condition and gaining first-hand information of routs of communications.  Three enlisted men from BLUEFIELDS to CAMP #6 on CURINHUAS River (120 miles) for purposes of making contact with patrol shown above.  ¶  Courses  ¶  Various  ¶  Condition of rivers  ¶  El Grande, Normal; Caraola Creek, low; Curinhuas, Normal.  ¶  Condition of trails  ¶  Very muddy.  Impassible for wheeled vehicles.  Passible with difficulty for people and pack animals.  ¶  Ammunition on hand  ¶  F.A. none; Rifle 78400, M.G. only, 10800; Pistol 500, 37mm 150.  ¶  Rations on hand  ¶  40 days  ¶  Health of troops  ¶  Good.  Sick one.

6 February 1928.

Letter from Major H. H. Utley, Bluefields, to Oliver Floyd, Managua.    "Dear Oliver: -  ¶  I know that you are busy but I am going to annoy you nevertheless before embarking on the Denver for Puerto Cabezas and vicinity.  ¶  This promises to be a very interesting job and one that will keep me reasonable busy for many months to come so I have no kick coming and am not at all desirous of being replaced as long as the higher ups are content to leave me here.  ¶  If you have time and it is not impertinent of me to ask can I be advised as to what if any authority the SOP afloat has over me?  So far I have avoided going to the mat with him and hope to continue so, but he annoys my junior officers considerably in my absence, and I would like to know where I stand.  Little things like directing the disposition of records, criticizing the distribution of troops, wanting SCMs to convene on board his ship and so on, but all very annoying.  Sometimes I wonder if he knows that this outfit has reverted to the 5th Regiment.  There is nothing here on file except the bare radio that 51st Co reverts to 5th Regt control at a specified time.  In fact that main criticism I have is the scarcity of records.  Fortunately Capt. Kendall was left here with me otherwise since we would normally take his head with him wherever he went I would be up against it.  However that is being corrected as far as possible.  ¶  There is absolutely nothing on record here either written or verbal as to our precise duty in Nicaragua.  I assume that it is to preserve order, which of course carries with it the protection of life and property and the enforcement of such of the laws as tend to that end.  ¶  In order to estimate where the bulk of my large force should be located to prevent any movement for recruiting purposes in this direction it would be a big help if we could have in addition to the Intelligence Report, a contemporaneous report showing the location of our patrols and posts in the interior to the end that with the two I might estimate which of the several available routes our friend could easily take.  ¶  Have just returned from a weeks patrol up the Grande across to Carawala and down the Curinhuas to Pearl Lagoon, and am leaving this afternoon for Puerto Cabezas and Cape Gracias area.  ¶  Upon my return think that I will be in a position to make recommendations that might be of some value.  So far have abstained from all such that were not forces upon me until I knew where of I spoke.  Pardon errors of spelling and punctuation etc.  This typewriter is not accustomed to make such corrections and insists on printing the letter I strike regardless of the context.  ¶  With best regards,  ¶  Sincerely  ¶  Utley."

1.   8 February 1928.
Telegram from US Minister C. Eberhardt, Managua, to the Secretary of State, Washington, p. 1.  
NOTE:  This telegram from the US Minister in Managua is included here because it offers a "big-picture" view of the US view of the Nicaragua situation and a powerful (if implicit) contrast between Las Segovias and the Atlantic Coast region — and because the language on Sandino and his rebellion is classic State Department:  "lawless bands" & "lawless elements" "infest" the "disturbed area" while the USA is "protecting life & property" — this, in a nutshell, was the core narrative propagated by the USA regarding Sandino in Las Segovias.  And it simply does not apply, in Eberhardt's view or anyone else's under the authority of the US executive branch, to the Atlantic Coast region:  

"FROM MCCOY.   Except as indicated below, conditions throughout Nicaragua are generally peaceful and orderly . This condition is however due solely to the presence, under impartial American officers, of the Marine Corps and Guardia forces which give assurance to those who are peacefully disposed and which hold partisan violence in check.  Pending the elimination of certain lawless bands that still infest parts of the disturbed area, clashes are to be expected from time to time between those lawless elements and the troops engaged in protecting life and property.  (END OF GRAY)  (GREEN)  Since bombing on January 14 and occupation of Sandino stronghold at Chipote his forces have disappeared from that locality.  On February 4 our aeroplanes under Major Howell definitely located the presence in San Rafael de Norte in northwest part of the department of Jinotega of an organized force of about 150 armed men.  Marines who entered San Rafael on . . . "

2.   8 February 1928.
Telegram from US Minister C. Eberhardt, Managua, to the Secretary of State, Washington, p. 2.   
" . . . February 5 transmitted unconfirmed reports from native sources to the effect that Sandino had been with the force at San Rafael.  A despatch from Summerlin dated February 5 transmitted information received from the President of Honduras to the effect that Sandino with about 300 men had on February 2 crossed into Honduras from Jalapa heading northward toward wild region about Catacamas.  Report indicated this last force as dwindling.  Other Honduranean and Salvadorian elements from Sandino’s forces have also been reported as crossing the Honduranean frontier at various places.  A despatch from (Cruse) dated February 7 states that reliable information is to effect that Sandino was at Dipilto on February 2nd and that increasing evidence tends to confirm his later crossing into Honduras east of Jalapa. (END OF GREEN)  ¶  (GRAY)  Reliably informed American who left Matagalpa at daylight February 6th states that reports to which the American attaches full credence had reached Matagalpa on the evening of February 6th to the effect that bandit forces under Sandino had that day occupied two German properties about ten miles east of Jinotega and were advancing on coffee plantation La Fundadora . . . "

3.   8 February 1928.
Telegram from US Minister C. Eberhardt, Managua, to the Secretary of State, Washington, p. 3.  
" . . . situated about fourteen miles north of Matagalpa owned by Charles Potter, a British subject.  On afternoon February 7 Potter telegraphed an American here indicating Potter’s property had been occupied and that occupation by a detachment from Sandino’s forces with total alleged strength of several hundred men is also reported in a dispatch dated February 7th received by Legation today from American consular agent at Matagalpa.  (END GRAY)  ¶  (GREEN)  Having in view above conflicting reports, probability is believed to favor conclusion that Sandino with force of several hundred men is now in coffee area near Matagalpa owned largely by Americans and other foreigners.  Reinforcements are now moving toward threatened area both from here and from northern area and part of these should reinforce regular Matagalpa garrison this evening.  ¶  EBERHARDT "

11 February 1928.

Warning Order, Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas.    " ... 1. This force will be prepared for a further advance westward in the province of Jinotega for the purpose of denying territory to the bandits and destroying bands wherever found.  ¶  2. The detachment of the 51st Company now at Quepi will be prepared to move to La Luz.  Upon arrival at La Luz, Lieutenant Ross, and the radio operator, Private Bettis, together with radio set now at Quepi, will be available for such assignment as the company commander, 60th Company, desires.  The Hospital Corpsman will be assigned to the advance platoon of the 60th Company.  The remaineder of the detachment will be sent to Waspuc, via Neptune, to garrison Waspuc.  ¶  3. A detachment of the 60th Company of approximately 40 men under an officer will be prepared to move about two days march westward from Cuvali on the Matagalpa Trail and establish a base from which they can operate and report its location when established.  A garrison of approximately two squads will be retained at Cuvali.  ¶  4. The Commanding Officer, 59th Company, will be prepared to move the detachment now at Garrobo to establish as base in the vicinity of Paso Real De Cua, leaving a detachment to garrison Garrobo.  ¶  5. Thirteen (13) enlisted will be sent forward from Waspuc to Bocay.  ¶  6. When relieved from present duty, Lieutenant Cook will proceed to Waspuc as relief for Lieutenant Cunningham, who will join his company for such assignment as the Company Commander desires.  ¶  7. Forty (40) mules will be procured by the Brigade Quartermaster for delivery to advance post of the Southern Area on the MATAGALPA TRAIL.  The Commanding Officer 60th Company will arrange to send a patrol to obtain these mules, delivering ten (10) to Garrobo, retaining the remainder for his own pack train.  ¶  Harold H. Utley"

13 February 1928.

Intelligence Report from 0000 5 Feb, to 2400 11 Feb, 1928, Major H. H. Utley, Bluefields, p. 1.   
" ... GENERAL STATE OF TERRITORY OCCUPIED.   ¶ Calm  ¶  ECONOMIC CONDITIONS.  ¶  Improving.  Mahogany contractors continue to bring more laborers out from the interior.  Mahogany contractors are also buying up ox teams in Chontales and bringing them to the coast to drag their lumber out from the woods to the creeks and rivers where it’s floated down to be loaded.  General Miller the former Liberal General left Bluefields via San Juan Del Norte and San Carlos Feb, 10th for the purpose of recruiting labor and buying bulls in Chontales for his mahogany camp between the Kurringuas and Rio Grande Rivers.  The report that the Bragmans Bluff Lumber Company had let a contract for 2000 farm laborers to Carlos Pasos was verified.  The contract calls for laborers to be brought from the interior outside the sphere of influence of the Cuyamel Co. There is a surplus of artisan labor in Puerto Cabezas and a shortage of farm labor in that district.  If Carlos Pasos should deem it wise to prepare for eventualities this contract undoubtedly offers him an excellent opportunity to recruit the nucleus of a considerable force which would be available at his call in case of another revolution.  The Carmelita, a motor schooner said to have been furnished to the revolution by Mexico and which was used by the revolutionists as a gunboat is now in the hands of Daniel Mena.  She was turned over to the government of Nicaragua at the close of the revolution and after being repaired was rented to Daniel Mena.  She recently made a trip to Cabo de Gracias and returned with the lumber confiscated from Spears at that place by the customs authorities in lieu of cash in payment for a fine for smuggling liquor.  After unloading the lumber at Customs dock at Bluefields she went up the Siquia River to Muelle Real and took a load of oxen there around into Pearl Lagoon and Kurringuas River having cleared from El Bluff for that purpose on Saturday Feb. 1.  On returning from Kurringuas she will come into Bluefields.  There is no rumor here to the effect that she will make a trip to Mexico shortly.  ¶  ATTITUDE OF THE LOCAL PRESS.  ¶  Favorable.  The local negro liberal paper came out with an article praising the improvements and reconditioning around the Cuartel occupied by the Marines and the Native Jail administered by them.  It also contained a news item from Rama praising the sanitation work accomplished there under the orders of the Marine, in Charge of the Marine Detail at that place.  No unfavorable matter appeared this week in any of the local papers.  ¶  POLICE OPERATIONS.  ¶  Nothing out of the ordinary by the native police.  A killing at ..."

13 February 1928.

Intelligence Report from 0000 5 Feb, to 2400 11 Feb, 1928, Major H. H. Utley, Bluefields, p. 2.    " ... Siksilwas Farm near Wawa Central occurred at 3.00 a.m. Feb 5th.  The murderer Elisio Guntero as Nicaraguan about 5/10 in heights, medium built, age 26 is being looked for by the Marines and the local agent of police.  Guntero killed his victim by shooting with a 38 calibre pistol and took to the bush immediately after.  The name of his victim has not been ascertained as yet.  The Marine Force at El Gallo sent a patrol of one officer and 12 enlisted to the Pan American and Kansas City Farms of the Cuyamel Fruit Co., 68 miles down river from El Gallo to maintain order during the payment of laborers.  The paydays here have always been marked by small riots.  This one passed of peaceably and the Marine patrol apprehended two sellers of contraband liquor and turned them over to the Commandante of Police at La Cruz for action.  These bootleggers were in the habit of invading the property of the Cuyamel Co. on payday and selling their liquor to the laborers in spite of the Cuyamel Cos. Orders to the contrary.  ¶  MILITARY OPERATIONS.  ¶  Major Utley inspected Puerto Cabezas and investigated conditions in that locality and also investigated conditions at Cabo de Gracias.  Spears the American was at his sawmill on the Wanks River near Cado de Gracias February 8th but left for Honduras.  It was reported on fairly reliable authority that Spears was seen at Cruta, Honduras on the morning of Feb. 10th and that he was heard to extol and magnify the activities of the bandit Sandino.  A mahogany company here received a radio from a contractor of theirs, sent form Matagalpa about February 6 stating that he was fleeing from Sandino’s troops.  A letter received from Superintendent of Da Luz mine near Huani [Wuani] and Siuna at the headwaters of the Prinzapolka River, dated February 3 makes no mention of bandit activities in that area although trails lead through form Matagalpa to that locality.  ¶  POLITICAL SITUATION.  ¶  Unchanged, no new developments.  ¶  Harold H. Utley."

1.   18 February 1928.

Mss draft on East Coast, Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas, p. 1.    An excellent capsule summary of the formation of the Eastern Area and the "official" US military view of the main events on the Atlantic Coast to this point. 

" ‘Oh! The Eastern Area grew and grew, Hablas tu!  ¶  The Eastern Area, grew and grew, Hablas tu!  ¶  The Eastern area grew and it grew,  ¶  we don’t know what it’s coming to,  ¶  Hinky Dinky Hablas tu!’ (Area Song.)  ¶  Periodically every revolution worthy of the name in Nicaragua began on the east coast and consequently our naval forces frequently operated off that coast and navy landing parties have from time to time occupied strategic points ashore.  In Jan 1927 one battalion (Bartlett’s) of the Fifth Marines was sent to this coast from Guantanamo.  Lieutenant Colonel J. J. Meade was sent from Washington to take command of this battalion.  Leading parties of both marines and bluejackets from the ships on the east coast patrol, including a destroyer division, covered the coast and as for inland as EL GALLO and RAMA.  The tactical command of these forces was vested in the earlier naval officer of this east coast patrol. This force was reduced to one company, the 51st (Kendall’s) which garrisoned BLUEFIELDS, PUERTO CABEZAS, and EL GALLO, with small outposts at EL BLUFF across the lagoon from BLUEFIELDS and the location of the BLUEFIELDS Custom House, and at WAWA CENTRAL at the end of the railroad out of PUERTO CABEZAS.  Command had reverted to the 5th Regiment.  ¶  The coast line extends north and south almost 250 miles.  There are no roads, few trails, one railroad about 86 kilometers long extending from PUERTO CABEZAS through the farms of the Standard Fruit and Steamship Co to WAWA CENTRAL; but there are mine routes east and west: the WANKS (called the COCO on some maps) River, the CUCALAYA River, the BAMBANA River, the PRINZAPOLKA River, the TUMA River (which empties into the GRANDE), the GRANDE River, the KURINGWAS River, the ESCONDITO River, and the SAN JUAN River.  North and south practically all travel is in small coasting power schooners or smaller craft.  The only trail of importance is that leading from MATAGALPA via TUMA and from JINOTEGA via COYALAR through LA LUZ to the PIS PIS mining area, and those following the general line of the WASPUC River to the WANKS.  The country is - except in the pine belt near the coast north of the WAWA River - heavily wooded and covered with dense underbrush, and is very sparsely settled, except along the rivers.  ¶  On 22 January 1928 I assumed command of the Eastern Area pursuant to radio orders received while en route to CORINTO.  Notwithstanding these orders, the area itself was not formed until 18 February 1928 when Brigade Order No was issued.  However I commenced to function using the office of the 51st Co at BLUEFIELDS for my headquarters and having neither staff, clerks nor even an orderly.  I found the one company split into three detachments, without any medical officer, and with no explicit orders nor even instructions as to our mission.  There was an almost complete absence of maps, which in view of the length of time our naval forces had been operating on this coast seemed remarkable.  ¶  1. A Territorial Subdivision known as “The EASTERN AREA’ is hereby created.  The Eastern Area comprises the East Coast of NICARAGUA and such Nicaraguan Territory inland which can be controlled by troops supplied from the East Coast of NICARAGUA.  ¶  2. The senior line officer on duty with troops in the Eastern Area (at present, Major Harold H. Utley, USMC) will be known as the “Commander, Eastern Area, Nicaragua; that officer will command all troops of this Brigade stationed or operating within said Area.  ¶  3. The Eastern Area as herein defined will be immediately subordinate to these Headquarters.  ¶  BY COMMAND OF BRIGADIER GENERAL FELAND; W. DULTY SMITH, Major, USMC, B-Ex OFFICIAL; O. Floyd, Major USMC, D-3 . . . "

2.   18 February 1928.

Mss draft on East Coast, Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas, p. 2.   " . . . It will be noted that the western boundary was clearly indeterminate.  Later this was to cause complications.  I found the records in the 51st Company office poorly kept, making it difficult to obtain a clear picture of the situation.  Due to the shortage of officers Kendall had been tied to BLUEFIELDS and had very little knowledge of the greater part of the area.  In addition to commanding the company and being the only officer at BLUEFIELDS, Kendall was AQM and SDA for which latter duties he had no liking and little aptitude.  I was unable to find a single order, letter, or message from which I could deduce my mission. I assumed it to be the preservation of order within my area, and the protection of American lives and property. A personal letter to my old friend Floyd on the Brigade Staff along those lines evoked a most remarkable reply. I therefore continued to act on my assumption of my mission until a specific one was given me later.  ¶  BLUEFIELDS itself is situated on a lagoon some distance from deep water.  A line of hills on the land side shuts off any breeze from almost three sides.  The streets are in a terrible state of disrepair, the houses none too good.  There are several mercantile establishments, mostly owned and operated by chinamen, three Clubs, and the Nicaraguan offices of several foreign companies, of which by far the most important is the Cuyamel Fruit and Steamship Co.  Most of the others are mahogany companies.  The Tropical Radio Corp. has a station at BLUEFIELDS, and there is a government telephone line which sometimes connects with RAMA by the ESCONDIDO River.  It is the seat of the government of the Department of Bluefields, and historically is very important.  In fact, as I was to learn later the people in the interior of NICARAGUA think only of BLUEFIELDS when they speak of the east coast.  Politically and historically it is important but actually its important is very small, except for the fact that it furnishes a jumping off place for revolutionary bands. It seethes with politics, and unfortunately the foreigners have meddled in Nicaraguan politics quite a bit.  There are two strategic points, from the point of view of potential revolutionists or bandits, - the bank at BLUEFIELDS and the Custom-house at EL BLUFF which is across the lagoon, on the skip channel, and the point where all vessels enter and clear.  Some years ago an attempt was made to move the city to the bluff but the property owners and merchants were able to block the very wise move.  The river ESCONDIDO derives its name from the fact that pirates were in the habit of hiding their vessels up that river when hard pressed, or when it was necessary to haul out for repairs or overhaul.  Back of the custom house at El BLUFF there is a steep hill, on the summit of which the remains of old fortification can still be seen.  Legends differ regarding the origins of this fort, one story being that it was built by the pirates to deny entrance to the ECONDIDO to British frigates, and was captured by the leading party on which Lord Nelson then a junior officer was a member, which landed hear CAPE GRACIAS A DIOS and marched down the coast; and the other being that it was built by this force to deny the river to the pirates.  It seems pretty certain that is was occupied by the British in either event. Of the so called Americans resident in BLUEFIELDS, only one “Boss” Baker seemed worthy of confidence.  An elderly man, head of the Nicaraguan Division of the Cuyamel Co., head of the American Naval Intelligence in this section during the war, his opinions could always be accepted with respect, and his statements relied upon.  Of the rest the less aid the better. Some were frankly anti-marine, some only so when they thought no one was listening who would inform us.  ¶  I deduced my mission to be the preservation of order and the protection of foreign and especially American lives and property within my area.  ¶  My force consisted of one company, the 51st (Kendall) distributed about equally between BLUEFIELDS, EL GALLO and PUERTO CABEZAS, with one squad outposts at EL BLUFF and WAWA CENTRAL.  It was not well trained and I was surprised later to learn that little or no patrolling had been done.  The mining sectors west and southwest of PUERTO CABEZAS, and the WANKS River which seemed to be an excellent and much used route of supply for the bandits were unknown territory.  With the small forces available little more could be done than to protect the three points, and the distribution appeared satisfactory.  A rarely passive defense of the three places with the preservation of order in the immediate neighborhood seemed all that could be done, but I insisted that small patrols be sent out to investigate the immediate environs of each of our posts . . . "

3.   18 February 1928.

Mss draft on East Coast, Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas, p. 3.   " . . . There were a few Heavy Browning Machine Guns sufficient for defensive purposes only, one 37mm, and the regular allowance of Automatic Rifles.  ¶  There were no known bandits within the area, but the northwestern part was a No Man’s Land and a large proportion of the population was believed to be favorably disposed towards the bandits.  ¶  On the evening of the 26th of January 1 embarked on the Cuyamel Fruit Steamer Managua, for MAN O WAR KEY, where the fruit from the GRACIAS River is loaded. Monday 30 January I transferred to powero barge #1, and proceeded via GRANDE BAR and LA CRUZ up the GRANDE River to EL GALLO where I arrived Tuesday morning. Inspected the district there and went over the situation with Lieutenant Carroll and with such of the officials of the Cuyamel Co. as were present.  They key to the position is the hill on which the radio station is located.  The Commissary and office are located on the river bank which at this point is quite steep and high.  The boats of the company tie up to the bank beneath the office and are defiladed from this hill by the high bank of the river, but are commanded from the office building.  Considerable subsistence stores, clothing and cash are carried in the commissary and office.  I directed that the defense should include holding both the hill and the office–commissary building with approximately equal forces; that the garrison on the hill keep a ravine, which afforded cover from which to launch an attack against the office building, under fire and the garrison of the office-commissary building deny the boats to any attacking party and also keep the reverse slope of a ridge which furnished a good jumping off line against to the hill under fire.  ¶  The following morning I left EL GALLO in a power boat accompanied by one Marine and one civilian, “Johnnie” Williams, the BLUEFIELDS manager of a mahogany company. We proceeded to TUMARIN where we were supposed to find mules awaiting us.  However there were no mules ready and after waiting a while without results, I elected to make the next lap which I was assured was only 18 kilometers on foot.  We left what baggage we had to be forwarded by the mules when they arrived and started out.  I was soft from much desk duty and that 18 kilometers proved to be the longest 18 kilometers in the world, bar none.  The trail was a serious of ups and downs, with sticky mud above the ankles most of the way.  After five o’clock we were met by a native boy with a single saddle which was offered to us, but my pride forbid my riding when I was more lightly equipped than the marine with me.  It was then offered to the marine but he would not ride while I walked, so it was offered to Williams. He had no pride and mounted, and has since repaid me for that ride in many a drink of the Tropical Club in BLUEFIELDS as the price for my not telling the crowd there of his inability to make the whole hike.  ¶  Just before dark we reached our destination, a mahogany camp at the headwaters of CARAWALLA Creek, operated by an American named Miller, who as a soldier of fortune had served with the Liberals during the revolution as a general.  He had been a Sergeant-Major during the World War in the American Army.  The camp was new, in fact not yet completed, and was most interesting to me.  None of the buildings were walled but the roofs were in place and the camp was in full swing.  We had an excellent dinner and turned in early in our hammocks swung from the mahogany posts which supported the roof of what was later to be the office and commissary.  The next morning while I took a looked around the marine with me went out and shot two wild turkeys with his rifle.  Knocked the head off of each one and then wisely refused to fire another shot.  But his process created quite a stir in the camp.  The following morning, Williams returned to La CRUZ by mule, while Miller, the marine with me and myself started downstream in a native pitpan hollowed out of a mahogany tree for PEARL LAGOON where the Vrooman Co. tug was to meet us.  We had a crew of three Indians and it was most interesting to watch the adept way in which they handled the boat through the rapids.  Twice we disembarked and walked around rapids while the crew let the boat down by means of a long paincer, a rope made fast to one end of the boat.  But we had misjudged the time and space factor and it was well after dark and we were well upstream from the lagoon when we were challenged sharply for the bank and at Kelly’s reply learned that we were at the head of navigation of the KURINGWAS River and that the Vrooman tug with an escort of marines was moored to the bank.  We three thankfully scrambled aboard and after dismissing our boat crew were well underway downstream while one of the marines prepared supper for us on a gasoline boat of the type used by auto camping parties in the states, three of which are possessed by the 51st Co. . . . "

4.   18 February 1928.

Mss draft on East Coast, Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas, p. 4.    " . . . After a brief stop at LAS PEARLAS the current capitol of the MOSQUITO RESERVE, we went to sea for BLUEFIELDS. LAS PEARLAS or PEARL CITY is an excellent example of a ‘dead’ city. The streets are broad, and still plainly marked by the remains of the drainage ditches on each side.  Here and there, averaging perhaps one to a block a solitary native shack or a more pretentious store or cantina still stands, and about half of the buildings are occupied.  ¶  After a few days in BLUEFIELDS arranging for supplies to be sent to GALLO, I accepted the invitation of the USS Denver, the ship on station, to make a trip with them to PUERTO CABEZAS.  Captain W. H. Allen had been a shipmate of mine years ago on the old NORTH CAROLINA, and I was well aware of his peculiarities.  He treated me however with every consideration, and thoroughly indoctrinated his subordinates with the idea that the ship on station was there to help the marines ashore.  Upon our arrival off PUERTO CABEZAS, Captain Merritt A. Edson, the Marine Officer of the Denver, was loaned me, to assist me in making my inspection, and for the further reason that Captain Allen wanted him familiar with conditions at every port where the ship touched.  We were hospitably received by the officials of the Bragmans Lumber Co., and put up in a vacant house across the street from the buildings occupied by the Marine Detachment.  We spent one day in inspecting and going over the situation, and the second in going out to the end of ‘the line’ i.e. the railroad over which the bananas are brought to port from the farms.  Unlike the CUYAMEL Co which owns very few farms and operates almost exclusively by purchasing from out-contractors, the Standard Fruit and SS Co. operates its own farms, doing its clearing, planting, cultivating, and cutting either by contract or by hiring its own labor.  This method involves a greater overhead in supervision etc., but on the other hand it places the responsibility and control in the hands of the officials of the company.  Both places have their advocates, both appear to have disadvantages.  We found the detachment in good shaped, quartered in several buildings close together, one had been erected for employees of the company, one erected for the loading force of one of the ships, the others small buildings erected for various purposes and moved to the desired location which was an excellent one, on the bluff overlooking the sea, well inside the white residential section.  Guard duty was covered, almost every man doing a shift each night, and working a part of each day.  The detachment furnished the local police protection for the white residential section, guarded the dock, the sawmill, and company office, company commissary, and Customs House.  Sometime before there had been a number of fires believed to have been of incendiary origin, which had resulted in the landing of the Marine Detachment of the USS Tulsa, and the continuous occupation of the place by various detachments ever since.  Just beyond the limits of the white residential section lay the town of old Bilway or Biway or Bilwa.  This was also policed to some extent by the marines.  The Nicaraguan Commandante, a young man who had been educated in New York, became somewhat of a soldier of fortune, and eventually thrown his lot with Sagassa and aided in the attack on PUERTO CABEZAS had under his command two other Commandantes and about twenty-five policemen, all, including the commandantes paid by the company.  As they were well paid these jobs were much sought after, and one of my missions was to investigate charges that had been made that the position of commandante and the employment by him of policemen was illegal.  Illegal or not it was the only solution, an end I duly noted the existence of official appointment of the Commandante, Senor Don Luis Castro.  ¶  The trip out the line was most interesting although it became very monotonous later when necessity required frequent trips.  For the first part of the run the line lay through the pine ridge which extends along the coast wall into HONDURAS, then through a bit of swampy land across the WAWA River at WAWA BOOM and a few kilometers beyond passes into the farm lands.  Bananas by the way have several peculiarities.  First they grow upside down, and secondly they will not ripen on the parent tree.  The railroad is 86 kilometers long terminating just beyond WAWA Central on the banks of the WAWA.  There the marines occupied what was termed an outpost. In reality it was a detached post as it was far beyond supporting distances, and pretty completely isolated.  The principal function of this detachment was in reality the support of the local Commandante and his policemen in their efforts to maintain order, and in this way had been quite successful, although it appeared that the ‘support’ had been mostly going out with the Commandante and then doing the work necessary."

18 February 1928.

Letter from Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas, to Mr. London, British Consul, Managua, p. 1.   "Dear Mr. London:  ¶  Yesterday I was visited by a delegation of Indian chiefs from this sector, [asking] my advice and assistance on behalf of their people. It had to do, of course, with the old question of the provisions of the treaty whereby the Mosquito Reservation became a part of Nicaragua and the eternal complaint that Nicaragua has failed to live up to her part of the agreement.  ¶  They have in mind submitting to General Feland, Mr. Eberhardt, and yourself, a memorial setting forth their grievances and praying for your joint or several intercessions with the Nicaraguan government in their behalf.  I am not thoroughly conversant with all the details, but as far as I can learn the provisions of the treaty have not been complied with.  However, it is a matter which I consider outside of my bailiwick, except in an advisory capacity, and I am submitting this account of this conference to you for two reasons.  ¶  I advised the chiefs that the personal submission of their case would be, to my opinion, preferable to a written memorial, and that I would endeavor to arrange for such a conference if your numerous duties at the Capital would permit your coming here and stopping either at Bluefields or Pearl Lagoon enroute so as to receive the Indians of both the northern and southern sectors.  I am not at all sure to what extent your Government would desire you to move in this matter, but if at all permissible it furnishes a reason for your visiting us, which is one objective, the other being that I may have the benefit of your advice on this question, unofficially and confidentially.  I noted, incidentally, that the idea of presenting the case verbally to your consul at Bluefields did not find favor, the evident desire being to lay the matter before you . . . "

18 February 1928.

Letter from Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas, to Mr. London, British Consul, Managua, p. 2.   " . . . I pointed out that with a new president in Managua and one who had recently come from this court, they might hope for an improvement, but this suggestion likewise met with no favor.  ¶  If this excuse for coming is not sufficient, come anyway.  We will always be glad to see you.  Mrs. Utley says to tell you to be sure to bring Mrs. London with you, and the Horowitz's join in best wishes.  ¶  With kindest regards to yourself and Mrs. London,  ¶  Sincerely,  ¶ HAROLD H. UTLEY."

22 February 1928.

Weekly Record of Events from 0000 12 February to 2400 18 February, 1928, Major H. H. Utley, Bluefields.    " ... Map used  ¶  None  ¶  Location of outposts  ¶  Puerto Cabezas, El Bluff, El Gallo, and Rama.  ¶  Location of main body  ¶  Bluefields.  ¶  Patrols sent out  ¶  Area Commander at Puerto Cabezas and Vicinity.  Returned to Bluefields 13th.  ¶  Course sailed and distance  ¶  Puerto Cabezas to Bluefields 130 miles, Via U.S.S. Denver.  ¶  Duty Performed  ¶  Maintaining order in districts.  Ascertain definitely condition of trails to Pis Pis sector and tackling and numbering pack mules available around Puerto Cabezas.  ¶  Condition of roads  ¶  Puerto Cabezas district fair to good.  Bluefields district muddy.  ¶  Condition of rivers  ¶  Falling  ¶  Ammunition on hand  ¶  F.A. None, Rifle 56900, M.G. only 8300, Pistol 360, 37 mm 150.  ¶  Rations on hand ¶  30 days  ¶  Orders Issued  ¶  14 Feb 28.  Fr: OO to CO, MD, El Gallo.  Subject:  Orders. 1. Information received here from Comsperon that Sandino is moving Northeast from vicinity of Jinotega toward Pis Pis area.  Believed to be now near Pena Blanca.  2. Puerto Cabezas garrison is being strongly reinforced.  Four enlisted men with machine guns join you.  3. Redouble your vigilance and make particular efforts through Cuyamel Company to gain information from Northwest to West.  4. Area Headquarters will be Puerto Cabezas after noon 28.  Radio reports of intelligence or operations to Puerto Cabezas after that date.  Administrative reports and requests and mail intelligence and operations messages via Bluefields.  /s/ Harold H. Utley. 14 Feb 28.    ¶  Fr: CO to CO, MD, El Gallo. Subject:  Orders.  1. Reliable information indicates Sandino was in vicinity of Jinotega the night of 8 February.  Unconfirmed report that he was in vicinity of Matagalpa.  Patrol El Grande to San Pedro Del Norte at first opportunity and endeavor to obtain reliable agents up Grande and Tuma west of that point.  Report by code dispatch departure and return of patrol and synopsis of information obtained. /s/ Harold H. Utley.  ¶  Messages Sent  ¶  "For Lieutenant Shearer information received from Honduras that Sandino’s forces are headed towards Puerto Cabezas and that Commandante at Cruta and Patuca state that he has stores and arms in their vicinity stop Cooperate immediately fully with Crampton and Veitch with view of obtaining by agents and scouts definite information on this report stop make frequent rush reports using Collector’s code signed Utley."

27 February 1928.

Weekly Record of Events from 0000 19 February to 2400 25 February, 1928, Major H. H. Utley, Bluefields.   "WEEKLY RECORD OF EVENTS FR 0000 19 FEBRUARY TO 2400 25 FEBRUARY, 1928.  ¶  Maps used – None  ¶  Location of outposts – El Gallo, El Bluff.  ¶  Location of main body – Bluefields.  ¶  Patrols sent out to – None.  El Gallo reports covered in report of that detachment.  ¶  Duty performed – Maintaining order in the district.  ¶  Condition of roads – Muddy.  ¶  Condition of rivers – Falling.  ¶  Ammunition on hand – F.A. None, Rifle 58900, M.G. only, 8300, Pistol 360, 37mm, 150.  ¶  Rations on hand – 30 days.  ¶  ORDERS ISSUED.  ¶  MESSAGES SENT  ¶  To: USS DENVER 0820 Nothing new stop Have you addition information re men on Tulsa Question … Utley 1500 TO: CO, Secbrig reported from unverified sources believed reliable that should Sandino reach Puerto Cabezas sector natives would furnish his reinforcements and aid him as they for him generally against Sacasa Utley  ¶  TO: Headquarters Marine Corps. Washington DC 8821 Brigade Headquarters directs requests for material and personnel be sent direct to headquarters stop Request one high frequency short wave radio set to work on batteries radius two hundred miles comma and two radio operators be sent to Puerto Cabezas immediately via New Orleans and commercial steamer stop Please advise action taken my 8810 1330 Utley 1800  ¶  TO: CO, El Gallo and Puerto Cabezas. 8833 Sandino reported between Tuma and Coco rivers west of Pena Elanca in mountains by 8-2 Utley 0900  ¶  TO: CO SecBrig 8624 of Bluefields closed at 2400 this date open Puerto Cabezas same hour and date Utley.  ¶  Messages received  ¶  TO: Major Utley 8618 Sandino is apparently going to the north and east of Jinotega and is now probably near Pena Blanca …. 1130 TO: CO 51st CO, Bluefields 1018 Major Utley stop following received fr Comsperon quote prior sailing for Cristobal Denver will land Marines Guard at Puerto Cabezas direct Commanding Officer, report Major Utley by Radio unquote stop Denver will sail as soon as we can get boats back to ship…..1320 TO: CO 51st Co 1019 for Major Utley stop fifty five marines comma one radio operator with field set and one hospital corpsman land Puerto Cabezas stop Lt. Edson reports for duty in charge above detachment …..1205"

28 February 1928.

"¿Contrato de Ferrocarril a la Costa Atlántica?," La Noticia, Managua.   "Un prominente conservador nos dijo ayer en la mañana:  ¶  – Por allí se dice el señor, Micelli, en representación de la Bragman Bluff, está dando los pasos para firmar el contrato de la construcción del ferrocarril al Atlántico.  ¶  El pensamiento de la Compañía es unir Managua con Puerto Cabezas. Pero no se conoce la ruta que traerá.  Se presume que pase por Jinotega y Matagalpa; pero también puede suceder que llegue a Boaco, y de allí extiendan ramales a aquellos departamentos.  ¶  Todo eso es magnífico, lo único que debemos temer es que la Bragman, por la construcción de esa línea ferroviaria pida en compensación las tres cuartos parles de Nicaragua. . . . "

29 February 1928.

"Obstáculos en la ciudad de Puerto Cabezas," La Noticia, Managua.

3 March 1928.

Letter from Major A. B. Sage, Bluefields, to "Dear Colonel," p. 1.    "Dear Colonel,  ¶  Have just about gotten settled down and have had a chance to look around a bit and make a few observations.  It is most assuredly a fact that this part of the country is absolutely different in population, actions, customs, language, and topography than anything on the West Coast.  The bulk of the people here are black, English is spoken more than Spanish and all travel is by water.  There are trails running across country but they are mostly sued by the Indians in the interior in crossing from stream to stream.  Practically all our patrols will have to be made by water and I have asked for authority to purchase an outboard motor to be attached to a pitpan, or native canoe.  It will be an absolute necessity here in order to patrol the lagoon between here and the bluff.  The Customs house here is located at the Bluff and all vessels clear from there.  To get back and forth if you have no water transportation it is necessary to hire a boat or to wait until the Marines send a boat over.  The Marines here have to boats fitted out with outboard motors and they have proved invaluable.  They use them to go up the river to Rama and they also have one at their outpost at El Gallo.  It appears that there seems to be a move on foot to concentrate arms either along the coast in the vicinity of Bragmans Bluff or Cape Gracias.  Kendall ran down an intended shipment of one machine gun, fifty rifles and lots of ammunition.  I am making a trip with him in a few days to look over the territory along the coast from the Bluff.  ¶  Undoubtedly a most important point will be Bragmans Bluff.  There is about a two million dollar investment there, about 70 American families and considerable property up and down the river.  They employ about 2000 native laborers and keeping track of those men is of great importance, particularly if any attempt was made to incite them to start trouble.  There is a police force there of about 25 natives who are paid by the company and who are reported as being pretty efficient.  The Cuyamel Fruit Company, with Headquarters here also operates up and down the rivers here and in the vicinity of Bragmans Bluff and they also employ a large number of men.  The Fruit Company practically runs the town here, all of the leading men being Americans and most of the natives in town employed by the Cuyamel when they feel like working.  There are of course a large number of people here who claim to be British subjects; it is difficult for them to prove this however as no records are kept.  There are also quite a few Chinese who run stores, in fact more so than any place I have yet seen in Nicaragua.  ¶  The Jefe Politico here, General Estrada, seems to ring true, he has been most cordial, as in fact, all the government officials are.  They are very much interested in our mission and await with interest our showing here and particularly when we take over the police.  At present there is a native police force here, Captain Kendall has kept in close touch with conditions in the town and is very familiar with the territory in this vicinity.  He has been most helpful and has co-operated in every manner possible.  ¶  Recruiting will present a problem here of color rather than lack of men. I am informed that there is considerable feeling between the light and dark natives.  This, I am confident can be ironed out with the proper discipline and it will be essential that some of the darker natives be enlisted as there are not enough of the light ones to go around.  Actual experience with this phase will show us however just what the situation will be. . . . "

3 March 1928.

Letter from Major A. B. Sage, Bluefields, to "Dear Colonel," p. 2.    " . . . In connection with my first paragraph I have not perhaps made it clear that the pitpans can only be used in the rivers and lagoons.  All outside work will have to be handled in a heavy type motor boat.  For the present transportation can be hired as required but as additional stations are established sea-going motor launches will be needed.  This will of course come later but the type-purchase and training of the personnel would be taken care of by some one familiar with marine motors and their various eccentricities.  ¶  I have forwarded an official letter asking for three additional officers.  One of them should be a commissioned officer and familiar with the handling of police affairs.  The two additional should be competent men.  I intend to make as many reconnaissance trips as possible before the heavy rains set in and for that reason would like to have the officers become familiar with the country.  Smith, will of course look after all supplies and Q,M, work and help as much as possible.  Hurst will have to look after recruiting, training, etc.  This leaves me Stone and Bowersox and as the Colonel well knows, you just can't squeeze blood out of a turnip.  I will of course do with what I have somehow, but I believe it will add greatly to the efficiency of the mission if the three are sent here now and are on the ground when the show starts.  ¶  Mail here is slow, the best means is by way of the lake, boats leave Managua weekly, taking from six to eight days to make the trip.  By way of Panama it takes from two to three weeks.  The mail here is delivered to the Captain of the boat in a sack and I believe this to be the best method.  Sending it loose through the Nicaragua post office is very uncertain.  As the boat leaves from Granada it may be possible to deliver the sack to the Captain of the boat coming this way at Granada.  Radio communication is open at all times and report will be made by that method of any important happening.  ¶  The barracks are being made ready, cots and locker boxes are about completed and I expect to alert recruiting about Friday, this week, the 9th, unless we are delayed in completing the barracks.  The Jefe Politico has furnished us the lumber without cost and they should be fairly comfortable when completed.  I plan to fit the men out completely, feed them and house them and start them out to drill the same or the next day.  ¶  All the personnel are in good health and are interested in their mission and I hope for the best.  We would all like to hear more news of Guardia activities and right now are at a loss to know just what is going on,  ¶  Very respectfully,  ¶  (signed) A. B. Sage"

4 March 1928.

Intelligence Report of Incidents, Major A. B. Sage, Bluefields, p. 1.   "(A) General State of territory occupied.  ¶  The Area of the East, Guardia Nacional, was established at 1100-27 Feb 1928 with Headquarters at Bluefields, Nicaragua. The general state of the city is quiet.  Persistent rumours seem to be afloat of an effort which will be made by General Sandino to move across the country with an objective at Puerto Cabezas.  That place is the plant of the Bragmans Bluff Lumber Company and is believed to be the largest single investment of American capital in this country.  There is also a strong rumour to the effect that a revolution will shortly break out in Honduras.  Headquarters of the Marine Force on this coast is now at Bragmans Bluff with Major Utley in command.  The landing force of the USS Denver and USS Tulsa with a detachment of the 51st Co. is at that place.  The USS Galveston is also standing by there.  There are a number of Americans at that place, totaling about seventy families, all employees of the lumber company.  ¶  (B) Attitude of civil population toward the Guardia.  ¶  The Jefe Politico, General Estrada, stated his satisfaction at the arrival of the Guardia and expressed his desire to co-operate in every way possible.  He has authorized an expenditure from funds in his possession toward repairing the barracks which will be used by the Guardia.  All the newspaper editors were called upon and all stated their sympathy with the mission of the Guardia and are all giving space in this week's issues to an article on the Guardia.  The leading citizens of the town seem to be favorably impressed with the idea of the Guardia.  The man in the street is more difficult to reach.  The sentiment here is Liberal although the office holders are all Conservatives.  The large majority of the population is black or very dark in color.  The lighter colored class, native Nicaraguans are classed as whites and there is a clearly defined color line.  The two classes do not mix and this will probably create a difficult situation when recruiting is started but which will be worked out as things move on.  The police force here is recruited from the interior and is generally disliked by the blacks although seeming to enforce the law impartially.  There are a number of foreign residents here, the principal stores being run by Chinamen and in case of the Bluefields Mercantile and Cuyamel Fruit Company, by Americans.  These people are glad to see the Guardia arrive as they probably feel that the law will be enforced more impartially in their cases.  I do not believe that the situation here is comparable to any that exists in Nicaragua ad most certainly not to any in territory that has been taken over by the Guardia.  ¶  (C) Economic Conditions.  ¶  There is plenty of work for all who desire it both with the Cuyamel Fruit Company and the Mahogany Company.  Laborers are being recruited in the interior and shipped to the fruit and lumber territory.  The pay of the common laborer ranges from $1.00 per day upward and they are rationed by the company.  Laborers on the dock unloading fruit and cargo boats average $2.00 per day although this work is not steady. . . . "

4 March 1928.

Intelligence Report of Incidents, Major A. B. Sage, Bluefields, p. 2.   " . . . (C) continued.  ¶  Food is very high here and the natives do not eat the same foodstuffs which would be supplied messes on the West Coast.  The messing of the Guardia will be a problem.  It will be out of the question to subsist the men on contract as the dock laborers here are allowed .75 cents a day for rations.  A separate study will be made of the cost of the main ingredients of the ration and the final cost of purchase here or elsewhere will be determined.  ¶  (D) Police operations.  ¶  Native police force in charge supervised by the local Marine Officer.  The jail is guarded by the Marines and prisoners confined and released through the Marine Officer.  It is not contemplated that the force here will be taken over until men are thoroughly trained and equipped but in the meantime a study is being made of the conditions which will have to be dealt with.  The arrests here are largely for petty stealing and minor offenses, there being few cases of murder or serious offenses.  ¶  (E) Friction between the Guardia and Civil Population.  ¶  None.  All the officers are familiarizing themselves with the inhabitants and local conditions.  ¶  (E) Military Operations (GUARDIA)  ¶  None.  ¶  (G) Political situation.  ¶  Sentiment among the conservatives here seems to be against the passage of the McCoy election law.  The Liberals are for the passage of the same.  The nomination of Moncada was favorably received here by the leading liberals.  ¶  Miscellaneous.  ¶  Work has been started and is now under way on the repair of the barracks.  Cots, locker boxes, and galley equipment is being assembled and when the barracks is ready for occupancy recruiting will be started.  This should be about March 8th. A suitable place is near the barracks for a drill field and for a rifle range.  All stores arrived in good condition, machine guns and rifles have been inspected and oiled. All officers are present and displaying great interest in the mission.  A separate inclosure is attached, giving the names of officials throughout the Department.  A separate report is being submitted to the Quartermaster giving prices on all articles required for use by purchase.  ¶  (signed) A. B. Sage, Major, Guardia Nacional Area Commander"

4 March 1928.

Weekly Record of Events from 0000 26 Feb. to 2400 March 3, 1928, Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas.    "Map used . . . . . . None  ¶  Location of outpost...Wawa Central  ¶  Location of Main Body . . . . . .  Bluefields.  ¶  Patrols sent out to . . . . . .  One Sergeant and four men returned from Sackling.  One Sergeant and 3 men lefts Browns camp over Engineers trail for Pis Pis Mines.  One Officer and three men to Sandy Bay.  ¶  Duty performed . . . . . .  Reconnaissance.  ¶  Condition of trail . . . . . .  Sackling trail muddy and hard going for 1st six miles the rest good until rainy season.  ¶  Condition of River . . . . . .  Normal.  ¶  Ammunition on hand . . . . . .  Rifle 16,800; M.G. 2,250; Pistol 140.  ¶  Rations on hand . . . . . .  40 days.  ¶  Health of troops . . . . . .  Excellent.  ¶  Orders received: Brigade orders No. 11, 12 and 14.  ¶  Events: Six pistols, 3 unserviceable Springfield rifles and 250 rds Springfields ammunition confiscated during the week."

4 March 1928.

"En auto de Managua a Ciudad Rama," La Noticia, Managua.   "Se planea en estos momentos, el importante proyecto de hacer un largo ride en automóvil, de Nicaragua a Costa Rica.  ¶  Un tren de autos saldrá de Managua hacia el Rama, de aquí a Costa Rica.  ¶  Para la realización de este proyecto han prometido contribuir, don Ramón Morales con un carro Rugby y 100 dollars, Horvillena y Tesseyra con un Dodge y 100 dollars.  Gerardo O. Salinas con un Chrysler y la misma suma de dinero y el agonia de la Studebaker don Manuel J. Rigero con 300 dollars.  ¶  Esta excursión estará bajo el patrocinio de la Liga Nacional de Choferes, la que escogerá a los hombres que habrán de guiar los carros.  ¶  La ruta comenzará en Managua, pasando por Boaco, Camoapa, La Libertad y Santo Domingo para llegar desde este pueblo hacia el Rama, por una abra de 18 legua, que hizo hace algún tiempo el general Luciano Astorga. ¶  Aquí serán embarcados los autos en lanchas planos para dirigirse a Rama Key y de aquí por la costa hasta San Juan de Norte y llega a Monkey Point, desde donde saldrá la excursión embarcada hacia el Limón, Costa Rica y de aquí por ferrocarril hasta San José, la capital costarricense.  ¶  Desde esta ciudad se proponen las excursionistas volver en auto hasta Managua, dejando así abiertas dos importantes rutas para la comunicación por tierra entre Nicaragua y Costa Rica.  ¶  Hay gran entusiasmo por es . . . "

1.   5 March 1928.

Letter from Capt. M. A. Edson, Puerto Cabezas, to "My dear," p. 1.   "My dear: -  ¶  Today an unexpected mail arrived from the States, leaving care of by boat from Panama.  In it came a letter from you dated the 20th of February, in which you tell of the caprices of a day in winter in Vermont.  Of course the young son was indignant at his Mother coming for him during a snow storm, for it is not he a full grown man?  ¶  7 March 1928  ¶ Here our conversation was interrupted by a call to the dock which lasted until 2:30 am in the morning.  ¶  In another hour or so I am leaving for at least a three week trip into the interior. A patrol of six men (including myself) and a native guide are going by boat to Cape Gracias and then on up the . . . "

2.   5 March 1928.

Letter from Capt. M. A. Edson, Puerto Cabezas, to "My dear," p. 2.   " . . . Wanks River for a distance of about 850 miles.  Outside of the difficulty of living in the brush there will be no more to it than any other camping trip – but we will be out of touch with everyone from today until we get back.  ¶  Another patrol under Sergeant Morris is leaving over land for Sacklin.  They will be there during our entire trip up the river and it may be possible to send a note back by runner from there – but do not count on it.  ¶  This is just a note so that you will not be looking for mail for another four weeks at least.  ¶  Lots of love to you and Austin.  There should be plenty to write about when I return.  Au revoir, my dear.  ¶  Merritt . . . "

3.   5 March 1928.

Letter from Capt. M. A. Edson, Puerto Cabezas, to "My dear," p. 3.   " . . . PS – Tell Mary I am still hoping to make good on my promises.   This trip has been planned for quite a while but it was not supposed to materialize until two or three weeks later.  The latest daTe (this afternoon) was decided upon only yesterday so that is the reason for all the rush.  ¶  A la Mardie – here are a couple of suggestions for any approaching birthday: - New dictionary, Fountain pen and pencil set, Books.  ¶  My fountain pen has been lost for some time as you know, and a new one would be most welcome.  ¶  The sea out is none too smooth – the boat none too large – and I fear my tummy will be none too steady tonight.  ¶  Once more love and kisses to both of you . ¶  Merritt  ¶  Give Mother my love when you write her."

1.   6 March 1928.

Letter from Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas, to My Dear Oliver (Oliver Floyd), Managua, p. 1.    "MY dear Oliver:-  ¶  Received your valued communication and read it of the order you enclosed!!  It is of course gratifying to find that the policy I have adopted is in accordance with the wishes of the General, and, indeed the only ripple so far as I was concerned was the suggestion that instead of furnishing me with personnel for a SCM that the court be ordered and convened on board.  I declined, politely, courteously, smoothly, but (I added to your instructions another adjective) FIRMLY.  There was no argument, it was “merely a suggestion” (one that I suspect was designed to see how far it would do to take liberties with me) and everything is perfectly lovely.  The one officer does only danger of any friction, but even so I believe that I can be diplomatic enough to clear the atmosphere if it ever becomes too electric.  ¶  I understand that you have expressed a wish to be over here, but let me tell you that I saw it first, and I only hope that my entire tour can be spent here.  There is plenty to do and lots to be done, even if our vain glorious friend never does get here.  And if he ever slips through your cordon, good night!! There are really two sectors on this coast.  The southern which should cover everything south of the PRINZAPOLKA inclusive and the northern.  BLUEFIELDS if of importance solely because it furnishes a base for the southern sector, is politically important, has the bank, and the custom house at El BLUFF, and covers the approach via the ESCONDIDO.  EL GALLO is important because of the money, stores, and as a center of population that might cause trouble, and because it covers the EL GRANDE route and furnishes an advance base. Communication and transportation between these two places are easy and frequent.  Politically BLUEFIELDS cannot be entirely abandoned for a long time, but when (if ever) all patrolling and policing is done by the Guardia, a small detachment under an officer should be sufficient.  But to the present, unless we are to sit on these two places and do nothing else, a single company in the southern sector is none too much.  Personally I am very much opposed to merely sitting on the three places which are most important.  I am convinced that there are considerable opportunities for trouble from the inhabitants unless we can show some activity besides the mere occupying of three towns.  None of these towns can be abandoned, and too small a garrison would only serve as a bait.  A garrison of my size in BLUEFIELDS and EL BLUFF will I believe prevent local trouble.  Two squads with a machine gun properly handled can hold EL GALLO until Hell freezes over.  But outside the towns there are always possibilities, and it seems to me that the only course is frequent patrolling as long as said patrols are not allowed to get careless.  It has the added advantage of making all hands familiar with the . . ."

2.   6 March 1928.

Letter from Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas, to My Dear Oliver (Oliver Floyd), Managua, p. 2.   " . . . terrain and thereby reducing the number of times a guide is needed.  ¶  Up here in the north the situation is somewhat different.  The place itself is new and it seems that little if known and less cared by the natives at MANAGUA about it.  The feeling is intensely Liberal and there is a good deal of PRO SACASA AND SANDINO brand of liberalism as opposed to MANCADO [Moncada].  However, again, a show of force and of activity on our part should discourage our “Friend” from coming the way except via H_ _ _ _ _ _ S [Honduras].  He has his choice of several routes if he can shake you people off and slip through.  One is a passable trail from the vicinity of MATAGALPA via the PIS PIS area here.  Another is down the COCO and WANKS as far as convenient and then towards here or to the westward of here.  This route offers better opportunities for his supply en route.  There are several combinations and the possible variation of going into HONDURAS part of the way. I am pushing out patrols along these routes to operate in hitherto virgin (as far as our forces are concerned) areas some reconnaissance and learn the possibilities.  I hope that the moral effect will be good and since he will know of it almost as soon as you do, it may serve to deter him. You know of course that he started from here.  The place itself is a big proposition and there are many, many times the value of property and American lives to be protected than all the rest of the coast put together.  Morever it is expanding, and there is a committed although not too large influx of laborers from the interior.  These increments offer boundless opportunities for the infiltration of partizans who might be expected to make trouble if arms could be supplied and occasion arose.  The plant itself is very large, not too easy to defend, and the railroad line runs out some 86 kilometers.  The Wanks, of course we have always with us.  There is also our neighbor to the north to be considered and he furnishes an ever present possibility of supply of arms, ammunition and men, as well as the possibility of having a roughhouse of his own.  Considering the relative value of the investments, the relative number of Americans, the relative amount of stores and supplies and of money than could be obtained, the nearness of the border, the probability of aid being obtained across said border, I am firmly convinced that the main part of our force on this coast should be here.  Politically and historically BLUEFEILDS is the only place on the coast but actually this is the more important, tactically and strategically.  Intercommunication and mutual support are equal either way.  Therefore and for the further reasons that from the standpoint of morale and training if we are not too busy patrolling there are much greater opportunities here, I propose to make this the main post.  If or when Headquarters acts on the recommendation of mine as approved by Brigade and provides an additional company, I shall station one company here and the other with its headquarters in BLUEFIELDS will have the southern district.  If this force can only be one company, then the Company Commander with a small increment will have to take BLUEFIELDS, one officer (probably) with about two squads take EL GALLO and the other officer and myself with about half the company hold the bag here.  But under those circumstances, there can be little more than holding what we have.  There is another point to consider when weighting the two places.  At BLUEFIELDS the only recreations are: some hunting, some fishing, booze and the . . ."

3.   6 March 1928.

Letter from Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas, to My Dear Oliver (Oliver Floyd), Managua, p. 3.   " . . . [ . . . ] ladies of doubtful virtue and (mostly) of undoubted diseases.  Here they have the hunting, less fishing, swimming, tennis, basketball, baseball games (to see, as we have not yet been able to organize a team of our own) [No - -We -] in addition to the less desirable things in about the same quality and quantity as in BLUEFIELDS.  You can readily imagine which any commanding officer would prefer.  Also looking again into the future, there is terrain on which to train a small command here which is lacking in BLUEFIELDS, and I have already selected the obtained permission to use gratis a strip of land for a rifle range.  (Not quite gratis) we agreed to train and coach certain officers of the company in the use of the revolver and pistol.  ¶  So here I am.  Before you get this you will have received information as to a hit made in the southern sector on information furnished from here.  That is the way it works, the further away one is the more dope there is.  Also you will have heard that one (and I hope two) patrols are out from here acting along the lines I outlined above.  We hope that you will soon get the bird and once you do or any time that you have a spare plane it would have an excellent moral effect if one could fly here and land on our field.  Eventually these rivers should be photographed as there is an almost total absence of maps excepting the Ham Map and a few local ones made in this vicinity.  ¶  About the personnel here.  You of course know that COMSPERON landed the Marine Detachment from the Denver and left them here.  Later he ordered the TULSA to land her marines.  To date she has not arrived here.  If these detachments are to stay here until the aforesaid company from the US comes, well and good, but if anyone suddenly orders them out without warning, GOODNIGHT.  ¶  I notice that you disregarded my challenge for a chess game.  I am at present the undisputed champion of the East Coast having defeated the only two contenders found, to wit the Marine Officer of the Denver and the Paymaster thereof.  ¶  I am very much interested in your estimate of the political situation. Here of course the great majority are Liberals and one has to guard against being unduly influenced by the fact that one rarely hears the other side.  However you seem to agree that a fair election will result in a Liberal victory.  If that comes off no one here need worry until the local birds realize that the Liberals will do little more or less for this coast than the Conservatives, after which knowledge permeates anything may happen.  But if there is no election or if the Conservatives should win, then look out for the fireworks.  The only solution I see after reading your opinion is a Military Government.  Incidentally, we were advised that the election law was due to be voted on yesterday and have looking for dope on the result all day.  I suppose it will come through eventually.  ¶  One more point. Tell SCHMIDTTY [Major Hans Schmidt, Intelligence Section] to keep one eye on HONDURAS.  Everything I get points to a blowup there soon, anyway by the time of their election and if there is still an armed force to the field against us here, combinations and permutations might be effected.  ¶  Give my regards to Smith, Schmidt, Sandy and tell them to cheer up. I have today 1 year, 10 months and 5 days to do.  Thanks for your letter and best wishes,  ¶  Sincerely,  ¶  Utley."

1.   6 March 1928.

Letter from James Hibbert, Bluefields, to British Consul, Bluefields, p. 1.   "Sir:  ¶  I, James Hibbert, of lawful age, married, trader, resident at Bilway in this Republic of Nicaragua, native of the Parish of St Catherine, Island of Jamaica, British West Indies, and private in His Majesty’s army in the late world war, honourably discharged according to the papers which I herewith present for you to examine and return to me, hereby beg to make the following claim against the Government of Nicaragua, for the losses and damages sustained on the 18th of February last, through the notorious action of four of the United States Marines stationed at Puerto Cabezas accompanied by an American citizen named Lee Arnold.  ¶  On the 10th of February last, while I and my wife were in our shop where we have also a canteen, licensed under No 12, four United States marines accompanied by an American in the employ of the Bragman’s Bluff Lumber Co named Lee Arnold, entered and bought some drinks and proceeded to another canteen at about half past five in the evening.  A little later, two of them returned and asked me to credit some drinks, which I naturally refused, but offered to give them two drinks free, which they accepted and I gave.  After having had their two free drinks, they sat on the counter.  In a few minutes after I heard a great noise of things being broken on the building as if it was being torn down, but as these two marines were sitting inside on the counter I could not venture to leave my place alone, but on taking a look outside, I saw that two more Marines and Mr. Lee Arnold were committing all sorts of depredations, breaking the railings of the veranda, ripping the zinc off the veranda and finally they entered the canteen, and on the beam of the house which is eight feet high I had a lantern thereon which Lee Arnold started to kick down and I said:  Please do not do that Mr. Lee Arnold, and he said I can pay for it. Serve us five drinks free, which I had to do on account of fear of the marines.  Notwithstanding this my lantern was kicked down and broken, and he with three of the Marines, commenced to break up my things and to knock me out, which they did and I naturally could not expect to fight such a great number of men.  I pretended to be dead on the floor, while my wife asked them to have mercy on me.  Thereupon he kicked her in the abdomen, which I became aware after injured her internally, and ever since then she immediately commenced to urinate without being able to contain her urine any more.  The Marines then commenced to pound her with their fists, and she naturally ran into the bedroom for shelter but was followed there by some of them while the others plundered and break and took whatever they felt like from my store . . . "

2.   6 March 1928.

Letter from James Hibbert, Bluefields, to British Consul, Bluefields, p. 2.   " . . . ¶  I laid on the floor still as if I was dead, then they kicked me, but seeing no movement they kept on and went into the canteen while one of the two marines closed the door of the shop and held it fast.  They took all the money in the till of the drawer and what they did not take of my effects they damaged and break and afterward disappeared not before they administered a good beating to my wife, whose dress was torn, her eyes bloodshot, and being almost senseless [exclaimed] that she was murdered.  One Peter Lindo who saw some of the action went to the Commandante who told him he had nothing to do with the marines, to go and see the Consular.  He then went to the Marine Sergeant and told him of the occurrence who immediately came and investigated but being stunned by the blows, when asked by the Sergeant what were my losses, I said about forty dollars but was wrong. I had commenced to make an inventory of same I found that my eighty-three dollars was missing from the drawer besides other things that were stolen or broken, a list of which is hereunto appended.  He ordered me to seek a doctor and to present myself to the Commander of the Marine Office which I did and after investigating the matter he replied that he would come to my store, and so he did accompanied by the Commandante, but they had only seen a part of the damages, lastly I showed him my sick wife in bed; he said come to the office I will have you satisfied.  He then offered me forty dollars in compensation but I told him that would not cover even half of my losses and naturally would not take that amount as my wife was still in bed on account of bruises and strikes she had received and there she is still under the care of a physician at Puerto Cabezas.  ¶  I remarked to the Marines that I thought they were here to protect foreigners but the rejoinder came from the Marine Commander that they were here simply to protect American rights.  ¶  The names of the four witnesses who can depose and did so: Peter Lindo, Nehemiah Wright, D. Halstead and Charles Cook.  ¶  Recognizing that as a negro and one of His Britannic Majesty’s subjects, who fought as best as I could during the last world war and I am still willing to fight for my country and having been denied justice at the hands of the constituted authorities of the government, I have no other recourse but to apply to his Majesty’s Government through you for the proper redress.  ¶  The list appended only shows part of my belongings which were lost and besides this I have pay the physicians who attended my wife who is still under medical care and the injustices suffered, notwithstanding my colour I therefore submit my claim for the losses sustained and the injuries inflicted upon myself and my wife and firmly believe that you will speedily as I hope bring this matter to the attention of His Majesty’s Government to do whatever they may deem for in the premises.  ¶  Awaiting the prompt action of the Honourable Consul of the Britannic Majesty in this matter  ¶  I am …….. ¶  /s/ James Hibbert . . . "

3.   6 March 1928.

Letter from James Hibbert, Bluefields, to British Consul, Bluefields, p. 3.   "List of articles actually destroyed . . . "

 

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