The 35th Infantry Regiment at Nogales, Arizona
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Coat of Arms
Motto: "Take Arms"
Approved 28 June 1923
The 35th Infantry
Regiment: Our Beginnings
July 1, 1916 to August 1918
The 35th Infantry Regiment had its beginnings in
the deserts of Douglas, Arizona on July 1, 1916. Between the 8th
and 19th of July, personnel from the 11th
Infantry, the 18th Infantry and the 22nd
Infantry were transferred to the 35th Infantry
Regiment. During the Civil War, the 11th Infantry
had been in the 2nd Division, 5th Army
Corps, the badge of which is a white Maltese Cross, the 18th
Infantry was in the 1st Division, 14th
Army Corps, with a Red Acorn as its badge. The 22nd
Infantry was originally the 2nd Battalion, 13th
Infantry and as such had distinguished itself at the Siege of
Vicksburg, receiving the name "First at Vicksburg."
This is shown on the canton as the Embattled Partition Line.
The Cactus represents the original border service of the 35th
Infantry. The Crest commemorates the baptism of fire of the
Regiment at Nogales, the Spanish for Walnut Trees.
|The first mission of the 35th
Infantry was the protection of the border with Mexico and the
United States. In March of 1916, General Francisco "Pancho"
Villa attacked the small border town and military camp at
Columbus, New Mexico. In retaliation, the United States sent
General "Black Jack" Pershing, who would later command
the Allied forces of World War I, on what was to become known as
The Punitive Expedition south into Mexico. It was with this
background of tension between the United States and Mexico that
the 35th Infantry was formed. The Regiment remained
at Douglas, Arizona until March 17, 1917.
Camp Stephen D. Little, north of
Nogales, Arizona 1917
|On March 26, 1917, the 35th
Infantry was transferred to Camp Stephen D. Little, at Nogales,
Arizona, relieving the 12th Infantry. With the end of the
Punitive Expedition 11 months after its beginning, and a declared
victory for the US even though Villa was never captured, tensions
still stood high between the two countries. Everyone knew that it
was just a matter of time before our troops were committed to the
war that was raging in Europe. Everyone along the border knew that
German agents were encouraging Mexico to declare war on the US the
minute that we sent our forces into battle against Germany.
In mid-August of 1918, the Intelligence Division of the Infantry
had reports of German agents operating in the area of Nogales,
Sonora. These agents were engaged in the training of Mexicans in the
art of military terms, method and movement. At about this time, the
intelligence office had also received an anonymous letter from a
person who claimed to be a major in the forces of Pancho Villa. In
the letter he complained about being sickened and disgusted at the
atrocities committed by Villa and his men, and at the lack of pay or
reward, and who claimed a feeling of friendly respect for American
troops, warning them of the German
|influences at work near and in
Nogales, advising of the financial activities of the German
agents, and of a contemplated attack on Nogales about August 25,
1918. This letter rang so true that it became a subject of
investigation by Lt. Col. Frederick J. Herman, 10th Cavalry, then
acting sub-district commander at Nogales, and Lieutenant Robert
Scott Israel, Infantry Intelligence Officer at Nogales. So many
points of the letter were verified that it was given more than
A shooting incident on the 27th of August led to
a full scale battle between the US forces and the Mexican garrison
stationed just across the border that ran through Nogales. Before
it was over, three Troops of the 10th Cavalry and three
companies of the 35th Infantry would become involved.
It would become known as the "Battle of Ambos Nogales."
(meaning Both Nogales)
"Battle of Ambos Nogales"
Colonel H. B. Warfield wrote of the "Battle of Ambos
Nogales" in his book, Tenth Cavalry Border Fights.
Nogales, Sonora of 1918 was under control of a Mexican federal
garrison. The local situation was complicated by agitation
aroused through German agents and an accompanying rising dislike
for us --- the Gringos. On the American side the people were on
the alert, Most of the householders had a Winchester or other
weapon in a convenient location.
On August 20, 1918, the 35th Infantry was transferred
to Camp Travis, Texas. However, during the latter part of
August, 1918, the Thirty-fifth Infantry at Camp Stephen D.
Little was just completing its movement to the eastern staging
area for overseas war duty. Only Companies G, F, and H remained,
awaiting relief by the Twenty-fifth Infantry (Negro). The 10th
Cavalry camp had Troop A, Troop C, and Troop F. Troop M was at
Arivaca, and Lochiel was occupied by Troop B.
Nogales, Arizona between 1918 and 1920
Manning the international guard station in Nogales were
details from the Thirty-fifth Infantry. And patrolling east
and west along the border were cavalry detachments.
Lieutenant Colonel Frederick J. Herman, Tenth Cavalry, was
with the cavalry troops and also acting Nogales sub-district
Military intelligence developed information that the Nogales
situation was becoming critical. The Mexican garrison were,
digging some trenches in the hills overlooking the American
side. Groups of mounted Mexicans, some in uniforms, were
seen moving along the trails into town, and the Sonora
border guards at the crossing gate had adapted a changed and
officious attitude. Such an explosive condition seemingly
only awaited an incident for ignition.
At 4:10 PM. on August 27, 1918, a Mexican coming from the
American side tried to walk through the guarded
international gate without interrogation. When the U.S.
Customs inspector (Arthur G. Barber) ordered " Halt!
" the man kept moving toward the other side. Then the
government official drew his revolver and went after the
person. Private W. H. Klint of Company H, Thirty-fifth
Infantry, followed for protection. A Mexican custom guard
fired at the American official, missed him but killed
Private Klint. Instantly Corporal William H. Tucker of
Company H shot the Mexican officer. More Mexican guards came
running and started shooting. The corporal opened fire with
his Springfield and killed three more. The U.S. Inspector
gunned one down. A civilian at the gate (Mr. Frank Eames of
the Nogales Theater) phoned to the Thirty-fifth guard detail
at the West Coast Company warehouse about the emergency.
Another (Mr. Otto Mayer) cranked up his truck and sped to
the place, returning with Lieutenant Fanning (Fannin) and
the soldiers. They arrived amidst a fusillade of lead from
the Mexican side. That was the beginning of the Battle of
Capt. Roy V. Morledge of Troop A, 10th Cavalry, was in
Nogales ,when the shooting started. He wrote:
I happened to be downtown near the depot when I heard some
rifle shots, and then more. I saw them carrying a wounded
soldier at the international street.
Motor transportation was scarce in those days, but I had a
good horse, I sped over the hills a couple of miles to camp.
On the way I passed Lieutenant Colonel Herman in a car. He
had already gotten some news and told me to go on, get my
troop out and notify Troop C and Troop F.
Colonel Herman soon arrived and led the troops for the town
at the gallop. I was sent down Morely Avenue. The place was a
double street along the railroad tracks. At the little park
the troop was dismounted, and one trooper detailed to hold
each group of eight horses. Those left behind pleaded with me
to go along.
Dismounted, I told the men to follow me. Not far along
before we got a lot of fire. There was so much it was hard to
tell where it was coming from. Also it seemed as though
everybody in Nogales was shooting from the windows toward the
Reaching the line in spite of the fire, we dashed into a big
building on the Mexican side without resistance, but bullets
from up on a hillside were hitting the place. We ran forward
into another connecting building. It was the Concordia Club.
In there were some frightened senoritas wearing kimonas. I
got a laugh when one of them spoke to a trooper, saying,
'Sergeant Jackson! Are we all glad to see you!" But we
did not have time to tarry for the soldier to alibi his
Colonel Herman ordered us to the top of the hill. Up we went
in waves of a squad at a time, firing at Mexicans off to one
side. We took a position near some old buildings and a
barricade. Down below were the Mexican depot and buildings.
From there they were firing toward the American town, and
some probably just hiding. They also started replying to our
I hope we only hit those who were shooting. But there were a
lot of bodies lying around. All of a sudden some one saw a
long pole with a sheet tied on being waved from the top of
the Mexican customs house down below.
I ordered the men to cease fire. It was then 7:45 P.M., and
getting dark. Where the time passed I do not know. We had
five men wounded, and the others wanted to clean out the
town. However First Sergeant LaMar and I quickly controlled
our skirmish line of troopers.
Finally orders came to move back across the border and
bivouac in the park near the depot. There I saw Captain
Caron with a bandaged wrist. Also the news came that Captain
Hungerford of Troop C and Lieutenant L. W. Loftus of Company
G, Thirty-fifth Infantry, had been killed as well as several
Capt. Henry C. Caron and Troop F, upon arriving downtown,
crossed over to Terrace Avenue on the right of Troop A.
Lieutenant Colonel Herman assigned the troop to move forward
and occupy Titcomb Hill. Years afterwards Captain Caron wrote:
We left our horses at a lumber yard in the vicinity of the
Bowman Hotel, and proceeded on foot up Terrace Avenue to our
positions as designated. The Mexicans were on the flat house
tops and the hills giving us a heavy fire, and we returned
I was behind a telephone pole with First Sergeant Thomas
Jordan and got hit in the right arm below the elbow.
Sergeant Jordan picked me up and carried me back out of the
range of the fire. He then took command of the troop until I
returned from the doctor's office. I had no lieutenants with
me at the time.
(First Sergeant Thomas Jordan was given a commendation by
Lieutenant Colonel Herman for taking command of Troop F
during the absence of his commander.)
Captain Joseph D. Hungerford and Troop C were assigned the
left sector and moved forward toward the Reservoir Hill for
control of the heights overlooking the town. The troop
advanced to the position, then crossed the border, clearing
the Mexicans out of their entrenchments on the heights.
During this forward dash Captain Hungerford was shot through
the heart and instantly killed. First Sergeant James T.
Penny then took command of Troop C. Subsequently he received
a special commendation for his initiative and the handling
of the troopers.
|Meanwhile Major Herbert E, Marshburn,
Thirty-fifth Infantry, arrived in town from Camp Little with
contingents of Companies F, G, and H coming along in
quartermaster trucks. Company H was held in reserve and moved
to the railroad depot near the border.
Company G was assigned to support Troop F, Tenth Cavalry,
moving on Titcomb Hill. Near the line the doughboys became
heavily engaged. A bullet killed Lieutenant L, W. Loftus, and
Corporal Barney Lots was also fatally shot. Along a street
Corporal A. L. Whitworth was hit in the groin and dropped in
front of a house. Mrs. Emma Budge and Mrs. Jones, braving the
fire, ran out and assisted the wounded man to shelter.
Men from the Machine Gun Company, 35th Infantry, 1917
|Upon arrival of Company F, Thirty-fifth
Infantry, it got action in the support of Troop C on the
Reservoir Hill sector. A private was hit and fell across the
street from the home of "Colonel" A. T. Bird. June
Reed, a niece of the Birds, and Miss O'Daley ran out the back
and called to the man. He crawled across the street and was
helped into the house. We young cavalry officers were very
proud of June for the brave deed. She had favored our
acquaintance and company over that of the infantry at the hops
and Sunday horseback rides. After her display of courage she
increased in favor as our special girl friend.
Four unidentified men of the 35th, 1917
During the earlier part of the engagement another of our
cavalry girls became involved. Pat Shannon, who lived in a
hotel fronting Morley Avenue and near the line, had her
share of excitement. Two armed citizens used the upstairs
window of her room for a firing station, Pat stood close by
them, handing out ammunition as the guns were emptied. She
was the daughter of a Chicago physician and employed as
pianist by the Nogales Theatre moving picture house. Some
weeks after the affray Pat and Lieutenant "Dee" de
Lorimer, Tenth Cavalry, were married,
In addition to the citizenry, who shared the gun fight,
there were some unattached officers and soldiers engaged.
The sergeant of Ordnance Depot No. 2 near the cavalry camp
told me that during the fight overtown and while loading a
truck with ammunition a colored trooper came galloping up,
dressed only in a hospital gown and riding bareback with a
halter shank to guide his mount. The "sick"
soldier begged for a rifle and shells so as to join his
troop. Army regulations to the contrary notwithstanding, the
old sergeant picked out a rifle, had the trooper sign a
receipt, and gave him a couple of bandoliers of ammunition.
Off he went at an extended gallop, the loose hospital gown
floating out like a sail, and his bare legs thumping the
ribs of the horse in an urge for more speed.
The records show that Quartermaster Sergeant Victor Arana,
with the Thirty-fifth Infantry, was wounded. It is probable
that the sergeant abandoned his truck detail and chose to get
on the firing line for the battle.
(Another Quartermaster soldier, Pvt, First Class James
Flavian Lavery, earned a Distinguished Service Cross at the
Battle of Nogales for "braving the heaviest fire,
repeatedly entering the zone of fire with his motor truck and
carrying wounded men to places of safety, thereby saving the
lives of several soldiers.")
Lieutenant William Scott, Tenth Cavalry, was riding a
motorcycle into town on business from Fort Huachuca. Nearing
the cavalry camp he heard the firing. Speeding up he took a
familiar back track for the high ground above the Sonora
town. Arriving close to the place, the cycle was hidden, and
he crept to the brow of the hill overlooking the scene of
conflict. Besides his .45 pistol Scotty was armed with a new
Winchester, which he had "souvenired" some months
before at the Yaqui fight in Bear Valley. From his solitary
station he spent the time picking off snipers from the
rooftops below. Whenever there was a scarcity of targets, he
kept in practice by potting chickens that were running in
and out of the adobe shocks. Scotty was a former sergeant
out of the Texas Big Bend border service. He had been on the
Punitive Expedition into Mexico with the Sixth Cavalry.
Captain James T. Duke, Tenth Cavalry (now a retired
brigadier general), was in Nogales on business and
volunteered his services. After the death of Captain
Hungerford, he was detailed to command Troop C. Major H. B.
Cheadle, Infantry, on leave in town, also was assigned
duties, Lieutenant James B. Potter, Tenth Cavalry, Adjutant
of the Nogales subdistrict, served on the line. Lieutenant
S. M. Lockwood of Troop A had duty as an aide for Lieutenant
Colonel Herman during the affray. His liaison duties were
doubled after the commander suffered a slight but hampering
When the white flag was displayed, Colonel Herman had
buglers sound "Cease Fire." A messenger from the
Mexican consul in his office on the American side gave the
information that the Mexican commandante and officials
wanted a conference in the American consulate building
located on the Sonora side. Sniping continued from various
locations, but disregarding the danger, the commanding
officer with Lieutenant Robert S. Israel of the Intelligence
section proceeded to the appointed place. A truce was
quickly arranged. The next day Brigadier General DeRosey C.
Cabell, the Arizona District commander, arrived from
Douglas. After a meeting with the Mexican official party
regarding the situation, the hostilities were resolved.
That ended the Battle of Nogales. (2)
In fairness to the guard detail from the 35th Infantry, the
remarks of then Lt. Oliver Fannin about a book called Blood
on the Border by Clarence Clendenen are included here.
Fannin was concerned that the book, and the accounts like that
of Wharfield's upon which the book was based, give the
impression that the Battle of Nogales was fought solely by the
10th Cavalry. He tried to correct that misleading idea in a
letter that he wrote to his son in 1972.
A small band of enlisted men out of H Company of the 35th
Infantry (who) were doing guard duty along the international
border when the trouble started. These men were the real
heroes. There were not more than 15 or 20 of them. They were
there when the fighting started and they were there when it
ended, less those who were killed or wounded.
The meeting of Herman and the American consul and the
Mexican officials occurred in broad day light, out in the
open, just across the international boundary line in Mexico.
I know, because I was there, Herman having asked me to go
with him. (Lieutenant Fannin was detailed as Colonel
Herman's aide.) I remember distinctly that while this
conference was going on a sniper's bullet cut off a small
limb of a tree that fell pretty close to me and I felt like
diving into a big ditch that was close to us. At this
conference the American consul asked Herman what he wanted
said to the Mexicans, and Colonel Herman replied, "Tell
them to gather all of their forces and surrender them to me
within thirty minutes." The American consul demurred,
stating that the Mexican authorities could not gather
together all of the people who were doing the shooting. The
only shooting that was then occurring was some sniping, and
it was agreed that both side would attempt to stop their
forces from any further sniping.
The book (Clendenen's Blood on the Border) further
states that Herman had received Information several days
before the episode that there was likely to be trouble, and
that although he was skeptical of this information, he had
succeeded in obtaining reinforcements, including some machine
guns. There were only two or three skeleton companies of the
35th Infantry there at the time, and I know of no
reinforcements to these companies. I was officer of the day at
the time that this happened, and it seems to me that if Herman
had received any such information he certainly should have
passed it on to me and the others who were doing the guard
duty along the international boundary line at the time. (3)
|Fannin would win the
Distinguished Service Cross "For valor and bravery ...
while under fire, carried a wounded man to safety in the
Nogales battle." He was also the recipient of the
following testimonial prepared by thirty-three of the leading
citizens of Nogales.
The undersigned citizens of Nogales, Arizona, take this
method of giving expression to our appreciation of the
gallantry and bravery of Lieut. Oliver Fannin, of the
Thirty-fifth Regiment of Infantry, U.S.A., and the men on
guard duty at the International Boundary, at Nogales,
Arizona, on Tuesday, August 27, 1918, upon which momentous
occasion Lieut. Fannin was officer of the guard.
At the very beginning of the hostile demonstration, Lieut. 4
Fannin hurried to the boundary the reserve of the guard, and
taking position he stood off the attack until the garrison
could be brought to the line and take up the work. The
losses of his men, which were a large percentage of all the
loss, show the bravery and gallantry of the little force
commanded by the heroic officer. Through all the fight, with
his men firing from prone position, Lieut. Fannin stood
erect, encouraging his men, directing their fire, and
contributing to the effectiveness of their work. Their loss
of two killed and four wounded presents the perilous
position then occupied and held.
In presenting this testimonial we do so without
solicitation, to present our appreciation and admiration of
a gallant officer and brave men. (4)
Lieutenant Loftus of Company C, 35th Infantry, was killed
by sniper fire as he brought his men into position. Other
American casualties were three enlisted men killed, including
Private W. H. Klint, the first casualty of the 35th
Infantry, and Corporal Barney Lots, both of Company H, 35th
Infantry. In addition, 16 men of the Regiment were wounded.
Mexican casualties were reported later, by John Robert Carter
of the 25th Infantry Regiment (Negro), who replaced
the 35th in Nogales, as being 125 killed and 300
wounded. (6) Found among the
Mexican dead were two German agents provocateurs. (5)
Footnotes: Much of the information provided here is from
the site listed in No. 5 below.
1. Wharfield, 1965,16-23.
2. Wharfield, 1965,16-23.
3. Fanin letter in Fort Huachuca Museum files.
4. Fanin bio file, Arizona Historical Society
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