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ir28.02.19  B-2 report, managua


28.02.19  •  B-2 Report  •  Managua  •  Feb 12-18, 1928  •  Major Hans Schmidt


19 February, 1928.

From: 0000 12 February, 1928
To: 2400 18 February, 1928.

MAP: Nicaragua - C. D. Ham, 1924, 1:500,000.


    Movements of Sandino and his leaders cover the northeastern part of the Northern Area. There are so many reports coming in that it is difficult to determine the position of any of his groups. The most reliable information would seem to place the main strength in the area MANCOTAL - LOS CUCHILLOS and PENA BLANCA. Ample evidence is at hand that the tightening up process is producing results. The extension of the intelligence service to MATAGALPA, the mounting of a great many men, night operations and air service reconnaissance all have been a factor in making Sandino and his principal leader impotent for another week.


(a) Units in contact:

    Commanding Officer JICARO reported patrol under Sargeant Smith had contact with bandits at 0600 February 12th, between SAN GREGORIO and MURRA. 5 bandits killed and one wounded.

(b) Movements:

    Mobility continues to be the enemy's chief asset. He continues to avoid us. It is not believed he will attack unless he can ambush us and get away quickly. Following is a list of reports received during the week.

(1)  A report that Sandino was in the vicinity of A. AMORT or CUATROS ESQUINAS the night of the eleventh was denied by A. AMORT (M-7).
(2)  Sandino reported at CORINTO night of eleventh.
(3)  Ensibio Reyes reported at PIEDRA GRANDE 12th February with about 100 men (M-10).
(4)  Teofelo Castro with 25 men reported near EL PALACIO 12th (M-10).
(5)  Reported Sanchez operating independently (M-11).
(6)  reported between DIONISIO and MUY MUY night of 12-15 Feb. (M-14).
(7)  Ferrara or Diaz reported in YALI with 100 men 13th Feb. (M-15).
(8)  Sandino reported in DAINLI VALLEY between SAN ANDRES and QUILALI (M-16).
(9)  Sanchez, Estrada and Galeano at SAN JUAN DE TELPANECA 9th Feb. with from 75 to 150 men (M-16).
(10)  Ferrera and Diaz moved south from SOMOTO to DUGULI 13th Feb. (M-17).
(11)  Sandino reported 13th near LA PORONA and LA VIRGEN.
Sandino reported 13th near COYOLAR
Sandino reported 13th near PENA BLANCA (M-18).
(12)  Sandino reported spent the night of 12-15 Feb. at LOS CUCEILLOS (M-19).


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(13)  Diaz reported with 200 men 14th Feb. as having passed through MACUELIZA and LA PASA on 12th.
(14)  Ferrara at DUGULI, 3 miles west of CONDEGA (M-21) 14th Feb.
(15)  BANDITS reported east of DARIA 14th (9:00 a.m.) (M-22).
(16)  Diaz reported between SANTA MARIA and HONDURIAN border 12th with 30 men.
(17)  Maldenado reported near SOMOTO 12th. Reported antagonistic to Diaz.
(18)  Maldenado reported going through SANTA MARIA toward MURRA on 11th.
(19)  Sandino reported heading for PUERTO CABEZAS (M-24) 14th Feb.
(20)  100 bandits seen in COLON 10 miles south of CONCORDIA 1:00 a.m. 14th; also 80 men under Ferrara in same vicinity headed toward JINOTEGA (M-26).
(21)  15th Feb. 200 bandits reported between SOMOTO and AYTETLO (M-27).
(22)  Enemy reported at SAN VICENTE 15th Feb., also EPTLE, also SAN LORENZO, (M-27).
(23)  Warning that TRINIDAD was to be attacked 15th (M-27)
(24)  50 outlaws attached and looted TRINIDAD 1900-15th Feb. (M-35).
(25)  50 outlaws reported near JUEZ - CUMPLIDO ROAD moving towards JINOTEGA. (M-49).
(27)  50 bandits reported as having left LA FUNDADORA 16th. (M-49).
(28)  Group of 120 bandits which were reported as having looted TRINIDAD moved towared SAN ISIDRO 16th (M-50). (Probably Ferrera with half that many men).
(29)  Sandino reported at SANTA LENA 15th with 60 men.

         Sandino reported at TUMA 20 miles NE of CORINTO.

     Sandino reported with 500 or 600 men at FUNDADORA 12th. Left for TUMA 12th.

     Sandino reported as having 300 men with him 15th.
(30)  Sandino at LOS CUCHILLOS 14th (M-55).
(31)  Bandits left SAN LORENZO for MONTE GRANDE on 17th (M-58).
(32)  Some bandits at MONTE GRANDE 18th Feb. (M-59).


     A study of the entire list of reports shows that a great many groups of bandits are in the area under discussion. However, one should not lose sight of the fact that a great many reports are (probably) pure fabrications sent in as counter expionage material by Sandino spies. Also that a great many reports are grossly exaggerated. The presence of 3 or 4 horsemen in one place will be 100 before next morning, due either to genuine alarm or outright procrastination. Notwithstanding we are glad to get as many reports as possible.

     It is becoming more apparent every day that Sandino's prestige suffered materially subsequent to the EL CHIPOTE attack. While at times he has been reported with several hundred men, more frequently he is reported with from 60 to 125 men. This is certainly significant.

     The movement of the main forces seems to have reached the vicinity of PENA BLANCA.

     General Ferrera (Honduranian) is the most active at this time. It is very probable that he looted TRINIDAD and then moved north.

     Ferrera has been very active in that vicinity.


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     Enemy has been very active, gathering supplies, money and whatever equipment he can.

     Mr. Huper's store in TRINIDAD was robbed of $5000.00 worth of merchandise.

     The store of Modesto Espinosa in TRINIDAD was looted of its entire stock.

     Mr. Charles Potter states that Sandino took $150.00 out of his safe and $350.00 worth of supplies and equipment. 22 miles and 2 of his best horses were also taken. Total loss about $2300.00.

     The BABILONIA PINCA owned by W. R. Grace Co., and which is NE of FUNDADORA was robbed of $500.00 worth of merchandise and mules.

     All enemy troops appear to be well mounted and fairly well armed.

     Their ammunition supply is probably not plentiful.

     There is evidence that some arms and ammunition were sent north from LEON about two weeks ago.

     Most groups are living off the country and gather coffee, beans, cattle, mules, and in fact anything they can get their hands on, selling what they cannot use.


(a)  Good weather was encountered for the entire period and was favorable for our operations.

(b)  Visibility - excellent.


     No change. He is operating at night. All bands reported seem to be well mounted. Although it is believed they have had opportunities to attack, they have avoided us at all times. It is probably that he will attempt to concentrate different groups in successive points and continue operations similar to his past record.


(a)  Report of bandits under Ferrera fortifying DUCULI. Not confirmed.

     General Jose Leon Diaz reported as not having any machine gun. Report of one bandit prisoner near SABANA GRANDE not confirmed. One prisoner at OCOTAL shot while attempting to escape. Ernestacio Hernandez and Jefe Jose Torres [Anastasio Hernández and José Eulalio Torres] turned over to patrol at LAS MANOS 18th Feb. and confined OCOTAL.


(a) There is no doubt but that Sandino and the generals operating with him are reliably informed as to our every movement. Their knowledge is so complete as to enable them to avoid us at every turn.

(b) His information is obtained from spies mostly, and not from any well regulated reconnaissance.

(c) We have lost no prisoners. It is not believed that we have lost any documents.

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     To continue gathering supplies and equipment and recruiting men.

     General outlawry will continue.

     The activities of many small groups will serve as a ruse to detract attention from other localities.

     The bandit group which was rather definitely located at SAN RAFAEL about the 3rd, moved east this week to the area LAS CUCHILLOS - PENA BLANCA.

     It is believed that Sandino will remain in that area of go still father north or northeast. He is possibly either on this line for the purpose of effecting a withdrawal north to HONDURAS or northeast to the vicinity of PUERTO CABEZAS.


Major, USMC



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                  MANAGUA, NICARAGUA
CONFIDENTIAL:       19 February, 1928.


From: 0000 12 February 1928
To: 2400 18 February 1928

MAP: Nicaragua - C.D. Ham, 1924, 1:500,000.


(a) Conditions in Northern Area: The situation in northern part of this area has changed but little. Evidence of few small bands operating confirmed by one contact between SAN GREGORIO and MURRA. The situation in the southeastern part of this area continues tense, particularly in the area SAN ANTONIO, LOS CUCHILLOS and PENA BLANCA.

(b) Conditions in the Southern Area: Tense in north and northeastern part. Presence and repeated messages at ESTELI and the looting of TRINIDAD kept the population in that vicinity in an alarmed state. TRINIDAD at last reports was almost entirely deserted.

(c) Conditions in the Eastern Area: This area is quiet. Evidence of favorable increase in ecnomical situation is plentiful and will be remarked about later in this report in detail. Evidence is not only confined to the vicinity of BLUEFIELDS but extends as far north as BRAGMAN'S BLUFF and west for an equal distance.


     Local conventions are beginning their work. Moncada has been proclaimed as the Liberal Candidate at several local meetings and today (19th) he will be likewise mentioned at LEON. In the Eastern Area similar actions have been reported. Meetings reported orderly. The controlling factors in the political situation have not and will not change. More evidence tends to show that their attitude towards us in reference to the proposed supervised election has not changed. The prospects of any cooperation in the coming elections are not good. It would be futile to predict the attitude of local authorities should a Liberal success ensue. The attitude of those not engaged (actively) in politics might be stated as one of tolerance but not of indifference. Some calls for Marines to provide protection have been received. Labor Party activities in vicinity of LEON have increased considerably. Actual liasion with other parties has not been definitely confirmed.


     Shows improvement from day to day except in small areas infested by bandits mentioned before.

     BLUEFIELDS continues to show the greatest improvement. Evidence of men being engaged for work from places as far west as MATEARE has been obtained. Bragman Bluff Lumber Company has let a contract for 2000 men


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to work their banana plantations. The Cuyamel Company has commenced operations from the PUNTA GORDA district. Mahogany contractors continue to import labor. Standard Fruit Companies are increasing their plantings.

     In both the Northern and Southern Areas the markets have been stimulated by coffee shipments. Naturally, bandits have interfered with the gathering and shipping of all commodities.

     In general it might be said that markets are strong and active. Prices are considered moderate.

     Labor conditions are good.

     Labor conditions continue to improve in all sections and it is believed that the present demand for laborers is almost if not entirely absorbed.

     Industry in the town of TRINIDAD suffered a set-back due to the bandit raid there early in the week.


     Efficiency of the police increasing due probably to our activites; particularly to our very slight supervision and inspection of police conditions. Merely the knowledge that we have a watchful eye on their activities is sufficient in most cases to prevent injustice. Of course with our policy of non-interference we cannot actively take sides.

     The situation at MATEARE and LA NOCA is more favorable.

     Police operations in BLUEFIELDS continues to show improvement. Crime has decreased very materially.

     Of course minor difficulties continue to come up. Particularly those due to politics.

     The majority of the reports received state and police operations are routine and normal.


     The case mentioned as pending in last report and upon which early information was promised turned out to be a political difference between two natives here. The Marine accused was a member of the Military Police Force and was merely trying to stop a fight.


     See B-2 Periodical Report.


     Additional information has not been received. However, the evidence is conclusive that the politicians will continue their activities and that they will place as many obstructions in our way as possible. I am of the opinion that two of the three political parties and possibly all three believe that the present situation would be a desirable one until after the elections at least.


     A representative of the New York Graphic by the name of Harris who


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was reported as being on his way to secure an interview with Sandino was at last reports being detained in TEGUCIGALPA.

     Although Espinosa has been kept under observation no information of importance has been obtained.

     A. Miller, a German who has a ranch near BLUEFIELDS and who has participated in several revolutions in NICARAGUA, left his ranch about 4 February and came to MANAGUA. He was first observed at SAN CARLOS. Attended the meeting here which proclaimed Moncada and then went to SAN UBALDO. He is reported as purchasing cattle at the latter place.

     General Casimiro Gonzalez is reported as engaging contract workmen for BRAGMAN'S BLUFF. He is at MATSARE at present.

     Nicolas Ivanevich Tomalsoff, a reported anti-Bolshevik, was in RIVAS recently. He claimed to be going to MEXICO via CORINTO for the purpose of getting an air mail plane for use in COSTA RICA.

     Francisco Olivarea ("Coyote") was reported in JINOTEGA recently. The police have not been able to find out anything about him except that he has been busy in the coffee harvesting near LAS SIERRAS de MANAGUA. He has been seen in General Moncada's office.

     An ex-German soldier named Seelback, or Siehlbach, was seen in company with General Gomez at the DANHCIA BAR 15th February. He is working across the lake. He was originally a Liberal but when captured by the Conservatives in the last revolution, turned Conservative. He is a strong Chamorrista (at present).

Major, USMC.

Source:  US National Archives, RG127/209/2 and RG127/43A/3.
Many thanks to Lebanon Valley College student researcher Katrina Wells for transcribing this document.