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PC28.05.14   holmes

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

28.05.14.   Holmes, Patrol Report No. 2, Ocotal

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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UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
52nd Company, Mounted,
2nd Battalion, 11th Regiment,
Ocotal, Nicaragua,
May 14, 1928.

PATROL REPORT NO. 2: (Addendum attached)

   1.   Captain Holmes, Second Lieutenant Brown, 24 enlisted and 1 Hospital Corpsman, Navy, cleared Ocotal at 0700 May 4, 1928 and returned 1810 May 13, 1928.

   2.   Route taken: Ocotal - DIPILTO - LAS MANOS - CORRIZAL - SANTA MARIA - BADO GRANDE - ZAPOTAL - LA QUESERA - SAVILLA - LAS CANAS - OCOCONA - SANTA MARIA - BADO GRANDE - LAS TRINCHERAS - LA QUESERA - SAVILLA - OCOCONA - OCOTE RASPADO - OCOTAL. Side patrols: Santa Marina - COYOLAR - SANTA MARIA - PEDREGAL.

   3.   Trails dry, dusty, rocky. Weather excellent except showers in OCOCONA night of May 10th. Visibility good except for haze from burning fields and portreros. Men and animals in excellent condition although animals became gaunt for lack of forage.

   4.   Results:

(a) Secured cooperation with Honduras border patrol to extent of their arresting 15 unarmed bandits seeking refuge in Honduras territory.

(b) Captured two (2) bandit suspects and arrested two (2) natives possessing arms.

(c) Recovered one (1) rifle, Krag; one (1) single shot Winchester rifle, .32 cal.; one single shot muzzle loading shotgun and four (4) serviceable revolvers.

   5.   At 1530, May 9th, captured native named Gilberto Oliveras in La Quesera. Native bore a Colet revolver .38 cal. Used native as guide to SAVILLA. At 1630, native suddenly leaped a stone wall beside trail onto a precipitous hillside heavy with underbrush. The Corporal, leading the point, fired three times with a riot gun. The native escaped but many native reports the next few days confirmed our belief that he was wounded. Natives stated his wounds appeared fatal, being struck in the right buttock, right foot, and right calf.

     6.   Observations during this patrol have convinced the undersigned that a force of Marines or Guardia should be [ p. 2 ] stationed in the area covered, preferably a key position to the general area as ZAPOTAL or SANTA MARIA. SANTA MARIA is more a focal point for traffic but ZAPOTAL has a field where pursuit or communications planes could now get in and out in emergencies and which could be prepared for regular use with a little application of manual labor alone. There are three houses in ZAPOTAL which could house a total of 50 troops. The houses were well stocked with corn and maisillo (Kaffir corn) and beans can be procured from the neighboring farmers, according to the natives.

     7.    I believe a force there would insure cooperation with the Honduras troops to choke off traffic in arms across the border, close this entrance and exit for bandits, and install order where none now exists.

/s/ MAURICE G. HOLMES
Captain, U.S. Marine Corps.
Commanding 52nd Company, Nicaragua

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1st Endorsement. 18 May, 1928.
Headquarters Northern Area, U. S. Marines, Ocotal, Nicaragua.

     1.   The opinions formed by Captain Holmes as expressed in paragraphs 6 and 7 are not concurred in. With the present unsettled condition in this area and the fact that there are now as many permanent stations as the force at my disposal will allow and at the same time provide for mobile forces for active field service, I believe it would be unsound policy to establish other permanent stations.

/s/ R. H. Dunlap.

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52nd Co., 2nd Bn., 11th Regiment,
Ocotal, Nicaragua,
May 14, 1928.
 
ADDENDUM TO ACCOMPANY PATROL REPORT NO.2, 52ND COMPANY, MOUNTED:

4 MAY, 1928:

Lv. OCOTAL 0700, North via DIPILTO trail.
Ar. SAN JOSE 1730 (about 3 miles South of LAS MANOS)
Distance 21 miles. Time: 10-1/2 hours.
Condition of trail: "good"; steady climb following the Rio Dipilito [Dipilto].
1030 Met native (Eunastacio Zamerra) [Anastasio Zamora] at DIPILTO and was informed as to location of one rifle.

1430 Halted at CASA BLANCA. Captain Holmes moved out with

patrol and returned with 1 native prisoner (Zamorra) and 1 rifle. While halted a native pack train (5 men and 1 woman) joined up with our rear. Detained them with us at SAN JOSE to prevent them preceeding us to LAS MANOS. On approaching SAN JOSE, Captain Holmes moved out with patrol and captured 1 prisoner (a Honduranian) and confiscated one revolver. Established outpost 1000 yards North of SAN JOSE at house on hill. An armed native appeared but ran when ordered to halt. Shot was fired but it was not possible to ascertain whether or not he was hit.

 

5 MAY, 1928:

Lv. SAN JOSE 0700, North.
Ar. LAS MANOS 0740. Made camp on Nicaragua-Honduras line.

Distance: 3 miles. Time: 40 minutes.
Condition of trail: "good".
Conferred with General Ramon J. Mondragon, expeditionary chief of the Honduranian border troops from LAS MANOS to DUYURE. With General Mondragon were the following Honduranian officers: Colonel Froches Bogran (M.C.), Captain Pedro F. Palma, and
Lieutenant Tuslo Aguilar.

 

6 MAY, 1928:

Lv. LAS MANOS 0700, West via BUENOS AIRES, ZUYOTAL, BRUJIL and MATA de PLATANO.

Ar. CARRIZAL 1715.
Distance: 18 miles. Time: 10-1/4 hours.
Condition of trail: In general, fair. Between BRUJIL and MATA DE PLATANO, very poor, passing through thickets over little used trail. The remainder of the trail follows along the mountain sides through pine forests with many steep climbs and descents over narrow mountain side trails. Captain Palma accompanied us.

7 MAY, 1928:

Lv: CARRIZAL 0700.
Ar: SANTA MARIA 1015.
Distance: 8 miles. Time 3-1/4 hours.
Condition of trail; fair, narrow along mountain sides. [ p. 2 ] Sighted SANTA MARIA at about 0800 and saw four natives mount and ride out of town. One mile out of SANTA MARIA split patrol and Captain Holmes entered town by North - Lieutenant Brown by South. Town deserted except few women and children. One woman stated she was the wife of a bandit jefe, Aran Carcamo. At 1330 Lieutenant Roberts' patrol entered SANTA MARIA. At 1430 Lieutenant Brown made patrol Northeast to PEDREGAL. Returned at 1830.
Patrol: Distance 9 miles; time 4 hrs. Condition of trail fair, narrow along mountain side. At PEDREGAL were 10 houses recently vacated. Fields of sugar cane and corn, grain and beans. Captain Palma accompanied patrol to PEDREGAL and left for PEDREGALITA [Pedregalito] (Honduras).

 8 MAY 1928:

Patrol 0800 with Lieutenant Brown in charge South to COYOLAR and 1 mile beyond.
Distance: 6 miles.  Time:  4 hrs.
Condition of trail, good. 8 houses deserted; grain and live stock abundant.

9 MAY 1928:

Lv: Santa Maria 0635.
Ar: BADO GRANDE 0815.
Distance: 5 miles. Time: 2 hrs.
Condition of trail: very bad. Climbed short distance from SANTA MARIA and then descended on rocky ridge to BADO GRANDE on Rio Grande on Honduranian border. Rio Grande large river andfollows the border South as far as CONGOJAS. A Honduranian native crossed the river and reported to us that Carlos Salgado came through BADO GRANDE on the 1st of May on way to EL ESPINO with 22 men armed with rifles. He intended to cross border near ST. EMILIA and march toward SOMOTO.

Lv: BADO GRANDE 1045 Southeast.
Ar: SAVILLA 1745.
Distance; BADO GRANDE TO ZAPTOTAL 5 miles.
ZAPOTAL to SAVILLA 11 miles, total 16 miles. Time: 7 hrs.
ZAPOTAL consists of 3 houses at foot of high mountain range on plateau. Field suitable for aviation emergency landing with azimuth median line 130 degrees. Prevailing wind at time of observation 160 degrees. GUAYABAL on mountain side in sight of ZAPOTAL. At La Presa, 1 mile Southeast of ZAPOTAL left ambush in native house. They joined us at SAVILLA with four prisoners. At 1615 in QUESERA captured 1 native (Oliveras) with Colt .38 calibre special revolver. A boy accompanied Oliveras. Oliveras escaped near SAVILLA; was fired upon and reported to have been hit, by natives.  CONDITION OF TRAIL: BADO GRANDE to ZAPOTAL, fair; ZAPOTAL to SAVILLA, bad, especially between LA PRESA and QUESERA, where the trail leads along mountain side [ p. 3 ] and footing is very poor. One pack mule went over the side and slid 100 feet before securing firm footing.

10 MAY 1928:

Lv. SAVILLA 0700.
Ar. LAS CANAS 1830.
Distance: 3 miles. Time 1-1/2 hrs.
Condition of trail: fair, a hard steady steep climb to top of mountain. On arriving at LOS CANAS, observed and patrolled town consisting of 3 houses. 2 shots fired by natives on hills to West.

Lv: LAS CANAS 0945 by Southeast trail only to double back to town and fire on 1 armed native. Range too great, no effect.

Lv. LAS CANAS 1020 toward Northeast.

Ar. OCOCONA 1445.

Distance 12 miles. Time 4-1/2 hrs.

Condition of trail: fair to good near OCOCONA. One mile South of OCOCONA is ideal location for flying field if pines were cleared away. Lieutenant Roberts' patrol in OCOCONA. Received rations and mail.

11 MAY 1928:

Lv. OCOCONA 1650.
Ar. SANTA MARIA 1015.
Distance 8 miles. Time 3-1/2 hrs.
Condition of trail, good. Steep climb and descent.
Lv. SANTA MARIA 1125.
Ar. BADO GRANDE 1305.
Distance 5 miles. Time 1-1/2 hrs.

12 MAY 1928:

Lv. BADO GRANDE 0630.
Ar. HATO VIEJO 0930.
Distance 9 miles. Time, 3 hrs.
Condition of trail; poor and rough, follows in general the Rio Grande. Conferred with General Mondragon.

Lv: HATO VIEJO 1315.

Ar: SAVILLA 1745.

Distance 13 miles.

Condition of trail: HATO VIEJO to ZAPOTAL bad; rough over mountain range.

13 MAY 1928:

Lv. SAVILLA 0640.

Ar. OCOCONA 1040.

Distance 12 miles. Time 4 hrs.

Condition of trail bad to good.

Lv. OCOCONA 1045 Southeast via OCOTE RASPADO.

Ar. OCOTAL 1805 Distance 19 miles.

Time 7-1/4 hrs. Condition of trail: good.

[ p. 4 ]

DATE DISTANCE
MILES
TOTAL TRAVEL TIME INCLUDING HALTS
HOURS
May    
4 21 10.50
5 3 .75
6 18 10.25
7 17 7.25 including patrol from
SANTA MARIA
8 6 4.  patrol fr SANTA MARIA
9 21 10.
10 15 6.
11 13 5.
12 22 7.50
13 31 11.25

167 miles        72.50 hrs.including halts.
Average: 2.3 miles per hour including halts.

/s/ Maurice G. Holmes
Captain, U.S. Marine Corps,
Commanding 52nd Company, Mounted.

127/204/3

Summary & Notes:

   26 Marines, 1 Navy, mounted 10-day patrol through Western Segovias & Honduran borderlands.
   Agricultural rhythms: campesinos burning fields preparing for spring rains & planting season.
   Borderlands mobilization:  Holmes imagines that the border can be secured; complete ignorance of the region's century-long history of punctuated military mobilization & constant cross-border traffic.
   Gilberto Oliveras of La Quesera:  seized for carrying a Colt pistol, forced to serve as guide, escaped by leaping stone wall & fleeing down steep hillside thick with brush; shot at, probably severely wounded.
   "Kaffir corn":  epithet Holmes uses for local varieties of maize (maisillo).
   Holmes recommends a permanent garrison in a border-straddling village; Colonel Dunlap disagrees in his endorsement of Holmes's report; interesting tension between the two over best tactics and allocation of resources.
   Anastasio Zamora in Dipilto:  this guy a key actor in the Anastasio Hern
ández gang violence in late 1927 (exact role still a puzzle); also involved in EDSN Gen. Juan Pablo Umanzor retribution near Las Manos in 1929 (also a puzzle).
   Conference with Honduran Army border jefe Gen. Mondrag
ón, to stem cross-border traffic.
   Rules of engagement: natives shot at when called to halt & they refuse.
   EDSN Gen. Carlos Salgado straddling border with his group.

   Very good descriptions of villages, trails, distances, etc.

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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