Buffalo Soldier Regiment: History of the Twenty-Fifth United States Infantry, 1869-1926

By John H. Nankivell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXI
“AMBOS NOGALES”—THE FIGHT AT NOGALES, AUGUST 27–28, 1918 —
ARRIVAL OF THE REGIMENT AT NOGALES—BORDER DUTY—CAMP
STEPHEN D. LITTLE —RECORD OF EVENTS 1919–1926—RELATIONS
WITH PEOPLE OF NOGALES.

Nogales, Arizona, the regiment’s new station, was, and is, a dual town, one-half being on the Mexican side and the other half on the United States side of the International Boundary. A wide street, International Avenue, with a wire fence running east and west midway between the two sides, separates Nogales, Sonora, from Nogales, Arizona, and the two towns are often referred to as “Ambos (both) Nogales.”

Relations between the two towns are at present (May, 1926), very cordial, but three days prior to the arrival of the first detachment of the regiment at Nogales on August 30th, 1918, our old friends of the 10th Cavalry with a few companies of the 35th Infantry had had a rather severe engagement with armed Mexicans, supposedly bandits, but in reality Mexican government troops with a pretty liberal sprinkling of armed citizens. The fight had been a severe one, two officers, three enlisted men, and two civilians killed, and two officers and twenty-nine enlisted men wounded on the American side, and 129 killed and about 300 wounded on the Mexican side.

There is no doubt that the fight had been precipitated by the machinations of German agents, two of whom—apparently officers—had been found among the dead after the fight, and had it not been for the prompt measures taken by the American commander, Lieutenant Colonel Herman, 10th Cavalry, serious losses would have occurred among the United States troops and considerable damage done to the town of Nogales, Arizona. Intense excitement prevailed on both sides of the border and the 25th Infantry was promptly called upon to furnish guards and outpost detachments to protect the American side of the line. These detachments were maintained for several months, and were not withdrawn until friendly relations were again established with the Mexican authorities and citizens of Nogales, Sonora.

The signing of the armistice on November 11th, 1918, crushed entirely the hopes of the regiment for service in France, and shortly afterwards the discharge of the temporary war-time commissioned and enlisted personnel began.

Events in the history of the regiment for the succeeding years are best summarized in the regimental returns and the annual histories that were required to be submitted at this time, and from which I quote the following excerpts:


1919

January: The regiment performed the usual garrison duties at Camp Stephen D. Little, Nogales, Arizona, during the month. Companies B and C, changed station from Yuma. Ariz., to Nogales, Ariz., January 2nd. The regiment was inspected by Major General Cabell (Department Commander), January 19th. Brigadier General J. L. Hartmen, District Commander, inspected the regiment January 27th.

February: The regiment performed the usual garrison and outpost duty at Nogales Arizona, during the month. Detachments of the regiment were on duty at Ajo, Arizona and Andrade, Calif., during the entire month.

July: The regiment performed the usual garrison duties at Camp Stephen D. Little, Nogales Arizona, during the month. Companies F and G, were on outpost duty from July 22nd to 31st, inclusive.

September: The regiment performed the usual garrison and outpost duty at Nogales, Arizona during the month. Company D left Nogales for a tour of detached service at

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