Friday, July 30, 2010

Prologo by Jose Socorro Diaz Diaz

Mexico, D.F.

In the year 1914, upon the emigration of my cousin, Francisco Diaz Manriquez, to the United States of America, he asked me with utmost sincerity to keep him informed of the news of our town, to which I solemnly said that I would. In accordance with that promise, I began communicating, perhaps weekly, all the events occuring in our region until the end of 1919, when he enlisted on board a merchant vessel commissioned to return American soldiers who had fought in World War II from England to the United States of America.

For that reason, since he no longer answered my letters, at the end of the month of September of said year [1919], I suspended my weekly letters.

Upon his return from the United States, in 1930, commenting on his life and his participation in the return of the American forces, he lamented the suspension of my weekly correspondence, claiming that he possessed the history of the town of Huandacreo in the Revolutionary Epoch--since all my letters recounted all the events that had occurred in the town, with precise dates, and names of those participating in those events. And, in effect, he returned all correspondence, from which these memoirs have their origin and which I write about--at the request of many of my fellow defenders from those events.

One should not expect to find in these memoirs the typical literary phrases, but concrete actions of which I was a participant and because of that [memoirs] that have a personal character.

Upon publication to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the attack the 8th of January, 1918, [these memoirs] serve as a tribute to the memory of all those fellow defenders who in that epoch fought and especially to honor the memory of don Nicolas Nunez, "Jefe de la Defensa" (Head of the Defense), and don Salvador Urrutia, Sub-head of the same--a great example of comraderie and, certainly, courage.


According to "Cronica de la Orden de San Agustin," [Huandacareo] was a town of Tarascan origin located on the northern shore of "Lago de Cuitzeo" (Lake Cuitzeo). The name was given to it by "Rey Tariacuri" (King Tariacuri). According to the "Cronica" [work cited above], the "Aztecas" orchestrated a war with the "Tarascos" for the express purpose of taking prisoners. They fought fiercely at "Taximaloyan" (now known as "Ciudad Hidalgo"). Once the "Tarascans" had defeated the "Aztecas," the victorious [King] Tariacuri proposed that the "Chichimecas" who frequently made incursions on the northern part of his kingdom should retreat from the proximities of his kingdom. Upon returning from "Taximaloyan/Ciudad Hidalgo" by way of the eastern side of "Lago de Cuitzeo," he had his first contact with the "Chichimecas" at "Yuririapundaro" (now known as "Campo de Sangre"), defeating them and pursuing them to the boundary limits of what are known today as the States of Guanajuato and San Luis Potosi.

According to local tradition, upon his return, he arrived to the town to drop off the indians that had accompanied him and the chiefs received him with great speeches--for which King Tariacuri named the place "Huandacareo" which signifies "lugar de discursos" (place of speeches).

After the conquest, life was peaceful among the population until the year 1810. Upon the start of the "Guerra de La Independencia" (War of Independence, 1810), a group of neighbors from the town affiliated themselves with the insurgent army, accompanying the "cura Hidalgo" (Father Miguel Hidalgo) at the "Batalla del Monte de Las Cruces." [famous battle site] And, upon the "caudillo" (commander of the forces) traveling from Morelia to the State of Guanajuato, with the intent of attacking Guadalajara, he ordered the "Jefe de Los Insurgentes" (head of the insurgents) at Huandacareo, Sr. Pedro Diaz, to stay in the region to maintain insurgent presence. But upon passing through Cuitzeo, the "Conde Flon de la Cadena" (Count Flon ...), commandant of the Royal Forces, found out that the aforesaid rebel group was operating in the area and he was able to surprise and capture some of them, hanging don Pedro Diaz at the plaza [of Cuitzeo]. ("Datos de la historia de Dn. Lucas Alaman."/Historical Source: Don Lucas Alaman)

During the "Guerra de La Reforma," [War between Liberals and Conservatives, 1858-1861] some of the neighbors joined the Liberal forces under the command of General Epitacio Huerta--among them Miguel Gonzalez and Mariano Diaz--until the fall of Emperor Maximiliano at Queretaro. [The Liberals won the war and Benito Juarez became president, staying in power until France invaded Mexico and made Maximilian of Hapsburg emperor. Maximilian was executed in 1867].

At the end of the "Guerra de Reforma" with the execution of Maximiliano, the Huandacarenses stood down and returned to their town, where a faction of bandits who called themselves "Imperialists" under the command of one so-called "El Cantarito," operating in Guanajuato, had the region isolated. Thus in the year 1868-1869, the recently returned Huandacarenses organized expeditions against them and made them flee the region.

Our town--even though Catholic--protected and hid prominent Liberals who fled from Morelia when the Conservatives were in control there; among them were don Aristeo Mercado, who afterwards became--for many years--Governor of the State [of Michoacan].

Huandacareo: Periodo Revolucionario 1911-1917

The life of the the town was peaceful until the beginning of the year 1911, when a group of neighbors--Victorio Figueroa, Miguel Figueroa, Luis Nunez, Mauro Garcia, Lamberto Sixtos, Pompeyo Sixtos, etc.--initiated meetings for the purpose of joining the "Revolucion Maderista" (Madero revolutionary movement). These meetings were held in different locations and most especially at "Los Banos de Urimitiro" for which we jokingly called it "El Plan de Urimitiro." But once authorities at Cuitzeo became aware they warned the Municipal Head, not to continue on with the meetings or they would alert the government at Morelia [capital of the State of Michoacan] for which reason the meetings were suspended and all proceeded with caution.

Once the "Maderistas" (Madero followers) took the capital, these men went to place themselves under the orders of General Salvador Escalante who appreciated their support but told them their services were no longer needed since General Porfirio Diaz had left the country.

At mid-year, 1912 and having refused to recognize the then President, don Frnancisco I. Madero, General Pascual Orozco took the "Hacienda de Huandacareo" capturing the administrator, don Gabriel Iturbide, and its employees, threatening to shoot them if they warned the town, which they attacked at 10:00 in the morning. One of the neighbors of the "Hacienda", Nabor Garcia, wrote a ballad that begins: "El dia 28 de Mayo ni me quisiera acordar, llegaron los Orozquistas a Huandacareo a robar..."

That same day, the 28th of May, 1912, the "Orozquistas" (followers of Gen.Orozco) abandoned the town after taking some weapons, small number to be sure, because the townspeople had left to hide in the mountains nearby. They were about 200 men.

Once the sacking was begun by "Orozquistas" who operated in the region south of Guanajuato and north of Michoacan, an era of banditry was let loose--especially at the ranches of "Las Canadas de Abajo," "Las Canadas de Enmedio," and "Las Canadas de La Vuelta" in the jurisdiction of Villa Morelos--under the command of Gonzalez and Lemus from those ranches. This very much tired the neighbors. One Sunday, we proposed to throw them out of town and with some rifles and pistols, we braved a firefight initiated by don Benito Diaz. We chased them until they reached the cemetery, causing them one dead--whom we had to bury--and varous wounded--which they took. And with that we were able to throw them out not only of the town but also the entire jurisdiction.

Politically, that year [1912], we celebrated the elections for office of Governor of the State, being contended for by the Catholic Party's candidate, Lic. Don Primitivo Ortiz, and the Liberal Party candidate, Dr. Miguel Silva--who won the election.

This [political] campaign occasioned some disagreement even among families, since some supported Ortiz and others supported Silva.

Shortly after the assassination of President Madero, a Major Angel Loza, who was at the same time the Prefect (jurisdictional head) of Puruandiro, marched from that town with 150 soldiers and having captured by force various neighbors from [Rancho de] "Llano Grande" and from the "Hacienda" [de Huandacareo] was taking them to reinforce the forces of Huerta--who supported the governor of the state, General Gonzalez Garza, seated by the assassin Victoriano Huerta. As the town found out that they were being forced into service, they formed "valla" and urged the soldiers not to take them. We succeeded and they handed them over to us--something which Cuitzeo did not do, since 20 men had been taken from that town to be incorporated in the forces at Morelia.

Upon the outbreak of "La Revolucion Carrancista" (Carranza revolt) against the tyrant Huerta, among the States of Michoacan and Guanajuato, there arose--in arms--the Abundio brothers, Tomas Anastacio Irineo, and Guadalupe Pantoja. Quickly following them, rose up the leaders Fortino Gonzalez, Felipe Calvillo, Gil Ortiz, and Fidel Gonzalez--all neighbors from "Las Canadas"--who under the pretext of "La Revolucion" assaulted and robbed by night in all the towns in the zone, retreating at daybreak.

One night in which the "Canados," as we called them, attempted to rob the house of Gilberto Fernandez, close to what is today known as the "Palacio Municipal" (town hall), Gilberto, along with don Pedro Caballero and his sons: Anastacio, Francisco, and Justo drove back the bandits--who numbered 20--and made them retreat to the northern corner of the block. Some took their stand at the "Pilo del Pozo de Jardin" where we--Aristeto, my brother, and I--dislodged them. We succeeded in reaching the tower to take them on with pistols since we did not have rifles. Those who attacked from the northern corner were made to flee--by Messrs. Nicolas Nunez, Luis Nunez, and Luis Garcia--from the house (second) which was theirs, since it so happened that they were in town. The bandits suffered three wounded which they were able to carry away.

From that date on, we dedicated ourselves to organizing what we would later call "La Defensa Civil de Huandacareo" (The Civilian Defense of Huandacareo), comprised in greater part by men whose ages ranged from 18 to 30. Don Nicolas Nunez was elected as head because of his great prudence. He with his brother, Luis, came newly to live in Huandacareo, since they resided in Cuitzeo.

At mid-year, 1914, Sr. Jose Ramon Cabiedes was serving as Administrator of the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo]" and as Accountant, Genaro Carreon. One day they were advised that a party of bandits had approached "Rancho de Marijo" which was administered by the "Hacienda." The Administrator, followed by Genaro and Salvador Carreon, Genaro Murillo and some other four "mozos" (servants) went out--armed--to pursue them. These (bandits) retreated in the direction of Chucandiro where Anastasio Pantoja was operating with his people. Fatally, the pursuers were surrounded by the Pantoja forces, in the vicinity of Chucandiro.

In the battle, Genaro Murillo was killed. Sr. Cabiedes, upon using up all his ammunition for his rifle, shot himself with his pistol. The brothers Carreon [Genaro and Salvador] were made prisoners. The only ones who succeeded in fleeing were the "mozos." The following day, Anastasio Pantoja took possession of the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo]" setting fire to a beautiful building that had been built by the Messrs. Iturbide. They sacked the seeds and existent cattle herds, until they abandoned said building because they left to reincorporate with the forces of the Villistas, to which they belonged, to wage battle against General Obregon at Celaya.

I would like to refer to the odyssey of the Carreon brothers--made prisoners by the Pantojistas. Countless times they were placed before a firing squad but Genaro would succeed in convincing them of the uselessness of this. Finally, in a battle between Pantoja and the Huerta forces, in which they retreated from Puruandiro in the direction of Huaniqueo, a bullet took one of Pantoja's eyes, which caused the disorganization of the Pantojista forces. But Genaro grabbed an abandoned "clarin" (trumpet) and began to play "Reunion" (regroup). He succeeded in regrouping the people who were in a state of confusion and disorder. Upon learning of his action, "Colonel" Tomas Pantoja asked his brother [Anastasio] to enlist Genaro to the state of Major, making him Paymaster. Now, when Tomas [Pantoja], now incorporated with the forces of Villa under the command of Gen. Jose I. Prieto, as they were fighting in Aguascalientes, was found out by their leader to be attempting to desert in order to return to Michoacan to join his brothers, he was shot along with his "oficiales." But, Genaro was forewarned and was able to flee in time.

By way of anecdote: It is said that when Anastasio [Pantoja] arrived in Morelia to consult with a doctor, he was told: "You have completely lost the eye." To this, Pantoja responded: "No, doctor, I have it right here in my pocket."

On the 12th of May, 1915, among those who kept watch in the town to avoid being robbed, we organized a dinner at Urimitiro. Now coincidentally, because Martinez was in town, we invited the Municipal Presidente of Cuitzeo, don Porfirio. Upon return, we agreed to continue in the town with a "Gallo," and to that end, we--Gilberto Fernandez, Genaro Carreon, and I--went to advise the Jefe Municipal, don Nabor Calderon, whom we found sitting at the "brocal" [curb-stone] of the well in the garden. He refused to give permission saying that the town was on alert. We insisted, reminding him that it was we, the young men, who constituted the watchmen in order to avoid frequent robberies by the bandits in the region. Don Nabor was obstinate in refusing to give permission and Gilberto Fernandez told him: "Why are we asking permission of this old man, when we are the guarantee of order in this town?" Upon saying this, he took out his pistol and shot into the air. But, don Nabor, believing that he was going to shoot him, threw himself into the "pila" [large stone trough containing water] giving himself a grand "chapuzon" [dive].

The shots fired by Gilberto brought out many neighbors, and this impeded the "Gallo" we had desired. That very night, the Municipal Head drafted a message to the Governor accusing us of having raised up arms. For this reason, the "Jefatura de Operaciones" [Head of Operations] ordered Col. Benigno Serrato to come out with his people to pursue us.

Upon arriving at Cuitzeo, said Colonel, on the 15th of May [1915], asked the Presidente Municipal [Cuitzeo] for news on the region. Upon being told by the Presidente Municipal that he did not have any news, the Colonel told him that he was on his way to Huandacareo to capture the aforementioned because they had raised up in arms. Since the Municipal President indicated to him that he had been with us only two days prior, the Colonel told him that he had to follow orders from his superiors--but in a certain way, he intimated that we should be forewarned so that we might hide. That night the warning arrived and we had to leave the town [Huandacareo]--Gilberto Fernandez to Guanajuato and afterward to Morelia where he established residence; with Genaro and I leaving toward Zamora, where we hoped to emigrate to the United States of America. Since we did not find trains at the "Estacion de Los Espinos" [name of train station], we continued on to Zamora where it was confirmed to us that there was no train service headed for Guadalajara.

[Genaro] Carreon established himself as an administrator at a ranch near Zamora and I had to return and present myself to the "Jefatura de Operaciones" (Head of Operations) with proof from the Presidente Municipal at Cuitzeo, that the version offered by Municipal Head don Nabor Calderon was false.

Upon arriving at Huandacareo, Colonel Serrato, in search for us, learned that in that town lived the father-in-law of the bandit leader Fidel Gonzalez. He captured the man and shot him even though he did not belong to the bandit gang.

In June of 1916, having recovered the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo]," the Messrs. Iturbide, named as Administrator a don Salvador Urrutia. A youth of 26 years, Salvador Urrutia had participated "al estado mayor" [at rank of Major] under Gen. Jose I. Prieto, whom he accompanied in the battles at Celaya and subsequent, until, having been incorporated into the forces of Gen. Roberto Fierro. He separated from Gen. Fierro's troops after the battle the General had with the Constitutionalists at San Juan del Rio, when Fierro was detached to gather "Presidente Villista Garza Gonzales."

As I was named accountant to the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo]," we went to live in the older building with two "mozos" (man-servants)--armed, considering ourselves the first of the defenders of the town.

During the month of October [1916], a party of so-called Villistas under the command of leaders Melesio Morales and Pedro Vazquez, who operated in the vicinity of Chucandiro and Huaniqueo, approached as near as the "Rancho de San Cristobal," which belonged to the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo]." Thirty-five men--who formed at that time the Civilian Defense--were gathered to pursue them without being able to overtake them before they reached Chucandiro--where they were garrisoned. Returning from San Cristobal, they--Gilberto Fernandez, Mauro Garcia, and Elpidio Figueroa--stayed to eat at the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo]." After having drunk some "Tequilas," we agreed to make a run over to "Rancho Llano Grande" belonging to the "Hacienda," and adjacent to "La Canada de Abajo," residence of Fidel Gonzalez and his armed band. As we we had arrived at [Rancho Llano Grande] adjacent [to "La Canada de Abajo"]; it was easy for us to go "torear" [badger] the "Canados", as we called them. And we succeeded in chasing them away from their ranch, but they afterward positioned themselves at the place/residence named "El Reventon" and we again engaged in a firefight, forcing them to flee [back] to their ranch and we ourselves retreated since it was almost nightfall.

In middle of December of 1916, the "Jefatura de Operaciones" (Head of Operations) for the State [of Michoacan] advised the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo]" that Fidel Gonzalez had presented himself to the Operations Headquarters and had received amnesty. [Fidel Gonzalez] therefore had been commissioned to negotiate the surrender of the men accompanying Felipe Calvillo. And he, [Fidel Gonzalez] was to execute such orders under the grade of Major. [Fidel Gonzalez] not being able to convince Felipe [Calvillo] and the 16 men that formed his gang, the "Presidente Municipal" [Municipal Head] and the "Jefe de la Defense de Villa Morelos" [Head of the Civilian Defense of Villa Morelos] presented themselves at the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo]" to see if the "Hacienda" could convince [Felipe] Calvillo to put down his arms; but they were not successful since he [Felipe Calvillo] under no circumstance would recognize the leadership of Gonzalez.

On the 5th of January of 1917, at midday, Fidel Gonzalez arrived at the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo]." Nearing 4:00 in the afternoon, upon learning that [Felipe] Calvillo was approaching with three companions to speak with [Salvador] Urrutia, [Fidel] Gonzalez ordered his men to hide in the corrals. He also hid. Suceeding in capturing [Felipe] Calvillo and companions, he assassinated the four even though he had promised not to kill them. And [he did this] knowing that among the three companions of Calvillo, were Anastasio Gonzalez, the brother of his father and Emilio Zavala, also a close relative

On the 13th of January of 1917, eight days later, at 2:00 in the morning, we were surprised at the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo]" by the leaders Melesio Morales and Pedro Vazquez and their 40 men. They had taken us by surprise since the "mozo" [man-servant] in charge of the watch had abandoned his post to go "irse de juerga" [on carousal] at the "caserio" [village] on the ranch. When we realized their presence, they were inside the building and we did not have opportunity to fight nor would it have been possible. They declared us prisoners, took our weapons, and acted as it they were going to shoot us because we would not tell them the whereabouts of don Gabriel Iturbide, who had arrived at the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo]" the day before. Upon seeing that we were going to be shot, [don Gabriel Iturbide] gave himself up. After [the bandits] also threatened to shoot him, he attempted to convince them that it would be more profitable for them if he should give them some money. He suggested that I should go into Huandacareo to get the money (3,000 pesos) they were asking, but they opposed this idea since they thought--with reason--that this would give the town a chance to prepare their defense.

The bandits were for the most part drunk and they got even more drunk with what we provided to them. At 5:00 in the morning [14th of January 1917], after having robbed weapons, horses, and clothing, they left for Huandacareo with the intention of asking the town to surrender its plaza. They figured if the Civilian Defense did not surrender the plaza, they would retire until their "general," Jose Ines Chavez Garcia arrived and then they would destroy the town. We thought that if they surprised the town and did not fight, they would continue in their inebriated state and if the neighbors fought, upon their return they would stop at the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo"] with even more anger than before. Thus, we resolved to abandoned the building: Senor Iturbide in a canoe over the lake [Laguna de Cuitzeo] and we to the "Banos de Agua Caliente" (hot springs), where we arrived at 6:00 in the morning.

[Salvador] Urrutia accompanied don Gabriel [Iturbide] to the "embarcadero" wharf/port/harbour and I stayed in an orchard located at the "Banos [de Agua Caliente]" (hot springs) awaiting his [Urrutia's] passing by in the direction of Huandacareo. At 8:30 in the morning, I heard a lengthy firefight that got louder. Upon Urrutia's arrival, we left rapidly to the town, where they had already ousted the bandits, causing them two dead--according to the information we were given.

The following occured [at the town of Huandacareo, 14th of January 1917]:

The bandits surprised the town as they arrived into the central plaza at full gallop and demanded that the neighbors they captured tell them where they could locate the house of the "Jefe Municipal" (Municipal Head), my father, don Salvador Diaz. They did not locate him because they went to talk with the other head, Emilio Murillo, who lived in the "parte trasera de la huerta" back part of my father's orchard. Disgusted at the negativity on the part of the neighbors who did not indicate the residence of the authorities, and since they were inebriated, they [the bandits] began to beat the neighbors with their weapons and demanded that they open up the stores so they might continue their drinking. Recovering from their surprise, the members of the defense began to group and attacked the bandits at the plaza and through the streets until they succeeded in casting them out of the town, pursuing them all the way to the cemetery.

This triumph on the part of the neighbors was the motivation behind the reorganization of the [Civilian] Defense. This caused the ire of Chavez Garcia who operated now with more than 500 men and whom the defeated bandits of Huandacareo and their troops--Pedro Vazquez and Fidel Gonzalez who newly declared himself a "Villista"--had joined.

A month afterward or 4th of February [1917], at 2:00 in the afternoon, Chavez Garcia arrived at the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo"]. At about 3:00 in the afternoon, he began his advance toward the town, in two columns--one by way of "La Calzada Agua Caliente" ["Agua Caliente" Road (surfaced)] and the other by way of the "Camino del Arroyo Blanco" ["Arroyo Blanco" (river) Road].

Fortunately, Chavez Garcia, knowing that we were prepared to defend, gave a counter-order and his forces returned to the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo]" where he sent word that without excuse or pretext, we should send him the arms and ammunitions that we had. To this we answered that we only had "'escopetas' [breech-loading guns] to defend ourselves against the bandits who under the guise of being with the revolution, robbed whatever they found in all the towns they passed through."

Chavez Garcia was disgusted with our response. At dawn the 5th of February [1917] (the day of Proclamation of the Constitution), he sent us an ultimatum demanding our 'unconditional surrender.' To this we answered: "Mandandolo a molestar a la autor de sus dias" [Go bother the mother of his days]. At 8:00 in the morning, he again mobilized against Huandacareo, but just at the outskirts of the town, he ordered "Media Vuelta" (half-turn). Undoubtedly, he wanted only to scare us, leaving in the direction of ["Rancho de] Las Canadas" at Villa Morelos. The joyous relief of not having been attacked turned into enthusiasm to reinforce the defense of the town. With the help of neighbors, another 30 weapons--30-30 and Mausers (long)--and 5,000 cartridges were bought.

In Arpil [1917] we bought another 10 rifles. Now our armament consisted of 70 rifles and some double-barreled "escopetas" [breech-loading guns].

The 4th of May [1917], [Chavez Garcia] again approached the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo"] with more than 600 men and he demanded that we send him at least six Mausers. We responded that he should "Chiflarle 'Las Mananitas' a su madre y no estuviera jorobandonos." [Go whistle "Las Mananitas" to his mother and stop bothering.] [Chavez Garcia], swearing "Que muy pronto nos bajaria los... humos," retreated again to the west, in the direction of Villa Morelos, a town he had not yet entered, even though there was little defense there.

Seeing that Chavez Garcia operated frequently between Huandacareo and Villa Morelos, the "Jefatura de Operaciones" [Head of Operations] ordered Gen. Jose I. Flores, "Jefe de La Fuerzas Carrancistas" [Head of the Carranza Forces] at Puruandiro to send a small force to "guarnecer" [garrison] the zone under the command of one Lt. Cruz, who was at our town [Huandacareo] for a few days and then established himself at Cuitzeo.

The middle of June [1917], the watchman that we had at the tower of the church, Pompeyo Alvarez, advised us that he saw a lot of movement of people at "La Hacienda [de Huandacareo"] and we prepared ourselves to receive them. But they did not attack. They only followed the course of the "Arroyo Blanco" [White River]. They stayed in the forest in the direction of the boundary line to [State of] Guanajuato. We kept shooting at them, but they did not answer our fire. We thus surmised they planed to stay in Guanajuato or go attack the force that was staying at Cuitzeo. For that reason, we advised the Lt. Cruz so that he might be prepared. But [Lt.] Cruz, believing that it was Huandacareo which was in danger, left at 7:00 at night with part of his troop to help us. In reality, he saved us from a disaster.

The forces that we had seen at the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo"] were part of Chavez Garcia who at the same time by way of the mountains was approaching, now growing dark, even to the "Potrero de Las Mesas" [horse farm] located on the mountain north of town and about one kilometer away--to the end that he would attack at daybreak to attempt to take the town. But upon the arrival of Lt. Cruz at about 10:00 at night, all the defenders shouting out with joy--as much for Lt. Cruz as for Gen. Flores who was his head. This was heard by the "Chavistas" who thought that the general [himself] had arrived with his forces. Rapidly, they withdrew. We realized the danger we had been in by the destruction caused by the Chavaz cavalry at the "Potrero [de] Las Mesas."

The period from June to November of 1917, was a series of alarms, adventures, and firefights--sometimes with the bandit-gang of Fidel Gonzalez or with those of Chucandiro under the command of Pedro Vazquez or Esteban Hernandez who operated in the part south of Guanajuato ("La Cienega [Ranch]" and "Rancho del Cerro," as well as "Pinicuaro" of the same State), staying occasionally in our jurisdiction.

The 7th of July [1917], after a "good meal" or better said, in a state of euphoria for the cups we drank, it occurred to Urrutia that we should go to Chucandiro to "torear" [badger] the bandit gang under Vazquez. Without further adieu, we--Salvador Urrutia, Luis Nunez, Hilario Chavez, Jose Socorro Diaz, and three "mozos" [man-servants]--left [the town of] Huandacareo, without telling anyone. Also joining the group along the way were the "mayordomo" [foreman] of the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo]," don Gumersindo Aguilar. We arrived at [Rancho de] Marijo (two and one-half kilometers from Chucandiro), and there some of the fellows realized the stupidity we were committing by approaching closer and refused to continue. Continuing on--[Salvador] Urrutia, the two "mozos" [man-servants], Hilario Chavez, and I--we attempted to convince him how foolish it would be to enter into such "enjuague", but Urrutia insisted and told us "si teniamos miedo nos regresaramos" [if scared, go back], for which we[felt we] had to continue on with him.

We were almost at the "Hacienda de la Pasera" , when some bandits on horseback came out and positioned themselves on the hill in front of the "finca" [main building], shooting at us. Urrutia cried out to us that he would shoot whoever ran; that we had to return the way we came and keep firing. Answering their firing, we retreated until we got to the fence that divided the "Rancho de Marijo" and the "Hacienda de la Pasera" where we held on to the fence railings to contain the attack from Vazquez and his 20 people, who were coming from Chucandiro. But we made them retreat almost to "Arroyo [River] Catarranas." We continued to withdraw until we got to some rock "monticulos" [formations] named "Las Yacatas," where we stood our ground. They had arrived at the fence we had abandoned. As we were firing, we realized that by way of the mountain, "La Relacion," situated almost behind us, Fidel Gonzalez was approaching with his men. This would prevent our entry by way of the [boundary] gate [to "Rancho de] Marijo," leaving us covered by two firefights. For that reason, we rapidly retreated. We succeeded in getting out by way of "El Bordo Sentado" [boulder in shape of sitting position], which served to contain the waters of the "Lago de Cuitzeo" [Lake Cuitzeo] and where we fought back, until the bandits became convinced that they could not do anything to us and withdrew.

The 15th day of July 1917, by order of the "Jefatura de Operaciones" [Head of Operations], Major Miguel Ramos arrived with 70 men of the Infantry ("Yaquis"), destined for Chucandiro where they would garrison and with orders to pursue the people of Pedro Vazquez. Knowing of our stupid adventure, he got our word to accompany him to Chucandiro and convinced Urrutia that we would serve as an advance to provoke them and that he with his infantry would follow after us. He would closely follow the foot of the mountain in order to take them by surprise. In effect, we succeeded in having them chase us, but the Major believing that we were in great peril, left his cover with his men to come help us, putting an end to our plan [of surprise attack] and making them flee to Chucandiro, from where we dislodged them, giving chase to them for two kilometers to the east. Salvador Urrutia, Hilario Chavez, Jose Socorro Diaz, Francisco Huerta, Hipolito Rangel, J. Salud Razo, Alejandro Aguilar, and the two "mozos" (man-servants, Trinidad and Aniceto) from the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo]," with another neighbor from town whose name I do not reacall, took part in this adventure. Since the pursuit had lasted until almost 7:00 at night, we had to stay in that town [Chucandiro]--causing great alarm in Huandacareo, where we arrived the following day.

A few days after that, at the end of July [1917], Major Ramos invited us to accompany him to disloge a gang that operated near Urundaneo and Huaniqueo. That excursion lasted three days in the mountains. We succeeded in dislodging the gangs in the zone that encompassed [territory] to Copandaro, on the southern coast of the "Laguna de Cuitzeo" [Lake Cuitzeo].

On the 2nd of August [1917], Major [Ramos] was ordered to move his troops to Morelia, but prior to that, he was at Huandacareo and organized an attack against the bandit, Fidel Gonzalez in his "guarida" [home turf], that is, "La Canada de Abajo." To this end, we left Huandacareo--Urrutia and Diaz [Socorro Diaz Diaz] with 25 of our neighbors. At 6:00 in the morning we arrived at "[Rancho de] La Canada [de Abajo]." I was ordered, with the defenders, to cross the "rancheria" [hamlet or huts for laborers] to avoid a firefight with the bandits in the direction of Villa Morelos--something we did with temerity since the people [in the "rancheria"] were already coming out of their huts. As we arrived at the opposite point, I ordered Epifanio Diaz, "clarin de ordenes" [bugler] to play "Fuego y Adelante" [forward march]. We attempted to encircle the "rancheria" [hamlet or huts for laborers], but 15 men were able to escape. We succeeded in capturing five [men] of whom the Major hung three. One was able to take off the rope and jumping over the fence, ran through a cornfield eluding the soldiers pursuing him. The last one [fifth man] was shot. We passed into "La Canada de Enmedio", but we did not encounter the enemy--since they ran away upon hearing the firefight [aforementioned].

We returned to the town [of Huandacareo] at 5:00 in the afternoon and the Major left the following day for Morelia.

On the 21st or 22nd of September [1917], upon Fidel Gonzalez having approached the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo]" as close as "El Potrero Prieto" [name of horse farm, stalls, pasture], we went out to pursue him to "Rancho de Llano Grande," but as he captured two neighbors--Antonio Vargas and Narciso Mendoza--who were working in the fields, he wrote to us demanding as ransom two rifles which we had to remit; otherwise he would have assassinated them.

At the end of the month of October [1917], a message from the "Jefe Municipal de Capacho" [Municipal Head at Capacho], which is five kilometers from our town, advised us that Fidel Gonzales was commiting injustices in that town. For that reason, we organized to leave at 11:00 at night and we set up an ambush at "Rancho de Cuaro," where he would have to pass to return to Capacho. We waited until 4:00 in the morning and believing that he had left by way of Cuitzeo or through the mountain "Manuna," we withdrew. We had just arrived at our town [of Huandacareo] when one of the neighbors from ["Rancho de] Cuaro" came to advise us that Fidel and his people had passed by way of "Rancho de Tupatarillo." We left rapidly in pursuit all the way to "Rancho de Tupataro" but he succeeded in penetrating the territory in the State of Guanajuato. But not without having encountered us in a firefight during which some of the neighbors from Capacho were able to escape. He had taken them prisoners and was asking them for money. God so willed that we withdrew prior to his passing through Cuaro since the firefight [ambush] there would have caused the death of the prisoners.

On the 22nd day of November [1917], a "peon" [laborer] from "Rancho de Tupataro," property of don Luis Nunez, came running to advise that the bandits from "La Cienega" in Guanajuato, under the command of Esteban Hernandez, were sacking and raping at the "Rancho [de Tupataro"]. For that reason, we quickly left the town [of Huandacareo]--Luis Nunez, Salvador Urrutia, Jose Socorro Diaz, Mauro Garcia, Luis Garcia, Antonio Alvarez, Agustin Rangel, Trinidad Martinez, Luis Perez Gil, and Pedro del Razo. Luis Perez Gil and Pedro del Razo were at that time from Cuitzeo where Perez Gil was in charge of a detachment of the forces of the State [of Michoacan]. But they were visiting in Huandacareo. Upon the bandits realizing that we were approaching, they took flight--even though there were 25 of them and we were only ten. We chased them until the State boundary, when we were joined by Hipolito Rangel, who was coming from some lands that he possessed at the "Rancho del Cerro" and he asked us to go save his brother, Federico, who not aware of the close proximity of the bandits, had remained at the "Rancho."

We decided to continue our pursuit, but upon reaching the crossing of "Los Callejones" [narrow passes between mountains] coming from the direction of Pinicuaro and "Rancho Nuevo," we did not know which road to continue on until a dog, "pointer" that we had at the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo"] began to follow a scent and called to us to follow it. We followed it up to an "un encinal" (an oak tree) where the dog--he was named "El Catrin"--began to crawl, softly growling. For this reason, we dismounted, taking cover among the oaks, and crouching along in horizontal posture, we came upon the bandits behind a fence. They were distributing the stolen goods among themselves. When they realized we were there, we were less than 50 meters away and they did not have a chance to fight us. We made them run, leaving behind three horses, three weapons, and two dead--one a bandit leader. Upon a closer look, Mauro Garcia found gold coins on him [the dead bandit leader]. Since we had penetrated into territories belonging to Guanajuato and since it was now very late, we returned to the town of Pinicuaro, where we found ourselves with the "Jefe de la Defensa" [Head of Civilian Defense], don Nicolas [Nunez], who having heard the firefight we had had at Tupataro, had come to reinforce us. We returned about 9:00 at night to Huandacareo.

On the 8th of December [1917], our "servicio de espionaje" (spies) throughout the zone communicated to us that Ines Chavez Garcia, with about 1,200 men, had assaulted Villa Morelos and they were committing every type of atrocity, assassinating the neighbors, raping whatever woman they found, and robbing everything in sight. It so happened that don Nicolas Nunez, the Head of the Defense and Salvador Urrutia, had left for Morelia two days prior. We immediately sent a message advising them with a "mozo." We met with the leaders of the "reten" (battle station groups) to organize properly the defense of the town. Although some persons were of the opinion that we should withdraw to Morelia given the astounding number of bandits that accompanied Chavez Garcia, the majority opposed this. We began to place barbed wire at all the streets, raising temporary fortifications made of adobe at various corners of the streets, and installing a canon that we made using an iron tube wrapped in three-cord wire and mounted on wheels of iron at the fortification constructed at the corner of the streets named Hidalgo and Allende, near the house of Federico Rangel--since we expected the attack from the west side of the town.

The 9th [of December 1917], at 4:00 in the morning, we received a messenger from the leader, Pedro Vazquez, our old enemy, who had joined the said garrison at Chucandiro. In the communication that he sent to us, he asked for help because he feared that Chavez Garcia would attack and destroy the town, because he had "rendido" [given himself up]. We answered him that we were in the same danger, since he, himself, had been the one who had taunted [Chavez] to attack us. And, if he did not feel safe in Chucandiro, he should--with his people--come to take refuge at our town. We guaranteed him that we would not act against him but rather would give them protection. Naturally, he did not accept our offer but rather retreated to Morelia by way of Copandaro.

At 1:00 in the afternoon on the same day [9th of December 1917], don Nicolas Nunez, Head of the Defense, and Salvador Urrutia, Sub-head, arrived from Morelia, along with don Miguel Figueroa and Gilberto Fernandez who although residing in those days at Morelia, immediately came to help. The security measures put into play by Luis Nunez, Jose Socorro Diaz, and Francisco Huerta were approved, as well as, the correspondence with Pedro Vazquez. All that day we were under tension, awaiting the appearance of the bandits from the direction of Villa Morelos. Consequently, they commissioned me to go establish an advance lookout at the bridge of the river "San Francisco," near the cemetery. Thus, at 11:00 at night we saw some persons advancing. Upon ordering them to halt, they identified themselves as the Presidente [Municipal] from Villa Morelos, don Carlos Diaz Cervantes, and four neighbors who had succeeded in leaving that town--upon becoming aware of the enormous number of bandits that accompanied Chavez Garcia in the attack--and had traveled through the mountainous terrain all that day on foot. We received them and I went to present them to the Head of the Defense [don Nicolas Nunez], who gave them lodging at his house. They naturally came in great panic and the following day they were still pondering the danger our town was in if it resisted the attack. For this reason, we agreed with Urrutia that it would be convenient, so as not to discourage our people, to make them leave town. I was commissioned to convince them of this and to allot them horses and escort as far as the town of Capacho, in the direction of Morelia--which they accepted without delay.

The same day, we received from Chavez Garcia, another communication to remit/send to him at Morelos, now not six, but ten rifles and 600 cartridges. But feeling ourselves stronger and braver, because he had not attacked even though the number of people with him was great and even though he was only 16 kilometers from the town. We answered him, telling him to go bother his mother. He followed the advise and withdrew to Villa Morelos, going into [State of] Guanajuato, and, we suppose, passing through Moroleon and Yurriria, they went to sleep in a small town named Maravatio. The following day, they arrived at "La Estacion del Rimbo," Michoacan, where they attacked the train, burned down the [train] station and a lumber yard.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

January 1918 - July 1, 1918

In order to gather in the harvest of corn at the "Hacienda", Messers. Iturbide indicated to us that we should be proportioning them a detachment of 50 men, which arrived the 13th of December 1917, under the command of Captain Mora. To return to Morelia, they went by Chucandiro and Urundaneo because they had learned that Chavez Garcia had taken the town of Yuriria.

[The sacking of Yuriria, Guanajuato, Mexico.]

Actually, the 4th of January, 1918, Chavez Garcia assaulted said town [Yuriria], commitng his usual infamous depravities.

[The sacking of Santa Ana Maya, Michoacan, Mexico.]

On the 5th of January, [1918] they [the bandit-gangs] mobilized against Santa Ana Maya, Michoacan where a small group of courageous men fought them in defense of their families. But since they [the defending townspeople] were only 18 men, they were quickly surrounded and only a few were able to escape. Among those who escaped were Pedro Calderon and Francisco Mora. The others were captured and assassinated villainously by repeated stabbings so as not to waste bullets. One of them [townspeople] who had defended from the tower of the church, seeing the atrocities being committed on his fellow townsmen, jumped to his death from the heights [of the tower].

To another of the defenders--one of the bandit leaders asked: "Where is your heart [located]?" To which he valiantly answered, "Preguntame en donde tengo los huevos, hijos de la...!" He was immediately hung from a tree at the plaza and they tortured him by swinging him from one to another, stabbing at him with their swords until he died.

These details were rationed out to us by Fiacro Huerta, member of the "Defensa Civil de Huandacareo" [Civilian Defense of Huandacareo], and as he traveled on Sundays to Santa Ana Maya to sell his goods, he was able to leave and arrived at the town [of Huandacareo] at 8:00 in the morning. We immediately rang the bells and mustered the defenders [of Huandacareo] to give them the news and to prepare ourselves to confront the situation. We closed up all the streets using wire netting/wire trellis and established the services of lookout and espionage all the way to Cuitzeo.

[The sacking of Cuitzeo, Michoacan, Mexico -- on January 7, 1918.]

At 3:00 in the afternoon, Salvador Diaz Manriquez, courier, arrived from Cuitzeo and advised that at noon, he could see the forces of Chavez Garcia approaching Cuitzeo since their troops raised a great deal of dust in the lake [Cuitzeo] which at that time was very dry. The detachment that operated in Cuitzeo, under the command of Luis Perez Gil, had fled to Morelia along with a great number of neighbors who feared the advance of the bandits. We [people of Huandacareo] had hoped that Perez Gil and his people would have concentrated themselves to our town, but he, surely, thought that we would also flee.

At 8:00 that evening, our spies communicated to us that Cuitzeo had been taken that afternoon. And, that the barbarian and his "chusmas" [rabble, mob] were committing the same "infamia" [infamy/baseness] there as was their custom. Some neighbors who lacked the resouces to flee to Morelia and against the advise of their neighbors from Santa Ana Maya, stayed. They took their familes to the convent and they, the men, went into the hill situated to the east. That same night, the rapings began. They would take the women from the convent, even those from the church. One maiden was able to escape by remaining more than 24 hours behind an image of the "virgin."

They [the bandits] attempted to take the sister of the priest from the convent, but she fought them until seeing imminent danger, she threw herself from the second floor--intending to take her life and that of the bandit wrestling her--but he was able to break free in time. Three men that attempted to defend the honor of their families were assassinated, one of them on the porches of the main plaza.

All day on the 7th of January [1918], the bandits sacked the stores and the major part of the houses, stealing everything they could find. On the porches of the plaza alone, they abandoned some 12 sewing machines. At nightfall, that same day, the "Sr. Cura" [the Reverend], fearing the repeat of the infamous orgy of the previous day, from behind the convent, organized an escape for the women--virgins and married--who were hiding in the same [convent] and left to hide in the hills to the east and at the little town of "San Agustin del Pulque" about three kilometers from the population [Cuitzeo].

More than ten babies from those "hijos de la....mentada" were born towards the end of 1918.

[The bandit, Chavez Garcia, turns his attention toward Huandacareo.]

That same day, the 7th [of January, 1918], Chavez Garcia, sent a communication urging us to surrender our town--to which we did not respond. [See: "Documented Notes and Orders" section of this blog--of particular interest, No. 3 and No. 5, notes from Chavez Garcia dated January 7th and 8th, 1918.]

On the 8th [of January, 1918], at 9:00 in the morning, the bandits left Cuitzeo in the direction of Huandacareo.

We were resolved to confront them, even though we had little chance for victory. We knew they were more than 2,000 men. With them were Macario Silva, a man named Roa, Ramon Ortiz, Rafael Nunez, Sacramento Vieyra, Esteban Hernandez, Jose Ma. Hernandez, and Fidel Gonzalez. All of these, and a few more [leaders] with their large bandit-gangs following.

But our faith in "El Senor Del Amparo" and the justice of our cause encouraged us to resist. In order to lessen the tension we felt in waiting for the attack, we had the town band playing at the kiosk at the plaza.

At about 11:00 in the morning, one of the neighbors of the "Hacienda [de Huandacareo"] arrived with a letter signed by Eduardo Escalante and Librado Ortiz, leaders of a group of about 100 men and who recognized as head of the revolution in Michoacan one Jose Altamirano. [Eduardo] Escalante was a friend of [Salvador] Urrutia and [Librado] Ortiz was a brother-in-law of Ing. Pascual Ortiz Rubio, "Gobernador del Estado" [Governor] and ex-companion of mine during school days. [The two men] wrote to us from the "Hacienda" urging [Salvador] Urrutia to a meeting at that place ["Hacienda"]. They received the response that since an attack from Chavez Garcia on the town was imminent, they could not go over there; if they had something to tell us, they should approach the "Potrero de La Higuera" [horse farm/pastures/stalls] which is located at the edge of town. They agreed and Eduardo Escalante, Librado Ortiz, Froylan Tena and three assistants did come as far as there.

The "Jefe de la Defensa" [Head of the Civilian Defense, don Nicolas Nunez] commissioned--[Salvador] Urrutia, Jose Socorro Diaz, and Gilberto Fernandez who had come from Morelia to help us--[to meet with them.]

The aforementioned rebels wanted us to join the revolution under the command of Jose Altamirano. Since there could be no agreement without the knowledge of the defenders, I was commissioned to remit this question to don [Nicolas] Nunez who immediately convened an assembly which resolved that if the "Altamiranistas" [followers of Jose Altamirano] were able to contain Chavez Garcia so that he did not attack nor enter the town, we would accept Altamirano as "Jefe de la Revolucion Villista" [Head of the Pancho Villa Revolution] in the state [of Michoacan]--since we would not in any manner accept the barbarian [Chavez Garcia] as the "porta-estandarte" [standard-bearer] much less as head. Immediately, [Eduardo] pretended to help us. He turned his march toward our population--as being part of his itinerary--saying if we had recognized Altamirano, we would have no problem allowing the forces under his command to pass through our town. At the same time, he would suggest to Chavez Garcia the advantage of not attacking our said population [Huandacareo] but pass through the outskirts without firing at it.

This "oficio" [official letter? offer?] was forwarded by us to Capacho where the head [Chavez Garcia] was now located, who responded immediately and by official letter that it was impossible to detain Chavez Garcia, now that he had been notified that the town [Huandacareo] had recognized the revolution under the command of Jose Altamirano.

Having received the response, I was commissioned to take it to [Eduardo] Escalante and tell him that from the moment that Chavez had not accepted our condition--demonstrating a lack of cohesion among the rebels--we considered null and void all we had talked about. For that same reason, they should withdraw--since the "Chavistas" [followerers of J. Ines Chavez Garcia] were already advancing toward us. [Eduardo] Escalante and [Librado] Ortiz withdrew wishing that all would go well for us and still suggesting to us the advantage of retreating by way of Chucandiro to Morelia with their help--which we naturally refused and we returned to the town [of Huandacareo].


Having made all the preparations for the defense and assigned the defenders to their corresponding "retenes" [battle stations], at 3:00 in the afternoon, we spotted the enemy which was advancing in the direction of the "cerrito" [hill] situated northeast of the town ("potrero de don Miguel Diaz) [horse farm, pastures, stables belonging to ...], where Chavez established his general headquarters.

The enemy, advancing as they opened up into two wings, began to surround the town--some by way of the "potrero de El Verde", "Urimitiro", and "La Higuera" [horse farms/stalls/pastures named El Verde, Urimitiro, and La Higuera] and the other wing by "La Noria," "El Plan," and "Arroyo de San Francisco" where they united and began to advance toward us. Their "clarines" [trumpets] played "Fuego y Adelante" and their accordians in the march played "Emperadores." [The latter] played by the talented musical band they had captured/made prisoner in the combat they had against General Antonio Norzagaray, at the [railway] station "Los Espinos," and, additionally, backed by the musicians made prisoners at Yuriria, Santa Ana Maya, and Cuitzeo.

They advanced, closing the circle and firing, even though we did not answer their fire, since we had orders not to fire until the enemy was at 100 meters distance--to economize our ammunition and since our entire supply was 9,850 cartridges for the entire defense which had Mauser rifles and 30-30 Winchesters. In addition, there were 500 cartridges for retro/breech loading guns and ammo for pistols.

Given that all "Chavistas" were on horseback, we expected and we prepared everything for cavalry attacks, concentrating our efforts on the barbed wire [barricades] and the cannon we had situated at the "gariton" we constructed at the corner of Hidalgo and Allende (house of Federico Rangel). As his spies had undoubtedly informed him of the location of our defenses, upon closing the circle as they turned toward the town, they tied up their horses, and advanced breaking through walls, firing profusely, especially at the tower, and making a lot of noise to scare us. As they realized that we were not responding to their firing, they thought us to be traumatized--until they reached the house of don Santiago Rodriguez, when [Salvador] Urrutia, from the tower, killed one of them. This was our signal to begin firing back.

In order to form a clearer concept of our situation, it is necessary to provide a summary of our positions and particular duties for each.


At the tower of the "iglesia parroquial" [At the Old Temple of San Jeronimo]

Leader: Salvador Urrutia, whom we considered as sub-head of the defense.
Sub-leader of "Reten": Jose Socorro Diaz.

The "Reten" was considered divided into the following sections: "La Boveda del presbiterio" [subterraneous vault/arch for the dead in churches], with the following defenders...J. Jesus Figueroa, Jose Murrillo Loaiza, and Isaac Figueroa. On the roof of the "casa cural" [rectory], facing toward the south, with Jose Socorro Diaz, Epifanio Diaz, Atenogenes Alvarez, Luis Rodriguez--employed at the Hacienda, and Socorro Rodriguez. At the "coro" [choir loft], facing west, with Gilberto Fernandez, Elpidio Figueroa and Salvador Carreon. At the same tower, with Salvador Urrutia, Antonio Vargas, Maximiano Calvillo, Soledad Gonzalez, Enrique Velazquez, Alejandro Aguilar, and Aniceto ("mozo de la hacienda", whose surname I do not recall). In total, 18 men, who formed the "Brigada Mota", so-called because we were very loud and passed the greater part of our nights singing in the tower.


Formed by two sections, joined by a "pasillo" [corridor/bridge] of "vigas" [beams], one at the house of don Antonio Alvarez and the other over the store "La Corcordia."

Leader: Eusebio Alvarez. With him were: Nicolas [Manriquez Guido], Estanisloa Manriquez, Cenobio Manriquiez [also Zenobio], Federico Alvarez [Toledo], Salvador Alvarez [Toledo] (at the "gariton" built at the corner), Maximino Perez, Benito Diaz [Diaz], and others of no account because at the hour of battle they left to go hide at "W.C."

At that same "reten" [battle station] and at the roof of the store: Agustin Rangel, Alberto Murillo [Vargas], Lorenzo Garcia, Amador Gonzalez, and Camilo Gonzalez. In total, 12 men who fought and two who did not.


At the corner of the streets named "Hidalgo" and "Morelos" (house of don Cipriano Gonzalez).

Leader: Cipriano Gonzales. With him were: Mauro Garcia [Alvarez], Domingo Garcia [Alvarez], Leopoldo Diaz [Diaz], Macario Diaz, Patricio Diaz [Diaz], Roman Tinoco, Vicente Paramo, and Felix Reyes. And with "escopeta" [breech-loading gun], at his house "que esta junto a la anterior", don Joaquin Torres.


Pertaining to "sur de la manzana primera" [south of first block] "del cuartel segundo" [second ward/district?] which was comprised from where the movie house is now to the house of don Esteban Vargas, but one "gariton" [sentry post?] that we had raised at the corner of the house of dona Ignacia Villagomez.

Leader: don Luis Nunez [Martinez]. With him were: Luis Garcia [Alvarez], Ricardo Garcia [Alvarez], Marcelo Campos [Fernandez], Pedro Pantoja, Antonio Anguiano, Agustin Cahue, Francisco Martinez (the carpenter), Ramon Gonzalez M. (from "La Canada", Mich. Mexico], Andres Velazquez, Benjamin Vargas [Guzman], Valentin Fernandez [Villagomez], Jesus Murillo Aguilar, and Sacramento Diaz. All at the "azoteas" [terrance or flat roof] of the houses.

At the "gariton" [sentry post?] at the corner, mentioned: Salvador Lucio, Rafael Diaz Villagomez, and Francisco Vargas [Villagomez]. Also accompanying them, with "escopetas": J. Jesus Toledo, J. Encarnacion Cancino, and Telesforo Velazquez. In total, 20 men.


Comprised [of area] from the corner of the "manzana segunda" [second block] of the "cuartel segundo" [second ward/district?], from the house of don Ignacio Diaz, "Jefatura Municipal" [Municipal Head], mansion and houses of don Rafael Diaz, Juan Flores, Messrs. Huerta Diaz and don Santos Figueroa. [And of] the fourth block of the "cuartel primero" [first ward/district?], houses of Messrs. Rangel and the corner [house] which afterward became the store of don Gilberto Fernandez.

Leader: don Miguel Figueroa. Sub-leader: Francisco Huerta. With them were: Fiacro Huerta [Diaz], J. Sacramento [Marinez], Vicente Marinez, Bernabe Loeza, Procopio Loeza, Vicente Cisneros, Narciso Mendoza [Marciso? Mendoza], Santos Puente, Juan Guzman, Hexiquio Marinez [Eziquio? Marinez], and Basilio Prado. Although without weapon but helping, were also: Genaro Aguilar, Gumersindo Aguilar.

At the second section of this same "reten" [battle station] were: Hipolito Rangel, Federico Rangel, Ponciano Chavez [Diaz], Jose Villafuerte, and Mateo Padilla.


[Comprised of the area] third block of the "cuartel primero" [first ward/district?], (houses of don Jose Ma. Villicana and Messrs. Sixtos). Considered part of this "reten" [battle station]: The sixth block of the "cuartel primero" [first ward/district?], "Templo de El Hospital."

Defended by: Miguel Gazca [Miguel Garcia Mendoza?], Pedro Diaz Diaz, Lucio Alvarez [Diaz], Francisco Lopez Guzman, and Andres Huerta.


[Comprised of the area] First block of "cuartel primero" [first ward/district?], fronting north, from the house of don Nicolas Nunez ("cuartel general"), to the house of don Hilario Chavez.

Defended by: Don Nicolas Nunez [Martinez], Hilario Chavez [Diaz], Aristeo Diaz [Diaz] ("clarin de ordenes") [trumpeter sounding orders], Antonio Alvarez, Ramon Fernandez, and Fidencio Manriquez.

Our equipment for combat, as already told, was comprised of 69 rifles between Mausers and 30-30, four Remington (one-shot), five or six "escopetas de retrocarga" [breech-loading guns], six "escopetas" [breech-loading guns] which were loaded with gunpowder, and munitions of wide "calibre" [range].

The bandits were between 1,800 and 2,000, all well armed, with plenty of ammunition, an an enormous [amount of] booty acquired in sacking [the towns of] Yuriria, Santa Ana Maya, Cuitzeo, and Capacho.


Defender Group ("Reten") 1:

Over at the bell tower was the site of the most intense attack. The rebels came up to the orchard belonging to my father, don Salvador Diaz and we took down three, two in the orchard and one at the corner of the house of Sr. Ezequiel Alvarez--(that one) killed by Epifanio Diaz. The bandidos advanced firing and threatening that they would soon have the pleasure of hanging us from the trees, but when they came within our predetermined range, they were stopped by our fire which seemingly found its mark or passed by them so close it scared them enough to seek cover among the trees in the orchard. Enranged, they continued firing aimlessly since they did not know where the shots were coming from that grazed them and because of the distance, seemed to be very effective.

They then attempted to take the presbytery, where Messers. Figueroa and Jose Murillo received them with shots. As they approached closer, three bombs were thrown at them. This made them retreat again to the orchard. The first bomb the defenders threw at them did not work and the bandidos ridiculed the townspeople saying: "Better to defend yourselves by forting..." But upon throwing the other two bombs, they netted two wounded which were taken away to hide in the orchard.

Fidel Gonzalez had asked Chavez Garcia to permit him to take the tower/steeple with his men and 100 others. But since it was 5:30 p.m. and the battle in that direction had not ceased, he (Chavez Garcia) ordered the "general" Macario Silva to -- with 200 men -- reinforce the attack on the steeple whichever way he could, even starting a fire. We became aware of Silva's arrival because we heard him (Silva) shouting at Gonzalez: "What happened Colonel, didn't you say that you'd take the steeple in 15 minutes?" To which Fidel Gonzales answered: "General, these sons of ... are tough: they shoot to kill and we don't even know where the bullets are coming from." Silva then said: "Well, let's go get them... We're going in guys!"

Firing intensely for 15 minutes, they were only able to advance as far as the border separating the orchard to the corral [curate's corral]. Upon their attacking, we'd return fire causing them wounded--since we were only 30 meters away and they could not see us because we were firing from between the "tejas del techo" (roof tiles). Silva retreated for cover with his men among the trees and from there shouted at Salvador Urrutia: "Churruco, give up and we'll allow you to live; remember that we were 'companeros' (comrades) in arms under Gen. Prieto, Northern Division." To which Urrutia answered him: "I know of no friend of mine to be so vile to place himself under the orders of the biggest bandido in the nation and from the moment you joined him, you son of a ..., there's no difference in the two. You are both 'una chuzma de bandidos' and 'cuatro gatos' we're scaring you." Silva again insisted saying: "We've already taken the town." Then Urrutia shouted to the "Jefe" (Chief) of the defense: "Listen, don Nico, this son of a ...says you have given up!" to which don Nicolas Nunez answered, shouting: "Tell that low-life that we are still as we were when they began and 'nos han hecho los puros mandados.' (We have the upperhand.)" Then Urrutia shouted at Silva: "You heard, '...,' that you have failed. Attack, you sons of ... and don't pretend to scare us with your prattle!"

Again, a large number of shots rang with intensity on my side and I was obligated to send Epifanio, my brother, to tell Urrutia to send more men to reinforce us since it was growing dark and from the steeple (or tower) it was difficult to spot the enemy. He (Urrutia) then sent me five men. Seeing that the attack was lingering, Urrutia shouted at Silva: "What happened, Silva, 'bandido', show yourself to fight like a man and not just steal and rape women! You only attack when you far outnumber one to 100 like you did at Santa Ana Maya!" They (the enemy) did not attack but settled into a pattern of sporadic firing where they thought we might be located. One of these shots ricocheted the bell and caused a gash on Urrutia's head. Gilberto Fernandez and I took care of it.

We were doing this, when Antonio Vargas came down from the tower (steeple) and said: "These ... no longer attack; you tell me if we ring the bell to stir them up." Urrutia agreed, but this caused great alarm among the defenders who thought the rebels had taken the steeple. And the bandidos thought likewise because they redoubled their attack, shouting that they had triumphed. Don Nicolas asked: "What's happening at the tower?" Urrutia answered: "It's that these sons of ... no longer attack and we're falling asleep." This remark caused range among the attackers but the townspeople remained focused.

Defender Group ("Reten") 2:

The enermy succeeded in routing "companeros" (fellow defenders) who were on the terrace (or flat roof) of the store "La Concordia" causing them to withdraw to the house of don Antonio Alvarez, crossing over a bridge of laid out beams from one block to another. Having been wounded, Lorenzo Garcia could not be passed across and was left between the "tapanco" (attic) and the roof of the house, from where, after the attack was over, we took him down with "mantas" (blankets). In order to make our retreat from one block to another and believing that the bandits were already on the roof of "La Concordia" (store), they had to throw down the beams that formed the bridge; in this activity, don Agustin Rangel, Chief of the Section, was wounded in the right eye, falling inert. The "companeros" (fellow defenders) thought him to be dead, but fortunately, he lost only that one eye. Besides him, Nicolas Manriquez, Eusebio and Federico Alvarez fought with valor in this group (Reten 2). Well, the ones that were at the "gariton" did not have but one opportunity to fire (their weapon), when they (the bandidos) came across the corner of the store (belonging to) Santiago Manriquez, causing them (the bandidos) two wounded.

Defender Group ("Reten") 3:

The enemy, punching walls, was able to advance to the house of don Joaquin Torres (close to that of don Cipriano Gonzalez), but upon opening up a barrage (of rounds) in order to continue advancing, don Joaquin Torres, himself, fired his weapon (escopeta) (and) succeeded in killing the one attempting to enter there, saying: "Take that you son of a ...; bring on the rest!" This obliged (the bandidos) to retreat to the house of the Manriquez--Fidencio and Josefat--where they kept on shooting at the group of defenders. About 8 o'clock at night, an individual who said he was Chavez Garcia, succeeded in approaching the house of Isaac Figueroa--across the street corner where the "cuartel general" (general headquarters) was located and in front of the Defender Group ("Reten") No. 3 at the house of don Cipriano Gonzalez--and, he (Chavez Garcia) asked to speak with the Chief of the Defense. Upon communicating by shouts, he sought that the town should give up, that they had no possible defense, that the tower/steeple [St. Jeronimo] had fallen to them and because of that he had ordered "Alto el Fuego" (cease firing) to be played. Which was true, since the "clarin" (trumpet) could be heard playing everywhere [in all directions]. Don Nicolas answered that we would never surrender, that it was impossible to trust the word of a bandit of his "calana" (ilk). And as for the taking of the tower/steeple, that was a lie, since they (the defenders) were communicating with each other through shouts from one group ("reten") to another. And he (don Nicolas) went on to shout: "Hear don Salvador (Urrutia), what this bandit Chavez Garcia says, that they have taken the tower!" Urrutia answered him: "Tell him to go tell it to the author of his days, that they have fallen short; that they've tried to scare us with (nothing more than) shouts and lies."

Since, in effect, all firing had ceased, all the defenders heard the words of Urrutia, causing great enthusiasm and the ire of the "troglodita" (brutes), who continued to be insulted by those in (Defender) Group No. 3; and causing the "troglodita" (brutes) to retreat, swearing that come sunrise they would burn the whole town.

At Defender Group ("Reten") 4:

They did not attack "con brio" (with force), but as they had done throughout the town, advanced by punching through walls and taking cover behind fences until they got to the property situated behind that which in previous times had been the cinema house Urrutia and from a huge "capulin" plant, they were opening fire, approaching even to the house of don Fernando Nunez; but one or two close shots made by th defenders, contained them (approaching bandidos).

True story: Marcelo Campos, who was the chief there, said that Murillo Aguilar's mother made him (Aguilar) come down from the roof (flat roof or terrace) because he was so tall he made himself a target. The defenders who were at the "gariton," who had opportunity to discharge their weapons--because they (the bandits) were not able to advance to attack through the streets--could fire only when the bandits crossed the street from the first block to the second.

At Defender Group 5, (led by don Miguel Figueroa):

The defenders had to fight from the beginning of the attack, almost without interruption, up to 8 o'clock at night when the bandidos began to play "Alto el Fuego." And they attacked with "brio" (vigor) because they thought there were no defenders, until they were received with close shots and handmade bombs that caused casualties. Even though the bandidos insulted the defenders, they (the defenders) did not respond when the bandidos advanced, they (the defenders) drove them back; which caused the bandidos to become enraged and return again to attack.

The leader of the group (of defenders) had ordered that no one shout back in answer to the insults. From that day on, we named that group the "silent tombs" because don Jose Villafuerte said that he [Reten No. 5 leader, Miguel Figueroa Guzman] had made them to keep the silence of the grave.

Defender Group 6:

At the section south of this "reten" (group of defenders), at the house of Messrs. Rangel, the bandits attacked from the west and advanced up to the "rastro" (market, flea market), from where they were firing and succeeded in wounding don Hipolito Rangel who was shooting from an "arpillera" (burlap sack(s)?). But with shots taken by the defenders--who were on the azotea (flat roof or uppr-level terrace) protected by the "bardas" (barriers) at the aforementioned temple (Templo de "El Hospital")--they were driven back. Those shots (driving back the bandidos) were fired by Miguel Gazca, Pedro Diaz Diaz, and Lucio Alvarez of Defender Group No. 6.

At Defender Group 7 (general headquarters of the defense):

There was nothing new, except for words exchanged between the Chief of the Defense and Chavez Garcia; since the defenders did not have opportunity to fire from the "gariton" established at the corner of Hidalgo and Morelos (streets).

Anticipating the intensity of the attack that the Chavistas would launch the following day, the defenders of the tower/steeple, Elpidio Figueroa, Maximiliano Calvillo and Soledad Gonzalez were ordered to reinforce the three that were at the tomb/vault of the presbytery and the others--except for four who would stay inside the tower/steeple--were sent to the lower foor to reinforce the trenches in front of the "zaguan" (entry porch), the windows of the curate's house, and the front of the corral.

While this is going on, about 9 o'clock at night, and with one or two shots fired by the rebels, suddenly there was heard a great deal of shooting to the west of the town. We immediately climbed up the tower to find out what was going on. We saw a line of fire "nutridisimo" (large amount) that took up almost all the west and was advancing toward the center. We thought it was a strategy of the Chavistas to "amedrentarnos" (terrorize us), burning short-fused firecrackers, but the rapidity of bullets passing over the tower convinced us that it was a formal attack.

A great many of the defenders thought that the "Altamiranistas" (followers of Altamirano), people under Escalante and Ortiz were coming to help and began to shout acclamation for Altamirano and they did not stop shooting until those at "reten" (defender group) No. 5 identified General Jose L. Flores.

Without our realizing that they were Constitutionalists forces, we caused them three casualties.

General Enrique Estrada, Chief of the Operations of the State (of Michoacan), to whom we had sent word regarding the rebels since the 7th (of January), had ordered Gen. Flores to mobilize to help us. General Flores arrived at the "Rancho de Llano Grande" about 5 o'clock in the afternoon, and upon learning of the number of people that Chavez had brought with him, he (General Flores) waited until 8 o'clock at night to leave the ranch and surprise the bandido (Chavez) by attacking his rearguard causing the Chavistas to be disbanded; since what they least expected was an attack by the Constitutionalist forces under General Flores and Lt. Colonel Anacleto Lopez and Lt. Colonel Magana Uribe, head of the 216th Regiment and 8th Regiment respectively.

When Sr. Figueroa identied General Flores, he accompanied him to identify him before us, those at the tower, so that we would stop firing at them.

Leaving at the tower a guard under the command of Gilberto Fernandez, [Salvador] Urrutia left with Sr. Figueroa and the General to disperse the bandits that might be to the east. He ordered me to visit all the "retenes" (defender groups) to report the effects of the battle and the casualties the enemy might have caused.

Great was our surprise and enormous our gratefulness to the Christ "Senor del Amparo" to find that we had not suffered a single death among the defenders, but only three wounded. Although seriously (wounded), Agustin Rangel, Hipolito Rangel and Lorenzo Garcia quickly recovered. Unfortunately, the bandits assassinated various neighbors that did not move in to join in the defense of the town and that upon seeing that the bandits intended to abuse their families, would throw themselves at the villains, which resulted in their death.

The Chavistas--according to the prisoners taken and by the neighbors of the immediate ranches--suffered 30 dead.

The defeat suffered by Chavez Garcia was tremendous, not because of the extent of harm levied by the government (they hardly gave chase to him, perhaps due to the large number of people he had with him), since in the battle he lost only three people; but, in his hurried retreat, he left behind 264 saddled horses and carpet bags filled with stolen clothing, 80 rifles, 10 typewriters, and almost all the instruments of the music bands. This was what the government took as booty. It was calculated that solely by what the soldiers sold in Purandiro, where the General returned, there was over $40,000 pesos [worth of booty]. In the town itself, remained 15 rifles, 10 saddled horses, one typewriter, and 14 musical band instruments.

Note from J. Socorro Diaz Diaz: Although the following contains many inaccuracies, I insert the corresponding part of the newspaper, "La Opinion," from Morelia, dated 10th of January [1918].

Yesterday, the bandit--Ines Chavez Garcia--suffered tremendous defeat. Neighbors of the town of Huandacareo defended themselves heroically.

The brave Gen. Jose L. Flores, with Cavalry under his command attacked the rearguard of the enemy with vigor.

As we offered our readers yesterday, today we release, with permission, the following offical part of the defeat inflicted upon the bandits led by the infamous Chavez Garcia, who was whipped for the second time by the "fuerzas legalistas" (government forces) under the command of General Estrada.

Despite the perverse versions of the enemies of the Revolution and hence Constitutionalism, we therefore firmly believe that the current Head of Military Operations in the State will soon bring about the establishment of that peace we all desire.

This victory--achieved by the "Leales" (Loyalists)--has filled us with joy and so we send to the military authorities and the heroic defenders of Huandacareo our warmest congratulations.

---------------Here's the official part: ----------------

Morelia, Mich., January 9, 1918 - "C. Gral. J. Agustin Castro, Subsecretario de Guerra y Marina, Mexico, D.F." (Constitutionalist General Jose Agustin Castro, Subsecretary of War and Navy, Mexico, D.F.)

Number 103 - I communicate to you the latests operations; in due time I have paid back in part the defeat you suffered by the siege of Santa Ana [Maya], "fecha primero" (on the first of this month).

On January 3rd, I had to move forcefully to this town because 300 bondoleros from Altamirano had interrupted communication with Acambaro. Subsequently, we mobilized the 73rd Batallion for further development of operations against Chavez Garcia who occupied -- with 1,200 men -- Santa Ana Maya and Cuitzeo, having received reinforcement from Altamirano and Guanajuato.

Yesterday, the 8th [of January], I received news that bandoleros were moving against Huandacareo with the intent of attacking it. This determined that Gen. Jose L. Flores, with the 71st Regiment of his Brigade, the 80th Regiment of Lt. Col. Magana Uribe, and the 216th of Lt. Col. Anacleto Lopez, who were under his direct orders, were mobilized in full force to proceed from Purandiro to Huandacareo; at the same time the 73rd Batallion under Col. Serratos was mobilized to proceed from this town with the same objective.

For their part, the enemy -- at 4:00 p.m. -- launched a vigorous attack against Huandacareo where 80 brave citizens under Sr. Nicolas Nunez, made a bold resistance, holding at bay the bandits until 7:00 p.m., at which time, Gen. Flores, proceeding from Purandiro and following the correct device regiments under his command, attacked, vigorously, the rearguard of the enemy, putting them, in 30-minutes, in complete disarray despite the rugged terrain and darkness of night.

The enemy abandoned 34 dead, 245 horses, the majority saddled, 40 weapons in good repair, 10 musical instruments, and 140 "maletas" (carpet bags/suitcases) of "impedimenta" [,] numerous bloody tracks. This part refers only to what is evident. On our part we had one dead and one wounded from the 89th Regiment, one dead from the 216th Regiment and three wounded of the brave civilian defenders of Huandacareo.

I think it just to note the expertise of Gen. Flores; the tenacity of our cavalry and the brave conduct of the citizens of Huandacareo.

As you see, it seems that the weapons confirm our optimism in the ultimate success of the campaign in Michoacan.


General Enrique Estrada,
"Jefe de Operaciones" [Signed]

Clarifications [by J. Socorro Diaz Diaz]:---------------------

The attack began at 3:00 p.m. and aid arrived at 9:00 p.m. or 9:30 p.m. The dead caused Chavez Garcia by the government were three. And [the government] killed six day-labourers at the "Hacienda" whom the "bandoleros" (bandits) had taken prisoners as they worked at the "Potrero de La Higuera" "cosechando" (harvesting) and whom [the bandits] utilized to take care of their horses while the Chavistas attacked the town. The dead caused General Flores resulted from the ongoing combat in which the defenders at "Reten No. Cinco" (battle group 5) were engaged, before they were able to be identified as government troops. We found out from one of General Flores' officers that he (Gen. Flores) had orders to disarm the defense, since we were the only ones left in the zone--one has to recall the antagonism that existed in this era between the "Jefatura Federal" (Federal Head) and Ing. Ortiz Rubio, "Gobernador Constitucional del Estado" (Constitutional Governor of the State of Michoacan) and "Jefe Nato de las Defensas Civiles" (Nicolas Nunez, Head of Civilian Defense forces in the area). But Flores, upon arriving at "Llano Grande" [Hacienda de...], learned of our position and did not put into effect the order that we suppose had been given him.

The forces of Altamirano (Escalante and Ortiz), had retreated as far as "Rancho de Marijo," five kilometers from the town and could not take part in the combat, nor would they have wished to. The force with which Chavez Garcia operated was 1,800 to 2,000 men, according to the neighbors of the towns of Cuitzeo and Santa Ana Maya and the noncombatants--taken as prisoners from the towns-- that succeeded in escaping upon the disarray of the bandits [at Huandacareo].


In the morning of 9th [of January, 1918], we captured five rebels who had remained lost among the properties of the town, whom General Flores ordered be "pasados por las armas" (be shot by firing squad). The last one, a youth about 20 years of age, asked [Salvador] Urrutia that he not be shot but instead be allowed to deliver a message from the General to Chavez Garcia, to the effect that the Defense was telling him [Chavez Garcia] to go to... ; that the defenders were left wanting more ...; and be assured that they were waiting for him to determine the outcome of the battle." Like messages were sent Rafael Nunez, Macario Silva, the so-called "general" Roa, and the leader, Sacramento Vieyra who also accompanied Chavez Garcia the 5th of September of the same year. We were able to prove that [the youth] completed his mission, because [at that time, September 5th], Chavez Garcia was shouting those insults to us that Urrutia has sent to him.

Of those neighbors who did not take part in the defense, and who therefore did not move into the zone [town] that was being defended, four were assassinated as they attempted to defend their womenfolk from the "tropelias" of the bandits.

The same day, the 9th of January, we sent to Morelia the defenders who were wounded. A few days later they returned. We, for the general part, yielded ourselves to the Governor of the State [of Michoacan], Ing. Ortiz Rubio, from whom we received effusive congratulations.

Since the towns of Villa Morelos, Cuitzeo, Santa Ana Maya and Chucandiro had been abandoned by their neighbors and lacked defenses against the bandit gangs, on the 14th [of January, 1918] a commission of defenders was named to meet with the Governor to ask that a small detachment be sent to us to aid in our defense. But the Governor indicated that we would need to direct ourselves [request] to the Head of Operations, General Estrada, who answered us saying it was not possible to attend to our petition because the federal forces were dedicated to finish off the bandit gangs and for that reason he would not be able to grant our request. He offerred us 5,000 cartridges of Mausser, which we never received, because having been commissioned to deliver these, Colonel Serrato with a regiment had to turn back because Chavez had again arrived at Cuitzeo.

[The decision to evacuate Huandacareo]

So, from that time until the 27th of January [1918], he intimated we should "rendicion" (surrender). "Habiendolo nosotros despachado a la porra" (We had not counted on his help). In addition, at the meeting with General Estrada he had said: "Si no pueden sostenerse, retirense como puedan" (If you cannot sustain yourselves, retreat/withdraw/evacuate in whatever way you can).

On the 28th or 29th [of January, 1918], Chavez Garcia--with his people--advanced in the direction of Morelia, arriving at the town of Tarimbaro and the haciendas at San Jose and even the hacienda "La Soledad," withdrawing by way of Urundaneo and Huaniqueo--the zone in which he most operated.

This audacious boldness on the part of the bandido convinced us that we could not count on help from the "Jefatura de Operaciones (Head of Operations), and thus, the neighboring area convened to assemble and set forth on the 31st of January [1918] the conditions in which the defense and the town found itself. Having resolved--as much for the defenders of the town as for the neighbors [in the area]--that we had no recourse but to withdraw with our families and properties to Morelia. To this end, we had to organize [civilian defender] detachments to protect our evacuation. The bandits under Ramon Medina "La Media" were almost always found to be operating at "El Puerto," between [the towns of] Cuitzeo and Cuto de la Esperanza. A protected convoy would leave every three or four days--any other way and they would be taken at said place.

Some neighbors opted to relocate to Moroleon, Guanajuato, where they still had a civilian defense, although very badly organized, but at least there was protection and they were closer for the moving of belongings and herds.

The harvest of corn and beans that had been gathered at the Hacienda was transported to Moroleon due to the impossibility of making it to Morelia. All the neighbors who evacuated the town were ready to move on the 14th of February and on the 15th of February. At 2:00 in the morning the people evacuating to Morelia left for that town; and at noon, the people that were relocating to Moroleon--because that's where our small harvests were--left for that town.

The ones headed for Morelia encountered a lengthy firefight in order to open up the passage at "El Puerto" but they did arrive with a great convoy/column of neighbors and herds without [further] incident. Of the 2,500 inhabitants of the town at that time, no less than 1,300 "abandonaron" (evacuated/abandoned) and the rest could not make the move due to extreme poverty.

Once at Moroleon, we learned that many prominent neighbors [there] were evacuating the town due to their fear of the bandit, "C. Ines Chaves Garcia." Upon the request of the "C. Presidente Municipal" (mayor) don Moises Lopez, we proceeded to reorganize the civilian defense of the population, directing the placement of "retenes" (battle stations) and fortifications that they needed. This work was undertaken by Salvador Urrutia in collaboration with don Prisciliano Lopez and other neighbors who pleaded with the "Presidente Municipal" as well as the defenders to name [Salvador] Urrutia as the head--something which he had to accept and which post he held for a month. This, due to the fact he had organized an expedition to pursue a party of rebels under Jose Ma. Hernandez, and few were the defenders from Moroleon who wanted to accompany him and these [that did so] refused to follow him after four or five kilometers, leaving only the "Huandacarenses" (defenders from Huandacareo) to continue the pursuit and firefight. Upon return, [Salvador Urrutia] handed in his resignation as Head of the [Civilian] Defense.

With don Nicolas Nunez, we undertook the same labor at Uriangato, raising up "garitones," organizing "retenes" (battle groups) and adequate distribution of defenders.

In the last days of February, the 25th or 26th, don Nicolas Nunez was advised that at Uriangato, at the "Rancho de La Deseada" near the town, could be found some mules that had been robbed from "Rancho de Cuaro." For this reason, we organized with some defenders of that town, captained by Sr. Ramon Nunez, cousin to don Nicolas, a group to recuperate the animals--which we did successfully after a lengthy firefight.

The 28th of the same [February 1918], the leader Fidel Gonzalez, knowing that Huandacareo was undefended, attacked the town, burning some houses belonging to members of the [Civilian] Defense and commiting the robberies customary, leaving in greater misery the neighbors who due to their poverty had not been able to relocate to Morelia or Moroleon.

The 2nd of March [1918], some of the neighbors from "Rancho de Cuaro" captained by Juvencio Diaz rose up in arms affiliating themselves with the Altamiranista forces, under pretense of attempting to save the interests of don Nicolas Nunez, believing that in this form they would be able to protect their meager interests. Also joining the revolution were some neighbors from "Rancho de Tupatarillo", others from the town of Capacho and, lastly, about twelve or fifteen from Huandacareo [affiliated themselves with revolutionary forces]--under the command of Sabino Rangel.

Just as don Nicolas Nunez, Elpidio Figueroa and Jose S. Diaz, we also had our families in Morelia. Even though we had gone to Moroleon, it was only because we were delivering our seeds and part of of the armament and munitions of the defense--which had been left in the care of Salvador Urrutia. Having to return to Morelia and on the road through Salvatierra plagued by bandits, at 5:00 in the morning we left Uriangato. Immediately we encountered, or better said, the "rebeldes de Cuaro" [rebels from Rancho de Cuaro] under the orders of Juvencio Diaz were waiting for us. They escorted us all the way to Huandacareo, where we arrived the 5th of March [1918] at 10:00 in the morning. The neighbors received us with bells ringing, believing that we were going to reorganize the defense, and suffered great disillusionment when they learned that at the moment it was impossible, since we were on our way to the capital [Morelia] to talk with General Estrada to see whether it was possible to reorganize [the civilian defense force]. We spent the night at the tower with those from Cuaro. We were under attack from our traditional enemies, "Los Canados."

On the morning of the 6th [of March, 1918], don Nicolas [Nunez] received a message from one "Colonel" Melesio Contreras, of the forces of Altamirano in which he requested a meeting near Cuitzeo, where he was numbering about 50 men and whose request we could not refuse because they were on our route to Morelia.

We met with Contreras and five of his people at the "Potrero de Huaropo" near Cuitzeo. At the meeting, he insisted that we join ourselves with the forces of the Altamiranistas. We let him know everything we had discussed with Eduardo Escalante and Librado Ortiz the day that Chavez Garcia attacked us, and we begged off for the same reasons we had given them [Escalante and Ortiz] for not accepting an affiliation with Altamiranistas. Contreras insisted that we ally ourselves since Altamirano had ordered him to convince us and even to grant the grade of "General de Brigada" (Brigade General) to don Nicolas. And those whom he designated would be recognized as "Jefes" (Heads) and officials. We responded that we had never held ambitions toward military grades; our attitude was one of peace loving neighbors who would not let themselves be trampled; that we recognized that Altamirano was of sound judgment and noble ideals, but we would never, under any circumstances, ally ourselves with the bestial Chavistas who were a dishonor to a noble cause.

Furthermore, don Nicolas added that he, especially, found it impossible to launch himself into the revolution because--in addition to the reaons we had expounded--he had the care of his numerous family which would suffer reprisals from the enemies. Convinced that we would not accept his offer, Contreras accompanied us with part of his people until we reached the bridge at "Lago de Cuitzeo" (Lake Cuitzeo), which was dry. From there he returned with his people and with the escort from [Ranch de] "Cuaro" who had accompanied us from Huandacareo. We continued on--don Nicolas, Elpidio Figueroa, and myself--in the direction of "La Hacienda de San Agustin," but luck would have it that we came across some inebriated Altamiranistas who were stampeding away from a combat they had sustained with the government at the "Rancho de el Carocol" in the direction of Ozumatlan. They surrounded us (there were about 15) and threatened to hang us. We finally succeeded in convincing them that they should take us to their leader, the so-called Major Ramon Medina ("A la Media"), who was in the town of Copandaro. He, at first, refused to give us the safe-conduct that Contreras had given us, but we finally succeeded. he even offered an escort to follow us all the way to Morelia--which we refused.

We arrived at Morelia at 2:00 in the morning [7th of March, 1918], at the hour that they--Luis Nunez, Hilario Chavez, and other members of the [Civilian] Defense-- were preparing to leave the city. They were sure that we had taken up arms [joined Altamirano forces] against the "Carrancismo" [political faction], and as the fellow defenders feared being apprehended, they had opted to leave the city and go join us. The following day [?], the 7th [of March, 1918], we presented ourselves to the "Jefatura de Operaciones" (Head of Operations), where the "Jefe de Guarnicion" (Head of the Garrison), was happy to see us. He said that there were orders to apprehend us since news had reached said office that we had "sublevado" (risen in insurrection, sedition, revolt), recognizing Altamirano; and he showed us some letters that had passed between don Nicolas and the leader Eduardo Escalante. We explained the circumstances under which we had had that correspondence due to a large part because of the lack of help from the Head of Operations in sustaining us in our town. And we succeeded in convincing him, but he continued, as always, the "animadversion" [The remark said on January 14th, 1918: "If you can't sustain yourselves, retreat as best you can."] against [the idea of] reorganizing the defense. (One has to remember that many military heads grew very rich in their campaigns against the rebels, and for the same reason, blocked anything that would establish order. And in the case of the State of Michoacan, most especially, it was a work against Governor Ortiz Rubio whose brother-in-law, Librado Ortiz, had launched himself into the revolution on the side of Altamirano).

My efforts for the reorganization of the defense were unceasing before the "C. Governador Ortiz Rubio" (Constitutional Governor Ortiz Rubio), despite the lack of enthusiasm on the part of don Nicolas Nunez and the "suspicacias" (suspiciousness) of the "Guarnicion Federal" (federal troops). And such was the case when on the 5th of May [1918], I was advised by the "Jefatura de Las Fuerzas del Estado" (Head of the Forces of the State), Lt. Colonel Teodoro Villegas, on the part of the Sr. Gobernador Ortiz Rubio, that after the military march, two regiments from the state would leave to reinstall us at Huandacareo. I hurriedly advised the fellow defenders and we were able to gather 20 who prepared to leave; but at 3:00 in the afternoon, said Lt. Colonel advised me at "Cuartel de las Rosas" were we were awaiting departure, that it would not be possible due to the opposition from the Head of Federal Operations.

I continued on alone, harressing the Ing. Ortiz Rubio [the governor], since the majority of the fellow defenders had lost hope.

Meanwhile, in the first two weeks of April, our town was taken by Chavez Garcia and after reviewing our defenses--so we heard--he admired how we had been able to withstand his attack on the 8th of January [1918].

On the 24th of June [1918], Uriangato was attacked by Chavez Garcia and for that reason, Salvador Urrutia invited the defenders at Moroleon to go help the neighboring town. But the "Moroleoneses" (people from Moroleon) did not accept the invitation and Urrutia, with don Miguel Gazca and other Huandacarenses, left to offer their aid to the people of Uriangato, who for lack of organization, were very much in danger. They had abandoned some of the battle stations that we--don Nicolas Nunez and I--had prepared and they had concentrated themselves solely at the "Palacio Municipal" (town hall) and the roof of the parrish church.

The Huandacarenses and two or three from Moroleon entered the town shooting and upon the defenders of Uriangato seeing the help and thinking it was the entire defense force from Moroleon, they began to give shouts of acclamation to Moroleon and Huandacareo. And with that, they caused the Chavistas to suspend their attack--even though they had reached the plaza and the lower floors of the rectory. They stampeded out, having caused the defenders only five fallen. In addition, the canon that we had forged and installed at the tower in Moroleon, was fired various times by the Huandacarense whom we had left in charge--causing the Chavistas to retreat beyond the edge of the town of Uriangato. The street by which Urrutia entered with his fellow defenders still bears his name [in the town of Uriangato].