Random Recollections
by FQC Gardner

Copyright, all rights reserved


30. ON THE GENERAL STAFF, HDQRS. VIIIth CORPS AREA.

We arrived at Ft. Sam Houston August 9th, 1928. We were assigned Quarters #11, Staff Post, a very comfortable stone building, which we enjoyed throughout our stay.

I was assigned as G-1, although, under General Lassiter I was, at various times Acting G-3 or G-4. I was Acting G-3 in March -- April, 1929, during the Escobar Revolution in Mexico. This Revolution was of considerably more importance to the United States than was generally recognized by the public at that time. The combined Rebel and Federal troops comprised the largest body of well-equipped Mexican troops (some 30000) ever concentrated near our southwest border. The operations consisted chiefly of fighting to sieze or to hold the Border cities, the attackers in some cases being Federals and in others being Rebels. In either case the Infantry and Artillery fire fell, in part, across the Border and endangered American life and property. Similarly airplanes used, for the first time in Mexican revolutions, even when over Mexican territory, dropped bombs that landed in American territory. Approximately 3000 troops from the 2nd Division (at Ft. Sam Houston), the 7th Cavalry (Ft. Bliss) and the 10th Cavalry (Ft. Huachuca), and 12 Attack planes from Ft. Crockett and 6 Observation planes from Ft. Sam Houston were moved to positions along the Border, and General Cocheu, in command, was given definite instructions to shoot down any Mexican planes that dropped bombs on American territory and to take any steps that might, after reasonable warning, be necessary to protect American life and property from any class of ground fire.

The nature of the new problems presented and the fact that at times the situation became tense, even threatening to result in combined Federal and rebel attack against the United States, resulted in a dangerous situation. General Lassiter's handling of the situation throughout was masterly, and my G-3 experience under him was most interesting and instructive.

The pleasure of our stay at Fort Sam Houston was greatly marred by the fact that Shirley, then about ten years old, was seriously bitten by an Airedale dog belonging to Colonel George P. Tyner, then Corps Area Chief of Staff. Some 36 stitches in her face were necessary, and her eventual recovery with almost no scars was due to the great skill as a Plastic Surgeon of Colonel H. Wellington Jones, Medical Corps, the Chief of Surgery in the large hospital (later Brooks General Hospital), who personally operated on her.

One pleasant memory of our stay there is that of an automobile trip, together with about half a dozen friends, that we took to Monterey, Mexico, over the new road which was later extended to Mexico City and beyond.


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