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Village of Columbus and Camp Furlong is an historic district that includes portions of what is now the town of Columbus, New Mexico, Pancho Villa State Park, and an airfield, all in Columbus, New Mexico. It was the site of a raid led by Pancho Villa in 1916 that had wide impacts.

The Village of Columbus and Camp Furlong historic district was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1975.[1][2]

Pancho Villa State ParkEdit

At Pancho Villa State Park, several buildings remain from the time of Villa's 1916 raid, and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These include the 1902 U.S. Customs House, two adobe structures dating from the Camp Furlong-era, and the Camp Furlong Recreation Hall. The old Customs House is now the State Park visitor center, with exhibits describing the histories of Pancho Villa, the Columbus raid of 1916, and Pershing's Punitive Expedition.[3]

HistoryEdit

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|date= }} On March 9, 1916 Camp Furlong was the headquarters of the 13th U.S. Cavalry under command of Colonel H. J. Slocum.[4] The 13th Cavalry was stretched along the border on outpost duty from Noria to Hermanas on the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad. At least three troops were present during the raid on Columbus by Pancho Villa's irregulars. The hero of the day was Lt. Lucas of the machine gun troop, who while barefoot, set up machine guns in the main area of the town and directed heavy fire against the raiders. His actions inflicted numerous casualties on Villa's Forces and caused them to retreat back into Mexico.

Almost overnight the camp became a large military installation for protection from other raids and in preparation for a punitive expedition into Mexico to be led by General John J. Pershing. First on the scene were elements of the New Mexico National Guard. Various regular units then arrived to provide support to the troops in Mexico. Columbus had the distinction of having the first tactical military airfield in the United States. A squadron of JN4 Curtis Jennie biplanes provided aerial observation for the expedition, although most of the aircraft were lost to crashes in the rugged Mexican mountains. Camp Furlong also had supply facilities and repair yards for the early motor trucks used in Mexico. At its peak the camp was headquarters for more than 5,000 troops.

Following the withdrawal of the Punitive Expedition, the 24th Infantry Regiment was headquartered at the post.[5] They were called in the summer of 1919 to assist in chasing Pancho Villas troops out of Ciudad Juarez. With the conclusion of the Mexican Revolution, the post lost its importance and only 100 men were garrisoned there in 1921. All troops in the area were gone by 1923.

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