La toma de Zacatecas
La toma de Zacatecas
Picture taken from http://redescolar.ilce.edu.mx/redescolar/act_permanentes/historia/html/cantando_revolucion/mascorridos.htm
The battle of Zacatecas,
a.k.a ‘La toma de Zacatecas’, is considered the bloodiest and most gruesome
of the battles pertaining to the Mexican revolution. The dictator Victoriano
Huerta and his army of huertistas’ faced off
against Venustiano Carranza
and his band of revolutionaries. These
revolutionaries, led by famous generals like Pánfilo
Natera with his Central Division and Pancho Villa with his Division of the North, obtained the
victory on many battlefields advancing from Torreón
Villa obeyed initially, but after careful consideration he decided to bring the entire Division of the North to Zacatecas. This act of defiance would further widen the growing gap of discord between Villa and Carranza. Villa would later comment on the event affirming that Carranza merely wanted to use his [Villa’s] resources to advance the military career of Natera. Such an act would only sacrifice the entire operation and the lives of many soldiers.
On June 16, the huertistas numbered 12,000 men, of whom 4600 were under the command of Benjamín Argumedo. The following day, the first wave of troops from the Division of the North, led by Gen. Felipe Angeles, left for Calera, Zacatecas, bringing with them a convoy of singers, photographers, musicians, reporters and prostitutes. These men, together with Natera’s troops, numbered 20,000 strong. After leaving 5000 reserve troops in Calera, Ángeles with his artillery unit and the brigades from the Division of the North, prepared themselves for battle. Among these men were Villa’s select and famous “dorados”, the best equipped troops of the Division who according to Cauhtémoc Esparza Sánchez who knew no fear.
On June 22, Villa arrived at Calera after being delayed by a train derailment. Pleased with the situation in the hands of Ángeles, he gave the order that the following day at , the artillery and the entire Division of the North would attack Zacatecas without mercy. The canons of the huertistas were no match for Ángeles’ artillery and the zones of La Bufa, Loreto, La Sierpe, El Grillo, El Padre, and Clérigos were quickly conquered. Many huertistas tried to escape, but few succeeded. Among the escapees were Gen. Luis Medina Barrón, Juan N. Vázquez, Juan Guerra, Marcelo Caraveo, Antonio G. Olea, and Benjamín Argumedo. Argumedo managed to escape by disguising himself as a coal burner. When the revolutionaries ceased fire at , 6000 huertistas, 1500 villistas, and 2000 civilians had fallen. The villistas gained a considerable booty of 12,000 ‘máuseres’ and machine guns, 19 canons, a countless number of explosives, and 5000 federal prisoners. This battle ended the ‘huertismo’ and inspired the creation of many versions of the corrido titled “La toma de Zacatecas”.