Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The Pancho Villa Museum, Uraling around Columbus and a Christmas Day Sunset

Here's hoping you had a great Christmas Day!

Mine was pretty good.

First off was a visit to the Pancho Villa Museum located within the Pancho Villa State Park where I am currently glamping.

The entry fee is waived if you're a camper so I go in for free.  It's a very well put together museum concentrating on the raid by Pancho Villa's men on the town of Columbus on March 9, 1916.  A raid which would lead to a punitive expedition by the US Army under the command of John "Black Jack" Pershing to try and ultimately fail to capture Pancho Villa.

The state park is located on the grounds used by the US Army to stage out this punitive expedition; next to the village of Columbus, the subject of the raid:

An armored truck on display at the front of the museum

Some interesting stuff within the museum, here's some of the things which caught my eye:

 I didn't know that at the time, the US Army used a
French made machine gun.

 A pano of the Army Camp which was setup to
support the punitive expedition

 Then and Now set displayed at the museum

 The punitive expedition was the US Army's first field
use of aircraft in combat operations.
Note the Red Star insignia....

Though used extensively in this operation, this expedition would also prove the "Swan Song" of Horse Cavalry as mechanized vehicles were introduced.  The Mexican government had denied the use of Mexican railroads by the US Army so they were forced to turn to trucks and autos to keep General Pershing's troops supplied.

 Looks like quite the beast, doesn't it?

 One of the trucks which eventually replaced the 
use of mules and horses to supply the army

 Replica of one of the Jenny's used during the expedition

There were of course, lots of memorabilia and photos with the museum's main subject: Pancho Villa:

 Posing with an Indian Motorcycle, I don't
think he rode it.

 Villa was known as quite the horseman

 The young Lieutenant to the left and behind
General Pershing is George S. Patton.

 The Customs House still stands.

 I wonder if the above armored truck is the same as
the one on display at the front of the museum.

 Dodge Brothers Touring Car, similar to the 250 ordered by
General Pershing for his and his staff's use.
Also used by LT George Patton on one operation to catch and 
kill three Villistas.  Patton was quoted as saying: 
"We couldn't have done it with horses.  The motor car is
the modern war horse"

 Sample of the equipment and uniform issued to the
US soldier of the time.

Several models of Jenny aircraft were used for reconnaissance and message delivery.  Most of them were not tough enough to withstand their use in harsh Mexican conditions apparently.  

Still, it was the first combat use of aircraft by the US Army; which is what I found interesting.  I would later find the marker for the airfield they used, really close to the village's railroad depot.

 Small artillery piece located outside the museum.

The view from atop Coote's Hill, which was also
reported to have been where Pancho Villa watched
the raid on the village of Columbus.

After visiting the museum, I geared up and went for a ride on Fiona, my '99 Ural Patrol Sidecar.  First I tried heading north on NM 11 to see if I could find a road that would get me close to the base of the Florida Mountains.  Rain would have me turning back:

As stormy as it looked to the north, just a few miles to the south the skies remained mostly clear and sunny:

 From left to right: South, Middle and North Peaks

 Reducing depth of field through use the telephoto lens

I mentioned before, finding a marker next to a fenced off patch of land to the east of Columbus' Train Depot.  The area wasn't very large so either they only managed to preserve a small portion of it or those early aircraft didn't require a lot of take off/ landing space!

By now, the skies had become cloudy and temperatures hovered in the low 50s, high 40s.  Felt quite cool to me so I retired to the URRV to process pictures and listen to audio books.

Pretty relaxing afternoon overall, I might have even fallen asleep listening to the audio book.

Christmas Day Sunset was pretty good:


RichardM said...

Looks like a good museum. Especially for being in a fairly remote location. “Glamping” means that you have power or just being in a campground?

redlegsrides said...

Glamping, to me, means having electricity and water on site and a dump station nearby....if not on site.