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160 Perform, in conjunction with the military forces stationed along the Mexican border, such patrol duty as may be necessary to prevent violations of the neutrality laws, and in proper cases to arrest persons caught in the act of violating such laws. . . It is proper for your deputies and the military forces to make appropriate inquiry in connection with the arrest of persons engaged in violating the law, or where it is believed that the law is being violated at or near the place where such deputies or military forces are operating. This February 21, 1911, directive from the U. S. attorney general’s office instructed the marshals along the Texas-Mexican border to be pro-active in their watch over the escalating border troubles. It granted them broader powers than they had before, but still the protection of the 2,000-mile line was nearly impossible. Even with the addition of customs inspectors and armed forces, and deputies like former Ranger John H. Rogers who knew the territory so intimately, the challenge was formidable to keep the peace, stop the smuggling, and intervene in the coming revolution.1 Upon taking his new position working for the federal government in law enforcement, Deputy Marshal Rogers knew he was walking right back into the heat, this time the heat of a revolution. The great west Texas historian C. L. Sonnichsen put the borderland pasCHAPTER 12 Deputy U. S. Marshal Deputy U. S. Marshal 161 ★ sions into his own words: “They rose. The first to do so were easily suppressed, but the movement spread across the country like a prairie fire. First Chihuahua was a focal area. Then El Paso moved into the center of the revolutionary picture. It could almost have been called the headquarters of revolutionary Mexico and the Sheldon Hotel was practically the capitol building. South El Paso—Chihuahuita [Little Chihuahua] they called it then—sheltered dozens of organizers , agents, undercover workers, exiles.” Marshal Nolte kept a close eye on the movements of the revolutionaries . Only one month before Rogers had taken on his duties in El Paso his boss reported, “My representatives along the border are alert, closely in touch with the situation, investigating all rumors of gatherings of supposed revolutionists. We have found no evidence of any violation of neutrality. There is good reason to believe that many Mexicans have crossed the border from this side, but not in large bands.” 2 That was about to change. On February 1 a report came to Nolte that Colonel Rabago was marching government troops into Western Chihuahua while rebel leader Pablo Orozco, himself a native of that state and absolutely confident within its environs, had been spotted only ninety-four miles south of Juarez. In less than forty-eight hours Orozco and his troops were on the outskirts of the city. Merchants and citizens of Juarez, fearing the inevitable confrontation, poured across into Texas by the hundreds. For their part many El Paso citizens began to line up along the river’s edge to get a glimpse of what they thought would be a glorious battle. But this battle would not take place, not now. The federalis marched to the smelters at the edge of town but then retreated from the site. The insurrectos found themselves low on ammunition and unable to get into the city for supplies, and Orozco moved his forces off to the south after a brief skirmish. John Rogers arrived in El Paso during this interlude and assisted law enforcement in keeping order among the now-disappointed El Paso crowds who had come to see something more. Francisco Madero arrived in the city at about this time as well, secreting himself there for several days before crossing into Mexico on February 14 to join his revolutionary army. For the next Chapter Twelve 162 ★ two months the uprising slowed, with several minor engagements in the mountains of Chihuahua that resulted in some casualties, including the wounding of Madero. On April 15 word came that Madero was headed for Juarez once again. This time he had the troops and the supplies to lay siege to the Federalist forces garrisoned there. But before a battle could erupt word came from Washington, D.C. that a truce was being offered to negotiate a peace between the main parties of the escalating conflict. The truce took effect on April 23 and lasted for two weeks. Diaz sent Judge Francisco Carbajal as his representative, Dr. Francisco Vazquez Gomez arrived from Washington...


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