2008 - North to Alaska travel blog

Dr. Hemlock?

Deming Horn Blower

Litter Bearers

Tank 1916

Early Pottery



Villa Poster

Punitive Expedition

Battle Description

First Air Force

Last Cavalry

The Raid

The Toll

We camped outside of Deming, New Mexico at Rock Hound State Park. Touted as a gem lover's park, the park actually has had almost all of the attractive stones removed. What remains is a small campground nestled against a range of mountains, with some trails back to the rock collecting hills. From the campground you have an expansive view of about fifty miles of desert.

Deming itself was a nice town with a large local interest museum. The museum extended over five buildings, and had everything from ancient pottery found in the area to fire trucks used in the WW II era.

South of Deming lay the town of Columbus, noted as one of a few American cities invaded by land. On a quiet night in 1916, a band of Pancho Villa's men raided the town of Columbus, burned some buildings, killed about eighteen people, and were routed back across the border after about six hours, losing about ninety of their own. The townsfolk fled on foot and horse to Deming, and the Army under General Pershing, mobilized and went on a "Punitive Expedition" into Mexico to capture Pancho Villa. After eighteen months, the Army returned empty handed, not able to find Villa. The similarities with Osama bin Laden were striking.

The Expedition was instrumental in the United States Army actions in WW I, which Pershing also commanded. The Expedition saw the last use of cavalry and the first use of planes as an air force. The tank was also utilized in the pursuit.

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