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PC27.10.18   satterfield

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

27.10.18.   Satterfield, Reconnaissance & Combat Patrol

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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MARINES AND GUARDIA DETACHMENT, TELPANECA, NICARAGUA
18 October, 1927.

From: 2nd Lieut. J. H. Satterfield, G. N. de Nicaragua.
To: Commanding Officer, Pueblo Nuevo Area, Pueblo Nuevo, Nic.
Via: Commanding Officer, Marine and Guardia Detachment, Telpaneca, Nicaragua
Subject: Reconnaissance and Combat Patrol, report on.
Reference: Map of Nicaragua, by Clifford D. Ham, 1924.
Enclosure: (1) Sketch showing relative position of groups seen.

    1.    In accordance with verbal instructions of the commanding officer of this post, I left TELPANECA at 8:00 a.m., 17 October, 1927, with a combat and reconnaissance patrol of 15 men (7 marines, 7 guardia and 1 native guide), who had furnished information of the presence of several groups of bandits in the area of Cuje toward TOTOGALPA.
 
   2.    I proceeded by way of PUEBLO NUEVO. Trail as far as the top of the mountain about 12 miles from TELPANECA, where the PUEBLO NUEVO trail turns to the left and descends into PALACAGUINA. I took the right branch of the trail at this point which leads to TOTOGALPA, I had traveled this trail which generally follows the ridge line for about 2 miles, when I located a large bandit camp in valley to right of the trail, apparently a headquarters as they were flying a red flag, and a large number of men were in evidence. The camp was about 1200 yards off to right of trail.
 
   3.    The range from my point of observation was too great so I determined to circle the camp and occupy a small hill some four hundred yards in rear with the intention of attacking the bandits by fire at daylight, since I could not approach closer owing to terrain.
 
   4.    I continued on for about four miles to reach a branch trail which led into the camp from the rear. At this point a native informed me that another group of about fifty men armed with rifles and machettes lay between me and my objective. I determined to brush this group out of my path and continue to occupy the desired position, noted above. Information was given that this camp could be attacked from a hill at a range of approximately 300 yards. This camp was off to left of trail on the PALACAGUINA side of mountain.
 
   5.    When I reached within four hundred yards of the hill, I desired to occupy, I was fired upon by an enemy outpost of approximately twenty men which was camped up on that hill. The outlook signaled the main camp by shouting; my chance of a surprise attack on the main body thus dissipated, I opened fire on the outpost, killing 2 and wounding several. Two of the wounded, by the way, were reported to have died. [ p. 2 ]
 
   6.    When I reached the scene of the bandit outpost, I found as I expected that both it and the main camp had been hurriedly evacuated. I destroyed two rifles and a quantity of food and articles of clothing, which had been left by the enemy in their hurried flight. There was a trail visible from the outpost camp leading from the main camp towards PALACAGUINA, I covered this with fire at at the least succeeded in wounding one more of the enemy.
 
   7.    At this point, I found it necessary to abandon my plan of attacking the camp I had seen earlier in the day, because of the inability of the marines to continue, owing to sore feet caused by worn out shoes and lack of good socks. It was then about 4:30 p.m., and I estimated my distance from TELPANECA at about five and one half leagues, and the close approach of night I determined to camp in this area and return to TELPANECA at daylight.
 
   8.    I pitched camp in a good defensive position and spent the night unmolested. Returning to TELPANECA at daylight in the morning, I reached TELPANECA at 10:30 a.m., 18 October, 1927.
 
   9.    During the night I observed several camp fires and from this and other indications congested with my information from friendly natives. I am convinced that there is a minimum of 250 bandits in the area TELPANECA-TOTOGALPA-PALACAGUINA. These are divided into several bands of from 30 to 50 men each, further information of the natives, which I consider reliable owing to the obvious and proved desire of the land owners to aid us in cleaning out this area, is that the bands in this area are being daily augmented by armed recruits from the area of SOMOTO. They claim that there is a bandit chief or recruiting officer who is arming men in that area and sending them into this.
 
          /s/ JAMES H. SATTERFIELD
               Lieutenant, Guardia Nacional

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1st Endorsement/ 20 October 1927.
Office of the Commanding Officer, Marine and Guardia Detachment, TELPANECA, NICARAGUA.
 
From:    The Commanding Officer
To:      The Area Commander, Pueblo Nuevo, Nicaragua

   1.   Forwarded.
 
   2.    The observation and experience of Lt. Satterfield, strengthens the opinion I had already formed from personal reconnaissance and from persistent and corroborating testimony of the natives namely, that there is a strong concentration in this area chiefly towards TOTOGALPA. Sandino himself is reported in the area.
 
   3.    Because of the costly defeat of the bandits suffered in [ p. 3 ] this town and the virtual impregnability of our present position against the class of weapons at the enemy's disposal, I doubt very strongly, information to the contrary notwithstanding, that the concentration is aimed against this post. If attack is their purpose I believe SOMOTO or OCOTAL to be the objective. But more do I believe that the routes of supply are menaced and I strongly recommend increased and careful guarding of all pack trains.
 
   4.    With a view to breaking up the concentration in this area and harrying the bandits, it is recommended that systematic patrolling be undertaken from this station. To do this properly an additional strength of fifteen marines is necessary because less than twenty-five men is not a sufficiently strong patrol, and that number cannot easily or safely be spared from this garrison in the face of the present aspect of the situation. Lt. Satterfield and myself can alternate on from one to four day patrols. This station is best suited to be a center of such operations. No increase in the officer personnel of the post is necessary. However, the total absence of marine non-commissioned officers is a handicap and it is requested that I be furnished a sergeant or gunnery sergeant and that the three men previously recommended be promoted to corporals.
 
   5.    In the absence of instructions to the contrary, no further patrolling will be undertaken from this station until the marines are properly shod. A requisition for clothing is in the hands of the Regimental Quartermaster. Anything done to hasten the issue will be heartily appreciated by the entire command.

          /s/ Wilburt S. Brown

Source:  NA27/212/1

Summary & Notes:

   Back to the Western Segovias.
   "Red flag" in ¶ 2 shows Marines fighting a Liberal gang (EDSN colors red and black; Conservative color blue)
   Fascinating portrayal of military mobilization in the region.
   Marines' inadequate footwear & sore feet.

   Enclosure has not been found.

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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