George S. Patton – Hunting Poncho Villa
George S. Patton is not someone often compared to the Old West. Most who know the name remember him for his exploits during WWII (or for the eponymous Oscar-award winning movie named after him). However, the famed General earned his own kind of infamy in his youth. In the final days of the era, a young 2nd Lt. George S. Patton was attached to the Army Expeditionary force hunting the famed revolutionary-turned-outlaw Poncho Villa in Northern Mexico.
On May 14th, 1916, Patton raided the San Miguelito Ranch near Rubio, Chihuahua. Patton was out looking to buy some corn when he came across the ranch of Julio Cárdenas, a military leader in Poncho Villa’s organization. Taking fifteen men and three Dodge touring cars, Patton ended up leading what was to become America’s first motorised military action. In the ensuing gunfight, he personally shot Cárdenas and two other men dead. He then strapped the dead men to the hood of the cars and drove them back to General Pershing, the leader of the expedition’s headquarters. Patton is said to have carved three notches into the twin Colt Peacemakers he carried, representing the men he killed that day. In response to his actions, General Pershing nicknamed him the “Bandito.”
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