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PC28.03.28   geyer

INVENTORY OF PC-DOCS, JANUARY—JUNE 1928

28.01.04 BROWN
28.01.04 BROWN
28.01.04 HUNT
28.01.05 KILCOURSE
28.01.08 SATTERFIELD
28.01.08 WADBROOK
28.01.21 SHAW
28.01.22 PEARD
28.01.31 KENYON
28.02.03 PEARD
28.02.04 MCDONALD
28.02.06 YOUNG
28.02.12 WATERMAN
28.02.18 GEYER
28.02.19 CLARK
28.02.19 GRAY
28.02.21 ORR
28.02.22 SHIEBLER
28.02.23 WELLS
28.02.24 SHIEBLER
28.02.24 ROCKEY
28.02.25 BROWN
28.02.26 CLARK
28.02.26 HOLMES
28.02.26 RIDDERHOF
28.02.27 GEYER
28.02.28 HUNTER
28.02.29 CLAUDE
28.02.29 CRONMILLER
28.03.01 O'DAY
28.03.05 MCNULTY
28.03.05 ROCKEY
28.03.11 AIKEN
28.03.15 CHAPPELL
28.03.16 ARTHUR
28.03.18 RIDDERHOF
28.03.22 ROCKEY
28.03.28 HUNTER
28.03.28 GEYER
28.04.05 ATKINSON
28.04.05 HART
28.04.05 ROBERTS
28.04.05 ROCKEY
28.04.08 HOLMES
28.04.09 PUTNAM
28.04.11 PUTNAM
28.04.11 SNEAD
28.04.15 HATFIELD
28.04.16 STOCKS
28.04.17 AIKEN
28.04.18 GALT
28.04.19 ESAU
28.04.19 MARSHALL
28.04.19 SNEAD
28.04.23 GALT
28.04.23 WILLIS
28.04.23 MCQUEEN
28.04.26 PEFLEY
28.04.28 MCQUEEN
28.04.30 ARNETT
28.05.06 HART
28.05.07 MERRITT
28.05.08 AIKEN
28.05.08 CLARK
28.05.09 KILCOURSE
28.05.11 AIKEN
28.05.11 ESAU
28.05.12 KILCOURSE
28.05.12 PEFLEY
28.05.14 HOLMES
28.05.16 CLAUDE
28.05.16 CRAMER
28.05.17 RIDDERHOF
28.05.17 ADAMS
28.05.18 SCHIEBLER
28.05.20 O'DAY
28.05.21 JENKINS
28.05.21 KENYON
28.05.22 CRAMER
28.05.24 CLAUDE
28.05.24 CRAMER
28.05.25 PIPER
28.05.25 PIPER
28.05.25 UNKNOWN
28.05.30 HATFIELD
28.06.01 SCOTT
28.06.04 HOLMES
28.06.04 O'NEIL
28.06.04 SNEDEKER
28.06.06 YOUNG
28.06.15 BROWN
28.06.16 ANDERSON
28.06.19 BERRY
28.06.20 HUMPHREY
28.06.20 ROCKEY
28.06.24 CRAMER

28.03.28.   Geyer, Patrol Report No. 1, Los Robles, Jinotega

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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1st MTD B'N.

LOS ROBLES
28 MARCH 28.

PATROL REPORT NO. 1.

     On March 25, a mounted patrol composed of 27 enlisted, one Navy, Lieuts. Humphreys and Jack, with the undersigned in command, proceeded on a patrol NE of Los Robles.

     Camp was made on the night of 25 March at Antonio Rivera's, North of the Tuma River (See map of Los Robles and vicinity). Distanced marched 13 miles in 6½ hours. Roads fair with the exception of the last three miles which were steeply up hill and very muddy.

     Information was gathered that Nivolas Davila [Nicolas Davila, Nicolás Dávila], a foraging jefe of Sandino was then in the house of Eulalio Flores, reported to have been with Sandino the past and at present a forgar [forager] for him.

     Broke camp the next morning and proceeded to La Pabona [La Pavona] where the house of Flores is located. Distance marched 7 miles in 5 hours. Roads very bad, steeply up and down hill over very mountainous country, rebundant [abundant, redolent] with bog holes.

     From the river Tuma to La Pabona is La Pabona [sic] is directly over the Cuchillas mountains, as no pass exists in this place.

     Gathered information to the effect that a courier had preceded patrol and that word had been passed ahead that Marines were coming.

     Arrived at La Pabona. Captured Eulalio Flores (See intelligence report attached). Made camp in home of Flores. Found that Davila had left upon receiving information that Marines were coming. Also that he expected to return with re-enforcements that night. Took due precautions. Nothing materialized.

     Broke camp next morning and returned same route, stopping over night at Rivera's. Returned to Los Robles 28 March 1928. Total distance marched 40 miles. Roads as stated. Weather fair.

     The trail from the Tuma River passes to within 3 leagues of Pena Blanca. The latter is nearly a range with the peak proper distinguishable by white streaks (rocks) running vertically on its face.

     The top of Pena Blanca is conservatively estimated to be four miles long. Adjoining Pena Blanca is a peak very nearly as high, called Chachagon. Both overshadow the Cuchillas mountains. Between the Cuchillas and Pena Blanca lies a foothill studded valley. This valley extends roughly SE to NW and would be a good foraging ground for a position on Pena Blanca. No bandit groups were encountered. The countryside is quiet and has been, with the exception of foraging parties which have worked the valley extensively, but have not been seen during the past week. Lt. Jack made a road sketch of the trail from Tuma River to La Pabona.

     From information received from natives, Sandino passed through La Pabona in going north in February; his forces which operated in Tuma section, in March, did not pass through and must have moved by trails east of Pina Blanca.

/s/ P. C. GEYER
Captain, U.S.M.C.

127/204/4

 

1st Mtd B'n.

Los Robles
28 March 28.

To C. O. Matagalpa

For R-2

     The undersigned returned this date, from a patrol to La Pabona, located in a valley North of the Cuchillas Mountains. Recurring reports had come in to Las Robles that Nicolas Davila, had been at the house of Eulalio Flores, that he had left and was returning with a bandit group.

     While on the road to the Tuma River, information was received that both Davila and Flores were then in the latters house. Davila is reported to be foraging jefe and the valley mentioned is said to be one of his favorite supply fields. Flores is a Juez de Mesta, is reported as a supply depot used by Davila. i.e./Davila makes the farm his headquarters and causes inhabitants to bring food etc. to the Flores farm for further transmittal to Sandino. Flores in turn is reported to have used his power as Juez to ably second Davila in the above procedure.

     As Lt. Jack was making a road sketch of the trail from Tuma River North, and only Lt. Humphries and myself knew of the contemplated attempt to get Flores and Davila, it was a comparatively easy matter to give the impression that the patrol was for the purpose of making a map, which was done.

     The method by which Flores was caught is unorthodox and not recommended although it worked in this case.

     Knowing that word had preceded us, I worked on the bare possibility that Davila and Flores might not have left or if they had, that they might be in the near vicinity. The supposition proved correct in the case of Flores.

     When within a quarter of a mile from Flores farm, the undersigned rode to the front of the point. The house which sits well up on a hill, was closed up. No one was in sight. This in itself was suspicious as a patrol passing by inevitably draws the inhabitants to their doors unless the place is deserted. When about midway up a boy came down hill. Not wishing to flush the quarry I allowed the boy to continue until I reached the house when I passed the word to send the boy back up the hill. I rode to back of house and gently requested that the door be opened. Flores' wife opened the front door. Inside the house were the wife, a daughter and a maid, also three small children. The wife was visibly frightened, perspiring freely although the day was cool and had visibly displayed, hanging from her neck a scapula and a medal. Facing the door was a large sized altar with a lighted lamp on it. Still gently, I asked permission to make camp.-- I asked whose house this was. In other words, feigned extreme innocence. Permission to make camp was granted with the suggestion that down by the stream would be better. She asked why I had made the boy come back and I told her that as the the place was closed I thought he might be an inhabitant and that I was going to ask him for permission to camp. [ p. 2 ]

     She then asked me if the boy was free to go and I told her "certainly". Shortly thereafter the woman re-assured went into the galley which adjoined. While there she evidently made some signal because after a little Flores came in, held a whispered conference with his woman and introduced himself as head of the house. He was immediately placed under surveillance unknown to him and the trap was left open, but Davila had gone. Flores had no intimation that he was wanted until the next morning.

     Returning to Los Robles and while North of the Tuma River, a report was received that Pedron Altamirano, Davila and a group were at the time at a house of Santos Vasquez at La Virgen. However, as the undersigned by then had the full confidence of a conservative who had been instrumental in the success of the mission and who had a rather fair working intelligence system of his own, the matter was referred to him and it was agreed that he was to check up to see if the reports were correct, which he said he could easily do, and that if it were true, he was to communicate with us at Riveras' before 0800-28 March 28, and that we would then proceed to La Virgen. No report was received. Also made arrangements for the same man to keep me informed of happenings in Cuchillas, La Virgen, La Pabona and Guapinol.

     Flores' farm was searched. Eight machetes (narrow blade) and a handful of ammunition were found. No other arms. If he had them they were hidden out.

     The boy who came down the hill is a son of which he has two. One about 18, the other about 20. He has working for him eight mozos. During all the waking hours, the women were making tortillas and the father and sons were shelling and husking corn. The tortillas made were far too many for the people there. Supposition:-A shipment out is being prepared.-Also, on the trail, Flores stated that the women had given aid and prepared food for Sandino, but that he was guiltless.

     Herewith, two sketches, which aviation might find useful. It is believed that if a few of our friends' supply depots are strafed, it will have a salubrious effect on the slackening of enthusiastic help he is receiving.

     Note:- I told the woman that if a plane came by and dropped a white rag, that it would be a signal for everybody in the house to get out immediately, as the planes would open fire within five minutes thereafter.

/s/ P. C. GEYER
Captain, U.S.M.C.

127/204/4

Summary & Notes:

   Nicolas Dávila and Eulalio Flores being sought as EDSN suspects; foraging jefes; Flores reputed a Juez de Mesta (local sheriff); has 8 mozos and a female domestic laborer working for him.
   Vivid description of Peña Blanca (vertical white streaks of rock cliffs) and adjacent mountains and mountain ranges (Chachagón, Las Cuchillas); this was extremely rugged and isolated territory.
   Bog holes abundant on trails; very muddy, steep, difficult trails.
   EDSN grapevine system of communication evidently working well; locals knew the patrol was coming.
   Antonio Rivera was probably the conservative and informant to whom Geyer refers; Geyer cultivating alliances with local notables as sources of information.
   Fascinating portrayal of ruse used to capture Flores; description of inside of his house is precious: religious images, lamp burning next to a religious altar; women pounding tortillas; men shelling and husking corn; very vivid and realistic portrayal of rural life.  Shows Geyer to be shrewd, cunning, attentive to local cultural norms & values.
   Pedrón (Pedro Altamirano) reportedly in vicinity.
   Santos Vásquez, EDSN, subordinate of Pedrón; one of the earliest mentions of him.
   Air war:  Geyer tells woman that if an airplane drops a white rag, get the hell out of the house because it's going to be attacked.  (He doesn't say what she or her family should do if they happen to miss the dropping of the white rag and their house is strafed & bombed.  Duck I suppose.)

   Sketches not 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
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