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Battle of Carrizal
Part of the Mexican Revolution, Border War
US Buffalo Soldiers Battle of Carrizal.jpg
Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry who were taken prisoner during the attack on Carrizal.
DateJune 21, 1916
LocationCarrizal, Chihuahua, México
Result Mexican victory
 United States  México (state)
Commanders and leaders
United States Charles Trumbull Boyd State of MexicoFélix U. Gómez
~100 cavalry ~150 infantry
Casualties and losses
40 killed[1]
11 wounded
24 captured
24 killed
43 wounded[2]

The Battle of Carrizal occurred on the June 21, 1916. It was a major skirmish between United States Army troops of General John J. Pershing's Punitive Expedition and Carrancista troops fought at the town of Carrizal in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.


In June 1916, General Pershing was informed that Pancho Villa could be taken at Carrizal, west of Ahumada.[3] When he sent Captains Boyd and Morey to investigate with C and K troops of the 10th Cavalry, they were confronted with Mexican Army troops, not Villa's men.[4] Boyd ordered the men to attack anyway. In the resulting battle, the American attack was repelled. According to the United States Army Center of Military History, the Colored 10th Cavalry was heavily involved in this battle.

By legend, Villa supposedly watched with delight as his two enemies fought it out with each other. However, this story is of doubtful veracity as Villa was badly injured at the time and being pursued by both the American Army and the federal Carrancistas. The cavalry lost two officers and fourteen men killed, and twenty-three were taken prisoner, the Mexican forces lost forty-five, including the commanding Officer, General Félix U. Gómez. This clash caused enough tension that war between the United States and México seemed possible. The simultaneous deterioration of German-American relations while World War I raged made any escalation in México undesirable and so negotiations followed.


  • Lt. Henry Rodney Adair was killed in this battle. During World War II, Camp Adair was established in the Willamette Valley, Oregon as an Army training facility in honor of his service.[5]
  • The Battle of Carrizal figured prominently in the plot of the 1917 race movie, A Trooper of Troop K.

See also


  • Braddy, Haldeen (1957). "Pancho Villa: Fact, Fiction, or Folklore." Journal of American Folklore 70 (1957).
  • Calhoun, Frederick (1986). Power and Principle: Armed Intervention in Wilsonian Foreign Policy. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press.
  • Eisenhower, John (1993). Intervention!: The United States and the Mexican Revolution, 1913-1917. New York: Norton.
  • Mason, Herbert M (1970). The Great Pursuit. New York: Random House.
  • Salinas Carranza, Alberto (1937) La Expedicion Punitiva. Mexico, DF: Ediciones Botas.
  • (1916) "Seek Only Nation's Peace." New York Times June 23.
  • Sweeney, William (1919). History of the American Negro in the Great War. Chicago: Sapp.

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