Saturday, July 2, 2016

100 Years Ago: Unavoidably Came Peace

Last week's review of 100-year-old editorial cartoons may have left less historically literate readers with the impression that the United States and Mexico went to war in 1916. In order to reassure anyone worried for great-great-grandfather's safety, Stressback Saturday turns to the next page of the Punitive Expeditionary Force story.
"What Just the Sight of the Dentists' Tools Will Do":
John "Ding" Darling for the Des Moines Register and Leader
Troops C and K of the 10th Cavalry (Black "Buffalo Soldiers" led by white officers) suffered heavy losses against Venustiano Carranza's army at the Battle of Carrizal on June 21. The Woodrow Wilson administration responded with a massive mobilization of National Guard forces heading toward the border.

The Mexican Army suffered greater casualties at Carrizal than the Americans had. On July 5, Carranza sent a conciliatory note to Washington, promising to turn his army's attention away from the U.S. Army and toward the "bandits" in his own country. In return, he expected U.S. forces not to become a permanent occupation force on his side of the border.
"I Don't Believe I'm Quite as Hungry as I Thought I Was":
Alfred West Brewerton for the Atlanta Journal
As a gesture of good will, Carranza released a number of American soldiers his forces had taken prisoner, further defusing the crisis.
"Hiding the Main Issue": Jonathan H. Cassel for the New York Evening World
It seems that the reports of imminent war were not the only ones that turned out to be slightly exaggerated. Remember the headline splashed across the front page in April heralding the death of Pancho Villa?
"The Dual Personality": Hoffman for Baltimore Star
By July, reports that Mr. Villa was feeling much better could no longer be ignored.
"When He Was Last Seen": G. C. Bronstrup for San Francisco Chronicle
Fullblown war with Mexico, however, was avoided. Forces of the U.S. Punitive Expeditionary Force remained in Colonia Dublán to hold the Carranza government to its promises to capture Pancho Villa; although the Mexican Army failed in that regard, U.S. military activity more or less ceased through the remainder of the year.
"Something Else for Him to Look At": Luther Bradley for Chicago Daily News
While administration cheerleader Luther Bradley's cartoon turned out to be overly optimistic, R. M. Brinkerhoff proves here that you just can't please everybody:
"A False Alarm" by R.M. Brinkerhoff for the New York Evening Mail
Meanwhile, Carranza's newfound common cause with Wilson produced a side effect that would become achingly familiar to the United States in the 20th Century: aid and comfort to an erstwhile enemy.
"What Next?": John "Ding" Darling for the Des Moines Register and Leader

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