Following guerilla leader Pancho Villa’s raid on Columbus, New Mexico (in which 16 Americans died), President Wilson sent Gen. “Blackjack” Pershing and 10,000 soldiers into the mountains of northern Mexico to hunt Villa down. The mission ultimately failed but Mexicans viewed the act as an unjust invasion. It is said that the pejorative designation “gringo” came from this time, as US soldiers clad in olive uniforms were met with cries of “Green, Go!”
In the early morning darkness of March 9, 1916, guerrillas of the Mexican Revolution under General Francisco Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico a small border town and military camp on what is now Pancho Villa State Park.
During the Mexican Revolution, female soldiers known as soldaderas went into combat along with the men although they often faced abuse. One of the most well-known of the soldaderas was Petra Herrera, who disguised her gender and went by the name “Pedro Herrera”. As Pedro, she established her reputation by demonstrating exemplary leadership (and blowing up bridges) and was able to reveal her gender in time.