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staff of Gen. Jesús Carranza, Monterrey, Mexico, 1914
Staff and extended family: 1) Brig. Gen. Jesus Carranza Garza (brother of Venustiano Carranza Garza, president of Mexico). 2) Col. Gregorio Ozuna. 3) Col. Lic. Pascual Morales Molina (lawyer and secretary to Jesus Carranza). 4) Col. Sebastian Carranza Garza (brother of Venustiano Carranza Garza). 5) Maj. Erbey Gonzalez. 6) Maj. Alfonzo Hernandez. 7) Maj. ____ 8) Maj. Benito _ Garza. 9) Maj. Benito Garza. 10) Maj. F. Garza Linares. 11) Capt. Rafael G. Garcia. 12) Capt. Samuel C. Alexander. 13) Lt. Buemaro Guzman. 14) Lt. Alfonzo Benebendo. 15) Lt. Ygnacio Peraldi Carranza (son of Venustiano’s sister Hermelinda). 16) Lt. Leonardo G. Vidaurri. 17) Lt. Rafael Cantu. 18) Lt. Benebendo. 19) Lt. Abelardo Carranza Strasburger (son of Gen. Jesus Carranza Garza). 20) __ 21) __
[I believe that several others in this list may also have belonged to the extended Carranza family.]
As governor of the state of Coahuila (Dec. 1911- Mar. 1913), Venustiano Carranza had been a supporter of Francisco I. Madero (President of Mexico Nov. 1911 – Feb. 1913) partly because Madero was also born and raised and retained strong family ties in their native Coahuila. After the assassination of President Madero in Mar. 1913, Carranza organized his supporters into the Constitutionalist Party, assigned positions to various relatives, and assumed the presidency of Mexico. (But so did Pedro Lascurain 1913, Victoriano Huerta 1913 - 1914, and Francisco S. Carvajal 1914. I do not mean to make light of the revolutionary strle; it is just that the politics were very complicated.) Venustiano Carranza retained the post until 1920.
On the night of December 30, 1914, Gen. Jesus Carranza and members of his staff were returning from the west coast of Mexico after a trip to inspect ports. They were passing through the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to return to Veracruz when they were ambushed and taken prisoner by a rival revolutionary, General Alfonso Santibanez, who had territorial loyalties to the isthmus. Santibanez telegraphed Venustiano Carranza, demanding military equipment and a large sum of money in exchange for his prisoners. Carranza refused to bend to thery and, instead of money, sent troops.
Santibanez countered by executing all but three of his prisoners by firing squad on Dec. 31, 1914, at San Jeronimo, Oxaca. Among the dead were Col. Manuel Caballero, Chief of Staff; Col. Pedro Lopez Morales; Capt. Ruperto Castilla; Lts. Mariano Urbina, Leonardo G. Vidaurri (my great uncle), and Leonel Marquez; Second Lt. Francisco Hernandez Alatorre; Sgt. Ines Fragoso; Tirso Pacheco and seven other soldiers. Santibanez saved Gen. Jesus and Jesus’ son and nephew for later.
On January 2, 1915, Carranza troops reached San Jeronimo to find that Santibanez had fled to the mountains of Oaxaca with 150 men and his three prisoners. News reached Venustiano Carranza on February 5 from the governor of Oaxaca that Santibanez had been apprehended and killed but that his brother Gen. Jesus and the two eighteen year old cousins had been found dead.
Although born and raised a U.S. citizen, my great uncle Leonardo G. Vidaurri probably felt the call to arms for two reasons. Prospects for third sons in Laredo, TX, were unexciting compared to a position in a revolutionary army and family emotions were running high because of strong family ties in Coahuila. Leonardo’s great aunt had been Francisco I. Madero’s step mother. Leonardo had turned 18 the month before his execution.
The House Of The Seasons, Jefferson, Texas Historical Marker
Built in 1872 for Benjamin H. Epperson, the House of the Seasons derives its name from the cupola with its stained glass windows that create an illusion of the seasons of the year. The home is a fine example of the transition period between Greek revival and Victorian styles of architecture. In plan and overall form, it is Greek revival. However, the detailing is Victorian with certain Italianate characteristics, such as the tall arched windows, the bracketed cornices, the gallery, the cupola, and the projecting bay windows. The circular opening in the first floor ceiling allows a view of the frescoes in the dome. Benjamin Epperson (1826-1878), a confidant of Sam Houston, was a distinguished lawyer, political leader, and entrepreneur. He served many terms in the Texas Legislature and was elected to the U. s. Congress in 1866, but did not serve because the southern delegations were not seated. When he built the house, Epperson was listed as one of the wealthiest men in the state and was respected as a major influence in Texas politics. Throughout most of its history, the House of the Seasons has served as a residence. It has also been used as a boarding house and as the main building of Jefferson College, a World War II veterans' college. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1965
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