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PC27.09.22   Peard

INVENTORY OF PC-DOCS, THRU 1927

24.02.18 BOURKE
24,03,24 BIRNBAUMER
27.05.19 CHAPPELL
27.06.07 SWANSON
27.06.22 RICHAL
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
27.09.08 CHAPPELL
27.09.20 KENYON
27.09.22 PEARD
27.10.12 O'SHEA
27.10.18 SATTERFIELD
27.11.02 CHAPPELL
27.11.02 GOULD
27.11.06 PEARD
27.11.07 BELLINGER
27.11.10 KEIMLING
27.11.11 BROWN
27.11.12 HARBAUGH
27.11.13 CRUM
27.11.14 DARNELL
27.11.19 WELLS
27.11.20 BELLINGER
27.11.26 KEIMLING
27.12.06 PEARD
27.12.07 BROWN
27.12.11 BROWN
27.12.11 KEIMLING
27.12.11 HARBAUGH
27.12.15 BROWN
27.12.17 CRONMILLER
27.12.18 MARTIN
27.12.19 WELLS
27.12.31 GOULD

27.09.22.   Peard, Telpaneca Attack with Statements & Map

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 +

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     Led by General Carlos Salgado, this second major Sandinista attack against a Marine-Guardia garrison in Las Segovias, in which two Marines and upwards of 50 attackers were killed, shows the growing strength and audacity of Sandino's movement.  Captain Peard's report on the attack is accompanied by four statements by Marines who defended the garrison, and a Marine sketch map of the town and attack.  (Right: General Carlos Salgado, middle, 1928, US National Archives)

     Also included here is Sandino's official account of the battle, along with an account of the event from the Managua daily Diario Moderno.  As can be seen, the rebel chieftain's account differs in important ways from the Marines'.  As exemplified here, Sandino routinely inflated the number of enemy killed, the quantity of arms captured, and the level of rebel military success.

Inventory of Documents:

27.09.22.   Capt. Peard on Telpaneca Attack
27.09.22.   Statement of Lt. H. S. Keimling
27.09.22.   Statement of Sgt. Alva Eadens
27.09.22.   Statement of Cpl. F. Carlson
27.09.22.   Statement of Pvt. L. C. Handzlik
27.09.22.   Sketch of Map of Telpaneca
27.10.21.   Brigade Commander Gulick to Secretary of the Navy
27.09.20.   ANCILLARY DOCUMENT nO. 1:  Sandino's Account of the Battle of Telpaneca

27.09.21    ANCILLARY DOCUMENT NO. 2:  Diario Moderno (Managua) Report on Attack

27.09.22. Captain Peard's Report on the Telpaneca Attack                   

OFFICE OF THE COMMANDING OFFICER
PUEBLO NUEVO, NIC.
22 Sept. 1927.

From: The Commanding Officer.
To: The Commanding Officer, Fifth Regiment.
Subject: Telpaneca Attack.

   1.    At 1:00 a.m., 19 Sept., 1927, two hundred bandits led by Salgado attacked the combined forces of Marines and Guardia at Telpaneca. This garrison consisted of twenty five enlisted Guardia and twenty enlisted Marines, with First Lieutenant Keimling, U.S. Marine Corps, now on duty with the Guardia Nacional, as the only officer.
 
   2.    The attack started by a bandit coming into the door of the Marines quarters and emptying a Thompson gun into the bunk of Private Russell, who was instantly killed. The night was extremely dark and foggy and the bandits were at close quarters before observed. In fact there was no alarm until the bandits started firing into the barracks buildings at close range.
 
   3.    It is believed that the attackers had one Lewis machine gun, three Thompsons, numerous home-made dynamite bombs, and the balanced armed with rifles and machetes.
 
   4.    The fighting lasted at close quarters for about four hours and at 5:00 a.m., the bandit bugler blew retreat. The battle discipline of the bandits was excellent in that they attacked in two ways, one wave of riflemen and one of machete men. It is apparent that a large number of the attackers were drunk, this accounted for their close fighting or otherwise they would not have had the nerve to come in close.
 
   5.    A large number of the dead and wounded were removed by the bandits before they retreated, but a conservative estimate of their losses was twenty-five killed and fifty wounded.
 
   6.    The first objective of the attackers was the Guardia and this newly organized Guardia Detachment acquitted itself in an excellent manner. At one time during the fight, the bandits at the rear wall of the guardia barracks tried to get the guardia to desert to their side and help the bandits clean out the Marines; the guardia's only answer was another volley. One guardia picked up a bomb that was thrown in the guardia compound, heaved it over the fence, stepped around the corner and killed the bandit who threw the bomb. One other guardia disguised in civilian clothes, left Telpaneca at about five a.m., and brought to Pueblo Nuevo the first news we had of the attack; he arrived here at 1:00 p.m., 19 September, and at 2:00 p.m., insisted on returning to Telpaneca with my relief. Enroute to Pueblo Nuevo this same Guardia brought five Guardia mules about half way and left them in a portrero [potrero, pasture] for safe keeping so the bandits would not get them, then walked the balance of the distance. Another Guardia carried orders from Keimling from building to building throughout the entire battle exposing himself to the enemy fire. Separate reports and recommendations in these cases will be submitted later. [ p. 2 ]
 
   7.    As for the conduct of the Marines, they fought like Marines always fight, nothing more need be said.
 
   8.    Five Guardia animals were killed by bandits and have no exact [information] yet as to how many are missing; the portrero [potrero] is in such a location as to be impossible to guard during an attack. The bandits cut the wire fence of the pasture thus allowing the animals to wander through the town during the battle.
 
   9.    Lieut. Keimling and the entire garrison is to be commended for their courageous and effective defense against large odds and a surprise attack.
 
 
R. W. PEARD
- - - - - - - - - - - - Capt., USMC - - - - - - -

NA127/212/1

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 27.09.22.   Statement of Lt. H. S. Keimling

FIRST LIEUTENANT H. S. KEIMLING
STATEMENT OF THE BATTLE OF TELPANECA

   At or about one a.m., 19 Sept 1927, Bandit groups numbering about 200 under the command of Colindre [Juan Gregorio Colindres], Estrada [Francisco Estrada], Salgado [Carlos Salgado], Diaz [José León Díaz], Tomas Migado [Tómas Melgara?], Sanchez [Porfirio Sánchez], Rameriz [Ramírez], attacked Telpaneca. Town was blanketed by a heavy fog which permeated through the buildings. Sky dark over cast with heavy thundering. Battle stations were taken immediately after explosion of dynamite bomb in rear of Marine quarters. Pvt. Irwin sentinel in rear of Marine Quarters killed the bandit as he ran after setting off bomb. Bandits laid heavy rifle, Lewis Machine gun and subthompson gun fire on the rear of marine and Guardia Quarters followed by dynamite bombs and hand grenades. The front of the Quarters was peppered by sub-thompson fire followed by rushes by riflemen with machete men in rear of them. Two groups rushed right up to the doorway of the small buildings occupied by the cooks & messman and the office building in which the undersigned resided. As I was rushing out of the doorway of the office building which was designated during the attack as the Command Post Sgt Eadens shoved me back saying "Here they come" and shot the bandit whose rifle was pointed at me. As the bandit staggered back he shot Pvt. Glaser U.S.M.C., who was going to his battle station. Pvt. Irwin coming up in the rear of Pvt. Glaser shot up the rest of the group of the bandits. Sub-thompson fire was directed on us. Pvt. Glaser staggered as Sgt. Eaden and I grabbed him and dragged him into the office. Pvt. Glaser received some more bullet wounds while we dragged him in. Sgt. Eaden and I worked in reliefs guarding the door and bandaging and attending the wounded man. I told Sgt. Eaden to take charge & guard the front as I was going to give some information to my Marines and Guardias. I first ordered them to fire faster, appointed men in different parts of the Marine and Guardia Quarters to take command in my absence & to let the men fire as fast as possible for ten minutes and then to fire at flashes caused by their rifle fire and to impress on the men to aim and conserve their ammunition. After the first fifteen minutes everybody settled down and shot like veterans. The Marines & Guardias had excellent fire control and discipline. Directed Pvt. Macon the Lewis Machine Gunner to use traversing fire across the plaza. While I was along side of Pvt. Morris he said "Look at the bozo coming down the hill, skipper". We watched the Bandit throw something in the Guardia Quarters & next instant it was thrown out by Raso Salamanca who then shot the bandit. Another form was seen moving down the hill but no Marines fired as they each had their own sector and would have fired into the Guardia Quarters. Raso Cuena GNN got mad at all the bombs exploding around his battle station so he proceeded to leave the building under heavy fire and shot the next bomb thrower coming down the hill receiving a slug in his foot in return. The bandit kept going towards the Lewis Machine Gun emplacement to drop his bomb when Pvt.

   [ p. 2 ] Morris hollered out "Who is that a Guardia." Raso Luis Huerta said, "No, una bandito". Pvt. Morris let him have it and the machine gunner finished him. I was recalled to the Command Post. Got their [there] in time to throw some grenades at a group making a rush under fire toward the rear of the Command Post. Several bandits groups fired by commands and did some pretty good shooting. Word was passed to me that the Lewis Machine gun was jammed. Before I could say a word Sgt. Eaden gave me his rifle and said "Captain guard the door I'll fix it" and he did out in the open under fire without any shelter. The machine gunner grabbed his own rifle firing rapid fire trying to initiate a Lewis. Then some of the subtompsons gave a little trouble, Sgt. Eaden went around and swabbed them out each half hour when I would pass the hour of the morning. No trouble after that. Fog started to raise at about 2:30 a.m., and get lighter about 4 a.m., Everything was all quiet at 5 a.m. Investigation & search of the town showed that a subthompson was operated from the plaza in front of marine Quarters, one from south-east side of church, two from either side of street corners sough and toward rear of Guardia and Marine Quarters another was operated on a slight rise toward the south-west of Guardia Quarters. I passed the word whenever possible to jump a subthompson if close enough. Acting Cpl. Justo Salamanca, Rasos Luis Huerto, Luis Sanchez and Salomon Cortes jumped a subthompson operating against their quarters but had to withdraw when a group attacked them with hand grenades. They accomplished their mission as the thompson was withdrawn from that sector. Undersigned believes that the bandits had 3 subthompsons and moved them from one sector to another. One Lewis was operated near a building south of Marine and Guardia Quarters. Another was operated from hill on the main road 300 yds from the town (NW). Bandits had about 140 men in the main attack on the Quarters of the Detachment. Other groups were posted on all the roads and trails leading into town. A general reserve was with all their animals on the other side of the Rio Coco South East of 40. The enemy started to withdraw their dead and wounded about 3 a.m. The enemy's riflemen went into battle with about 50 rds of amm apiece. Enemies general line of retreat was from the Northeast and Southeast of 40. Houses were searched and a number of dynamite bombs and hand grenades found. Average dynamite bomb had from 24 to 26 sticks of dynamite. All enemies munitions and explosives thrown into the Rio Coco. Two dynamite bombs were thrown thru the roof in rear of Guardia Quarters. Raso Pedro Saballos threw one of the bombs out of the building receiving wounds to his hand from the explosion of same. An unknown Guardia threw out the other. So the bandits would not hear my commands to the Guardia's I passed the word for Raso Luis Huerta to report to C.P. He did under heavy fire. I sent Raso Huerta several times with verbal messages to my Guardias. He always came back with a smile. I then posted him to guard the front of the C.P and look after the wounded marine till I came. Found everybody at the post and in the best of spirits, passing jokes and firing at

   [ p. 3 ] the enemy's rifle flashes. Told Pvt. Morris to get an automatic rifle and clean up the outside of the rear of the Marine Quarters as I suspected some bandits who had sneaked up in the beginning of the attack were there and could not get away. Out of the door he went unconcerned to the enemies fire, accomplished his mission and returned. Over the the Guardia Quarters I saw Raso Rafael Romero (cook) while under fire keeping the Guardia Detachment well supplied with hot coffee.

   I believe I have overlooked a number of heroic deeds and cannot express myself enough to do justice to the bravery of the Telpaneca Detachment.
 
   Casualties 1 Marine killed 1 died same day
   1 Guardia seriously wounded.
 
   Enemy 25 killed & 50 wounded.
 
   The following are recommended for Guardia Medals, promotion and cited for bravery in battle with bandits.

Cpl. Jose A. Hernandez, pro to Sgt
Cabo Francisco Pena, citation
Raso Justo Salamanca - Medal- pro to Sgt
"    Modesto Morales - pro to Cpl
"    Huerta Luis - Medal - Pro to Sgt
Raso Carlos Aguirres - citation
"    Juan T. Altamirano - "
"    Pedro Ardon - Medal - pro to Cpl
"    Francisco Arguello - citation
"    Adan Centeno -    "
"    Francisco Canales -    "
"    Hernesto Centillo -    "
"    Alberto Cheves -    "
"    Alberto Centeno    "
"    Salomon Cortes - Medal
"    Marcos A. Celedon - Citation
"    Diego Condega -    "
"    Miguel Jeres -    "
"    Octavio Mejia -    "
"    Ofilio Medina -    "
"    Alejandro Rodriguez -   "
"    Rafael Romero - Citation
"    Napoleon Reyes - Citation
"    Pedro Saballos - Medal
"    Miguel Santamaria - Citation
"    Julio Tapia    "
"    Luis Sanchez Medal
"    Domingo Sapata [Zapata] - Citation
"    Miguel Savala [Zavala]    "
"    F. A. Acuna - Medal

----------------- H. S. Keimling --------------

RG127/113C/12

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27.09.22. Statement of Sgt. Alva Eadens

Marine Det.
Telpaneca, Nic.
22 Sept. 1927.

STATEMENT OF SGT. ALVA EADENS.
 
At 1:00 A. M. 19 Sept. 1927 while the Det. was sound asleep and the night so dark that one could not see farther than five to ten feet outside the doors. I was awakened by a very loud explosion only a few yards from the barracks, I jumped out of my bunk and grabbed my rifle and started to the front door to go to the main Bks. next door but when I reached the door I saw a man armed with a rifle peeping towards the storeroom where the cooks and messman were. I shouted to them of the danger and about that time the bandit turned toward me and beckoned to a group of bandits in his rear who I could hear talking in spanish. I immediately fired but he did not fall - only staggered and ducked around the corner before I could reload and fire again. That put a stop to them rushing in from the front side. That same man had already fired a couple of shots into the storeroom, killing Pvt. Russell. While I was crouched there waiting to see if any more of them were coming back, Capt. Keimling of the G. N. who was sleeping in the same office where I was, ran out through the door by me to shout out some commands and words of cheer to his men of the Guardia Nacional also the same to the Marines in the main Bks. When he came back in the office, the enemy fire was getting very heavy in rear of quarters (many bombs exploding a few yds from the doors). He took a couple of hand grenades and stood in the door, exposing himself to a very hot rifle fire and to the explosion of the bombs and threw the two grenades in different directions to prevent a machette attack; from time to time he did this. I believe they would have rushed in on us only for that. He kept all the marines and men of the G. N. cheered up throughout the night by joking and cheering them along and keeping them posted on the hour of the night. We were completely surrounded snipers equipped with rifles, and on the hill to our west not more than two hundred yds. away a machine gun was firing, also another about 100 yds. away from us, but all conciled [concealed], either inside buildings or behind corners of them. In one house about twenty or thirty yds. from the back door of the main Bks. there seemed to be about fifteen or twenty men congrigated [sic] with rifles and machettes: The machette men were whetting and banging their machettes against the wall and inside of building and shouting in spanish, this for the Marines. And about thirty or forty yds. from one galley there seemed to between thirty and fifty more of them - most of the bombs came from this place.

    All of this did not demoralize the Marines or the Guardia, it only made them fight the harder, jeering back at the bandits telling them to come on, they wanted to get a shot at them in the open. Some of them were nervy enough to try to, they crawled up within fifteen or twenty feet of us before we discovered them, but as soon as they were discovered by any individual all of us were immediately notified of it and all hands would concentrate their fire on that point. Every body together like brothers. The G. N. fought just like Marines and did all they could to help us out. One of the bandits ran down the hill passed the G. N. carrying a bomb consisting of 24 sticks of dynamite, he was hit by the G. N. causing him to drop the bomb, but he kept running in our direction, Pvt. Morris asked if he was one of the G. N. one of the G. N. immediately replied no, so Pvt. Morris with his rifle and Pvt. Macon with the Lewis M. G. both fired at him, bringing him down about 14 yds. in front of them. Pvt. Glaser and Pvt. Russell did not participate in the fight more than two or three minutes, as the latter was hit the first shot after the bomb gave the alarm, he only fired three shots after he was hit, then he was hit again putting him out of the fight, Pvt. Glaser was hit while passing from barracks to office also while enter the office, therefore he did not do any firing at all. When I left the office, there were only Lt. Keimling, Pvt. Irwin and Pvt. Foote left to defend it but they certainly did it well. Lt. Keimling guarded the front door at the same time passed out information to the marines and Guardia as to the locations of different machine guns and snipers also urging them to be careful with the ammunition and not waste it. Pvt. Irwin and Pvt. Foote were taking good care of the rear door, Pvt. Foote shouting come on you bandits, come out and fight. All men did excellent in obeying commands.

ALVA EADENS,
SGT., USMC.

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27.09.22.   Statement of Cpl. F. Carlson

STATEMENT OF CPL. F. CARLSON OF THE BATTLE OF TELPANECA.

     On the morning of Sept. 19, 1927, I was asleep in the main barracks. I was awakened by an explosion of a bomb which I've learned later to be a hand made one (dynamite bomb). I jumped up and put my clothes on to cover my white underwear, and grabbed my rifle and ammunition, and made a break for my battle station which was two room's below the main barracks, exposing myself to the enemy fire. As I jumped in the room, and the men were at their battle stations keeping the men way with their fire. One of the men said to me, Pvt. Russell was shot, but no one knew how bad he was hit, a few minutes later we found out he was dead. Pvt. Nichols and I were stationed by the front door facing the plaza, we were kept busy by pot shooting at the enemy snipers, who were in the church and trees. At one off the building off the north west corner off the plaza their was one Lewis machine gun firing in burst at the three buildings which were occupied by the marines. At times when things would quiet down we thought they were planning a machette attack which we had to expose ourselves to see if the enemy were sneaking up on us. Lt. Keimling who was in charge of this small post of marines and Guardia National has cheered us up and fought with us as any marine officer would have done, if not much better. All night long we was directing the fight exposing himself to the enemy trying to find where the snipers were and giving us the dope to plug the snipers fire. About 4:25 A. M. we heard the bugler blowing a call but at that time we did not know what kind of call it was, immediately after the firing was letting up and 5 min. after the enemy retreated, this call which we learned later was blown to recall their men and leave the vicinity of their battle.

CPL. F. CARLSON.

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27.09.22. Statement of Pvt. L. C. Handzlik

STATEMENT OF PVT. L. C. HANDZLIK
 
     On the morning of September 19th, 1927 the Marines and Guardia Nacional under the command of Lt. Keimling when asleep in their quarters were attacked by a gang of bandits which were under the rebel leader, Gen. Sandino. This attack took place at one o'clock in the morning when it was so dark you could not see very far in front of yourself. The first thing that woke us up was a hand made bomb which was exploded in the rear of our quarters. The first rifle shot fired was fired in the storeroom where the cooks and messmen were asleep. The first shot had hit Pvt. Russell who was sleeping near the front door this same shot went through his bed and through mine missing me by a few inches. Pvt. Russell after he was wounded jumped up and grabbed his rifle and fired three shots and was shot again near the heart. He laid down his rifle and went to his bed to lay down and die, which he done about 3 or 4 min, after the fight started. Lt. Keimling who was in charge slept in the next room and as soon as the fight started he was on the job just as any Marine officer would do if not better. He cheered the Marines and the Guardia Nacional as much as any man could in the position were were in. All night long you could hear Lt. Keimling give out orders, exposing himself to the enemy finding out where the snipers were and giving orders where to find them. The heaviest firing was done on the quarters of our Lt. Keimling. This fight was sure a hard one on us men, but we sure stood it though and sure have loved to see them stay for awhile it got light so we could have showed Sandino our Marksmanship. The heaviest attack of the enemy was on the rear of our quarters as they had quite a few houses and trees and shrubbery to hide behind. You could hear the machette men congregated around the buildings clattering their machettes against the building yelling (Este por Marinos, Viva la Sandino Muere Estadus Unidos) they had one machine gun firing at us from the west of the building and a Sub-Thompson machine gun with their rifle men were firing from the opposite end of the building firing on us. On the South west corner of our quarters their is two houses situated their where their was a gang estimated to be from 40 to 50 men hollering and cussing the Marines. From these two buildings they were throwing their hand made bombs and firing a Thompson and a Lewis machine gun, they had thrown about 30 or 40 bombs from that position, they had their rifle men strung along a line from the building on the west to the buildings on the southwest. In the front of the building I can not say very much as my post was toward the rear of the building, although I know they two Lewis machine guns and two or three Sub-Thompson firing from that point. Our battle stations which were strung out in three rooms occupied by the Marines were eleven men in the main barracks, five men in the office and five men in the store-room. When the fight started every man was at his post, some of the men had to come down from the main barracks to their battle-stations, which was under heavy fire by this time. Pvt. Glaser who was also killed came down from the main barracks to the office which was his post, was shot as he was entering the room. Immediately Lt. Keimling and Sgt. Eadens exposing themselves to the enemy grabbed Pvt. Glaser and put him on the bunk so he could rest easy and during all the fighting he was calling for water which was given to him by either Lt. Keimling or Sgt. Eadens who were taking chance of being hit by the enemy. Sgt. Eadens was in the office had to go up to the main barracks, he asked for some one to guard the door. Lt. Keimling said give me your rifle, I'll guard [ p. 2 ] the door, which he did till the fight was over. Pvt. Ruddock who is an automatic man was stationed with me at the rear door of the store-room which we did to the best of our ability. Cpl. Carlsons, Pvt. Nichols were stationed at the front door which they guarded to the best of their ability. The men in the office, Lt. Keimling, Sgt. Eadens, Pvt. Foote, Irwin fought to the best of their ability. The main barracks which had eleven men fought to the best of their ability.
 
SIGNED

PVT. L. C. HANDZLIK.

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27.09.22. Sketch of Map of Telpaneca

Details of Above:

 

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UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE MARINE CORPS.
MANAGUA, NICARAGUA
21 October 1927.

From:  

The Commanding Officer Fifth Regiment and The Brigade Commander 

To: 

Secretary of the Navy 

Via: 

The Commander Special Services Squadron. 

 

 

Subject: 

Report on defense of TELPANECA, Nicaragua, on 19 September 1927. 

 

 

References: 

(a)  Copy of statement of First Lieut. H. S. Keimling, USMC 

 

(b)  "     "    Sgt Alva Eadens, USMC 

 

(c)  "     "    Cpl. Frederick Carlson, USMC 

 

(d)  "     "    Pvt. Lawrence Handzlik, USMC 

 

(e)  "     "    Pvt. Vesper L. Nichols, USMC 

 

(f)  "     "    Pvt. Rodgers H. Irwin, USMC 

 

(g)  "     "    Pvt. Daniel E. Macon, USMC 

 

(h)  "     "    Pvt. Herbert E. Marsh, USMC 

 

 

Inclosures: 

8 (copies of references) 

     1.           There are transmitted herewith copies of statements of First Lieutenant Herbert S. Keimling, U.S. Marine Corps, and seven of the members of his command, describing the successful defense of TELPANECA, Nicaragua, on the night of 18-19 September, 1927, against a force of bandits, greatly superior in numbers.
 
     2.           The defending force consisted of one Marine Officer Twenty (20) enlisted Marines and Twenty-five (25) enlisted of the Guardia Nacional de Nicaragua.
 
 
                    /s/ L. M. GULICK
-------------------------------------------------------

All in RG127/113C/12

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27.09.20.   Sandino's Account of the Battle of Telpaneca

Ancillary Document:  Sandino's Account of the Battle of Telpaneca of 19 September 1927


                            El Chipote
September 20, 1927
 
   The obstinacy of the President of the United States, Mr. Calvin Coolidge, continues to be the cause of the shedding of blood in Nicaragua. On the 19th of the present month there was a bloody battle in the village of Telpaneca, which came about in the following manner.
 
   I ordered a cavalry unit to the edge of that town under the command of Colonel Carlos Estrada, in order to provide protection to our authorities, because we knew the Yankees were pursuing them pitilessly, and that the constabularies [Guardia Nacional] were under orders to murder those same authorities. Our cavalry arrived on the outskirts of the town at twelve o'clock at night and, in accordance with their order and the plan they had been given, they began to encircle the enemy.
 
   At 12:45 the first shot rang out against the enemy barracks, and simultaneously firing began against the other enemy units. An hour later my men had managed to dislodge the enemy from their outer positions, and little by little they were gaining control of the village. But when they had gotten into the town the enemy exploded some mines, though without doing any damage. The struggle became even more hard-fought, because the enemy had their line of fire in the form of a square in all the village houses with their high windows, and in each house there were four machine guns. The thrust of my people into the village was heroic, and they managed to reduce the invaders to a few houses and to capture three machine guns, forty-two rifles, and about fifty thousand rounds of ammunition for rifles and machine guns, and the number of dead among the machos [Marines] and the constabularies was reckoned at eighty. Concerning my men, they amused themselves by collecting supplies from the forward barracks. Dawn came, and they had to retire to the sound of the trumpet, or rather before the famous ball that is the sun. The eighty deaths of which I speak were those of the enemy alone.
 
       /s/ A. C. SANDINO


Source:  Robert E. Conrad, Sandino, Testimony of a Nicaraguan Patriot (Princeton, 1990), p. 102

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Ancillary Document No. 2:  27.09.21.  Diario Moderno (Managua),  "Sangriento Combate en Telpaneca"

 

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Summary & Notes:

   Some fascinating details here.
   Numerous instances showing spirited energy & passion, even recklessness, of EDSN attackers, and equally passionate & determined defense of garrison by Marines & native Guardia.
   Intense mutual hatred, so evident later in the war, infuses soldiers' statements.
Beginnings of another longstanding pattern: EDSN's failed efforts to convince native Guardia to join them & turn on the Marines.
   Reports suggest mutual hatred (Sandinistas vs. Marines-GN) developed and hardened from the war's earliest stages.

   Also suggest that the process of Guardia identity formation was well underway, with combat key in forging that sense of identity.

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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