Pancho Villa Expedition, Scouting Expedition, 1916

- Image ID: M2HYB5
Pancho Villa Expedition, Scouting Expedition, 1916
Science History Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: M2HYB5
Entitled: "Lieut. C.G. Chapman preparing for a scouting expedition at Casas Grandes, Mexico." The Pancho Villa Expedition was a military operation conducted by the US Army against the forces of Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa from March 1916 - February 1917, during the Mexican Revolution of 1910-20. The expedition was launched in retaliation for Villa's attack on the town of Columbus, New Mexico, and was the most remembered event of the Border War. Black Jack Pershing assembled an expeditionary force consisting primarily of cavalry and horse artillery, the cavalry units armed with M1909 machine guns, M1903 Springfield rifles, and M1911 semi-automatic pistols. The objective of the expedition was the capture of Villa. Despite successfully locating and defeating the main body of Villa's command, responsible for the raid on Columbus, US forces were unable to achieve Wilson's stated main objective of preventing Villa's escape. The active search for Villa ended after a month in the field when troops sent by Venustiano Carranza, the head of the Constitutionalist faction of the revolution resisted the US incursion. When war was averted diplomatically, the expedition remained in Mexico until February 1917 to encourage Carranza's government to pursue Villa and prevent further raids across the border. No photographer credited, 1916.