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PC27.12.11   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

27.12.11.   Brown (Satterfield), Engagement with Group of Bandits at Cuje

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.
11 December 1927.

From: The Commanding Officer.
To: The Brigade Commander
Subject: Engagement with group of bandits at Cuje, 11 Dec., 1927.

    1.    A group of some twenty-five bandits under one Candelario Lopez was reliably reported by native scouts in vicinity of Cuje, a little over a week ago. The bandits moved to an unknown location in the direction of Totogalpa last Tuesday, and were not again located until December 10, when they were reported in the house of one Perez in the area of Cuje. A group in this same house was attacked by the undersigned on October 30 and a number of men still here were members of that patrol and acquainted with the trails.
 
   2.    A combined patrol, 15 marines and 5 guardia, left Telpaneca at 0045, December 11, under command of Lieut. Satterfield, G.N.; there was a moon until daylight and the patrol arrived at the bandit position at about 0430 without incident.
 
   3.    The bandits were divided between a group of five houses and a separate house some three hundred yards farther up the ridge line. The patrol arrived from above these houses and seven marines and one guardia with Cpl Tucker in charge were left at the upper house, while Lt. Satterfield continued down the ridge toward the other houses with the remainder of the patrol.
 
   4.    The upper house was set some two hundred yards off to the right of the trail and Cpl. Tucker took his men into a position in the clearing around the house flanking two opposite sides of it at a range of about fifty yards. He himself was on the right of it with a guardia, while the remainder of the group was on a line with him over to the left. The plan was for him to wait until Lt. Satterfield opened fire on the lower houses before attacking but circumstances forced an abandonment of this plan.
 
   5.    A sentinel was sleeping alongside the house in front of Tucker with a dog sleeping at his feet. All Tucker's dispositions had been made when the dog scented danger and awoke the sentry by barking. For this indescretion the dog was later killed. The sentry woke and seized his shotgun. Tucker promptly killed him and the war was on. There were some 25 bandits in this house alone and they immediately rushed out to escape by the trail on the opposite side of the house from the marines, but Cpl Tucker with considerable presence of mind, threw a nad [hand] grenade over the house into the trail which demolished one bandit and drove them back into the line of fire of the marines covering the other side of the house from Tucker. Three more bandits were killed and three mortally wounded by this rifle fire. Many more were less seriously wounded as evidenced by trails of blood down the side of the hill but the number is of course unknown. The bandits scattered rapidly into the underbrush and were pursued by fire as long as they could be seen moving.
 
   6.    In the meantime, Lt. Satterfield had continued down the other position and had just entered the clearing where the buildings were situated when the firing started above him. His patrol was one hundred and fifty yards from the house and visibility was poor on account of a heavy mist. At the sound of firing, the bandits rushed from these houses and began firing aimlessely in the direction of the other house. There were some thirty or forty bandits in this group, with many rifles and shotguns. The patrol immediately opened fire but could not get close with the enemy as they immediately took to the underbrush. This group unfortunately escaped with all their firearms and reached their horses in a portrero at the foot of the hill. None were observed killed here but an unknown number of wounded is certain from bloody trails. [ p. 2 ]
 
   7.    Within ten minutes after the first shot there were no more targets at which to fire, and the engagements was finished. Three shotguns, two rifles, and ten machettes were captured. All the houses were found to be full of foodstuffs and ammunition. Since the houses were a favorable rendezvous for bandits, all but one were burned. The ammunition and foodstuffs were destroyed in the fire. A large number of turkeys, geese, ducks, pigs, calves and chickens were found around the lower houses as well as two burros. One of these bandit burros was wounded, the other was captured to bring fourteen turkeys into Telpaneca for Christmas dinner.
 
   8.    The separate house was not demolished as one woman was living there had been accidently killed and a small boy wounded. These and the three wounded bandits were left there with several other women who were found in both houses.
 
   9.    The patrol suffered no casualties. In all, the bandits lost five killed, three mortally wounded and many other wounded. None of the dead or wounded were identified.
 
   10.    After destroying the bandits' stores, the patrol began its return journey to Telpaneca. About a mile and a half from the scene of the fight, on the side of a mountain, the patrol stopped to rest. Raso Pedro Sabayos #208, GN, was stationed in the rear as a march outpost. One of the bandits, who had evidently followed the patrol with the intention of revenging himself, suddenly appeared on the side of the hill above the trail at a distance of about 100 yards aiming his rifle. Sabayo immediately shot him. He fell but rose again and started to run. Tucker and Pvt Harris then shot him but he again got up and ran, escaping with his rifle. The alertness and prompt action of Raso Sabayos undoubtedly saved the life of at least one of the patrol. It is recommened that his action be brought to the attention of the chief of the Guardia Nacional for appropriate commendation.
 
   11.    The patrol reached Telpaneca at 1215 without further incident.
 
   12.    The entire patrol conducted itself in a most satisfactory manner, especially since half of the marines were new arrivals in this post who had no previous experience in this part of the country. According to the patrol leader, Lt. Satterfield, march and fire discipline was excellent throughout. Cpl Tucker is especially to be commended for his able and efficient handling of the action described above. In addition to the commandable [commendable] action described above, Raso Sabayos had previously distinguished himself in the action with Cpl Tucker by his coolness under fire. He continued firing steadily although he and Tucker were the only targets of the two or three enemy firing from the house.
 
- - - - - -  /s/ WILBURT S. BROWN - - - - - - - - - -

127/212/1

Summary & Notes:

   Steep ravines, caves, and inaccessibility of the Cuje Valley, SE of Telpaneca, made it a favorite rebel sanctuary from early on; remained so till the end.
   Successful Marine-GN surprise dawn assault on EDSN hamlet in Cuje -- and an apparent lapse in EDSN intelligence.
   Ten-minute firefight shows Marine-GN superior weapons & tactics, EDSN tendency to exercise inadequate vigilance around their camps.
   Report evidently based on oral report narrated to Lt. Brown by patrol leader Lt. Satterfield and written up by Brown.
   Exceptionally detailed description of sounds, sights, and events (the moonlit night, the barking dog, the heavy mist . . . )

   After the fight:  suicidal effort of lone rebel to assault the column's rear. 
   Description of how lone rebel took two rifle shots, got up and ran away; extraordinary physical capacities of rebels a recurring pattern in these documents; these were some very tough men.

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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