Pancho Villa's Raid --Deaths
Columbus, Luna County, New Mexico
By Richard R. Dean
3 Nov 2006©
At approximately 4:12 PM, Pancho Villa's six hundred
plus bandits raided Columbus and the Army's "Camp at Columbus."
Eight soldiers, ten civilians and two hundred Villistas lost their
lives. The fight was centered around the business district, the
army camp and stables. The army and townspeople were caught by surprise.
Only three officers were able to get into the initial fight which
was mostly carried on by non-coms and enlisted personnel. After
the soldiers obtained their weapons they did a Herculean job.
Practically every business was broken into and looted. Fortunately,
the Villistas were more interested in looting than killing. Has
it been the other way around many more Americans would have died.
The Raid lasted until just after daylight. When the Villistas retreated,
they were pursued by some fifty-nine troopers, four officers and
about fifteen miles into Mexico. One week later, General John J.
(Blackjack) Pershing entered Mexico with several thousand troops
on the Punitive Expedition. They chased Villa around northern Mexico
to no avail, before returning eleven months later on February 5,
1917. One of the accomplishments of the Punitive Expedition was
to prepare our troops for pour entry into W. W. I.
In late 1916, including the camp personnel, Columbus had the largest
population of any city in the State of New Mexico.
Those Americans killed in the Raid of Villa
1- Henry Arthur McKinney was killed by Villistas
two days before the Columbus raid in Mexico
on the Palomas Cattle Ranch.
2- Bessie James nee Bain and her unborn child were killed.
3- James T. Dean was killed on Main Street.
4- Perrow G. Mosley died while running. He suffered from
====March 9, 1916 deaths====
5- John G. Nievergelt, SGT
6- Mark A. Dobbs, SGT
7- Paul Simons, CPL
8- Harry Wiswell, CPL
9- Frank T. Kindvall, HSHR
10- Fred A. Griffin, PVT
11- Thomas F. Butler, PVT
12- Jessie P. Taylor, PVT
13- W. A. Davidson
14- Harry Davis
15- James T. Dean
16- Dr. Harry M. Hart
17- Bessie James
18- Charles C. Miller
19- Charles D. Miller
20- John J. Moore
21- William T. Ritchie
22- John W. Walker