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The speaker is a 74-year-old White man with a high school education from Brownsville, Texas; he was recorded in 1967



County: Cameron
State: TX

Commentary:
One hundred sixty miles south of Corpus Christi, Brownsville is the southernmost city in Texas, with a current population around 170,000. Originally part of Mexico, the area was claimed by the United States in 1836 by the Treaty of Velasco. In 1846 Fort Taylor, later called Fort Brown, was built near what would become the city of Brownsville. A long history of conflicts with the Mexican army, often called bandits or rebels by locals, started soon after the fort was built and continued into the twentieth century. In this segment the speaker talks about a well-known raid by Mexican rebels, referred to by the speaker as Carranza forces, on the Norias Division headquarters of the King Ranch. The raid occurred in 1915 during a time of ???bandit wars??? that took place from 1912 to 1915 along the Texas-Mexico border.
Inf: Well, that was at a time when the bandits, which were really soldiers of the General (Mafariti) in Matamoros, came and raided on this side of the river. And on w-, one night, wrecked the train here. That was in 1915 that that happened to happen. And then they raided the Norias Ranch, th-, up the line there, and in that fight, there was, uh, four of the bandits were killed there.

But there was bandit trouble all over this section of the country. And the Rangers came down here and shot lots of people, lots of them innocent people, of course. But that was the bandit trouble that you???re talking about. Differences between uh, the authorities here and the, and, and the Carranza forces across the river.

It was at that time that General Parker was in command of troops here at Fort Brown. And the, some of the uniformed men here on this side of the river had been shot at from across the river. So General Parker issued an order that no person in uniform was to present himself on the bank of the river where he could be seen from across the river. We had lots of troops stationed here at the time. We even had a company from the Coast Artillery out of Galveston [FW: Hmm]. They were pretty good-sized men, all of them six-footers. And uh, we had a crossing at the river here where you went across on rowboats. A little barge that you came down on and then crossed on a, on a rowboat. And one of these Coast Artillerymen was stationed there as a guard to keep, uh, soldiers away from the, from the bank of the river there.

It was a Sunday afternoon and I happened to walk down there. People could do something on a Sunday would go there to watch the traffic back and forth across the river. And these two Army officers, a Major Johnson and a Captain Hayden, they went down there. They were in their white duck uniforms. So when they arrived on this landing down there, this soldier came over and presented arms to ???em and told ???em what the order was. ???Oh,??? they said, ???we???re only gonna be here a little while.??? He says, ???No, you???ll have to leave right now.??? But they stayed there. So then he got his butt of his rifle and he started hitting ???em. And then he grabbed ???em by the collar and took ???em on up to the, to where this landing was, you know. And I was right there when he said, ???Now listen. If you people wanna go peaceably back to Fort Brown, go ahead. If not, I???ll take you to the guardhouse.??? And they left. And th-, their collars were torn open and they were covered with blood and so on. The only time in my life that I???ve seen a private soldier beat up commissioned officers.


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