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PC27.08.12   FLOYD


27.07.16 HATFIELD
27.07.20 HATFIELD
27.07.28 HATFIELD
27.08.12 FLOYD
27.08.18 BRUCE
27.09.04 O'SHEA
27.09.05 MCQUADE

27.08.12.   Floyd, The Nueva Segovia Expedition & Invasion of the Northeastern Segovias

P C - D O C S :      P A T R O L   &   C O M B A T    R E P O R T S
thru 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 +













     The fabled Nueva Segovia Expedition, led by USMC Major Oliver Floyd, marched east out of Ocotal on July 25, 1927. The purpose of the expedition (comprised of 75 Marines, 150 native Guardias, and as many beasts) was to clear Sandino's forces out of the region. The Sandinistas controlled much of the eastern Segovias, from Murra, El Jícaro, and the San Albino Mine to Quilalí and extending into the mountain fastnesses to the east.  (Map of the route of the Nueva Segovia Expedition, adapted from Map of Nueva Segovia, Monograph of Nicaragua, USDS 817.00/7294½)

     Weeks in the planning, the expedition was the Marines' first incursion into the heart of Sandino country.  The origins and major events of the expedition are treated in some detail in the published literature, including Major Edwin North McClellan, USMC, "The Nueva Segovia Expedition," The Marine Corps Gazette, May and August 1931.  What the published literature does not include are the remarkable observations of Major Floyd in his Field Messages, and other original reports from the expedition.
     Included here are the following of Major Floyd's Field Messages and related reports:

27.07.21 and 27.07.26. Telegrams, San Fernando, 1 pg.
27.07.26. Field Message No. 4, San Fernando, 2 pgs.
27.07.30. Field Message No. 8, El Jícaro, 3 pgs.
27.08.02. Field Message No. 9, San Albino, 4 pgs.
27.08.02. Field Message No. 10, San Albino, 1 pg.
27.08.06. Field Message No. 11, El Jícaro, 5 pgs.
27.08.09. Field Message No. 12, El Jícaro, 4 pgs.
27.08.11. Report on Explosion, El Jícaro, 2 pgs.
27.08.12. Field Message No. 14, El Jícaro, 2 pgs.

     Also included are two other reports:

27.08.15. Report of Civilians and Noncombatants Killed or Injured, 2 pgs.
27.08.21. Bleasdale to Gulick on Nueva Segovia Expedition, 2 pgs.

     Taken together, these reports provide a remarkable window on the volcanic energy of the erupting rebel movement, and the formidable challenges confronting the Marines and Guardia in their effort to eradicate "Sandino's regime" in the eastern Segovias.  The irony, of course, is that the Expedition served mainly to steel the rebels' resolve to expel the hated Yanqui invaders.  Had the United States simply ignored Sandino at this critical juncture, it is likely that his entire rebellion would have fizzled and died.  (Source:  except where noted all this material is housed in RG127/43A/29 and /6).

    Translations into Spanish, kindly provided by Ms. Linda Pudder, are included with each document.   ||   Traducciones al español, a través de la amable cortesía de Sra. Linda Pudder, están incluidas con cada documento.


Telegrams, July 21 & 26

T  R  A  N  S  C  R  I  P  T  I  O  N


July 21, 1927.






T  R  A  N  S  C  R  I  P  T  I  O  N

26 July 1927.





Field Message No. 4, July 26

T  R  A  N  S  C  R  I  P  T  I  O  N

Field Message No. 4.         

July 26, 1927

From:  Major Floyd

To:  Commanding Officer, 5th Regiment, U.S.M.C., Managua, Nic.

1.    Yesterday about 3:00 p.m. upon entering San Fernando, we noted some men retiring from the hills, finally a shot was fired at us; in the meantime by advance units were almost entering the town. The town was then rushed and armed force was dispersed. I estimate enemy at forty. We buried four and I believe 3 others were killed in the hills. Probably as many as six were wounded. Only one Marine casualty - this man was wounded in the buttock, can not ride. One woman in town was wounded by automatic fire, wounded in legs. All firing ceased about 3:45 PM.
2.    I am remaining here until I can evacuate my wounded man. There is NOT a single native here to impress - NO bulls are available. I have directed Hatfield to send one bull-cart from Ocotal with guard to evacuate my wounded man, and by wire, Hatfield says he will not be able to get it before 10:00 AM today. I will not reduce my strength by a sufficient guard for return of my wounded man.
3.    Amid all rumors, the following is the first accurate information of conditions North-East of OCOTAL - This from my observation yesterday. All small barrios from OCOTAL to San Fernando are deserted with nothing left in houses except MOSONTE where women and children and few men are still seen. SAN FERNANDO shows signs of normal life only in 3 or 4 houses and NO MEN are in town.
4.    A dying Sandino man yesterday stated that Sandino had 200 men and was concentrating in Chipote or Jicaro. My guide from OCOTAL says Chipote is 3 leagues beyond SAN ALBINO.
5.    Here, I took yesterday, 5 serviceable rifles, one case of dynamite and about 30 hand made bombs.
6.    Hatfield states that the white people at SAN ALBINO mine are in no danger - this per an intercepted wire from Sandino to his (Sandino's) father. I just learned yesterday after leaving OCOTAL that Mr. Morgan at San Albino Mine is generally reputed to be the illegitimate son of Mr. Butters, and that there are no white women at the mine.
7.    After my observations yesterday, I am convinced that my further progress will be accomplished only as follows under present conditions:


(a)    I will have to wage a real blood and thunder campaign and will have casualties every day.
(b)    I will become involved in a real small war.
(c)    These people will shoot it out with small arms opposition for at least a while. [ p. 2 ]
(d)    All people encountered are unquestionably strong for Sandino.
(e)    Nothing can be procured from the country.
(f)    Arms will be received only from dead and wounded.

8.    The above is facts as I have observed and opinions as I see it - I am willing and anxious to go on; but the interests of the United States and my injunctions from General Feland demand that I lay the facts before you with my comments.
9.    Please show this letter to General Feland personally.
                                   / s / O. Floyd.
I will camp night 26-27 July, 1927 at SAN FERNANDO (here).
                    O. Floyd.
Latest reports say enemy instructed to take cover on approach of our planes.
                    O. Floyd.

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Mensaje de Campo Núm. 4.
26 Julio, 1927
De: Mayor Floyd
A: Comandante de regimiento 5, U. S. M. C., Managua, Nic.


1. Ayer alrededor de las 15:00h de la tarde al entrar en San Fernando, observamos algunos hombres retirándose de las colinas, finalmente se disparó contra nosotros, en tanto las unidades de avance casi estaban entrando en el pueblo. La ciudad fue apresurado y fuerza armada fue dispersada. Yo estimo el enemigo a los cuarenta. Enterramos cuatro y yo creo que 3 personas fueron asesinadas en las colinas. Probablemente tantos como seis personas resultaron heridas. Sólo un accidente marino - este hombre fue herido en la nalga, no puede cabalgar. Una mujer en el pueblo fue herido por disparos de armas automáticas, herido en las piernas. Los disparos cesaron a las 15:45h.


2. Voy a quedarme aquí hasta que me puedan evacuar mi hombre herido. NO hay ni un solo nativo aquí que impresiona - bueyes NO están disponibles. He dirigido a Hatfield que enviara una carreta con bueyes desde Ocotal con guardia para evacuar mi herido, y por cable, Hatfield dice que él no podrá conseguirla antes de las 10:00h hoy. YO no voy a reducir mi fuerza por una suficiente protección para el regreso de mi hombre herido.


3. En medio de todos los rumores, la siguiente es la primera información precisa de las condiciones del nordeste de Ocotal - esto de mi observación ayer. Todos los pequeños barrios de Ocotal a San Fernando están desiertas con nada en las casas excepto MOSONTE donde las mujeres y los niños y algunos hombres están todavía. SAN FERNANDO muestra signos de vida normal en solo 3 o 4 casas y no hay HOMBRES en el pueblo.


4. Un hombre de Sandino muriéndose ayer afirmó que Sandino tenía 200 hombres y estaba concentrando en Chipote o Jícaro. Mi guía de Ocotal dice que Chipote es de 3 leguas más allá de SAN ALBINO.


5. Aquí, tomé ayer, 5 rifles reparable, una caja de dinamita y alrededor de 30 bombas hechas a mano.


6. Hatfield afirma que las personas blancas de las minas SAN ALBINO no están en peligro: esto según un cable interceptado de Sandino a su (lo de Sandino) padre. Me acabo de enterar ayer después de salir OCOTAL que el Sr. Morgan en la mina San Albino es generalmente conocido por ser el hijo ilegítimo del Sr. Butters, y que no hay mujeres blancas en la mina.

7. Después de lo que observé ayer, estoy convencido de que mi progreso sólo se cumplirá de la siguiente manera en las condiciones actuales:


(A) tendré que librar una verdadera campaña de sangre y trueno y tendré bajas todos los días.
(B) voy a participar en una verdadera guerra pequeña.
(C) Esta gente va a tiroteo con armas pequeñas de oposición por lo menos por un tiempo. [ Pág. 2 ]
(D) Todas las personas encontradas son sin duda un fuerte de Sandino.
(E) No se puede adquirir nada en el país.
(F) Se recibirán armas sólo de los muertos y heridos


8. Lo anterior son hechos como he observado y opiniones como yo lo veo, estoy dispuesto y con ganas de continuar, pero los intereses de los Estados Unidos y mis órdenes de General Feland exigen que yo ponga los hechos antes de usted con mis comentarios.


9. Por favor, muestre esta carta al General Feland personalmente.

/ S / O. Floyd.

Voy a campar las noches de 26 y 27 Julio, 1927 en SAN FERNANDO (aquí).

O. Floyd.

Informes más recientes dicen que el enemigo tiene instrucciones de ponerse a cubierto al acercamiento de nuestros aviones.

O. Floyd.


Field Message No. 8, July 30

T  R  A  N  S  C  R  I  P  T  I  O  N

July 30, 1927


Major Oliver Floyd, USMC.


CO, Fifth Regiment, Managua.



1.        I was detained the whole of July 26 in San Fernando while arranging for the evacuation of Private Toro who had been wounded at that place on July 25.
2.        On July 27, I marched from SAN FERNANDO; while leaving that place, the planes were heard to fire and bomb to the northeast; and planes later reported that they had dispersed a band of about 40 men with one machine gun. The march was continued; and many women at a ranch named OROSI were questioned about the retirement of the aforementioned force.
          About 1 mile southeast of SANTA CLARA, near a ranch house, APALI, my column was ambushed in an excellent place from the enemy point of view by a mounted force of about 60 men armed with rifles and two machine guns, one of which was identified as a Lewis (the other MG is believed to have been a Lewis) - The firing was begun by the bandits machine guns at about 2:30 PM and continued for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

     Bandit Casualties:
     Five (5) known as killed (including the machine gunner.)
     Much evidence of wounded, but no wounded seen.
     12 animals killed.
     Approximately 8 animals captured.
     Some grenades (Dynamite in bottles and bull hide cage.)
     14 Lewis ammunition drums.
     1 case Dynamite.
     1 revolver - given to an unarmed guide.
     About 6 other fire arms.
     Some machettes.
 NOTE: All of the above material (except captured animals and revolver) was destroyed.
     Marine and Guardia Casualties:


     From my best information, the machine gunner killed was Colonel Miguel Angel Colindres, who is the second in command of General Sanchez at APALI. The force encountered was commanded by Sanchez according to reports. --- If true, the report that Sanchez has split with Sandino is probably false, though possibly true.
One (1) prisoner, an ignorant youth, was taken while pretending to be dead.
3.           I camped the night of July 27-28 at CALPULES. That night about ten men slept within fifty yards of a squad on outpost. The squad

[p. 2]

leader was aware of this for several hours; and was preparing to surprise them by fire at dawn -- The bandits were aware of the presence of the outpost and fled to the brush just as the fire was about to be delivered. The squad pursued them by fire; the bandits returned the fire; this was followed by a thorough following up thru the brush but no one was seen thereafter.
4.           I marched July 28 to the and camped near the northern limits of SABANA GRANDE.
5.           July 29, I took fifty (50) men with machine guns and marched to JICARO for purposes of reconnoitering and feeling out the enemy. I left my train and remainder of men at SABANA GRANDE.

            At about 10:45 AM, the planes reported everything quiet in JICARO--visibility was poor at that time; and I renewed my cautious advance. At 11:50 orders were issued for the occupation of a hill immediately south west of town; the movement for the hill was just getting underweigh [sic] when the planes returned and opened up with MG and bombs. The whole force with me (except one MG) was pushed forward. It is estimated (Planes reports will be better than my estimate) that the enemy left only 10 or 12 men in JICARO who were distributed in pairs on various nearby hills to set off Dynamite mines on the crests thereof. Little rifle fire was encountered; and little was delivered. No enemy casualties were noted. No casualties in my command.

          My train was ordered to come forward to JICARO this morning. My train reported by messenger that everything was "O K" late yesterday afternoon.

          Four plants of mines have been discovered on the peaks of nearby hills. We are playing safe with them one exploded yesterday after we entered the town. My advance elements entered JICARO at 12:20 p.m.

          JICARO is a town normally of about 800 people. It is absolutely deserted except for one half witted-boy who was hiding -- I am holding him.

         Practically every house has in it loot and evidence of soldiers such as small pieces of time fuse, exploder caps - and property evidently of Mr. Butters is everywhere throughout the town, Last Night, two men were observed trying to get the time fuse of a dynamite mine on the hill just south of town.  Yesterday, the fuse was burning and then taken up before explosion.

          The town of JICARO is simply a MESS, with all evidence of the headquarters of a lawless band. The same set of furniture is scattered throughout the town; the same is true of table ware and dishes. Houses of no value are found to contain loot of every description. But there is nothing of military value except a few scattered pieces of fuse and primers in practically every house.
6.           There is no information about Sandino or on which I can rely in making an estimate relative to taking San Albino mine.
7.           I am writing this without access to my papers which are with my train; but in one of your letters you tell me to estimate the situation and submit my plan for taking San Albino for approval before I start for that place.
              My men are in high morale; but need a chance to clean up.
              My plan is to advance on San Albino leaving my train here in JICARO - exactly in the same manner that I entered JICARO; after taking San Albino mine to have the train follow and join me.
              I WILL NOT split my forces between JICARO and San Albino Mine.
8.           I see now NO reason why Hatfield should be sent out to join me. My wire communication is cut behind me; but Jefe Politico at OCOTAL has promised to keep me followed by a repair party.

[p. 3]

            The simplest plan (and I recommend it) to resupply me is to let the train arriving at OCOTAL with its original guard be sent forward to me with its supplies.

            After taking San Albino mine, I plan to take such light important parts of machinery as will put the mine out of commission - to secrete or carry with me such parts.
            So far as JICARO is concerned, there is actually no reason for occupying the place except the show of holding Sandino's former capital.
9.         I trust no information here except what I see or reports from my command. You have noted that my marches since OCOTAL have been very short. I have been extremely methodical and cautious in my advance; and I shall continue to carry out this principle.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


30 Julio, 1927


De:        Mayor Oliver Floyd, Cuerpo Marino de los Estados Unidos.
A:         Oficial al mando, Quinto Regimiento, Managua.
Asunto:    Informe.


1.        Yo estaba detenido todo el día el 26 de julio en el pueblo de San Fernando mientras que organizaba la evacuación del soldado Toro quien había sido herido en ese lugar el 25 de julio.


2.        El 27 de julio, me marché de SAN FERNANDO; cuando salía de ese lugar, se oían los aviones a disparar y bombear al noreste, y aviones informaron más tarde que se habían dispersado una banda de 40 hombres con una ametralladora. La marcha seguía; y muchas mujeres en un rancho llamado OROSI se les preguntó acerca de la retirada de la mencionada fuerza.


        Aproximadamente 1 milla al sureste de SANTA CLARA, cerca de la casa de la finca, APALI, mi columna fue víctima de una emboscada en un excelente lugar desde el punto de vista enemigo de un montado de 60 hombres armados con fusiles y dos ametralladoras, uno de los cuales fue identificado como Lewis (la otra ametralladora se cree de haber sido un Lewis) - El fuego se inició por parte de las ametralladoras de los bandidos a las 14:30h y continuó durante 1 hora y 30 minutos.



Bajas de los Bandidos:
Cinco (5) conocido como muertos (incluyendo el ametrallador.)
Mucha evidencia de los heridos, pero ningunos heridos visto.
12 Animales matados.
Aproximadamente 8 animales capturados.
Algunas granadas (dinamita en botellas y jaula de cuero.)
14 tambores de municiones Lewis.
1 Cajón de dinamita.
1 Pistola Revólver - asignado a un guía desarmado.
Aproximadamente 6 otras armas de fuego.
Algunos machetes.
NOTA: Todo el material anterior (excepto animales capturados y revolver) fue destruido.

Bajas de los Marinos y Guardia: 



            De mi mejor información, el ametrallador que fue matado fue el Coronel Miguel Angel Colindres, quien es el segundo en el mando de General Sánchez en APALI. La fuerza fue comandada por Sánchez según los informes. --- Si es cierto, el informe que Sánchez ha dejado a Sandino es probablemente falsa, aunque posiblemente cierto. [ Pág. 2 ]


            Un (1) prisionero, un joven ignorante, fue tomado mientras fingiendo estar muerto.


3.         Acampé la noche del 27 a 28 de julio en CALPULES. Esa noche alrededor de diez hombres dormían en un radio de cincuenta yardas de un escuadrón de avanzada. El líder de escuadrón era consciente de ello durante varias horas; y estaba preparando para sorprenderlos por el fuego al amanecer -- los bandidos estaban enterados de la presencia del puesto avanzado y huyeron a la maleza el momento que el fuego estaba a punto de ser entregadas. El escuadrón los perseguía con fuego; los bandidos devolvieron el fuego; esto fue seguido por un exhaustivo seguimiento a través de la maleza pero nadie fue visto posteriormente.


4.         Me marché el 28 de julio a [¿?] y acampé cerca del límite norte de SABANA GRANDE.


5.         El 29 de Julio, me llevé cincuenta (50) hombres con ametralladoras y marchamos a Jícaro para fines del reconocimiento y evaluación el enemigo. Dejé el tren y el resto de los hombres en SABANA GRANDE.


            A las 10:45h, los aviones informaron que todo estaba tranquilo en Jícaro, no había mucha visibilidad en ese momento; y renové mi prudente avance. A las 11:50h se emitieron las órdenes para la ocupación de una colina al suroeste del pueblo; el movimiento para la colina se estaba poniendo en marcha cuando los aviones regresaron y abrieron con fuego de ametralladora y bombas. Toda la fuerza conmigo (a excepción de un ametrallador) fue empujado hacia adelante. Se estima (los informes de los aviones serán mejor que la estimación mía) que el enemigo dejó sólo a 10 o 12 hombres en JÍCARO que se distribuyeron en parejas en varios cerros cercanos para partir las minas de dinamita en las crestas. Pocos disparos de fusil se enfrentaron, y poco se entregaba. No se observaron bajas enemigas. No hubo bajas en mi comando.


            Mi tren fue ordenado mover adelante a JÍCARO esta mañana. Mi tren informó por mensajero que todo estaba "O K" [bien] a finales de ayer por la tarde.


           Cuatro plantas de minas han sido descubiertas en las cumbres de los cerros cercanos. Estamos jugando lo seguro con ellas, una estalló ayer después de que entramos en el pueblo. Mis elementos de avance entraron Jícaro a las 12:20h.


           JÍCARO es una pueblo de alrededor de 800 personas normalmente. Está absolutamente desierta, con excepción de un joven imbécil que estaba escondido, lo estoy sosteniendo.


           Prácticamente cada casa tiene botín y las pruebas de los soldados como pequeños trozos de espoleta de tiempo, tapas distribuidoras - y propiedad del Sr. Butters evidentemente está por doquier en el pueblo. Ayer por la noche, se observaron dos hombres tratando de quitar la espoleta de tiempo de una mina de dinamita en la colina al sur del pueblo. Ayer, la mecha se estaba quemando y luego fue sacado antes de explosionar.


           La ciudad de Jícaro es simplemente un desastre, con todas las pruebas de la existencia de la sede de una banda revoltosa. El mismo conjunto de muebles se encuentra disperso en toda la ciudad; lo mismo es cierto de vajilla y utensilios de cocina. En casas de ningún valor se descubre que contienen botín de cada descripción. Pero no hay nada de valor militar excepto a unos pocos fragmentos de mecha y cebadores en prácticamente cada casa.


6.       No hay información sobre Sandino o en la que me puede contar para hacer una estimación respecto a la toma de la mina San Albino. [Pág. 3]


7.       Estoy escribiendo esto sin acceso a mis documentos los cuales están con mi tren, pero en una de sus cartas me dice que estimar la situación y presentar mi plan para tomar San Albino para su aprobación antes de que yo empiece para ese lugar.


          Mis hombres están en alto moral; pero necesitan la oportunidad de limpiarse.


          Mi plan es avanzar en San Albino dejando mi tren aquí en JÍCARO - exactamente de la misma forma que entré en JÍCARO; después de tomar la mina San Albino que el tren siga y unirse conmigo.


          NO QUIERO dividir mis fuerzas entre JÍCARO y Mina San Albino.


8.       Ahora veo ninguna razón para que Hatfield debe ser mandado para acompañarme. La comunicación de cable se corta detrás de mi; pero Jefe Político de Ocotal ha prometido para que me mantenga seguido por un equipo de reparación.


          El plan más simple (y yo lo recomiendo) para reabastecerme es permitir que el tren llegando a Ocotal con su guardia original esté mandado adelante a mí con sus suministros.


          Después de tomar la mina San Albino, mi plan es tomar cualquier partes ligeras importantes de la maquinaria que pondrán la mina fuera de la comisión; para segregar o llevar conmigo tal partes.


          Con respecto a Jícaro, en realidad, no existe ninguna razón para ocupar el lugar excepto el espectáculo de la toma de la antigua capital de Sandino.


9.       No confío en ninguna información aquí, excepto lo que veo o informes de mi comando. Ustedes han señalado que mis marchas desde Ocotal han sido muy cortos. He sido muy metódico y cuidadoso en mi avance; y voy a continuar llevar a cabo este principio.


                                          O. Floyd.


Field Message No. 9, August 2

T  R  A  N  S  C  R  I  P  T  I  O  N

Field Message  )

No. 9          )  


Plane pick up  )   



August, 2, 1927.

From:  Major Floyd, USMC.
To: Commanding Officer, Fifth (5th) Regiment, Marine Corps,
Managua, Nicaragua.
Subject: Report - Opinion - Recommendations.
   1.    July 31, on the outskirts of Jicaro, one of my Guardia Officers arrested three (3) men with some pack animals loaded with merchandise. The apparent leader of these men was a Honduranian; the other two claimed to be Nicaraguans; each was armed with a pistol. After questioning them separately, many discrepancies developed in their statements; their merchandise was searched and practically all of it bore evidence of coming from Honduras. Among their merchandise, was a Honduranian paper which bore on the margin a written note to Sandino --- This note purported to be signed by a Nicaraguan woman and sought to prevail upon Sandino to save his (Sandino's) life until 1929. Further questioning resulted in the men declaring that the note was sent by one Pancho Barahona [Francisco Barahona] from DANLI, Honduras. I am keeping these men as prisoners, and will return them to Ocotal.
   2.    During my stay in Jicaro, we unearthed four (4) plants of explosive, getting a total of about 350 sticks of dynamite.
   3.    While at Jicaro, only two ignorant women and one very old decrepit man came into town.
   4.    My command with train arrived in SAN ALBINO August 1st. The march was without incidents. Upon approach, about fifteen people were seen in the hills, and close observation revealed that they were probably unarmed people fleeing from the town. About four (4) suspicious men were noted near the mine - it was NOT determined whether they were armed, and the quickly took to the brush.
   5.    At San Albino, I found Mr. Williams and Mr. Madison [Matteson], each with their families. Mrs. Madison is a white woman (I was in error in my message no. 4, when I stated that there are no white women in San Albino)
   6.    Mr. Williams and Madison are each claiming to be British - subjects, and claim that such is the reason they were not bothered by Sandinos men here in San Albino. I doubt Madison's claim, believing him to be an American.
   7.    My questioning of Williams and Madison results in the following:

Williams has been here about 28 years.
There is no place in this country generally and long known as Chipote.

[ p. 2 ]

   Williams believes [illegible] Sandino recently.
Sandino took over the mine on June 19, at which time Madison was superintendent of the mill and Mr. Morgan was manager of the mine.

   After Mr. Butters left, Morgan remained consistently intoxicated, had a fight with one of Sandinos officers and was sick in bed thereafter. Morgan had the combination to the safe. Sandinos men compelled Morgan (on his bed) to turn over combination to Madison, who in turn was compelled to open the safe. In the safe was found a large bag of money which was taken by Sandinos man.

   Sandino required Madison to write Williams a letter requiring Williams to come to San Albino. Upon Williams arrival, he was informed that he (Williams) would be required to remain here and help in the mine.
Sandino turned back the mine to Williams and Madison on July 23rd. During Sandinos period of working the mine, he got out about $5,000 worth of gold, and probably spent half of that amount for labor. The man, Manuel Echevarria, a Mexican, was Sandino personal representative during this period, there were about 75 men while the bandits operated the mine. During this period there were about 75 men employed as a average. Upon leaving San Albino, Echevarria was determined to demolish the mine property, and blow up several plants on hill tops. Williams and Madison talked him out of this. Yesterday, with the assistance of a German renegade, we unearthed three plants of dynamite in this vicinity.

   This German is a mechanic and the one who was to mint money for Sandino -- the minting project never materialized.

   During the long occupation of San Albino by Sandino, there were an average of about 20 soldiers maintained here. There was much talk about Chipote, but its location was never divulged.

    Williams and Madison estimate Sandinos strength as from 200 to 400 men at Chipote, mostly Indians.

    About seventy-five (75) boxes (or nearly two tons) of dynamite has been taken eastward from San Albino. Sandino must have all the fuse and primers desired as some of this material is still left in the mine.

    The Sianide [cyanide] (100 pounds) at this mine has not been touched.

    Sandino himself, accompanied by two boys, came through here from direction of Jicaro on morning of July 29, the day I entered Jicaro. He (Sandino) took breakfast with Madison; and was visibly nervous.

    Sandino declares he will NOT disarm until Diaz is ousted from the presidency; that he will kill any American attempting to reside in Eastern Segovia.

    After Morgan was able to travel, Sandino wanted to kill him; but was finally prevailed upon to let Morgan go over the border to Honduras. Williams has heard through personal information that Morgan made Honduras and is now there.

    Sandino regrets that he (Sandino) did NOT kill Mr. Butters.

    Mr. Williams, without any exact information, suspects that "Chipote" is southeast of here about 8 or 9 miles on an air line from here -- the place he suspects is the most prominent peak on the second range of mountains east of here -- the distance by trail being probably 15 to 20 miles. First east of here is the Jicaro river; then a high range; then the Mur [ p. 3; illegible] Chipote. Williams only suspects from no intimation whatever but from his mere knowledge that there is one outstanding peak on the second range to the eastward beyond the Murra River.

    Williams informs me that roads cease east of here, that there is nothing but trails of the most rugged and difficult type; that everything east of here is mountains.
Sandino states that in the event he is defeated in Chipote, he (Sandino) will retreat farther into the mountains and wage banditry killing all Americans from time to time.
The mine has NOT been injured; but loose storeroom and other property has been taken away. Williams and Madison have been able to keep enough supplies to last their families for about two weeks longer.

    During my march from Ocotal, I have not seen a bull-cart or a pack mule -- except the pack mules of the smugglers that were arrested in Jicaro on August 31.

    All activities have ceased at the mine. All soldiers and laborers have left except six (6) laborers who have been faithful to Williams and Madison.

    The mine can be prepared so that the bandits will not be able to work it with but little trouble -- this without damage to any appreciable extent.

(a) There is NO certain information as to the location of Chipote.
(b) I am about forty-five miles from my base at Ocotal.
(c) My effective strength is seventy-four (74) enlisted Marines.
(d) Unquestionably, the roads are difficult in my rear -- and I feel certain that they are extremely hard trail only farther to the east.
(e) Everything from Ocotal to San Albino has been looted, including transportation and stores.


(a) Considering my original mission to move eastward from Ocotal, and deprive Sandino of the towns in that direction and the use of San Albino Mine, my mission has been accomplished to date.

(b) NOBODY knows location of Chipote.

(c) To set out to attack Chipote might result in a blow in the air by a small force far away and over difficult country from the base.

(d) It is reasonable to assume that the towns Telpaneca and Palacaguina have been looted and are in the same condition as Jicaro, Totogalpa, Yalacaguina, and Condega, as a result of their continued occupation by bandit forces.

(e) If Chipote can be located, and attacked by my force, we will carry that place -- but we will not get Sandino himself nor any large part of his present gang there. Sandino will then flee farther into the mountains and continue bandit raids.

(f) An attack on Chipote, although successful, will result in many casualties, and well-nigh impossible conditions for evacuations.

(g) I believe that Sandino Prestige is shattered in this country, by our depriving him of Jicaro and the San Albino mine.

(h) With the rainy season coming on, and with all supplies in the country having been massed in Chipote, Sandinos gang of bandits will desert him within two or three months. [ p. 4 ]

(i) There is nothing more in this area for Sandino to do which will enhance his supplies or revenue.

(j) Ocotal and San Albino Mine are the only places which it is necessary to deny to Sandino at present.


(a) That I put the Mine out of commission without material damage to same.

(b) That I serve on Williams and Madison written advice to leave this country with their families, offering them transportation for their families and more valuable belonging, send them back to Ocotal if they accept -- furnish American Minister and British Counsel at Managua each with copies of my letters to them.

(c) That I remain here for about one week, not later than July [August] 9th with my command.


(f) That further operations to the eastward be NOT considered by my force.

(g) That my force upon leaving San Albino Mine proceed to Ocotal for further orders.

(h) That the garrison at Ocotal (Marine Garrison) be set at fifty (50) men strength sufficient to preclude apprehension as to their future safety without aid of daily Air Service liaisons.

(i) That law and order be radiated eastward from Ocotal, for which purpose a detachment of forty (40) Guardia now at Ocotal be sent to Garrison San Fernando. The later a guardia detachment be sent to Jicaro.

(j) That no measures be taken to resupply me from Ocotal.

    8.    It is my opinion that I should not be returned via Telpaneca and Yali -- I will make better progress the other route and will be able better to straighten out the animal situation by taking this train back over its former routes.

    9.    I consider the further operation of my force to the east as unwise, and recommend against it.
NUEVA SEGOVIA Problem in General.

    10.    There will be banditry, smuggling, illegal arms in this country for one and one half years regardless of what is done or or whatever practical plan is adapted.
The only way as I see it, to settle this country, and restore law and order, is to radiate from Ocotal gradually with all guardia as available to have the Managua Government declare for Nueva Segovia what is analogous to martial law with an American officer as the head of same -- such an officer should be a guardia officer.

    11.    I shall await your reply to this by planes August 3 (tomorrow) and I shall spend the meantime getting all the information available which I may have overlooked to date.
   / s / O. FLOYD.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

   I recommend that Mr. butters be formally warned NOT to return to Segovia in the near future.



Field Message No. 10, August 2

T  R  A  N  S  C  R  I  P  T  I  O  N

San Albino Mine,
August 2, 1927.

Field Message No. 10.
From:           Major O. Floyd, USMC.
To:             Commanding Officer, Fifth Regiment, USMC, Managua.
Subject:        Report.
     1.           After planes left this morning, Privates Clarence W. Noro and Lucian E. Wilson arrived in my camp unharmed, and clad in regulation Khaki trousers, and OD shirt, with fair shoes, and all equipment and other clothing gone. These men disclaim desertion saying that they were having trouble with a pack mule and became lost from a column enroute from Ocotal to Esteli about one month ago. These men state that they were captured by a large band of Sandinos men the next day while they were sleeping; that they were taken to QUILALI where they have been confined ever since until their release July 31st; that Sandino came to Quilali July 30th. When they were set free they were told to go and do as they liked. During their confinement at Quilali, they were able to observe many pack animals from time to time leaving Quilali and going eastward. Their impression is that Quilali and Sandino's City are the same place, and that it is east of Quilali. I personally questioned these men carefully, checking up every statement, and I believe they are trying to tell the truth, though it is difficult for them to remember details after their experience. I shall keep them with me. They state that most houses between here and Quilali are deserted; that there were between 40 and 50 soldiers at Quilali when they left July 31. They have seen two Lewis Guns in Quilali - this was about 10 days ago. They encountered NO soldiers enroute from Quilali to San Albino. These men do not know the country, but simply came upon us by accident in their hike westward after their release.
     2.           I shall leave here tomorrow August 3, immediately after getting this information to you by pick-up, I shall go directly with my whole column to what Mr. Williams believes the Air Service to mean in its recent report as to probably location of Chipote. I hope to be camped night August 3-4 so that I can reconnoiter the place effectively early August 4.
                                                O. FLOYD

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Mina San Albino,
2 de agosto, 1927.
Campo Mensaje Núm. 10.

De: Mayor O. Floyd, Cuerpo Marino de Los Estados Unidos.
A: Oficial al mando, Quinto Regimiento, Cuerpo Marino de Los Estados Unidos, Managua.

Asunto: Informe.

1.      Después de que los aviones despegaron esta mañana, soldados Clarence W. Noro y Lucian E. Wilson llegaron a mi campamento ilesos, y vestidos con pantalón reglamento Caqui, y camiseta gris oliva, con zapatos justos y todo el equipo y otras prendas desaparecidos. Estos hombres renuncian deserción diciendo que tenían problemas con una mula de carga y se perdieron de una columna en ruta desde Ocotal a Estelí hace un mes. Estos hombres afirman que fueron capturados por una gran banda de los hombres de Sandino al día siguiente mientras ellos dormían; que estaban llevados a Quilalí donde han estado confinados desde entonces hasta su liberación el 31 de julio; que Sandino llegó a Quilalí el 30 de julio. Cuando se les puso en libertad, se les dijo que se fuera y hiciera lo que les gustara. Durante su reclusión en Quilalí, pudieron observar de vez en cuando muchos animales de carga saliendo de Quilalí y yendo hacia el este. Su impresión es que Quilalí y la Ciudad de Sandino son el mismo lugar y que se encuentra al este de Quilalí. Yo personalmente cuestioné a estos hombres con cuidado, comprobando cada declaración, y creo que estén tratando de decir la verdad, aunque para ellos es difícil recordar detalles de su experiencia. Mantendré a ellos a mi lado. Afirman que la mayoría de las casas entre aquí y Quilalí están desiertas; que había entre 40 y 50 soldados en Quilalí cuando salieron el 31 de julio. Han visto dos pistolas Lewis en Quilalí - esto fue hace unos 10 días. Ellos no encontraron a ningunos soldados en camino de Quilalí a San Albino. Estos hombres no conocen el país, sino que simplemente nos encontraron por accidente en su caminata hacia occidente después de su liberación.

2.      Voy a salir de aquí mañana, el 3 de agosto, inmediatamente después de entregarle esta información por la recogida, voy a ir directamente con toda mi columna a lo que el Sr. Williams cree que el Servicio Aéreo a significar, en su reciente informe, la probable ubicación de Chipote. La noche del 3-4 de agosto, espero estar acampado para que yo pueda reconocer el terreno del lugar efectivamente a principios del 4 de agosto.



Field Message No. 11, August 6

T  R  A  N  S  C  R  I  P  T  I  O  N

San Albino, Nicaragua
August 6, 1927

Field Message )
No. 11        )
From:    Major Oliver Floyd.
To:      Commanding Officer, 5th Regiment.
Subject: Report.
   1.    After arrival of plan sent this place August 3, I promptly moved out with my entire command in search for the place "Chipote". I took with me Mr. Williams to whom I gave the recent information of our planes relative to the location of "Chipote". After a difficult march of constant climbing and about eight (8) Miles, we came to a place locally known as San Geronimo; it is near the "B" in "San Albino", and in the opinion of Captain Bleasdale, Mr. Williams and of myself, this is the recent place suspected and reported as probably Chipote by the planes. The description, location, direction from San Albino all tend to confirm my conclusion. The place is absolutely quiet.

    2.    Continuing farther, I camped the night of August 3rd near a small uncharted village, Santa Rosa. A small charge of dynamite was exploded just as we started making camp which was believed to have been a signal. Prior to arrival in camp, acting on information from a native, I sent a small patrol to reconnoiter to our left and a woman and a few men fled from a house on approach.

    3.    There is a large prominent mountain exactly north of Quilali, during the night, August 3-4, the place bine [sic] in full view, it was constantly watched for lights but nothing seen. On August 4, I marched for about ten miles along the crest of a prominent irregular and saw-tooth ridge east of the Jicaro River -- my command constantly studied the mountain north of Quilali and the ranges on either side of my route, but discovered no signs of a stronghold or retreat. On same day, August 4, I crossed the Jicaro River and ascended the northern slopes of Santa Rita Del Sapotiyal [Zapotillal] for about two hours, then I turned on an obscure train leading toward Quilali from where I had a poor view of that town. During the night, August 4-5, mountains were again observed but no indications of a stronghold revealed.

[ p. 2 ]

    4.    August 5. I marched to QUILALI. Upon approach, I believe that my column was unnoticed; as my route was a very poor trail not frequently used. I sent a strong combat patrol into the town; and I believe the patrol was unseen until its arrival. The town was deserted except for one house where beans were still cooking. This house was used by soldiers and is at the west edge of town where sentries were placed to guard the main road leading from JICARO (this per information from Marines recently held by Sandino). I believe that a few men were left here to explode mines upon my approach from the West; that these men were surprised by seeing my first patrol which entered the town from the North, whereupon they instantly fled. The head of a beef killed probably three days previously and undoubtedly by the small group which was in QUILALI (again report of Marines recently held by Sandino), was noted in the town -- I believe the town had been deserted except for probably a squad on or about August 3. My patrol was in QUILALI when the planes passed on August 5; later planes returned and my whole command was in town. The missing of the planes on August 4 was unavoidable -- As they passed, we were on the crest of a ridge in the high brush and made every effort to attract attention; but it was evident that the planes had not sighted us. From QUILALI, yesterday (August 5) I continued my march with the entire command to SAN ALBINO, arriving here with tail of column at 9:00 PM. Nothing at the mine has been molested during my absence.

    5.    My route August 5th (yesterday) from QUILALI to SAN ALBINO was almost parallel but to the North of the plotted road on the Ham Map; from my route, I could observe the unimportant barrios of VUELTAS and GOLFO, and I passed through JICORITA without knowing it until reminded by the guide. (so small is this place). My march (west to east of QUILALI,) was an evident surprise to the few people seen enroute and many houses were deserted. I passed over SANTA RITA DEL SAPOTIYAL, the highest point between JICARO and QUILALI, and within one hundred (100) yards of the peak -- this is another reputed "CHIPOTE" (just north of the "O" in NUEVO SEGOVIA on the Ham Map).

    6.    I estimate that my clockwise circuit August 3, 4 and 5, from SAN ALBINO - QUILALI - SAN ALBINO covered a distance of about forty-five (45) miles at least. Enroute, no suitable pastures were found for my train; routes are mere trails and very steep grades (up or down) marked fully three-fourths of the total; The spurs are so close to the streams that trails along streams are either deep mud or a succession of hard grades up and over the spurs. I started out from here with my whole command, because I would need it should "CHIPOTE" be found; then when I approached QUILALI feeling that I might be able to spring a surprise at that point, I continued with the whole command -- The practical result, as I see it, has been to show these people that we can move a sizeable force even into their mountains. [ p. 3 ]

    7.    CHIPOTE.  Everyone talks about Chipote. No one who talks has ever been there; ask any man where Chipote is and he will give you answer, then upon further questioning it will develop that he has not been there and that even his informant never was there. Sandino is a notorious prevaricator. Sandino is out for the money and nothing else; there never was in this country a place known as Chipote until Sandino's recent regime; Chipote is a semi-slang term meaning a bump raised by a blow on the head; Nicaraguans love the sensational and among their hundred rumors there will always be the one truth, yet NOBODY has been to Chipote. Now there are many places mines (gold) down the Coco River; Explosives and supplies are needed and used down that river. I believe that Chipote is a myth so far as being a fortress is concerned; I know that various soldiers of Sandinos have been informally discharged throughout this country. Sandino has covered up his actual work of getting supplies down the Coco or perhaps to Honduras (or both) and kept these ignorant people working for him to this and by boasting of "Chipote" and how they will eventually live there in luxury; ease, and security -- while all the time, only a few trusted men have been engaged in the actual work of handling the supplies east of Quilali. For ten days, I have privately suspected this ruse. Now it is my conviction, and I am willing to be quoted as saying that I do not believe Sandino has a fortress known even to himself as Chipote. I believe that grain reported to have been moved to that place for planting has been sold --- In other words, my opinion is that the whole thing is a hoax.

    8.    The worst part of the rainy season (continuing for two months) commences about August 18th; Now we are having one real down-pour at least each day. The last three days have been most telling on my animals; four simply stopped on me yesterday morning and I had to heave them behind. It is generally conceded that grass-fed animals are good for 15 days and then must have a like period for recuperation. Distance is not the only thing that counts in determining what animals have done, it is the hours under the pack, Even in some of my short marches from San Fernando to San Albino my cautious security required my animals to be under pack of a train which would make two successive trips with supplies to Ocotal from Sebaco. Now I can get this train back in good shape if I am not compelled to work it too hard from now on; every day my animals ore out is costing considerable rental; and every day operations in this country will cost some for animals which have to be left behind. [ p. 4 ]

    9.    My plans - It is absolutely necessary that my animals get two full days rest here at San Albino. I shall remain here until August 8th on which date I shall go to Jicaro with all my force. Remaining here is so important that without any spirit of insubordination, I shall consider any orders from Managua to do otherwise as leaving the the question of leaving here before August eighth (8) to my discretion.
   Upon arrival in Jicaro, I shall promptly dispatch an officers patrol mounted on best animals to Jalapa in compliance with your orders, said patrol to return to Jicaro.
   My stay in Jicaro will be devoted to straightening out the place and getting it as sanitary as possible before arrival of permanent detachment for Jicaro.
   If anything goes wrong in the supply plane (arrival in Jicaro), I expect my patrol to Jalapa to return in time so that I could get to Ocotal if necessary on what I shall have left of supplies. Of course, I don not anticipate such a contingency, but I shall be prepared for it should the necessity arise.

    10.    My recommendations:
   Jicaro will be a difficult place to supply; so I recommend that you pull me out of there as early as possible leaving all supplies except what my men need for a march to Ocotal to which point I be ordered as soon as the detachment to garrison Jicaro arrives at Jicaro.
   The Guardia part of the contemplated garrison for Jicaro will have great difficulty in rationing itself at that place -- I recommend that I be authorized to turn over to the guardia all Nicaraguan supplies that I can spare when I leave Jicaro.
   Lt. Pugh, according to orders, will remain in Segovia. Pugh has been my disbursing officer for Nicaraguan funds and has handled the animal situation throughout this expedition. He should be left with me until the animal question has been completely settled. To settle the animal bills, I should spend with him about two days in Esteli and at least ten days in Matagalpa, and some time in Tipatapi [Tipitapa]. I do not want to see this expedition disbanded in a disorderly manner. Pugh does not want to remain here personally; and to take him away from me until the financial and animal questions are settled and accounted for is considered a most unwise thing to do. [ p. 5 ]
   The contemplated idea of having my detachment furnish practically a complete replacement detail for the garrison at OCOTAL is believed good. Although it should be remembered that my men have had a very hard month before they can arrive in OCOTAL, and their eventual relief from OCOTAL should be timed accordingly.
   I consider that Sandino's Force has been disorganized in Eastern Nueva Segovia; I believe that the foundation is laid for, and that prompt action in establishing guardia posts in this country will result in law and order in due time. Frankly and without boasting, I believe my expedition has been a success; and I believe that the best way to preserve whatever success I may have had is to carry out my ideas above given, and promptly disband the expedition in an orderly fashion.
   O. FLOYD.

   Note: I arrived here personally last night after 9:00 p.m. I am writing this on a typewriter without ribbon; and trying to make sure that I get it to you by plane pick up today. These account for my poor composition and arrangement. Please pardon.


Field Message No. 12, August 9

T  R  A  N  S  C  R  I  P  T  I  O  N

August 9, 1927

NUMBER 12.    )

FROM:     Major O. Floyd, U.S.M.C.
TO:       Commanding Officer, 5th Regiment, U.S.M.C.
Managua, Nicaragua.
Subject:  Report and Recommendations.

   1.    I arrived at Jicaro with all my force yesterday (August 8th). Your letter of August 7th received. I have sent a mounted patrol of one (1) Officer, 16 men and 1 interpreter and guide to JALAPA with mission of dispersing any bands that may be in that vicinity, getting information and returning to Jicaro. This patrol has good mules, all men with saddles, lightly equipped, panel for communication with planes. I venture the opinion that the patrol will return by August 11th and without incident so far as enemy is concerned; yet, showing marines up to the north will have a good effect. Smugglers whom I arrested July 31st, say everything was quiet at Jalapa when they came thru. In anticipation of sending this patrol, I sent out a secreto [sic] to Jalapa who was given no information as to my plans and whom I expect the patrol to meet enroute.

   2.    Inflicting no substantial loss on the owners, I have San Albino Mine in such a condition that bandits cannot operate it. At 5 different places, the rope (used as a belt) on the main drive has had one (1) strand out; the small amount of mercury has been hidden by Mr. Mattison (formerly referred to me as Madison).

   3.    On August 3, before leaving the Mine on my 3 day circuit thru the mountains and QUILALI, I conferred with Mr. Mattison and Mr. Williams relative to the disposal of explosive material at the Mine - because of the comparatively small quantity, the petty thievery of employees and the many military reasons existing, with their full approval, I had all this material destroyed. I realize fully that this act of mine was in direct violation of your orders; and I will assume full responsibility. I also destroyed the sianide [cyanide] at the Mine.

   4.    On August 3, I received the order to get two (2) named enlisted men to Managua by August 10th, stating that same was in furtherance of MGC's instructions - I have taken NO measures to comply for 2 men should not be sent out along and I will not fritter away my small force by tolling off sizeable detachments except for a paramount military reason. In other words, I have let my judgment prevail over my desire to comply strictly with orders of an administrative nature. [ p. 2 ]

   5.    I have advised Williams and Matteson to keep in touch with the detachment to be left at JICARO. I have given each a permit for pistol without fee. I have advised Matteson to get his wife to nearest American detachment at first sign of any future trouble. I have advised both that in assuring ourselves that they are unharmed and in keeping a detachment at Jicaro the U.S.A. has done all that they as English subjects reasonably can expect, and that, from now on, they should avail themselves of proximate American or Guardia troops to whom they and their families should report in person in the event of any signs of threatening banditry which might endanger them.

   6.    On August 5, I arrested one ISIDORO ISAGUIRRE who recently acted as Jefe Mulero for Sandino at San Albino; packing and dispatching loot. For reasons, I feel positive that this man eventually told me the truth when he stated that only once had he conducted personally supplies eastward and that at the end of his trip, the supplies were left at a small group of houses on the Murra River near QUILALI, beyond which point, he, his men and the animals were NOT permitted to go. One ex-soldier of Sandino tells a similar story. I feel sure of ISIDORO ISAGUIRRE's telling me the truth eventually. There would be no profit for Sandino in establishing and Maintaining a "CHIPOTE" and more than ever I am convinced that "CHIPOTE" is a camouflage for covering up his actual selling of loot and keeping these ignorant Mozos working for him.

   7.    I have with me as prisoner one Antonio Lopez, a heretofore respected thrifty cuss; but at San Albino he repaired fire arms and made the battle and bull-hide bombs. I think he turned to looting recently and I shall take him to MANAGUA. Other prisoners will be released, or turned over to new CO at Jicaro, or taken to OCOTAL according to their several implications, as adjudged by me. Remember - I am getting information from my prisoners and working them; but I am committing NO high crimes or misdemeanors.

   8.    Rivers are high - this is the only source of my apprehension about my patrol to JALAPA getting thru. It poured all day the 6th, rained pretty hard the 78th and let up a bit yesterday.

   9.    I do not believe the report that Sandino and Sanchez were in Jicaro on August 4th, as given by a frightened fleeing native to Hatfield 2 days thereafter. While absent from Jicaro, some people evidently were in the town - from appearances I think they were property owners and others coming from the brush to rescue their possessions in the one case and to look for something to eat or wear in the other. Incidently Mr. Butter's Typewriter cannot be found. About 10 people are in town; and I am doing everything possible to get the usual inhabitants to [ p. 3 ] return. A few others came in this A.M.

   10.    Recommendations.

a. Detachment for Jicaro

Guardia - 1 officer, 3-4 squads
Marines - 1 officer, 2-3 squads
The Marines to be taken from guard of train arriving from OCOTAL.
The minimum garrison (3 squads Guardia and 2 squads Marines) will be sufficient to defend itself; the maximum (4 squads Guardia and 3 squads Marines) will be able to carry out much patrolling which will the largest factor in spreading control over this area.

b. I shall leave at Jicaro:

Some of my ammunition.
A native telegrapher.
1 M.G.
All Nicaraguan rations that I can spare.

c. You send to Jicaro following rations:

75 days for whatever number of Marines are to be stationed there.
4 days (or 300 rations) for my command, provided I am ordered to OCOTAL without delay after arrival of supplies or not later than August 15th.

d. That I replace enlisted Marines at Ocotal with like number from my men.
e. That I lose no time in leaving Ocotal for Matagalpa via Esteli and Trinidad.
f. That for return trip, I get rations from each forward point to last only to next point in rear.
g. That I be allowed 2 days in Esteli, at least 10 days in Matagalpa.
h. That Guardia detachment which I left in Trinidad be [ p. 4 ] discontinued and I take up all remaining supplies in passing thru Trinidad.
i. That your orders which I shall receive while still in Jicaro be as complete and as far reaching as possible - this will give me better judgment on many details.
j. That this Expedition be disbanded by Floyd and Pugh or by Bleasdale and Pugh, in other words, Pugh to stay to the last and either Floyd or Bleasdale with him. I mention this to provide for case Washington orders me home and I have to take plane at OCOTAL for Managua.

   11.    I am becoming firmer in my conviction that Sandino's force is disorganized with nothing to anticipate from them except perhaps very small pillaging groups and that the best way to meet such activities is by constant patrolling from small detachments to be gradually established by guardia in this locality.

   12.    My foregoing recommendations are, I believe, such as will be most simple in carrying out and give you in Managua the minimum of concern.

             O. FLOYD


Photograph:  Caption on rear reads: "155-McC-84. Historical. Guides, interpreters, and one Sandinista prisoner captured by the Nueva Segovia Expedition in Nicaragua, July-August, 1927."  From the US National Archives


Report on Explosion, August 11

T  R  A  N  S  C  R  I  P  T  I  O  N

Headquarters, Nueva Segovia Expedition
Jicaro, Nicaragua.
11 August, 1927.

From:  Informal Investigating Board.
To:    The Commanding Officer, Nueva Segovia Expedition.
Subject: Report on explosion at Expeditionary Headquarters
Jicaro, Nicaragua, August 11, 1927.

In accordance with your verbal instructions, the following facts associated with the explosion at Expeditionary Headquarters, Jicaro, Nicaragua, August 11, 1927 are hereby submitted and attested to by the undersigned.
   (a)    On July 29, 1927, the Nueva Segovia Expedition captured and occupied the town of JICARO, Nicaragua. The town had been mined by the Sandino forces, one of these mines being successfully exploded by Sandino's forces, and four being dug up by members of this command. Additional explosives were found in the town.
   (b)    Explosives mentioned in sub paragraph (a) were disposed of as follows:
To avoid having them fall into the hands of the enemy the detonators for dynamite were thrown into a Nicaraguan pit latrine. The dynamite was disposed of by throwing part of it into the same pit latrine and burning the remainder. All detonators and dynamite in latrine had been removed from their cases prior to being thrown into the latrine. Water and slop from the galley were thrown into the pit to assist in decomposing the explosives.
   (c)    On August 1, 1927, our forces departed from JICARO for the eastward and returned to JICARO on August 8, 1927, and occupied the previous camp. The pit latrine referred to above was employed as an Officer's head.
   (d)    On August 10, 1927, Captain Victor F. Bleasdale, U.S.M.C., examined the pit and saw no evidence of the explosives. On August 11, 1927, Lieutenant John B. O'Neill, (MC), U.S. Navy, inspected the pit and saw no evidence of the explosives, but such a large amount of filth had accumulated that the pit had become a dangerous fly breeder and sanitary measures were obviously necessary and covering the refuse by a layer of wood ashes followed by a layer of dirt was recommended. A supply of wood ashes was found to be available in the galley and a detail of Nicaraguan prisoners was selected to do the necessary work. Antonio Lopez, a member of the working party, [ p. 2 ] stated that Alfonso Palma, also a member of the working party, had emptied a box of ashes, into the pit shortly before the explosion occurred.
   (e)    At 10:00 a.m., August 11, 1927, an explosion occurred in the pit latrine which resulted in the destruction of the building over the latrine and fragments therefrom struck and instantly killed Alfonso Palma, a native Nicaraguan prisoner and seriously wounded Clifford W. Sorensen, private, U.S. Marine Corps, who was a guard over the working detail when the explosion occurred. The remains of Alfonso Palma was interred in the cemetery at JICARO, Nic. The injured man was rendered treatment by the attached Medical Officer, Lieutenant John B. O'Neill, (MC) U.S. Navy.


    (a)    From a personal knowledge of the facts associated with the above explosion, the undersigned are of the opinion that, several detonators, and sticks of dynamite were so lodged in the latrine that they were not destroyed by the refuse therein and the ashes which were cast into the pit contained a live coal which lodged against a detonator exploding the detonator which in turn detonated a stick or several sticks of dynamite and resulting in the above explosion.

    (b)    Considering that this force was operating in the field against a hostile and active enemy whose presence was jeopardizing the safety of our personnel, and the explosives captured from the enemy had to be disposed of immediately, it is the opinion of the undersigned that reasonable and logical methods were employed in the destruction of the explosives.

    (c)    Considering the number of explosives and dangerous machines of destruction, both friendly and enemy, encountered and handled by this expedition, many times, by men not thoroughly acquainted with their peculiarities, it is deemed worth of comment that only once accident has occurred.

    (d)    In view of the above facts it is the opinion of the undersigned that the above explosion was an unfortunate accident and that no blame attaches to anyone therefor.

    (e)    That private Clifford W. Sorensen, U.S. Marine Corps, sustained multiple lacerations and contusions of the head, face, trunk and extremities, and a fracture of the lower jaw.
The undersigned finds that Private Clifford W. Sorensen, U.S. Marine Corps, was injured in line of duty and not as a result of his own misconduct.

Photo:  Caption on rear reads:  "154-McC-83. Historical. Marines of the Nueva Segovia Expedition digging up the dynamite mines planted by Sandino at Jicaro, Nicaragua, July 1927."   From the US National Archives.


Field Message No. 14, August 12

T  R  A  N  S  C  R  I  P  T  I  O  N

Jicaro, Nicaragua
August 12, 1927

NO . . . . . . . . 14 )
From:    Major Floyd, O.
To:      C.O. 5th Regt., USMC.
Subject: Report and recommendations.

    (1)   (a)    During the past three (3) days, it has been ascertained that all is quiet at SAN ALBINO, SABANA GRANDE, and SUSUCAYAN, and ARENAL. Patrol returned August 11th from JALAPA without incident and reported some houses deserted enroute, many houses enroute where women were seen and from which men had evidently fled in causeless fear, that JALAPA is normal with several men in the town; that many residents of JICARO are in JALAPA; that armed men have not been in JALAPA for past two (2) or three (3) weeks according to reports.
   People are timidly but slowly returning to JICARO; and my command is giving every encouragement to those so returning.
   Your recent information re: Sandino having headed for COSTA RICA is believed to be correct; and the telegram sent by Sandino to President Dias requesting a reply via TELPANECA was, in my opinion, only a blind, to cover up his (Sandino's) personal move to the south.

   (b)    Accidental explosion - see report of Informal Investigating Board dated August 11, in to-days mail.
See also in todays mail a letter from my Medical Officer requesting Antitetanus and other medicinal supplies by plane.

    Dr. O'Neill states that the injured Marine, Pvt. Clifford W. Sorensen, has a good chance to recover except for probable infection. This man must not be moved; and I shall leave Dr. O'Neill and a Marine (acting as hospital corpsman) with him in JICARO.

   The prisoner, Alfonso Palma, who was killed, was arrested August 5th for having in his possession a mule bearing the brand of an owner in MANAGUA.

   Private Sorensen (injured) recovered and recuperated well from the first shock of the accidental explosion.

   (2).    Your instructions of August 10th were received.  I submit the following recommendations:

   a.   Since 1 officer and 37 men of the Guardia will be stationed here, I consider that only (3) three squad of marines is sufficient, in addition thereto for JICARO at present. Only 3 squads of Marines at JICARO will minimize your supply problem - and, apart from considerations of supply, I feel that 3 squads of marines and 37 Guardia is ample for JICARO.

[p. 2]

   b. The train from OCOTAL should arrive in JICARO to-day (August 12th). I shall hold train here until I receive your instructions by plane tomorrow (August 13th). I recommend that the train from OCOTAL be returned from JICARO to ESTELI with my column.

   c.    I recommend that I be authorized to leave JICARO as soon as practicable after the receipt of your next letter. I shall undoubtedly hear from you tomorrow (August 13th), and I should like to leave here [ p. 2 ] with my column and the train from OCOTAL for OCOTAL on August 14th

   d.    Should I leave the expedition at OCOTAL, I recommend that I and in absence of orders will, turn over to Captain Bleasdale all U. S. funds remaining in my possession.

   (3).    I believe the above covers every point on which there might be a misunderstanding between us.

   (4).    Floyd - Personal orders for:
   I could not tell you my choice of duty until I feel that my part of the job in NUEVA SEGOVIA was accomplished.
   I thank you General Feland, and Colonel Beadle very much for the news I received yesterday. Now, I will be frank and state that I personally prefer to return to QUANTICO via last trip of the ARGONNE.
         / s / O. FLOYD.


Civilians and Noncombatants Killed or Injured, August 15

T  R  A  N  S  C  R  I  P  T  I  O  N

Ocotal, Nicaragua,
August 15, 1927

From:     Major Oliver Floyd, U.S.M.C., Commanding,
Nueva Segovia Expedition.
To:       Commanding Officer, Fifth (5th) Regiment, U.S.M.C., Managua, Nicaragua.
Subject:  Complete report of Civilians and Noncombatants Killed or Injured.

    1.    The following is a complete report of all possible Civilian and Noncombatants who were killed or injured through the operations of The Nueva Segovia Expedition to date and to the best of my knowledge and belief:

   (a)    On July 25, 1927, at San Fernando, during the engagement at that place, a Nicaraguan girl of about nineteen (19) years of age was noticed on the street at which time she was in NO way molested. This same girl later through fright ran to the brush; while running in the brush and while firing was still being directed against my troops from the surrounding brush and hills, this girl was wounded by three (3) bullets evidently from automatic fire of one of the Marines who was not aware of her identity or sex. This girls wounds were all in the legs. She returned to her home where she was given every possible care by my medical officer until we left San Fernando on July 27th. The girl herself and her family realized the mistake she had made in fleeing to the brush and the fact that she had evidently been shot by some one who mistook her for an enemy during the firing. On August 15, 1927, when the Expedition returned through San Fernando, this girl appeared to be recovering and was sitting up in bed.

   (b)    On July 25, 1927, at San Fernando, during the engagement at that place, the only man seen in that town who could possibly have been a civilian or noncombatant was arrested by Lieutenant Fox and placed in the charge of a marine. This man (name unknown) lived in the house at the extreme west end of the row of buildings on the north side of the plaza, and at the point where the road from Ocotal enters the town. It is known that a sentry was stationed on top of a small hill about fifty (50) yards northwest of his house and that the sentry fired one (1) shot at least after my advance elements entered the town. Practically all houses in San Fernando were deserted and showed signs of having been completely looted; but the house of this man had NOT been molested by any of Sandino's troops. After this man had been arrested, and while the firing was being continued, I personally saw him running across the plaza toward the southeast corner thereof; he was evidently trying to escape; one marine was running after him; another marine was endeavoring to get around ahead of the man. I called out to the two marines "Do NOT let that man escape; I want to talk to him". This man continued running, and later at the northeastern edge of town near the brush the man was shot and killed when it was evident that he would escape. Later during my stay in San Fernando, this man's son (an adult) came into town and stated that his father should not have tried to escape from the Americans. [ p. 2 ]

   (c)    On August 11, 1927, at Jicaro, there was an accidental explosion of dynamite. As a result of said explosion a prisoner who was working under guard was instantly killed. This prisoner was one Alfonso Palma, whom I had arrested on August 5th for having in his possession a mule bearing the brand of an owner in or near Managua. This man was buried in the cemetery at Jicaro.

   / s / O. Floyd. 


Letter from Bleasdale to Gulick, August 21

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Nueva Segovia Expedition.
August 21, 1927 (Sunday).

Dear Colonel Gulick:
   Am heading South with the remnants of the Nueva Segovia Expedition. Expect to clear here for Matagalpa on Tuesday, August 23rd. Will clear with about 38 Provisional Guardia (Most of them being employed as mularos [muleros]), and 171 animals, (less several we leave here). I have no word about my Marine escort yet but requested that Cpl. Lyman and Pvt. Snead of the 49th Co (Peard's Company in Esteli), to remain with the Expedition until it is disbanded in Managua. They started out from Managua with the Expedition and are the only 2 enlisted remaining with it that are acquainted with the animals and records from the start. Of course Peard wishes to grab them off as they pass thru here. Incidentally, Cpl. Lyman speaks Spanish, had 2 years at University of Michigan and has applied for the Guardia Nacional. He showed up well on this trip and I think you would help out the Guardia Nacional if you sent him on over to our outfit. He also wishes to take the Marine Corps Examination after a tour with the Guardia Nacional.
   Major Floyd has undoubtedly given you the data on the Expedition as a whole so there is little for me to mention though I will make the following suggestions:-
   (a)    That the 10 men I brought here from Pueblo-Nuevo, Ocotal and Jicaro go through to Managua. They include:- 2 short-timers (less than 1 year), 2 prisoners (of Sandino fame), 3 urgent dental cases, 1 urgent hospital case (injured foot), and Corporal Lyman and Pvt. Snead. In order to bring all 10 from Pueblo Nuevo I had to leave 2 of Peard's 49th Company men with Hatfield in Pueblo Nuevo. I had no time for telegraphic instructions so just used my judgment. In addition to the above 10 I should have 7 more to complete 1 Section. I have got to keep two men riding the fences when the animals are in pasture and 1 man on property. Most of our animals were commandeered and the owners are unknown so when one of our own mularos gets one out of the train and leaves it with a friend he is ahead 50 to 100 dollars.
   (b)    Jicaro is a very important station as it is quite isolated and in the midst of a country where delicate situations may arise anytime and as the Marine Corps officer there will have to be all the law and order they have for some time, I suggest that you keep an experienced officer there, O'Shea is O.K. - McQuade lacks the experience.
   (c)    In our fracas at San Fernando a girl was wounded, three bullets entering her leg. I visited her on our return trip and she seems to be in a bad way. She says one of the wounds is infected and refuses to heal up and that there is no medical person in San Fernando, though she said something about a doctor in Ocotal sending medicine out with instructions for use. I inquired about this in Ocotal and discovered the doctor is Pedro Lobo - the Jefe Politico - Policia - and that he is not a doctor. i suggested to Lt. fox that he take immediate steps to see the girl gets medical attention. Several ways are suggesting:- 1. She could be brought into Ocotal (with her mother). The Marine Corps employing native carriers and to carry her in a hammock. Again - she could be carried to Jicaro where Dr. O'Neil could give her his attention while there. She is a Spanish Nicaraguan girl named Blanco Ortez - about 18 - a member of the Ortez family that own Orosi Hacienda between San Fernando and Jicaro. Dr. O'Neil attended her while we were in San Fernando after the engagement and left medical supplies with her mother and sister with instructions for their use. I presume this supply is exhausted. [ p. 2 ]
   While in Pueblo Nuevo I inquired about conditions there and according to several prominent natives things have been tranquil there fore months and it shows no evidence of any difficulties. The town is Red throughout, I understand. It seems that Pichingo (Simon Jiron), was in Pueblo Nuevo about August 8, unarmed and alone and spent about 36 hours wandering about seeing old friends. The mere sight of this bold bandit so frightened the cold footed population of the town that they are still screaming for assistance. I asked the school-master - an ambitious young man - who seemed quite worried over the danger of Pichingo's visit, why he did not take his gun and kill this terror. He replied that he did get his gun with the idea of shooting Pichingo but when he went to look for him, Pichingo had just left town. I told him that it was odd that it took him 36 hours to get that idea. Anyhow - all of this seems to have been the late trouble in Pueblo Nuevo.
   The lack of noncommissioned officers up through this country is affecting the efficiency of many of the units.
   From Ocotal to Esteli the whole countryside is peaceful and country people are all busy at their labors. Making sugar, plowing, building, carting, handling cattle, seem to be the chief occupation at the present.
   The village enroute are still quite deserted.
   Estimated            estimated

X Totogalpa ...................50 houses ....................... 20 people (5 men)

X Yalaguina 30 houses 20 people (5 men)

   Pueblo Nuevo Conditions as in peace.

X Condega 30 houses 20 people (no men)

X Estimated after casual observation.

    The feeling that a reign of peace has come over this country seems to be rapidly gaining ground. American money along with our wishes for Nicaragua's welfare seems to be gaining the confidence of the natives.
   Capt. Peard's outfit is extending every hospitality to my outfit so this is a pleasant stopover.
   Do not know how the roads will be enroute to Matagalpa but expect to make Trinidad on the 23rd, Sebaco on the 24th and Matagalpa on 25th. (Might not hit Sebaco on 24th as it is a little off the route). Will probably spend a week in Matagalpa settling up the animal situation there and reconditioning the animals I have to take to Tipitapa.
   Major Floyd told me he would take up with you the matter of U. S. funds and Nicaraguan funds for the payment of the train, and the proportionate amount to be paid by each government. He suggested 50-50.
   This rambliing letter must close. Hoping to be among you all soon, I am,
   Very sincerely yours,
                Victor F. Bleasdale.

Summary & Notes:

   The first wave of the invasion of the Northeastern Segovias, an exceptionally revealing set of reports, especially the fine-grained descriptions of El Jícaro & San Albino Mine and the relations between the rebels and civilians in these zones.
   Especially notable too is the concern for civilians & noncombatants injured & killed in Major Floyd's report of August 15 — in stark contrast to later in the war, when Marine & Guardia violence against Segovian civilians became extremely commonplace and one of the principal engines of revolt.

   Some reports in this sequence are missing — will return to the archives to ferret out the remainder.

P C - D O C S :      P A T R O L   &   C O M B A T    R E P O R T S
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