1913: Antonio Echazarreta, defending Matamoros

On this date in 1913, constitutionalist troops in the Mexican Revolution consolidating control over the border town of Matamoros shot a 23-year-old colonel who helped lead the city’s volunteer resistance.

Garrisoned by fewer than 50 regular soldiers, Matamoros put up only brief resistance to Gen. Lucio Blanco‘s June 3-4 attack, many of its government officials and wealthy denizens bolting over the Rio Grande to adjacent Brownsville, Texas.*

But some of the young guns in town had an overdeveloped sense of heroic machismo and sold their lives dearly to postpone the inevitable.

Groups of young Matamoros men, some of them fourteen and fifteen years old, volunteered for service under irregular huertista officers. They fought stubbornly until early in the morning of June 4. A number of them were captured and executed by Blanco’s men. (Source.)

Echazarreta’s leadership of these ill-fated guerrillas saw him up against the wall this day, but also saw him into the revolution folk song about the city’s conquest, “Corrido de la toma de Matamoros”. Nor was the revolution yet finished with Matamoros, or its martial prowess.

In 1915, as the rival revolutionary factions openly broke with one another, carrancistas loyal to President (and Villa rival) Venustiano Carranza inflicted a signal defeat on Villa at Matamoros that began Villa’s march into political and literal wilderness. It’s commemorated in yet another revolutionary corrido, here sung by Jose Suarez (via the U.S. Library of Congress):


* An interesting photo album covering this battle is available here.

On this day..

3 thoughts on “1913: Antonio Echazarreta, defending Matamoros

  1. Not only did the pilot walk into Brownsville and not return, but skulled your mom. The legacy lives on…

  2. Pingback: Revolutionary justice: 4 June 1913 | The Mex Files

  3. The 31 March 1915 defeat of 200 Villaistas was hardly a “signal defeat” considering that the Battles of Celaya and Leon had already reduced Villa’s forces to insignificance. However… Villa did lose his air force, when the pilot crash landed outside Matamoros, walked into Brownsville and didn’t come back.

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