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EAST coast DOCS  •  1928b, p. 1
july 1928

E A S T    C O A S T    D O C S
thru 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 +













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   THIS IS THE FIRST PAGE of documents for the second HALF of 1928 on Nicaragua's Caribbean Coast region, housing materials dated during the month of July. 

     We learn here that Sandino exercises much influence in the Upper Coco & Bocay River valleys, and glean important details about the interior districts, for instance that the inhabitants in the La Luz / Siuna area are "mostly Nicaraguans, very few Indians," that popular sentiments regarding Sandino in Wuani (pop. 50) and Siuna (pop. 110) are split, and that "in the vicinity of Siuna large numbers of people are engaged in washing gold from Suina Creek" (8 July Intel Report, Hall; there are many reasons to consider most such bits of military intelligence mostly credible).  In addition to these kinds of revealing tidbits, we also see several penetrating analyses by highly placed US actors, including the 9-page July 31 report of Walter Wilgus, a member of Gen. Frank McCoy's electoral team then engineering the upcoming November national elections.  Notable too is Admiral D. F. Sellers' 15-page "Summary of Activities [&] Present Conditions in Nicaragua" of July 11, which provides a fine synopsis of the strategic & tactical thinking of one of the main architects of the intervention; especially helpful are the sections on the "Eastern Area" (defined open-endedly as "such territory as can be controlled by troops supplied from the East Coast," including the Bocay River Valley & Upper Río Coco; this 15-pager can be fruitfully read alongside Sellers' follow-up 6-page report of July 21, "Affairs in Nicaragua").  Combined with the other reports, letters & radiograms, we get a pretty solid & nuanced sense of the region's ongoing social & political dynamics. 


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

5 July 1928 (1200).
Radiogram from Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas, to Gen. Feland, Managua. 

6 July 1928.
Claim by James Hibbert of Bilway, Puerto Cabezas, to British Legation, Managua.  
"Hibbert claims the amount of the doctors bills for treatment of Mrs. Hibbert’s injuries, plus $224.00 for damage to property &c. ¶ A copy of Hibbert’s letter to N.M. Consul at Bluefields is annexed. This was furnished by Mr. Rees on March 10 last to this Legation and to the Foreign, Office (London). Mr. Patteson, who was then British Charge d’Affaires, does not seem to have taken the case up but on April 21st the Foreign office cables instructing H.M. Legation, after, investigating the claim, adding the amount of the doctors bills and eliminating any portions which cannot reasonably be maintained, to endeavor to arrange a satisfactory settlement. ¶ H. M. Legation thereupon asked the British Consul at Bluefields for a report on the points raised in the Foreign office cable. This has not yet been received and Mr. Rees now states that the gentleman at Puerto Cabezas on whose good offices he was relying left on his vacation without replying to his (Mr. Rees) enquiry. In these circumstances Mr. Rees states that he will be unable to forward the report for some weeks to come. H.M. Legation has therefore thought it better to lay the case before the American Legation at once reserving the right to submit any further observations which may seem requisite when the report is received from H.M. Consul at Bluefields. ¶ British Legation, ¶ Managua, ¶ July 6, 1928."

7 July 1928 (1955).
Radiogram from Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas, to Gen. Feland, Managua. 

8 July 1928.
Intelligence Report, General, 17 June-7 July, Lt. W. C. Hall, Puerto Cabezas, p. 1. 
 "References: Daily reports covering time period. ¶ Maps: Ham Map of Nicaragua. ¶ Christian Brothers Map. ¶ Moravian Mission Map. ¶ A. GENERAL STATE OF TERRITORY OCCUPIED. ¶ The Eastern Area remains quiet, with no rumors of bandit activity. ¶ B. ATTITUDE OF CIVIL POPULATION TOWARD MARINES. ¶ 1. In the interior the population remains neutral. ¶ 2. Many of the population in the interior are pro Sandino either by nature or by force of circumstances. Careful treatment of the natives by the marines is slowly guiding this feeling to ‘pro marine’. ¶ C. ECONOMIC CONDITIONS. ¶ 1. Conditions in the interior are improving slowly. ¶ 2. In the LA LUZ area people are gradually returning. ¶ 3. The NEPTUNE mine is being worked. ¶ 4. [section transcribed on website] ¶ D. POLICE OPERATIONS. ¶ 1. The Commandantes in the coast towns continue to . . ."

8 July 1928.
Intelligence Report, General, 17 June-7 July, Lt. W. C. Hall, Puerto Cabezas, p. 2.  
" . . . function in a fairly efficient manner. ¶ 2. The Guardia are taking over the police of the towns in the southern part of the area. ¶ 3. In the interior there are no police forces other than the marines. ¶ E. FRICTION BETWEEN MARINES AND CIVIL POPULATION. ¶ None reported. ¶ F. MISCELLANEOUS ¶ 1. Captain Rose submitted the following notes regarding the LA LUZ area: Inhabitants mostly Nicaraguans, very few Indians. Natives who have been in bush for last two months have returned to their homes, in particular Wuani and Siuna contains 50 and 110 respectively. I suspect the most influential of the citizens in this neighborhood of being pro Sandino - - looking upon him as a liberator; however the majority, I believe, consider him a bandit. ¶ In vicinity of Siuna large numbers of people are engaged in washing gold from Siuna Creek. Considerable gold but little money in this area. La Luz mine made a shipment of food, clothing and medicine and opened a bodega within last month. ¶ 2. A rumor, which is not credited, was received to the effect that a band of outlaws were concentrating in the SACKLIN – CRUTA – CAPE GRACIAS area. ¶ 3. The following quotation is taken from a letter of the Manager of the CORTES DEVELOPMENT COMPANY of LA LIMA, HONDURAS: ‘The political situation appears to us to be becoming more acute due principally to an extensive mud slinging press campaign by the three parties involved. The campaign has taken an extremely personal trend and public sentiment is being correspondingly worked up. There is a movement afoot to get representatives of the three parties together, probably by the executive, with the idea of requesting or forcing them to discontinue mud slinging, etc. Good results may be expected if this end is obtained. . . . "

8 July 1928.
Intelligence Report, General, 17 June-7 July, Lt. W. C. Hall, Puerto Cabezas, p. 3.  
" . . . ¶  Though there are persistent rumors to the effect that a revolution can be expected at any time we have not yet been able to see any real indications of trouble. It will appear that the arms and ammunition in Honduras are about evenly divided amongst those who might clash. It appears that the candidates for the Liberal and Republican parties would be willing to renounce in favor of some one man provided this person is not the present candidate of the National party. Up to now such a proposition has not been given any consideration by the national party. ¶ It is thought that the exile Liberals in Guatemala, Salvador, etc., are almost sure to invade the country, possibly under the leadership of General Ferrera, if it appears that through imposition at the polls their party is not given a fair chance. Though the Liberals state otherwise the general opinion is that the exile Liberals are poorly outfitted as to fighting material. ¶ The present boundary dispute between Honduras and Guatemala naturally has a great effect on present politics here and is being taken advantage of wherever possible. We are of the opinion that Honduras is very anxious to avoid a clash with Guatemala. ¶ Sandino is getting more and more adherents in Honduras – they find excellent material to work on. ¶ W. C. Hall, ¶ 1st Lieut., U.S.M.C., ¶ Area Intelligence Officer."

10 July 1928 (0145).
Radiogram from Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas, to Gen. Feland, Managua.  

1.   11 July 1928.
"Summary of Activities from June 1 to July 10 and Present Conditions in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Managua, to USMC Major Gen. Commandant J. Lejeune, p. 1.  
"References: (a) Commanding General’s Confidential letter, dated February 28, 1928, File ‘995’, re this subject for the period from January 15 to February 27 (inclusive), 1928. ¶ (b) Commanding General’s Confidential letter, dated April 20, 1928, file ‘995’, re this subject for the period from February 28 to April 18 (inclusive), 1928. ¶ Commanding General’s Confidential letter, dated June 1, 1928, File ‘995’ re this subject for the period from April 19 to May 31 (inclusive), 1928. ¶ Map: Ham Map of Nicaragua (1924), 1:500,000. ¶ 1. The following is a summary of activities by this command from June 1 to July 10 (inclusive), 1928. ¶ TERRITORIAL REORGANIZATION. ¶ The increases of personnel expected during the first half of July, the plan for their distribution upon debarkation and the plan to . . . "

2.   11 July 1928.
"Summary of Activities from June 1 to July 10 and Present Conditions in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Managua, to USMC Major Gen. Commandant J. Lejeune, p. 2.  
". . . establish several small detachments in the department of CHONTALES dictated the decision to establish a new Area, the Western Area. Had the old territorial organization been retained in the face of these plans and expected increases, the Southern Area would have had too many troops too widely dispersed for effective command in an organization immediately subordinate to the Brigade under conditions prevailing in Nicaragua. Accordingly, on July 1, a new territorial organization was affected as follows: ¶ Eastern Area: - Comprises the East Coast of NICARAGUA and such Nicaraguan territory Inland as can be controlled by troops supplied from the East Coast of NICARAGUA. (Now Commanded by Major Harold E. Utley, with Headquarters at PUERTO CABEZAS). ¶ Western Area – Comprises CHINANDEGA (Department), LEON (Department) and Southwestern ESTELI (Department) by Lieutenant Colonel Lauren S. Willis, the Headquarters at LEON). ¶ Northern Area – Comprises that part of Western NICARAGUA NOT included in the Western Area and North of the general line, S.J. DE LIMAY (exclusive) – ESTELI (City) (inclusive) – JINOTEGA (City) (exclusive). (Now Commanded by Colonel Robert H. Dunlap, with Headquarters at OCOCTAL.) ¶ Southern Area – Comprises the territory of NICARAGUA contingent to LAKE NICARAGUA, and that part of Western Nicaragua (exclusive of the Western Area) and South of the general line, ESTELI (City) (exclusive) – JINOTEGA (City) (inclusive). (Now Commanded by Colonel Rush B. Wallace, with Headquarters in MANAGUA.)  ¶  OPERATIONS  ¶  Eastern Area: - During the early part of June, troops reached BOCAY and established a small detachment at that place. Small detachments are being maintained in the MINERAL DE PIS PIS Area, at LA LUX Mine (MINERAL DE LA COECKPCION Area) and at BUCBUC (confluence of RIO WASPOOK and RIO COCO). . . . "

3.   11 July 1928.
"Summary of Activities from June 1 to July 10 and Present Conditions in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Managua, to USMC Major Gen. Commandant J. Lejeune, p. 3.  
" . . . A small force from LA LUX advanced on the main trail towards CASULI and reached the vicinity of the Western Boundary of PRINZAPOLKA about the middle of June. ¶ During the early part of the period covered by this report, it became apparent that from considerations of importance, practicability and effectiveness, operations well into the interior from the East Coast to be kept up indefinitely would be the most desirable activity for the coming autumn. On June 9, the Commanding General instructed the Commander, Eastern Area, to prepare to conduct operations up the RIO COCO as far as NUEVA SEGOVIA and up the RIO PRINZAPOLKA to the limit of small boats. Arrangements have been made for special equipment, particularly outboard motors to be used on native boats; and plans are perfected by which a detachment will be established at POTECA (Northeast corner of NUEVA SEGOVIA) by August 1. ¶ Southern Area: - The MATAGALPA – JINOTEGA agricultural district has been free even from rumors of outlaws. At TUMA (about 18 miles, air line, Northeast of MATAGALPA) the Marine Detachment has been placed on a semi-permanent status, provided with some conveniences and supplied to as to be now suitable for a small patrol base. Detachments have been established at SAN CARLOS (Southeastern end of LAKE NICARAGUA) and at S. FRANCISCO DEL CARNICERO (on North shore of LAKE MANAGUA). After a rest period, the mounted Platoon under Captain Phipps is again patrolling from GUASACA (not on Map; about 12 miles Northeast of TUMA). ¶ Northern Area: - During the last week of May, it appeared that the main concentration of guerilla forces had formed in the wild country North of PENA BLANCA in Central JINOTEGA (Department). On June 1, a force of about 125 men (Major Rockey) from QUILALI and a Company of about 90 men from CORINTO Ranch (about 10 miles Northeast of JINOTEGA) were dispatched into this almost inaccessible region. This operation was attended by intensive patrolling from QUILALI, S. RAFAEL DEL NORTE, YALI, JINOTEGA, CORINTO Ranch and TUMA. There were NO contacts except one small patrol affair in which there were NO known casualties. The marines employed were divided into several small groups by which the entire area, including the valley of the RIO CUA, was patrolled. This operation lasted for over two (2) weeks during which there was daily torrential rain, and our men negotiated some of the most difficult trails yet encountered in NICARAGUA. The return of the troops to QUILALI was held up by the RIO COCO which was in flood, whereupon, the men were supplied with rations dropped from planes. ¶ In general, throughout the Northern area, a continuation of patrolling has been the principal operation during this period. There has been NO appreciable decrease in this activity in the Department of NUEVA SEGOVIA. . . . "

4.   11 July 1928.
"Summary of Activities from June 1 to July 10 and Present Conditions in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Managua, to USMC Major Gen. Commandant J. Lejeune, p. 4.  
" . . . ¶ Western Area: - This Area was created effective on July 1. Operations therein have been confirmed to patrolling in Northwestern CHINANTEGA (Department). The band of Ortes, alias ‘Perrara’, appeared there during the early part of June; but it is not believed that ‘Perrara’ and his band are in hiding near, or across, the Honduran border. ¶ Present Operations: - The only operation of consequence now in progress is that of a large mounted patrol of about 40 men from QUILALI. This patrol was sighted by our planes at GUIGUILY (Not on Map; about 8 miles North of CUA on the RIO COCO) June 10. The outlaws have shown many indications of a desire to return to NUEVA SEGOVIA; and this patrol was dispatched into the area East of QUILALI upon reliable information that small bands had returned there. ¶ Contacts and Casualties: There have been NO ground contacts except the small patrol affair on June 6 near STA. CRUZ (Southeastern corner NUEVA SEGOVIA) in which there were NO known casualties. ¶ The following contacts have been gained by the Air Service: ¶ On June 5, planes attached to Eastern Area bombed a prepared outlaw rendezvous about 50 miles up (South) the RIO COCO from BOCAY. NO casualties to personnel were observed. ¶ On June 14, planes attached to Eastern Area bombed and machine gunned about forty (40) armed outlaws on rafts near the headwaters of the BOCAY River. Casualties inflicted, unknown. ¶ On July 6, one (1) plane bombed and machine gunned a group of about ten (10) outlaws near GUIGUILI (NOT on Map) about 8 miles North of CUA on the RIO COCO); observed reports ‘It is certain that one man was hit’. ¶ It is worthy of note that only the few contacts stated above were obtained though there has been NO decrease in Air reconnaissance and NO appreciable decrease in Ground Patrolling, which from experience gained has become much more effective than before. ¶ Aviation: - There has been NO change or decrease in the activities of our planes during the period. The persistent presence of our planes is undoubtedly telling on the morals of the outlaws. Small groups . . . "

5.   11 July 1928.
"Summary of Activities from June 1 to July 10 and Present Conditions in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Managua, to USMC Major Gen. Commandant J. Lejeune, p. 5.  
" . . . are observed occasionally under circumstances which made our aviators morally certain that they are outlaws; but our aviation personnel continue to withhold fire until arms are actually seen or fired at the planes. The excellent airplane discipline of the Outlaws has been commented upon before (See page 4, Reference ‘c’). Under these conditions, for each case where attack is warranted, scores of hours of hazardous flying are necessary. Any new instrumentality produces a great feeling of awe and dread in the people whom we are seeking to encounter; our aviation personnel in NICARAGUA can be trusted to employ with good judgment any weapon given them. The use of TEAR GAS BOMBS by our Air Service would enable our pilots and observers to take human advantage of their unprecedented experience in estimating the hostile nature of any group on the ground without being compelled to wait for conclusive evidence; they could not against the many small groups which are almost certain to be hostile but with NO visible arms; their errors in judgment would be very few and any damage they could possibly do with such a weapon would entail NO permanent physical effect. The Commanding General has carefully balanced all advantages and disadvantages attending the use of this chemical, recommends that its use be authorized and affirms that same would produce tremendous results towards absolutely clearing up the so-called ‘Bandit Situation’ in NICARAGUA.  ¶  INSPECTION, East Coast Stations, by COMMANDING GENERAL  ¶  The Commanding General left MANAGUA June 18 on a tour of inspection of stations on the East Coast of NICARAGUA, and returned to MANAGUA on July 8. The opportunity to perform this important duty was afforded by the courtesy of the Commander, Special Services Squadron. During the Commanding General’s absence from MANAGUA, Colonel R. H. Dunlap (Second Senior Officer in this Brigade) was at the Brigade Command Post, MANAGUA. The posts at BLUEFIELDS and at PUERTO CABEZAS (Headquarters Eastern Area) were inspected; prominent civil officials and representative American citizens were met. Near BLUEFIELDS and at PUERTO CABEZAS are large labor populations; each, in general, composed of ignorant susceptible people, the Marines in the Eastern Area are winning the trust of this element. Inland from the East Coast, the Marines are encountering many native Indians who, after first showing great timidity, are now confidently assisting our patrols. The wanton destruction of certain mining property in PRINZAPOLKA (April, 1928) by guerillas has served to lower the prestige of Sandino on the East Coast; such acts have shown him in his true role, a mere bandit, which fact has been brought home forcibly to the labor element, many of whom were deprived of employment thereby. At the time this destruction was wrought, there were many laborers unemployed who were seeking work in those mines; the result has been that . . . "

6.   11 July 1928.
"Summary of Activities from June 1 to July 10 and Present Conditions in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Managua, to USMC Major Gen. Commandant J. Lejeune, p. 6.  
" . . . these people realize that Sandino and Banditry are their economic enemies.¶ The Commanding General was satisfied with his inspection and greatly pleased with the knowledge directly gained. At PUERTO CABEZAS, it was noted that, largely through the cooperation of the Bragman Bluff Lumber Company, the building recently erected there are far beyond what would reasonably be expected as a return for the money expended. While the Commanding General was at the Headquarters, Eastern Area, the plans for further extending operations up the RIO COCO were completed. (See under ‘Eastern Area’, above). This extension, taking advantage of the increased navigability of the rivers, is expected to more than compensate for any disadvantages to us by reason of the rainy season.  ¶  DISTRIBUTION OF INCREASED PERSONNEL RECEIVED and EXPECTED  ¶  During the first week of July an increase of two hundred officers and men arrived via the USS BRIDGE; this personnel was assigned to the Eastern Area; and, upon debarkation, was stationed at BLUEFIELDS and at PUERTO CABEZAS. ¶ On July 6, the Marine Detachments, USS NEW MEXICO, USS IDAHO and USS PENNSYLVANIA debarked from the USS NITRO at CORINTO and were assigned to the Western Area, initially stationed at LEON (City) and at CHINANDEGA (City). ¶ On July 12, a Battalion of Bluejackets (286 Officers and men), from Light Cruiser Division No. 3, are expected to debark at CORINTO, whereupon they will be assigned to the Western Area, and held as nearly intact as conditions may permit. ¶ On July 14, the USS MEDUSA is expected to arrive at CORINTO with nine (9) Marine Detachments (CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, ARIZONA, TENNESSEE, MISSISSIPPI, MARYLAND, WEST VIRGINIA, NEW YORK, PROCYON); four (4) of which will be assigned to the Southern Area, and five (5) of which will be assigned to the Western Area. ¶ These distributions already made have increased the strength of the Eastern area to over 700 officers and men. ¶ The complete distribution of expected incoming troops will build up a reserve along the railroad replacing the already depleted reserve created at LEON in April. The arrival of these troops will enable the entire Second Battalion, Fifth (5th) Regiment, to be assembled at GRANADA (City) and vicinity from where they will establish five (5) small detachments (including SAN CARLOS, already established) on the CHONTALES shore . . . "

7.   11 July 1928.
"Summary of Activities from June 1 to July 10 and Present Conditions in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Managua, to USMC Major Gen. Commandant J. Lejeune, p. 7.  
" . . . of LAKE NICARAGUA; furthermore we will be able to increase the strength in Northern CHINANDEGA (Department) as a precautionary measure and move the few remaining 11th Regiment personnel now along the railroad the Northern Area. All movements possible toward the completion of this general plan have been made. ¶ On page 6, Reference (b), the Commanding General briefly commented upon CHONTALES. After the walk of the 11th Regiment had been committed to the Northern area, organized outlawry in CHONTALES would have undermined this Brigade seriously. Today it is possible, though considered improbable, that, under the influence of Chamorro or some unscrupulous ‘Politico’ a small organization provided with arms probably hidden in that department may arise in an attempt to embarrass the supervision of a fair election by roaming over CHONTALES and avoiding contact with our forces. Those elements in Latin America opposing the purpose for which the Marines are here would distort the facts accompanying such a contingency into most vicious anti-American propaganda. The problem of assisting in the supervision of elections in CHONTALES regardless of any guerrilla uprising there will call for the employment of many troops. This situation has been carefully studied and the Commanding General has decided ‘To prepare for supervision of elections and to meet any possible guerrilla uprising in CHONTALES by establishing five (5) small detachments on the Northern shore of LAKE NICARAGUA’. The establishment of these detachments, combined with active friendly patrolling therefrom, is expected to forestall any plan that may have been made to embarrass the elections by a show of organized violence in that vicinity.  ¶  PREPARATIONS TO ASSIST IN SUPERVISING COMING ELECTIONS  ¶  Several officers (mostly U.S. Army) attached to the American Electoral Mission in Nicaragua have arrived in MANAGUA. From these officers, details have been made to the various Departmental Capitals as Departmental Chairmen of Elections. The Brigade is rendering every possible assistance in getting these officers to their stations. ¶ Such men as have been undergoing instructions for electoral duties were promptly distributed to Departmental Capitals upon request, and in accordance with desires, of the Electoral Mission. The selection of further men required for this duty is being made from incoming troops as they arrive; and their distribution will be made in the same manner. At each Departmental Capital, it is the plan of the Electoral Mission to have instruction continue under the direct supervision of the Departmental Chairmen. . . . "

8.   11 July 1928.
"Summary of Activities from June 1 to July 10 and Present Conditions in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Managua, to USMC Major Gen. Commandant J. Lejeune, p. 8.  
" . . . ¶ While it is well known that the men selected for this duty will NOT possess all the desirable qualifications (See pages 6 and 7, Reference ‘c’), the Commanding General is confident that their work in the coming elections will be so far superior to that previously performed by native civilians that the result will be satisfactory so far as the personnel of the Naval Service is concerned. ¶ Our plans for the strength of the various garrisons during the registration of voters and the actual election should be based on very exact knowledge of the detailed plans of the American Electoral Mission. There will be many polling places where there will NOT be a detachment of this command stationed; some such polling places, no doubt, will require detachments of varying sizes to be present during registration and election. In order that we might be able to give the greatest possible assistance, these views have been presented to General McCoy with the request for information as to location of the various polling places decided upon. On July 8, 1928, in a communication to the Commanding General, General McCoy stated, ‘This matter is now being carefully studied, and just as soon as a decision is reached it will be communicated to you’.  ¶  FUTURE OPERATIONS  ¶  Mission: - All elements of our mission which have existed heretofore still exist. The actual mission has changed; our mission now it TO FACILITATE, AND IN EVERY WAY ASSIST IN RENDERING POSSIBLE, A FAIR SUPERVISED ELECTION IN NICARAGUA. All other considerations, even the ‘Bandit Situation’ itself and regardless of any ‘comeback’ by the ‘bandits’, are important only to the extent that they bear on our ability to prosecute this one result, a promise to which our government is committed. ¶ Dispositions: - Our dispositions (existing and planned) are such that NO other permanent or semi-permanent detachments appear necessary. Those dispositions are bringing our troops into contact with the great bulk of the population of Nicaragua, giving the people a sense of security and denying important towns and productive regions to the remaining outlaws. They will facilitate such employment of troops as may be necessary during registration and election; also any special situation requiring the employment of troops can be met readily by our reserves. ¶ Plans for field duty: - The outlaw situation at present, the weather and communications, the necessity of adhering to our mission as above defined and a regard for the health and continuation of the morale of our personnel combine to dictate that operations resembling expeditions . . . "

9.   11 July 1928.
"Summary of Activities from June 1 to July 10 and Present Conditions in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Managua, to USMC Major Gen. Commandant J. Lejeune, p. 9.  
" . . . into wild mountainous regions should be resorted to infrequently during the coming three (3) or four (4) months. It is therefore planned: ¶ (a) Each detachment to continue patrolling ordinarily by small groups of NOT to exceed ten (10) men and for distances rarely to exceed fifteen (15) miles. ¶ (b) Each detachment to maintain at all times in readiness, one or more larger groups of about twenty (20) men for field duty on quick notice of armed outlaws within the limit of mobility. ¶ Because of the knowledge and experience gained, the gradual increase of friendliness evidence by the natives, and the greater care with which information is obtained, our field work under the above general plan will be even more effective than heretofore. ¶ The assistance to be rendered to the personnel of the Electoral Mission from now on, and especially during registration and election will require a considerable amount of patrolling. ¶ 2. The following is a summary of conditions now existing in Nicaragua which are closely associated with the mission of this Brigade:  ¶  PRESENT OUTLAW, ‘BANDIT’, SITUATION  ¶  The surrender of Sevilla (May 30, 1928 – See under ‘TRINADAD – S. ISIDRO’, page 3, Reference ‘c’) was followed by the surrender of HERNANDEZ on June 8 at ESTELI (City) with eight (8) men, eight (8) rifles and one (1) pistol. ¶ The attitude of Outlaws towards meeting the Marines in combat, their diminishing numbers and their hiding in remote regions are well shown by the few contacts and casualties reported above. Unquestionably our persistent patrolling and aerial reconnaissance are wearing down their morale. ¶ Hand-bill Propaganda: - During the middle of June, several thousand hand-bills (unsigned) were posted by ground troops and distributed by planes throughout the Northern Area. The English of this propaganda was as follows: . . . " 

[NOTE:  See M-DOCS > HOJAS VOLANTES for high-resolution digital copies of this & other propaganda handbills.]

10.   11 July 1928.
"Summary of Activities from June 1 to July 10 and Present Conditions in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Managua, to USMC Major Gen. Commandant J. Lejeune, p. 10.  
" . . . ¶  MANAGUA, NICARAGUA, ¶ 18 June, 1928. ¶ ‘To the Followers of Sandino: ¶ ‘Sandino is a Common Bandit. ¶ ‘Sandino has taken your horses, cattle, and food without paying for them. ¶ ‘Sandino has never led his men in battle. He sends out his followers to do the fighting while he remains at a safe distance from the bullets. Sandino talks and spreads false reports. He does not fight. ¶ ‘Sandino makes many, many boasts and promises; nothing that he says comes true. ¶ ‘Sandino’s men have never stopped the advance of the Marines, they have suffered losses in every battle and then always had to run away. ¶ ‘There are over 4,000 Marines in Nicaragua; and 1,000 more are coming soon. ¶ ‘The Marines pay for what they get in cash. ¶ ‘The Marines have never retreated; they never will cease to advance. ¶ ‘The Marines never get tired and stop. ¶ ‘The Marines will continue their present work in all kinds of weather until there are no more armed men resisting them. ¶ ‘The Marines do NOT injure peaceful citizens but the Marines will never give any rest to those who carry arms and follow Sandino or any other Jefe who opposes them with an armed force. ¶ ‘Since the first of this year, the Marines have suffered losses in only two battles; those opposing the Marines have suffered losses in over thirty (30) battles . . . "

11.   11 July 1928.
"Summary of Activities from June 1 to July 10 and Present Conditions in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Managua, to USMC Major Gen. Commandant J. Lejeune, p. 11.  
" . . . ‘None of the airplanes have ever been shot down by Sandino and the Marines are getting more planes. ¶ ‘The Marines desire peace in Nicaragua. With thousands of men, hundreds of animals, many airplanes, hundreds of machine guns and millions of cartridges, the Marines are going to continue until there is peace. ¶ ‘The Marines are here to see a fair election in Nicaragua and they are going to help supervise a fair election. ¶ ‘The Marines desire to see all people in Nicaragua in their homes and engaged in peaceful work. The Marines protect those who lead peaceful lives with the same energy that they pursue and fight those who are armed and oppose the Marines. ¶ ‘Those of you who go to any place where there are Marines and surrender your arms will be treated with kindness and will be protected by the Marines. The Government of Nicaragua has promised that you will NOT be molested if you turn in your arms to the Marines and become peaceful citizens; the Marines will guarantee that this promise will be carried out. When the Marines promise anything, they do it. ¶ ‘You have your choice of following the cowardly bandit, Sandino, and opposing the Marines who will never stop, or of turning in your arms and then being protected by the Marines in your homes.’ ¶ Some important results: - On July 7, one hundred twenty two (122) former bandits without arms applied for and were granted amnesty at OCOTAL. On July 9, sixty six (66) others applied and were granted amnesty at the SOMOTO soon. At stations in Eastern NUEVA SEGOVIA several men have come in to inquire if the Marines mean exactly what the hand-bills said and then registered their names and residences. There is only one disappointing feature in these results, namely the absence of fire arms among those who are showing a desire to quit banditry and lead peaceful lives. Apart from this demonstration of good faith, each of these men is being registered by local Commanding Officers; in this way we are gradually effecting what would be our very first activity were this command clothed with some civil authority. It is probable that none of these men have actively engaged in banditry for some time, but they should be of great assistance to us from an intelligence standpoint. These surrenders show that the protection of the Marines is valued more than the protection of Sandino . . . "

12.   11 July 1928.
"Summary of Activities from June 1 to July 10 and Present Conditions in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Managua, to USMC Major Gen. Commandant J. Lejeune, p. 12.  
" . . . Location and Size of Outlaw Groups: - That there is now any large concentration of armed outlaws is very doubtful. There are many indications that they desire to return to NUEVA SEGOVIA. That they are avoiding the Marines is a certainty; they have NOT shown the slightest aggressiveness during the period covered by this report. One theory is that Sandino, seeing that his men would eventually desert him, has disbanded them with orders to return to their homes after haranguing them with promises that he would arrange in the meantime for plentiful supplies of arms and ammunition; such is possible and might have as an ultimate plan one of the following; ¶ To reorganize about election time. ¶ To wait until after the elections hoping that the Marines then will be withdrawn. ¶ To take part in a contemplated revolution later in Honduras.  ¶  THE COMING ELECTION  ¶ The Commanding General is of the opinion that armed outlawry has been so effectively dealt with the NO fear is entertained of the ability of this element successfully to interfere with the accomplishment of our mission, ‘To facilitate, and in every way assist in rendering possible, a fair, supervised election in NICARAGUA’. Naturally it is with outlawry that this Brigade is particularly concerned. As for the ‘Political Situation’, there lies the greatest menace to the fulfillment by our government of its promise to supervise a fair election. So far as this Brigade is concerned, the best way to counteract political influences prejudicial to the full accomplishment of our mission is to maintain in NICARAGUA our reputation for impartiality, fair dealing and firmness. ¶ The National Board of Elections (General McCoy, Chairman) has recently decided and announced that neither of the two wings of the Conservative party has produced sufficient evidence to be considered officially that party, and therefore is NOT entitled to various functional prerogatives accorded by Nicaraguan law. The eventual outcome of this decision cannot be determined. A one-ticket (Liberal) election appears probable; if this happens, another civil war, ‘revolution’, will be inevitable unless our troops remain here in force. ¶ The free and fair elections could be held today without possibility of interference by Bandits. The Commanding General believes that there are many other bad factors in the present situation, the correction of which are of far more importance to the conduct of fair elections than . . . "

13.   11 July 1928.
"Summary of Activities from June 1 to July 10 and Present Conditions in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Managua, to USMC Major Gen. Commandant J. Lejeune, p. 13.  
" . . . the elimination of Sandino. Among these adverse factors are: ¶ a. The inquietude and unrest caused by the conduct of many unjust and dishonest Nicaraguan officials. ¶ b. The increasing evidences that money and liquor are to be freely used in the political campaign. ¶ c. The growth of small bands engaged in thievery and robbery, generally encouraged for political purposes by one or the other factions. ¶ d. And principally the split in the Conservative party, still not healed and daily growing worse. This situation directly hinders the mission of pacification. As long as it exists it prevents the effective use of the two party organizations to spread the propaganda of good order as an essential to the good of the country. The Commanding General feels assured that he can make such effective use of the two party organizations when and if the Conservative party factions become united.  ¶  GUARDIA NACIONAL  ¶  On Page 9 of Reference (c), it was stated that ‘By decree of the President of Nicaragua dated March 21, 1928, the office now held by General McCoy was from thenceforth given authority ‘to command the services of the Guardia Nacional and to give to that force such orders as he may deem necessary and appropriate to insure a free and impartial election’.’ Without council with the Commanding General, this authority has directed that the personnel of the Guardia Nacional be distributed at Departmental Capitals only (with minor exceptions). As a result of ‘Instructions for forces in Nicaragua’ issued by the Department and the exercise of authority conferred in the above mentioned decree, the Guardia Nacional, commanded by marine officers, very dependent upon this command, with a mission almost identical to that of this force and receiving the fullest cooperation of these Headquarters is now completely divorced officially from the military operations of this Brigade, the organization immediately responsible to our Government for military activities in Nicaragua. ¶ The following facts (in the case of Officers, taken from letter from Commanding Officer, Guardia Nacional to the Commanding General, dated June 30, 1928); in the case enlisted Nicaraguans; taken from the distribution shown in the Record of Events of the Guardia Nacional for . . . "

14.   11 July 1928.
"Summary of Activities from June 1 to July 10 and Present Conditions in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Managua, to USMC Major Gen. Commandant J. Lejeune, p. 14.  
" . . . the period July 1 to July 7, inclusive, 1928) indicate the extent to which the Guardia Nacional is disassociated from the field duty being performed by this Brigade and the garrisoning of the more remote places in Nicaragua. ¶ Field Officers, USMC: ¶ Stationed in MANAGUA 5 ¶ Others None ¶ Captains, USMC: ¶ Stationed in MANAGUA 7 ¶ On railroad (exclusive of MANAGUA) 1¶ Departmental Capitals NOT on railroad 4¶ Others None ¶ Lieutenants, USMC: ¶ Stationed on railroad 9 ¶ Others None ¶ Warrant Officers, USMC: ¶ Stationed in MANAGUA 1 ¶ Stationed in BLUEFIELDS 1¶ Others None ¶ Enlisted Personnel (Nicaraguans): ¶ Stationed in MANAGUA 781 (60% Approx.) ¶ On railroad (exclusive of MANAGUA 270 (20% plus.) ¶ Departmental Capitals NOT on railroad 141 (11% approx.) ¶ In quiet stations in LEON and CHINANDEGA Departments, and mostly near the railroad 69 (5% plus.) ¶ All others, stationed at JICARO and at QUILALI, soon to return to MANAGUA in compliance with instructions by the Chairman, National Board of Elections 44 (4% minus).  ¶  HONDURAS  ¶  The fact that there exists a potential revolution in HONDURAS is an immediate concern of this Brigade. Some apprehension exists in that country. As previously stated (See under ‘Location and Size of Outlaw Groups’, above), it is possible that armed Sandinistas have temporarily disbanded with an ultimate plan to take part in a contemplated revolution later in Honduras. . . . "

15.   11 July 1928.
"Summary of Activities from June 1 to July 10 and Present Conditions in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Managua, to USMC Major Gen. Commandant J. Lejeune, p. 15.  
" . . . ¶ During the period covered by this report, the Brigade Intelligence Officer has made three (3) trips to TEGUCIGALPA for conference with the Military Attaché (U.S. Army) stationed there. The intelligence report of this Brigade for the week, July 1 to July 7 (inclusive) contains the following: ¶ ‘It is fairly certain that Sandino’s lines of communication from HONDURAS to NICARAGUA have been considerably impaired. A number of agents have been intercepted and their papers confiscated. It is reasonable to assume that some of these agents who carry money will never show up again.’  ¶  SUPPLIES IN THE FUTURE  ¶  Communications and transportation in Nicaragua are such that for the most part supply activities have to be seasonal. In other words, during the dry season, supplies must be distributed in anticipation of requirements during the wet season. The employment of Transport Planes can NOT alone meet the supply situation for the reason that landing fields capable of accommodating this type of plane are very few and do NOT coincide with our troop distribution. If the supply problem to be met during the dry season commencing about December 1 is to be solved economically and successfully, it is important to know exactly what strength must be provided for during 1929. It is therefore apparent that these Headquarters should be early advised of the policy of our government as concerns the mission and strength of Naval Forces to be retained in Nicaragua after the coming elections. ¶ 3. The following is a brief summary of conclusions and reiterations deemed important: ¶ a. Mission: - Our mission is ‘To facilitate, and in every way assist in rendering possible, a fair supervised election in NICARAGUA’. ¶ b. The morale of existing armed outlaws in NICARAGUA has been so worn down by our activities that they are resorting only to hiding and avoiding the Marines. ¶ c. The authorized use of Tear Gas Bombs by our Air Service would produce tremendous results towards absolutely clearing up the so-called ‘Bandit Situation’ in NICARAGUA."  [STAMP ON DOCUMENT:  DECLASSIFIED DOD Dir. 5200.9 Sept 27, 1958]


15 July 1928.
Patrol Report extract, W. C. Hall, La Luz Mine (in IR28.07.16: 6).

20 July 1928 (1230).
Radiogram from Capt. Matteson, El Gallo, to Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas.  

20 July 1928 (1430).
Radiogram from Comsperon to Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas.

1.   21 July 1928.
"Affairs in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Balboa, Canal Zone, to Chief of Naval Operations, Washington D.C., p. 1.  
"1. On June 8th General McCoy arrived at Balboa in the S.S. CALIFORNIA with orders from the State Department to return to Nicaragua as quickly as possible. The only available commercial transportation to Corinto at the time was the ACAJULTA, a small coasting steamer, scheduled to sail on June 12th via intermediate ports. As the time of sailing of the ACAJULTA was postponed from day to day, and as the U.S.S. Denver was under orders to proceed on June 14th direct to Corinto to relieve the GALVESTON, permission was given to General McCoy to proceed in the DENVER, accompanied by his wife. ¶ 2. While in Balboa, the Squadron Commander received the Department’s dispatch in which it was stated that General McCoy had informed the State Department that, in his opinion, more troops were needed in Nicaragua. In accordance with the instructions contained in this dispatch, a conference was held with General McCoy. He agreed with the Squadron Commander that it was inadvisable to send a regiment of cavalry to Nicaragua as suggested by an official of the State Department, but otherwise he had no concrete suggestion to make as to the number required. When informed that the Squadron Commander had called upon the Brigade Commander for a recommendation by radio, he readily agreed to wait until General Feland was heard from. The following day, when shown General Feland’s recommendation, he at once agreed to it, but when informed that the Squadron Commander intended to recommend a different number, he then immediately agreed with the latter recommendation. The forgoing incident, therefore, leads the Squadron Commander to believe that, owing to his absence from Nicaragua and his lack of that intimate knowledge of the military situation that is possessed by those upon whom the responsibility for the conduct of the campaign rests, General McCoy’s opinion is based solely upon the failure of the marines to capture Sandino. ¶ 3. When in Managua in May, the Squadron Commander arranged with General Feland to accompany him on an inspection trip to the east coast where, after . . . "

2.   21 July 1928.
"Affairs in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Balboa, Canal Zone, to Chief of Naval Operations, Washington D.C., p. 2.  
" . . . making a general survey of the situation and after returning together to Managua and conferring with General McCoy as to his needs for electoral personnel, a well reasoned and sound recommendation as to additional forces required in Nicaragua could be submitted. The Department’s request for a recommendation, therefore, anticipated the action of the Squadron Commander. ¶ 4. General McCoy arrived in Managua on June 17th and after conferring with him, General Feland sailed from Corinto in the GALVESTON the following day, arriving at Balboa on June 21st. On June 25th the ROCHESTER transited the Canal and the Squadron Commander, accompanied by General Feland, sailed from Cristobal for Puerto Cabezas, arriving there at daylight June 27th. ¶ 5. The usual inspection was made of the marine post at Puerto Cabezas, including the flying field, and the plan of campaign on the east coast was thoroughly discussed and approved. Major Utley is a very energetic, capable and efficient officer and has done excellent work under extremely difficult conditions. After making the necessary arrangements for the distribution of personnel arriving in the BRIDGE, the ROCHESTER sailed for Bluefields on June 29th, arriving the following day at daylight. ¶ 4. Both the Squadron Commander and General Feland went ashore early at Bluefields and after inspecting the marines and the Guardia detachment, conferred with the American Consul and the Governor of the province. General Estrada, the governor, stated that everything was quiet on the east coast and expressed himself as perfectly satisfied with existing conditions. A delegation of citizens attempted to have an interview with the Squadron Commander, but on learning that it was for the purpose of discussing a matter of purely local politics, they were politely informed, through the consul, that lack of time would not permit. As the political campaign progresses in Nicaragua, politicians and others are constantly endeavoring to draw the Squadron Commander into a discussion of politics which, it is needless to say, he constantly declines to do. While the visit with the consul, Mr. Fletcher, was necessarily brief, the impression gained was distinctly favorable and the Squadron Commander cannot refrain from stating that he is a great improvement over his predecessor, Mr. McConnico. ¶ 7. The ROCHESTER sailed for Cristobal June 30th, arriving July 1st, and after coaling, transited the Canal, arriving at Balboa on July 2nd. On July 4th the crew of the flagship took part in the patriotic exercises held at Balboa and on July 5th the ship sailed for Corinto. . . . "

3.   21 July 1928.
"Affairs in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Balboa, Canal Zone, to Chief of Naval Operations, Washington D.C., p. 3.  
" . . . ¶ 8. On arrival at Corinto on July 8th, both the Squadron commander and General Feland proceeded at once, by special train, to Managua where the usual official visits with the minister and the President were exchanged. ¶ 9. As the result of this personal inspection, and from reports received, the Squadron Commander is of the opinion that since the return of General Feland to Nicaragua on January 15th last, the military situation has steadily improved and, despite the fact that Sandino is still at large, it is now in a satisfactory condition. The last casualty to our forces was on May 18th, two months ago, and for a considerable period of time that the outlaws have avoided contact with the marines. ¶ 10. On April 11, 1928, the President of Nicaragua wrote to the American Minister and authorized our forces to offer general amnesty to all outlaws who are willing to surrender their arms and ‘adopt a peaceful life.’ This general offer of amnesty was not made public as it was not deemed desirable to do so. The procedure has been to get in touch with leaders of subordinate groups of outlaws whenever information is received that such leaders may be induced to surrender. Up to date 538 self-confessed bandits, many of whom have recently been with Sandino, have surrendered and received amnesty. ¶ 11. The intelligence service has been steadily improving and the brigade intelligence officer has made three trips to Tagucigalpa and has obtained valuable information which has enabled our forces to break some of Sandino’s lines of communication with his agents in Honduras. In this connection, the Squadron Commander wishes to draw attention to the fact that the campaign of the marines in Nicaragua against Sandino and the outlaws has been characterized throughout by the absence of any cruel or inhuman methods to obtain much needed information. So far as is known, there have been no third degree methods employed and while it has undoubtedly prolonged the campaign and often deprived our forces of valuable and timely information, both the Squadron Commander and the Brigade Commander have prohibited the use of any such methods. It may be of interest to the Department to know that the Squadron Commander has frequently been advised by officers of the Army who saw service in the Philippines that the use of methods such as the ‘water cure’ and so forth, are frequently efficacious. ¶ 12. With the reinforcements that have recently arrived in Nicaragua, including the personnel to be assigned to General McCoy for the elections, it is believed that the Military situation is such that neither Sandino nor any of his followers will be able to exercise any appreciable effect on the coming election. . . . "

4.   21 July 1928.
"Affairs in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Balboa, Canal Zone, to Chief of Naval Operations, Washington D.C., p. 4.  
" . . . ¶ 13. He stated in the Squadron Commander’s dispatch of July 19th (0019 1405), the political situation in Nicaragua is regarded at still far from satisfactory. To begin with, the McCoy Election Law, the passage of which by the Nicaraguan congress was assumed to be, by Mr. Stimson, a mere matter of form, was twice voted down and had to be issued in the form of a presidential decree. Although the decree was issued on March 21, 1928, and nominating conventions were held in Leon and Managua on February 19 and May 20th, 1928, the rules for the conflict of the election had not yet, on July 18, 1928, been printed or published. Meanwhile, due to a split in the Conservative party, two sets of candidates were reported to the National Board of Elections and it was not until July 7, 1928, that a decision was handed down which declined to recognize either candidate as representing the Conservative party. This delay, covering a period of upwards of six months, would seem to indicate that the efforts of General Chamorro, who early in the year informed General McCoy that he intended to do all in his power to block the election, are being crowned with success. The Squadron Commander’s opinion as to the wisdom of the ruling of the National Board of Elections in disqualifying both Conservative candidates, has already been reported by dispatch and need not be touched upon again in this report. It may be of interest to the Department, however, to know that the American Minister heartily agrees with the Squadron Commander in his opinion. ¶ 14. A copy of a translation of the decision of the National Board of Elections is enclosed herewith. It will be noted that in paragraph 1 of this decision the name of the President is given as heading one of the Junta Directives. The use of his name in this connection gave offense to President Diaz and it is understood that, for purposes of record, the National Board of Elections will amend its decision and omit Mr. Diaz’s name. ¶ 16. On July 16, 1928, the Squadron Commander went to Leon and inspected the reserve battalions of bluejackets and marines at that place. The man comprising the bluejacket . . . "

5.   21 July 1928.
"Affairs in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Balboa, Canal Zone, to Chief of Naval Operations, Washington D.C., p. 5.  
" . . . Battalion under Lieutenant Commander Tully Sjelley, U.S. Navy, are a fine looking organization and the only criticism that the Squadron Commander finds to make is the fact that the enlistment of one petty officer expired five days after his arrival in Nicaragua and it is understood that the enlistments of from thirty to forty more men will expire prior to the elections on November 4, 1928. The marine detachments from the battleships looked particularly well and while they were all uniformly excellent, the detachments from the TEXAS and the NEW YORK were outstanding in their neat and soldierly appearance. ¶ 16. At Leon a Spanish school had been established and Nicaraguan instructors have been obtained. Men assigned to electoral duty have been relieved from all other duties and are being given an intensive course in Spanish which will later be supplemented by instruction in the electoral rules when they are published. Colonel Hunt, U.S. Army, who is the departmental chairman at Leon, and who had been sent by General McCoy to inspect the school, was most enthusiastic and informed the Squadron Commander that he found nothing to criticize, but on the contrary, much to commend in the administration and organization of this school. Lieutenant Colonel Willis, U.S.M.C., who is in command at Leon, deserves great credit, not only for the efficient manner in which he has organized the school but for the fine spirit that pervades the entire command. ¶ 17. Twenty-nine ensigns have reported for duty in Nicaragua and have been assigned to electoral duty under General McCoy, seven being detailed to the east coast and twenty two to the west coast. The question of reimbursement of these officers’ expenses had been made the subject of separate correspondence. ¶ 18. Prior to departure from Corinto, the U.S.S. GALVESTON completed a survey of the harbor and blueprint charts have been made from the tracing furnished and have been given to the masters of merchant vessels visiting Corinto. In addition to making an excellent survey, Captain Craft submitted certain recommendations relative to a change in the buoyage of the harbor which involved the purchase of two gas buoys and other smaller buoys. While in Managua, the Squadron Commander called on the Collector General of Customs, Mr. Lindberg, and persuaded him to authorize the purchase of all buoys to carry out Captain Craft’s recommendations. Orders have been placed with the Panama Canal for the purchase of these buoys and the ROCHESTER will plant them and rebuoy the harbor on the next visit to Corinto. Great credit is due Captain Craft and the officers . . . "

6.   21 July 1928.
"Affairs in Nicaragua," Admiral D. F. Sellers, Balboa, Canal Zone, to Chief of Naval Operations, Washington D.C., p. 6.  
" . . . under his command for the fine work they did in making the survey and also to Captain Baldridge of the ROCHESTER who has given intelligent and enthusiastic cooperation in getting the buoys and who will supervise the planting of them. ¶ 19. To facilitate the handling of passengers, freight, and so forth, for government vessels touching at Corinto, the senior naval officer afloat has been designated as Captain of the Port. As the result, army transports and other vessels which merely touch at Corinto are only delayed fifteen to twenty minutes and are not required to anchor. ¶ 20. On June 15th the ROCHESTER fired long range target practice in the Bay of Panama. This practice completed all forms of target practice, not only for the ship, but for all vessels of the Squadron. ¶ 21. Although the commanding officer of the CLEVELAND requested permission to defer holding full power runs, due to the fact that the senior engineer officer was under orders to be detached for incompetency, the Squadron Commander directed that the runs be held on June 27th as the failure to hold such runs would, under the rules for engineering completion, result in no engineering trophy being awarded and would also deprive the winning vessel from obtaining the battle efficiency pennant. As stated in a previous report, the Squadron Commander has made every effort to have all vessels of the Squadron comply with all rules of both the gunnery and the engineering competition and it is believed that not only the spirit, but the letter of the rules has been complied with during the competition year ending June 30, 1928. ¶ /s/ D. F. SELLERS"

21 July 1928 (exact date unknown).
"Our Farewell to the Marine Corps of the USS Rochester," translation of article in La Voz del Atlántico, Bluefields.  
"For after two long months stationed at this city, the Cruiser, Rochester, has raised her anchors, enroute to the City of Balboa on the Canal Zone. During the permanence of her crew in the city, we encountered a satisfactory, just and equitable impartiality to the entire Community, this testifies for itself the good executives to which this brave and patriotic crew are entitled to. ¶ Order was kept in the neutral zone, respect to all civilians and to property was maintained, therefore, the energy of its officers are unexcelled. ¶ The Rochester, as second line cruiser, was placed in commission Aug. 1st, 1893, is finely equipped with heavy guns, she is now under Admiral J. D. Latimer prominent figure in the admiralty of the United States Navy. His struggle in behalf of a stable peace will soon be crowned, and will place his name in history as one who with energy and activity, seeks true principles of humanity. ¶ We can safely say, that in Bluefields the crew of the Rochester, have left memorable thoughts for their distinguished comportment in this City, and we can safely say that they have won the confidence and affection of all the residents of Bluefields. Therefore, it is due to Commander Hans Ertz, and his obedient officers, and sailors, that order and tranquility in this city, was maintained. ¶ We think that with the arrival of the Marine Corps of the U.S.S. DENVER under Commander S. M. LaBounty who has just arrived in Nicaraguan waters, we will encounter the same protection, in life and property, as with the Corps of the Rochester who now leave a very deep but sad space in the heart of those who found in them all justice and equity. ¶ Consequently, La Voz del Atlantico presents its more cordial salute to Commander LaBounty of the Denver wishing him in this city a long permanence, and bids, Au Revoir to the Admiral, Officers, and to all the members of the Crew of the Rochester, also a safe trip across to Balboa."

21 July 1928.
Weekly Record of Events from 15-21 July, Mortimer S. Crawford, Bluefields.  
"Maps used – Clifford S. Ham, 1924. Hydrographic office chart, San Juan del Norte to Bluefields. ¶ Location of outposts – El Gallo, El Bluff, Rio Grande Bar, detachment of Puerto Cabezas. ¶ Location of main body – Bluefields. ¶ Duty performed – Maintaining of order in district. ¶ Condition of roads – Muddy. ¶ Condition of rivers – High. ¶ Ammunition on hand – Rifle: 107,3000; MG Only: 3,200; Pistol: 14,360; FA: None; 37 MM: None. ¶ Rations on hand: 35 days. ¶ Health of troops – Good. Two sick. ¶ ORDERS RECEIVED: None ¶ ORDERS ISSUED: None. ¶ EVENTS ¶ Patrols sent to Pearl Lagoon and Guadalupe to search for escaped prisoners. Bandit camp of fifteen men reported ten hours from Bluefields with two machine guns and one 37 MM. Two patrols sent out but could not find trail to camp. Additional men sent on patrol to Punta Gorda and Monkey point in search for prisoners. ¶ MESSAGES SENT – Forty nine (49) ¶ MESSAGES RECEIVED – Thirty five (35) ¶ Mortimer S. Crawford"

22 July 1928.
Intelligence Report, General, 15-21 July, 1st Lt. W. C. Hall, Puerto Cabezas (p. 1 only).  
“Reference: Daily reports same period. ¶ Maps: Ham Map of Nicaragua, 1924. ¶ (A) GENERAL STATE OF TERRITORY OCCUPIED. ¶ In the vicinity of PUERTO CABEZAS the Liberal meetings continue. To date there has been no trouble and the meetings are not being very well attended. ¶ In the vicinity of BLUEFIELDS report was received of a band of fifteen outlaws, with two machine guns. Patrols are now out in search of this band. ¶ A bandit concentration of from two to three hundred men was reported on the POTECA RIVER. Our patrols should reach that vicinity in about one week. ¶ With the exception of the reports noted above no events of importance have occurred within the limits of the EASTERN AREA. ¶ (B) ATTITUDE OF CIVIL POPULATION TOWARDS MARINES. ¶ No adverse reports have been received, so it is assumed that the cordial relations continue, and new friends are being made. Reports from BOCAY indicate that certain persons who would offer no help previously, are now willing to give out occasional items of information. ¶ C. ECONOMIC CONDITIONS. ¶ On the rivers in the northern sector the boatmen and Indians are making more money now than previously, due to our supply shipments. In the BOCAY area, several persons have declared their intentions to resume mahogany cutting. In the mining districts, people are returning to their homes and work, in increasing numbers. In the southern sector there seems to be enough business to cause competition between the several banana companies. ¶ On the whole, it can be said that economic conditions in this area are good, and steadily improving.”

23 July 1928.
Marine Detachment Roster, USS Denver, Puerto Cabezas (Library of Congress, Edson Papers, box 18, folder 2).  

25 July 1928 (1003).
Radiogram from Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas, to Gen. Feland, Managua.

26 July 1928 (1433).
Radiogram from Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas, to Gen. Feland, Managua.

26 July 1928 (no time indicated).
Radiogram from Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas, to Gen. Feland, Managua.

27 July 1928 (no time indicated).
Radiogram from CO El Gallo to Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas (p. 1 only).

27 July 1928 (1003).
Radiogram from Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas, to Gen. Feland, Managua.

1.   30 July 1928.
Letter from Capt. M. A. Edson, 20 miles above Bocay, to wife Mary, p. 1.  
"Dear Mary: ¶ Seems to me that it is about time I thanked you for a certain handkerchief which you mailed to me the middle of May, which I received the middle of June and for which I am now, the last of July, offering my sincere and hearty ‘Thank you’. It is mighty nice to get a bit of remembrance from one’s sister, especially when I seem to neglect her so completely. ¶ Bugs – Bugs – and yet more BUGS!!! What an opportunity this trip would be for one who is studying or interested in bugology. Three are all kinds, all sizes, and all shapes – around at all hours and alike only in one respect – their ability to annoy and keep me awake. Due to all the rains, the river is so high that our boats have to go along close to the bank, wending their way between and under trees which in the day seems are twenty feet above the water. It is a common thing to have to cut one’s way through the limbs. The result is that all day one is busy brushing off ants – worms – and bugs of all disciplines. All day we look forward to the camp at night, . . . "

2.   30 July 1928.
Letter from Capt. M. A. Edson, 20 miles above Bocay, to wife Mary, p. 2.  
" . . . so as to get a bit of relief. But night comes, and with it more bugs . . this time of a biting, stinging kind. All of them bother one, but the small sand fly defies all mosquito nets, and has a quite disagreeable bite. We build smudge fires and try to sleep alongside of them, with the smoke getting into our eyes, making us cry, and into our lungs almost smothering us. But without the fires, life is unbearable! With the fires, it is almost as bad, and the result is the same – no sleep until we get so exhausted that smoke or bugs bother not at all, and then we drop off into broken slumber of a sort. It is a great life! ¶ Day before yesterday it rained continuously. It had been raining a couple of days before that. But Saturday it rained harder than ever. We made camp at 4:00 p.m. My manaca leaned but was some five feet above the waters edge and looked fine. But at seven thirty, the water came up to the edge of the bamboo floor, and I moved out. This time I went at least seven feet up the bank and considered myself secure for the night. But at 10:30 the sentry called me – the water was already almost at my feet. So I moved again, this time into the cover of another shack where I stayed until two in the morning, when rain and water moved us for the last time. Altogether the river rose at least 15 to 20 feet that night. In the morning it was covered with trees, banana plants, bugs, and drift of all kind. After our boat capsized losing most of its contents. I . . . "

3.   30 July 1928.
Letter from Capt. M. A. Edson, 20 miles above Bocay, to wife Mary, p. 3.  
" . . . decided to lay over the rest of the day. So yesterday we made a new camp and sat still . . watching the river as it came up to its peak, about three yesterday afternoon. Even then we were not free from the water, for late in the afternoon the bank, about eight feet from my shack, gave way and a large tree settled down over one of our boats, sinking it and the rations therein. Quick work saved all the rations except one sack of beans, which had been wet before, and one more wetting was just too much. Another sack of beans were dried out and will be all right, I think. Some crackers were lost, and some other minor articles, but most of the stuff was salvaged. The boat was raised after we got the tree out of the way, and is already to go again. ¶ Today the river is still high – but is going down and tomorrow, rain or shine, high water or low, we move on up the line. Right now we are in the wilderness – for we have not seen a house in four days and are not due to see another for the next two days. Then we come to a series of Spanish settlements – all friends of old Sandino. But even at that, a house of any kind will be good for sore eyes. ¶ Airplanes came over a couple of hours ago, bringing news from the post and a box of chocolates for yours truly. The trees are too high, and the hills go up too straight from the river to let . . . "

4.   30 July 1928.
Letter from Capt. M. A. Edson, 20 miles above Bocay, to wife Mary, p. 4.  
" . . . them land or even to get close enough to give them pick-up messages. There is no chance to send mail out, only a few coded messages can be given the planes from the ground – so when this letter starts on its way is something of a question. But letters can come into us and that is something of a consolation. ¶ Mother’s last letter said she and Dad were moving back to Chester. Since then I have heard nothing from her. I am wondering if there is not a small place in or near Chester which would be suitable for them and on which they would make a living. Do you know of any? If I stay out here in the bush until the end of the year, I should be financially able to swing the purchase of such a place and I would like very much to do so. Suppose you put your humble wits on this subject and pass on all suggestions. ¶ The Rochester is due to go to the States for overhual in February or March. Her home port is New York instead of Boston, which is almost as close to Burlington but not nearly so close to Chester. Personally I would prefer Boston. When I finish sea duty, I shall try to get Phila as a first choice and probably Boston as second . . . "

5.   30 July 1928.
Letter from Capt. M. A. Edson, 20 miles above Bocay, to wife Mary, p. 5.  
" . . . The enclosed is to be placed with other papers for future reference. Incidentally seems to me I must be owing you considerable for safe-deposit box rental. How about it? ¶ Lots and lots of love to you, my Sister. ¶ Merritt. ¶ P.S. Just remembered something was said in one of my letters from Ethel that among the books received for my birthday was one from you. If I am right, and I know I am – here are my belated thanks. You are so much wiser a sister than I deserve – and I do really appreciate all you do for me, and my love goes to you. ¶ Merritt."

1.   31 July 1928.
Report on conditions on East Coast by Walter Wilgus of Gen. McCoy's staff; cover letter from C. Eberhardt, US Minister Managua, to Sec. State, Washington D.C., July 31, p. 1.   
"... Sir:  ¶  As of possible interest to the Department I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a report on conditions on the East Coast of Nicaragua, by Mr. Walter Wilgus, a member of General McCoy’s staff.  ¶  I have the honor to be, Sir,  ¶  Your obedient servant,  ¶  Charles C. Eberhardt,  ¶  American Minister."

2.   31 July 1928.
Report on conditions on East Coast by Walter Wilgus of Gen. McCoy's staff, p. 2.   
"... ITINERARY  ¶  Puerto Cabezas, June 20-23  ¶  Bluefields, June 24-July 5  ¶  Greytown, July 6-7  ¶  Castillo, July 8, 2 hours  ¶  San Carlos, July 9-10.  ¶  ELECTIONS  ¶  Marine and Guardia officers seem to think a check-up of registrants’ dwellings will be necessary to minimize fraud. Except in Bluefields, Puerto Cabezas and Greytown this will be extremely difficult.  If it is undertaken it would appear advisable to send the local chairmen (ie. marine enlisted men) to their stations as soon as practicable. It was suggested that each local chairman, assisted by the Liberal and Conservative members, prepare a rough list of eligible voters in advance of registration.  It was thought that such a list, though incomplete, would be of great assistance to the local chairman during registration.  ¶  The Moravian mission records can be used to a certain extent in determining eligibility of voters.  The Moravians have 11,000 communicants.  Each mission station, of which there are 12, keeps a record of each convert’s birth and later history.  These records are complete from 1888, and are generally admitted to be accurate.  Rev. Mr. Heidenreich, in charge at Bluefields, told me the society would be glad to co-operate.  It should be noted however that the Moravians are strongly liberal (under cover) and anti-Catholic.  ¶  Major Sage, commanding Bluefields Guardia, emphasized the need of plenty of boats as the sole means of transportation at this season.  The marines are now using a few small native boats with Johnson outboard motors.  The Cuyamel company speed boat (“Red Devil”) 20 to 25 knots, can probably be borrowed occasionally for the Bluefields area.  Sage also urged haste in distributing public notices, proclamations, etc. regarding registration or elections, as it takes several days to post them at points up the rivers after they are received at Bluefields.  Similar kicks were made about slow and uncertain mails from Managua and fears expressed that election business would cause congestion on the radio.  Sage thought direct airmail between Managua and Bluefields the only solution.  ¶  Liberals are glad that two registration days fall on Wednesday as most of the ships load on Sunday, and it is difficult to get the laborers to register then.  One  ¶  American ... "

3.   31 July 1928.
Report on conditions on East Coast by Walter Wilgus of Gen. McCoy's staff, p. 3.   
"... American at Bluefields thought all companies on the coast should agree to shut down on Sunday, November 4, to permit a full labor vote.  (He is pro-liberal).  ¶  Liquor for election purposes will be cached by both parties before Nov. 4.  ¶  No conservative activity was noted at Cabezas, and little at Bluefields, pending settlement of the Chamorro Diss dispute.  At Cabezas several hundred laborers from the interior and the West Indies were laid off recently. Estimates of the number run from 500 to 1500 or more.  I heard suggestions that the conservatives might subsidize these during election, but think it doubtful as many are drifting out of Cabezas down to Bluefields and elsewhere.  ¶  Except for a courtesy call on General Estrada, I did not call on leaders of either faction.  Dr. Arana, conservative leader, was out of town during my stay at Bluefields.  Dr. Onofre Sandoval, liberal leader at Bluefields, made two appointments to see me but failed to show up.  I met Fletes, Alfred Hooker and other liberals, but most of the liberal propaganda that came my way was through Joe Riordi (see below) and Irineo Estrada, eldest son of Gen. Estrada, who made the trip from Bluefields to Managua with me.  ¶  PUERTO CABEZAS  ¶  Newspaper Correspondents:  ¶  Associated Press. Downing, customs collector,O/K  ¶  N.Y. Times, Ahern, employed by Standard Co.  ¶  Chicago Daily News, Bob Murphy, employed by Standard Company.  ¶  International News Service and United Press, Wright, secretary to McKay, manager for the Standard Co. in Cabezas.  ¶  None of these are staff men.  They send practically nothing except in emergencies like the Marshall Capture.  All are believed O.K. except Wright, who is now kept in hand by McKay.  ¶  Standard Fruit and Steamship Company (which includes Bragmans Bluff Lumber Co.)  Stock in this company, per value $100, was at 44 in New Orleans in mid-June.  Since the Vaccarros stepped out of control the concern is said to be operated by the banks, with one Moss as head. Commander Walsh is general manager in New Orleans.  ¶  The Nicaraguan division is in critical shape and the next year or two may decide whether it will be continued or scrapped.  Veach, an Englishman who was manager at Cabezas, was recently recalled and allowed to resign.  ¶  McKay, a decent and apparently able sort, is now in charge.  He is an engineer and was formerly in Panama.  ¶  Age ... "

4.   31 July 1928.
Report on conditions on East Coast by Walter Wilgus of Gen. McCoy's staff, p. 4.   
"... Age slightly over 40 (?).  Following in synopsis of an hour talk with him:---  ¶  "Standard has about 5,000 employees in this division – about 300 including families are whites – Our trouble has been bid overhead and low output – We must increase output while reducing overhead – I hope next year to have nearly 15,000 acres in bananas – We now have around 9,000 – Previous managers developed the wrong land – Our operation loss is now very heavy – For example, our hotel loses $1500 monthly on a cost basis – We have reduced locomotives from 12 to 6 and do practically the same work – We out and ship excellent grade of pine and have a large contract now with Venezuela – (Note.  Murphy of lumber department estimated they had timber stand sufficient for only sixteen months more cutting).  – We have $45,000 in claims for last revolution (August to December).  – Don’t expect to collect it.  – State department should have backed Sacasa or Moncada a strong man.  – Legality of elections seems doubtful as a state of war exists in north and the deputies did not adopt the election law.  – Very unfavorable to railway project as commercial proposition though sees benefits politically.  – Thinks railway would have to be heavily subsidized for years.  – Has been asking state department unsuccessfully for consular agent at Puerto Cabezas."  ¶  Martin, J. F., manager of Standard Company commissary, ex-manager La Luz mine.  (Baker at Bluefields and others discount his ability, call him pensionado of Fletcher family).  ¶  Martin estimates loss to La Luz mine in the three raids as $250,000 – said mine was unhurt but mill, buildings, etc., were destroyed – estimates $10,000 in gold amalgam taken – says ownership of Bonanza-Neptune mine is in doubt as H. F. Springer of Bluefields embargoed it for debt. (Clancy of Bluefields also has claim on mine).  ¶  Castro, Lt. Col. Luis, age about 40, commandant at Cabezas, draws salary also from Standard Co., home Leon, educated at military academy in New Jersey, told me he had helped fit out revolution from Mexico.  Major Utley considers him one of ablest Nicaraguans on coast.  At present very American in his actions as it pays him. Following is synopsis of talk with him:  ¶  Favors finger printing with indelible solution to prevent repeating at elections (he got this suggestion from Utley but advanced it as his own) – says Liberals comprise 75% of total population – thinks Marines should withdraw after election – thinks Conservatives will claim election is illegal as country is not at peace – severely criticizes Sandino – says Sacasa is weak and unfit for presidency – strong for Moncada now.  ¶   Note: ..."

5.   31 July 1928.
Report on conditions on East Coast by Walter Wilgus of Gen. McCoy's staff, p. 5.   
"... Note: Sandino has brother or cousin employed in drafting department of Standard Co. at Cabezas.  ¶  BLUEFIELDS  ¶  Marine-Guardia Situation:  ¶  Kendall, marine commander, is unpopular with Liberals and many Americans, including some who do not dabble much in politics.  Kendall has done excellent work in taking up guns, etc.  He seems very able and ambitious, with a natural taste for intelligence work.  His mental processes are more like those of a Spaniard than any American I ever met.  He fits in well with the Conservatives and should be very valuable under Major Price.  ¶  Sage is extremely popular with Liberals and Americans and not unpopular with Conservatives.  Everyone spoke highly of his work with Guardia.  ¶  The Liberals, together with Joe Riordi, Dr. Marchand, and other pro-Liberal Americans, urge that no Guardia troops be sent from the interior, and cite many alleged cases where Creole Guardia men have arrested other Creoles without favoritism.  Capt. Cronmiller of the Guardia said some of the men from the interior had caused minor troubles in the organization. ¶ Alcalde Dispute  ¶  Eliseo Duarte, liberal candidate for mayor last year, probably won the election against Pablo Torres, conservative.  Registration books at Rama Key, however, were "lost" and the election declared invalid.  Dr. José D. Arana, Bluefields conservative leader, is said by local Americans to have engineered the fraud.  Torres held office until recently and then took a few weeks leave.  Charles Dixon (conservative) succeeded and refused to step down when Torres returned.  Dixon cleaned the streets and is generally popular as a result.  Gen. Estrada, after consulting President Diaz, is understood to favor keeping him in office until next election.  ¶  Newspaper Correspondents  ¶  Darner, customs collector at the Bluff, represents the Associated Press.  He is O.K.  ¶  Sam Weil, old timer strongly pro-liberal, represents International News Service and possibly United Press also.  Fletcher, the American consul, seems like him.  He is quiet and unlikely to make trouble openly.  ¶  Newspapers (all weekly)  ¶  Bluefields Weekly (English) edited by Alfred Hooker,  ¶  Creole ... ”

6.   31 July 1928.
Report on conditions on East Coast by Walter Wilgus of Gen. McCoy's staff, p. 6.   
"... Creole Liberal leader.  Friendly at present, at least toward election project.  ¶  Informacion, Liberal, edited by – Roblete. ¶ Informacion, Conservative, edited by Marmel Pais Fonseca.  Fonseca is now postmaster.  Reputation bad.  Opposes Dixon as alcalde.  Not friendly to election.  ¶  Voz de Atlantico.  Liberal.  Edited by H/ Salter.  ¶  Correa de Carib.  Least important in Bluefields.  ¶  American Opponents of Marine Occupation  ¶  Marchand, Dr. Louis, American, age 55 or more, has lived in Pennsylvania and claims to be graduate of University of Pennsylvania medical school, also to have contributed scientific papers to American medical magazines.  Says he knows Dr. V.O. Vaughan, former dean University of Michigan medical school who is now retired and living in Washington.  Claims to be friend of Henry and "Gil" Fletcher, intimate with "Gil".  Says he worked for latter as medico at La Luz, -- "went there for his health after breakdown in States."  According to Dr. Humphreys, a level headed American in Bluefields, Marchand was near DT’s but now drinks little or nothing.  Marchand has little practice but excellent reputation as a laboratory man.  ¶  Marchand is well educated, with strong liberal views, and at home would probably be a militant anti-imperialist.  He is bitter against marines and navy, and especially so against Kendall.  ¶  Following is synopsis of talk with Marchand: --  ¶  "General McCoy is the only hope for Nicaragua – a fair election will put Liberals in by tremendous majority and the East Coast will have a chance to spend its own revenues.  Admiral Latimer and the marines have lost the confidence of Nicaraguans in American integrity – Sandino has also destroyed the marines’ prestige.  Dr. Sacasa is a high grade man – Kellogg blundered in not recognizing him.  Marines should be withdrawn after elections but American officers of the Guardia should be retained.  Slow recruiting of Guardia on East Coast not due to low wages but to past record of marines, which has made natives afraid to join.  ¶  "Crux of whole Nicaraguan situation is New York bankers' control of revenues and their influence with State Department, leading to subsequent naval and marine interference.  Only solution is complete financial control by impartial American official who is not under thumb of banks.  Gen. McCoy ought to take that position after elections."  ¶  Marchand ..."

7.   31 July 1928.
Report on conditions on East Coast by Walter Wilgus of Gen. McCoy's staff, p. 7.   
"... Marchand writes frequent letters to Springfield Republican and other papers and boasts of corresponding with Senator Borah.  ¶  Major Sage is not acquainted with him.  It might be advisable for Major Price or Captain Best to show him some attention and “confer” with him occasionally, also with Mr. Clancy.  Marchand could probably be conciliated if tactfully handled, especially as he seems very friendly toward the supervised election.  If there is no objection I will keep in touch with him by mail.  ¶  Clancy, M.J., 70 (?), Irish-American old-timer, ex US consular agent at Bluefields, now Norwegian consul, has money tied up in Bonanza-Neptune, miserly toward himself but has assisted others, doesn’t drink, mind still clear but has difficulty in talking.  Clancy is a chronic kicker and unfriendly to Kendall but very friendly toward Sage.  Following is outline of talk with him:  ¶  "Non-secret ballot a great mistake.  Customs officials as bad as Nicaraguans except they don’t steal.  Marines and Kendall are anathema, Guardia doing fine.  New York banks have milked Nicaragua.  Conant should have made peso (50 cents gold) unit instead of dollar.  Why in hell didn’t he?  ¶  "Liberals are too lazy to push their claims and would probably be as bad in office as conservatives.  Intervention as mistake.  U.S. ought to let Nicaraguans kill one another off."  ¶  Kirkwood was in US but expected to return to Bluefields soon.  H. F. Springer was up the river.  Leon Frank quiet at present.  ¶  Other Americans:  ¶  Fletcher, American consul (from Maine, no relation to Ambassador Fletcher), transferred recently from Havre, formerly in Colombia and Venezuela.  A career man.  Methodical office work, criticized by Americans at Tropical club for not "mixing".  ¶  Baker, S.H., agent Cuyamel Company.  Ablest and most level headed American in Bluefields.  Blunt with natives and gets away with it.  Lets no grass grow under his feet where his company’s interests are concerned.  Interviews follows:  ¶  "Guardia is doing fine.  After elections a few marines on each coast and reserve at Panama, for moral effect, will be sufficient to maintain order (assuming Sandino is then out of the picture).  Guardia could be partly financed out of extra revenue obtained by breaking up moonshine liquor traffic.  ¶  "Cuyamel company has $50,000 claims for last revolution.  We whittled this down to actual cost of barges  ¶  supplied to ... "

8.   31 July 1928.
Report on conditions on East Coast by Walter Wilgus of Gen. McCoy's staff, p. 8.   
"... supplied to revolutionists and to land wire charges abroad on messages sent by revolutionists.  Company shut down six weeks.  Actual loss $200,000.  No use to file claim for that amount.  ¶  "Elections for 1932 must be supervised and complete financial control under impartial American official installed, otherwise present intervention will be of no permanent benefit.  If Moncada gets in and really tries to give East Coast a square deal he will probably be unable to under present system."  ¶ Riordi, Joe – Italian-American, now Nicaraguan citizen, married to Nicaraguan liberal woman.  Is chief handshaker for Liberals.  Had the seven ensigns in tow when I left Bluefields.  ¶  Transcontinental Road:  ¶  Baker strongly opposes railway to east coast as business proposition while admitting it would have excellent effects politically.  He favors a concrete road from Lake Nicaragua to headwaters of Rama.  ¶  Survey of this route was made in 1920 at expense of Cuyamel company by Clarence J. Nobman, a young graduate of the University of California, now said to be living in Berkely.  Nobman’s maps and a copy of his report were sent to Managua where they were lost.  Baker, however, has a complete set of Nobman’s notes, which he says are sufficient to work on.  ¶  Nobman’s plans for a roadbed 18 feet wide – general maximum grade 7 per cent – length 86 miles.  His 1920 estimate of cost was, macadam, $1,060,500; concrete, (air inch surface), approximately $3,000,000.  ¶  Baker thinks it essential to have concrete surface eastward from continental divide (say 50 miles).  He believes macadam would serve westward from continental divide (say 35 miles).  ¶  This is Baker’s pet project.  As it would benefit his company he will do anything possible to push it.  He thinks the government could build ten miles or more a year, and said he would immediately put Ford trucks on – six trucks for the first ten miles.  ¶  American Fruit Company  ¶  This is a new concern, operating in the Bluefields area only a few months.  The president is named Cornelius – head office in New Orleans.  J. Montgomery, head of the legal department of the Cuyamel Co. in New Orleans, thinks it is the United Fruit Co. in disguise. Baker disagrees – he says they have made such extravagant  ¶  claims... "

9.   31 July 1928.
Report on conditions on East Coast by Walter Wilgus of Gen. McCoy's staff, p. 9.   
"... claims and wasted so much money buying land and boasts that they are obviously amateurs.  Local Manager is named, Orr, formerly in similar business in Bluefields.  The son of Cornelius is also in Bluefields for several months stay.  ¶  BLUEFIELDS TO SAN CARLOS VIA SAN JUAN RIVER  ¶  Best schooner and river boat line operates by Carlos Passos, (Bluefield’s Liberal leader), jointly with Leon Frank.  Rival line operated by conservative family (name unobtained, begins with C.), which has mail contract.  Complaints along line that mail was often lost or opened and money stolen.  ¶  Greytown:  ¶  A.J. Brand, only American resident, drunk and incommunicado.  Arthur Paton, old British resident, ill.  He took boat to Granada with me.  ¶  Conservatives at Greytown telling inhabitants that Gen. McCoy had sold out election to Conservatives for $1,000,000 in two installments of $500,000 each.  Same story at San Carlos, though the bid was lower.  ¶  San Carlos:  ¶  I met Kennedy, who is O.K., and a man named Reynolds, who operates a cattle ranch across the Costa Rican line.  ¶  Reynolds is a Californian, 55 or 60, in country seven years, well educated, has son in navy.  He is a strong liberal.  Claims to know David Starr Jordah and David P. Barrows well.  Disagreed with Barrows on Nicaraguan affairs during latter visit.  Claims credit for having written Borah urging retention of marines until after election.  Said he understood all Americans in Philippines were very snobbish with natives.  Is writing a book on Nicaragua.  Seems friendly to elections and guardia.  Can be reached through J.C. Kennedy, San Carlos, or Lieut. Devereux, in charge of marine detachment there.  ¶  Wilgus"

31 July 1928 (0700).

Radiogram from Capt. Matteson, Bluefields, to Major H. H. Utley, Puerto Cabezas.



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