Posted by: ushistoryfiles | May 26, 2009

March 16, 1916 – US Invades Mexico

Ok, so the US crosses the border searching for Pancho Villa in 1916, but it could have brought about a war between the two nations.  General Pershing and the “Punitive Expedition” would stay in Mexico until January 27, 1917.  

This latest post is brought about because I just finished Intervention! The United States and the Mexican Revolution, 1913-1917 by John S D Eisenhower.  I have enjoyed Mr. Eisenhower’s books before.  I highly recommend Agent of Destiny a biography of Winfield Scott and So Far From God about America’s war with Mexico fought just prior to the Civil War.  Eisenhower’s writing style is thoroughly enjoyable, but not dumbed down – which is why I have enjoyed his other books.

Back to our story … Villa and his band crossed the border and sacked the town of Columbus, New Mexico on March 9 of 1916 which is what prompted the “Punitive Expedition”.  Not that Mexican sovereignty was all that important to the United States anyway.  In April of 1914 the American’s seized the port city of Veracruz in order to prevent a cargo of arms from Germany from reaching the Huerta government.  

Want to learn more?  I highly recommend the book Intervention! by John S D Eisenhower.


  1. Most Americans know nothing of the Punitive Expedition or the Mexican Border Campaign which occurred 94 years ago and involved more than 100,000 National Guard and Regular Army troops. This was the opening act for American involvement in the Great War and acted as the catalyst to transform our military into a modern force.

    Here is a link to letters written by a National Guardsman on the Border exactly 94 years ago.

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