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PC27.12.07   brown

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

27.12.07.   Brown, Engagement with Bandits at El Potrero, Telpaneca District, Western 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 +

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Marine and Guardia Detachment.
Telpaneca, Nicaragua.
7 December, 1927.

From: The Commanding Officer.
To: The Brigade Commander, 2nd Brigade, Managua, Nic.
Via: The Division Commander, Ocotal, Nicaragua.
Subject: Engagement with a group of bandits at El Portrero, 6 December, 1927, report on.

   1.    A group of Sandinistas under command of one Teodor Polanco entered the area of Telpaneca something over a week ago and quartered itself somewhere in the district of Santo Domingo. At the time, information as to the exact whereabouts of this group was impossible to obtain, for those who could have told would not. Therefore, the undersigned hired three men thru Don [Nicanor] Espinosa, a citizen of this town who has incurred the personal enmity of Sandino and who therefore finds it in his interest to aid our forces in all ways possible. These men definitely located three bands within a radius of three leagues. The one in Santa Domingo consisted of 30 men armed with pistols, shotguns and machetes. All expenses attendant upon this espionage service have been personally defrayed by the undersigned.
 
   2.    Plans were laid to attack those 3 bands in order, beginning last Sunday night with the group at Santo Domingo. Sunday afternoon, however, I learned from one of my native scouts that a group of 160 men, well armed and mounted, had entered El Portrero that day coming from the North. At this time I believed it to be a concentration against this post, and reported the situation to the Division Commander.
 
   3.    The following evening, Monday Dec. 5th, I learned that the large band had left early that morning going toward Jicaro. The band of Teodor Polanco had moved over from Santo Domingo to join the large band but had missed them and taken up quarters at El Portrero.
 
   4.    At 2:00 a.m., December 6th, the undersigned left Telpaneca with a patrol of seven marines, three guardia nacional and a native guide. We had moon-light until about an hour before daybreak and made good time on the trail. Even in the darkness before dawn we pushed on and had arrived within five hundred yards of the bandit position when daylight caught us. The march discipline of the patrol, both marines and guardia, was excellent, even in the hours of complete darkness when the going over the mountain trails was most difficult.
 
   5.    The bandit position was found to be a ranch house on the side of a hill, wooded above the house to the north. Thru a mistake of the guide we had approached from the southeast. On the west and south sides of the house there were no trace but a clearing in a radius of three hundred yards. To the east the ground fell away sharply to form a deep wooded ravine. The house itself was a big one surrounded by a barbed wire fence. A circumstance in our favor was the tall rank grass in the clearing and a clump of bushes in the southwest corner of the fence where the trail entered. It was also just after daybreak and we were not expected. [ p. 2 ]
 
   6.    The patrol crawled up the trail in squad column until it had gained a position in rear of the bushes mentioned which sheltered them from observation of the house. It then climbed up the hill to the house. So far we had seen no men about the house but as we approached we heard laughter. The undersigned, being in the lead was the first to reach the wire fence. When I did so I immediately saw and was seen by two men who at first made no effort at all to run. It occurred to me that I had come on a wild goose chase and that the house was occupied by peaceful people. With that I stood up and doing so brought in to view for the first time a veranda along the west side of the house. This was occupied by at least twenty men wearing red and black hat bands, Sandino's colors. I was seen at the same instant and all hands but the immediately [sic] yelled "Los Marinos" and broke for the other side of the house. I had a hand grenade in my hand but the presence of two women and several children made it impossible to throw it. I therefore raised my pistol and killed the man who has shouted as he reached the corner of the house. At this signal, as prearranged the patrol deployed along two sides of the fence and opened fire, rushed the house, and pursued with fire the retreating enemy as they fled across the ravine and up the hill.
 
   7.    I allowed no further pursuit because there was an additional group of some fifteen or twenty men who had been sleeping on the East Veranda, and the patrol was too small in number to risk scattering it. The bandits began firing dynamite bombs on the West side of the house, to scare us I suppose. The group deployed on the other side of the ravine shot through the shoulder a woman who was running up the hill behind the men. When she screamed I noticed her and ordered cease firing. The woman was not badly hurt as she continued running holding her shoulder. At this juncture a man in khaki with a cigar in his mouth came running up the hill from the ravine. I thought he was one of the patrol who had followed the enemy without my seeing him. For the same reason no one else fired on him until he stopped suddenly within fifty yards and raised a dynamite bomb to the cigar. At this two of the Guardia fired on him. Private Kincannon turned a burst of Thompson Automatic fire into him. The bomb dropped at his feet and exploted [sic], hurting no one but himself. He made a total of five killed; the wounded were unknown. The patrol suffered no casualties. After the bomb incident, no further hostilities ensued, though the enemy continued to fire dynamite bombs all day farther back in the hills. Probably to discourage our following them.
 
   8.    A search of the house discovered two loaded shotguns, twenty machetes, a quantity of powder and shot, a red and black banner with red letters T R stitched into the black, several bottles of cususa, a large amount of food stuffs and blankets, and a variety of odds and ends. Four horses and a mule were also found in the clearing around the house. The women who lived there said they were the bandits' property. Papers were also found identifying Polanco as Sandino's Jefe de reten for Santo Domingo. None of the dead were identified.
 
   9.    The patrol returned to Telpaneca arriving there at 10:45 a.m. without incident. Each of the 7 Marines and the 3 Guardia conducted themselves in a praiseworthy manner. [p. 3]

Pvt. Howard and Raso Castillo were particularly efficient thru out. A roster of the patrol follows:
2nd Lt. W.B. Brown Cpl. Plantier, George S. 16th Co. Pvt. Eicher, W. 23rd. Pvt. Harris, T.W. 16th. Pvt. Howard, F.B. 23rd Co. Pvt Rueslman, J.W. 16th Pvt. Kincannon, J.W. 23rd. Pvt. Mork, E.A. 23rd Co. Raso Cantillo, Ernesto #176 Raso Roman Agustin #348 Raso Chavez, Albert #58.

            /s/ WILBURT S. BROWN
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RG127/43A/3
 On Teodoro Polanco see also:
EDSN 30.12.04, 31.02.03, 31.02.07, 31.04.24, 31.06.22, 31.12.28
IR 30.02.28, 31.01.25, 31.06.01
PC 30.12.04, 30.12.08, 31.01.25, 31.05.05

Summary & Notes:

   Battle between combined Marine-GN patrol & EDSN hideout in Telpaneca district.
   Dramatic portrait of the Marine-Guardia sneak attack & the ensuing firefight.
   Teodoro Polanco identified elsewhere in EDSN and Marine-GN documents, esp. 1930-31.

    Vivid & illuminating depictions of the physical landscape; women & children; gendered Marine constructions of battle and military engagement with civilians; and skirmish itself.  A fascinating & revealing report. 

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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