Victoriano Huerta

(5) The Constitutionalist Revolt I: Huerta Attempts to Seize Power, Feb.-May.1913

February 1913

Tragic Ten Days Revolt.
==Feb.08 > Widespread rumors of an impending army coup
==Feb.09 > ‘The Tragic Ten Days’ to Feb 18: the Federal Army revolts in Mexico City and releases the conservative leaders Félix Díaz and Bernardo Reyes from prison, but the loyal General Villar quickly retakes the National Palace [300-500 AM] - the conservatives are repelled in an attack on the National Palace; Reyes is killed and General Villar is wounded [700 AM] - soon after, the rebels fortify themselves in the Ciudadela arsenal - Madero unwisely gives command of his Mexico City forces to the unreliable Huerta [900 AM] - ~orders are given for the execution of the rebel General Ruiz, the start of increasingly ruthless treatment of prisoners - Madero briefly flees to Cuernavaca [afternoon]; his attempts to replace Huerta with the loyal General Angeles not carried through - US Ambassador Henry Lane Wilson begins to try to arrange a truce [afternoon], but shows blatant bias for the rebels
==Feb.11 > Government forces attack rebel strongpoints in the capital, with massive artillery barrages [morning, to Feb.15] - widespread destruction and chaos in Mexico City - Huerta begins plotting with the rebels against Madero - Ambassador Wilson requests the authority to issue ultimatums to Madero, but President Taft refuses to grant him the power

In Coahuila, the wary Governor Carranza makes his first moves:
==Feb.11 > Carranza begins cautiously concentrating Coahuilan state troops away from the unreliable Federal forces in the region
==Feb.17 > He frantically begins to negotiate loans to pay for possible revolt

US Relations.
==Feb.12 > Governor Colquitt of Texas demands that the US intervene in Mexico

Tragic Ten Days Revolt.
==Feb.12 > US Ambassador Henry Lane Wilson leads other ministers in protests to both sides in the revolt;  without authorization, he threatens Madero with US intervention
==Feb.14.[afternoon] > Upon learning that Huerta is plotting with rebels, Ambassador Wilson begins to align with Huerta
==Feb.15 > US Ambassador Henry Lane Wilson induces the British, German, and Spanish ministers to join him in a call for Madero’s resignation with a virtual threat of US intervention [early AM]; Madero angrily refuses, and sends a vigorous protest to President Taft - conservative Senators call on Madero to resign; the request is denounced by Maderista Senators on Feb 16

US Relations.
==Feb.16 > In response to Madero’s protest of Feb 15, Taft pledges the US will not intervene in Mexico

Tragic Ten Days Revolt.
==Feb.16 > Huerta definitely decides to join the rebels, and informs Ambassador Henry Lane Wilson that Madero’s overthrow is imminent [evening]
==Feb.17-18 > Huerta is briefly arrested by Madero’s brother Gustavo [evening] - President Madero questions the arrested Huerta, and then has him released after personally returning his pistol [early.AM]
==Feb.18 > In response to renewed calls for his resignation from conservatives in the Senate, Madero refuses, saying  “...I will die, if necessary, in the fulfillment of my obligation.” [morning] - Ambassador Wilson wires news of the coup to the US before the coup occurs [noon] - MADERO IS BETRAYED AND OVERTHROWN BY HUERTA:  Huerta’s forces arrest Madero, his vice-president and his cabinet, and loyal officers and congressmen; Madero’s brother Gustavo is seized during a lunch with Huerta [130-200.PM] - church bells announce the end of fighting in the capital - Huerta unilaterally assumes executive functions without consulting his fellow rebel Félix Díaz [400.PM]: fears of violence between conservative factions - Huerta telegraphs a curt announcement to the state governors that he has assumed power [evening] - Ambassador Henry Lane Wilson sponsors talks in the US embassy between rebel leaders [930.PM-100.AM, Feb.19], resulting in the Pact of the Embassy  (or of the Ciudadela): Díaz agrees to Huerta’s provisional presidency in return for Huerta’s support in the upcoming elections

==Feb.19 > Madero’s brother Gustavo is beaten to death while he is in Federal custody [200.AM] - the imprisoned President Madero and Vice-President Pino Suárez are compelled to resign [early afternoon] - surrounded by Huerta’s troops, Congress agrees to accept Madero’s resignation [evening] - in a discussion with Huerta, US Ambassador Henry Lane Wilson tacitly consents to Madero’s execution: Secretary of State Knox is incensed

In the north, Governor Carranza prepares for revolt:
==Feb.19 > The Coahuila legislature and Governor Carranza refuse to recognize the Huerta regime [early AM]; by telegram, Carranza urges all governors to oppose Huerta
==Feb.21-25 > Perhaps stalling, Carranza attempts to negotiate with the new regime
==late.Feb > He occupies Piedras Negras without resistance
==Feb.26 > Misinformed that the US has recognized Huerta, Carranza sends an angry protest to Taft and announces that he is preparing a revolt
==Feb.26 > Huerta decides to send an expedition against Coahuila
==Feb.27 > Carranza leaves Saltillo, his state capital, for a more secure base in the hills

Huerta Regime.
==Feb.20 > Huerta formally becomes President of Mexico upon taking the oath of office [early AM] - Huerta’s Cabinet is sworn in [early afternoon]; it is dominated by Félix Díaz' supporters

US Relations.
The US Ambassador shills for Huerta:
==Feb.20 > Henry Lane Wilson begins to urge the US government torecognize the regime, with increasing stridency through the summer
==Feb.21 > He orders all US consuls to promote Mexican acceptance of Huerta’s regime
==Feb.24 > In a message to Washington, the Ambassador predicts peace and prosperity in Mexico and calls the murder of Madero a “closed incident.”

Huerta Regime.
==Feb.22 > A manifesto from Huerta threatens “rigorous measures” - he orders state governors to recognize his rule; but receives generally lukewarm replies

==Feb.22 > Outside a prison near Mexico City, Madero is executed with Pino Suárez [1100.PM]; they are officially shot “while attempting to escape” - ~rising threat of renewed revolution

Constitutionalist Revolt.(north).
==Feb.24 > Manuel Chao leads an attack on the Federal garrison of Santa Barbara in Chihuahua - ~sporadic local revolts begin in the north - CONSTITUTIONALIST REVOLTS AGAINST THE HUERTISTA REGIME TO JULY 1914: THE SECOND PHASE OF THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION

==Feb.24 > Sonoran state political leaders decide to defy Huerta
==Feb.26 > The vacillating Governor Maytorena asks his colleagues for a leave of absence and flees to the US

Constitutionalist Revolt.
==late.Feb. > Huerta begins purging state governors of questionable loyalty, inadvertently driving many of them into revolt

Constitutionalist Revolt.(north).Orozco.
==end.Feb > Huerta secures the allegiance of the former rebel Pascual Orozco
==Feb.28 > The Constitutionalists take Santa Rosalía in Chihuahua

March 1913

Rural.Huerta Regime.
==Mar.01 > The Huerta government distributes free seed to peasants

Zapatista Revolt.
The Zapatistas defy Huerta:
==Mar.02 > Zapata notifies Huerta that the Morelos revolt will continue and occupies many towns in the region
==Mar.14 > Huerta tells an American reporter that he’s considering sending 20,000 Morelans into labor camps
==Mar-Apr. > Zapata subjects Huerta’s peace envoys (including Orozco’s father) to show trials

Constitutionalist Revolt.(north).
==Mar.03 > Rebels take Namiquipa in the western mountains of Chihuahua
==Mar.05-07 > Federals repel a Constitutionalist attack on Parral in south Chihuahua, though at the cost of heavy losses

Constitutionalist Revolt.(north).
The war begins in Coahuila:
==Mar.03 > Governor Carranza secures a substantial bank loan
==Mar.04 > Carranza finally openly breaks with Huerta
==Mar.07 > Carranza suffers a minor defeat at Anhelo

Constitutionalist Revolt.(north).
==Mar.05-07 > The Constitutionalists briefly hold San Pedro, east of Torreón, after most of the Federal garrison deserts

==Mar.05 > The Sonora legislature breaks with Huerta - Obregón is given command of the state’s military forces

Latin American Relations.
==early.Mar. > Peru, Salvador, and Guatemala become the first nations to recognize Huerta’s government

Huerta Regime.Constitutionalists.(north).
==Mar.06 > Federal authorities arrest San Luis Potosi Governor Rafael Cepeda

Constitutionalist Revolt.(north).Villa.
Pancho Villa enters the war:
==Mar.06.[night] > Villa crosses the Rio Grande into Mexico from El Paso with eight men, and begins organizing his followers in Chihuahua
==Mar.09 > Villa seizes the El Carmen estate of the powerful Terrazas family, executes the hated administrator, and opens the granaries to the peasants - ~Villa begins Robin Hood actions in northwestern Chihuahua, distributing food and suppressing bandits

==Mar.07 > Abraham González, the Maderista Governor of Chihuahua who was arrested on Feb.22, is murdered by his guards alongside an lonely stretch of railroad tracks “while attempting to escape”

US Relations.
==Mar.11 > The newly inaugurated US President Woodrow Wilson pledges to refuse recognition to any unconstitutional regimes, which - by implication - includes Huerta’s government

Constitutionalist Revolt.(northwest).
Fighting begins in Sonora:
==Mar.11 > Sonora state forces take Nacozari and Agua Prieta
==Mar.14 > The Sonorans drive Federal forces from Nogales into the US
==Mar.16 > Sonora forces are briefly defeated by the Federals at Naco

Huerta Regime.Constitutionalists.
==mid.Mar. > Huerta announces a sweeping amnesty, but the Constitutionalists fail to respond

Constitutionalist Revolt.(north).
==Mar.21-23 > Carranza is repelled with heavy losses at Saltillo

Huerta Regime.
==Mar.22 > Huerta announces a reorganization of the Federal army

Constitutionalist Revolt.(northwest).
==Mar.25 > Cananea falls to Obregón: the Constitutionalists control all of Sonora north of Guaymas

==Mar.26 > Carranza issues his Plan de Guadelupe, naming himself as the leader of the Constitutionalists - the manifesto contains no call for reforms

Constitutionalist Revolt.(north).Villa.
==Mar.28 > The Chihuahua Constitutionalists formally declare a break with the Huerta regime - ~except for a few towns, the Federals have lost control of Chihuahua and Durango, where local radicals are attacking the conservative social structure - rebel activity is spreading to other states
==Mar.30 > Villa establishes his base at San Andrés, southwest of Ciudad Chihuahua

European Relations.
==Mar.31 > Britain formally extends recognition to the Huerta regime - other nations soon follow

Constitutionalist Revolt.(north).
==Mar.31-late Apr. > At Tlalnepantla north of Mexico City, the Federal 21st Corps mutinies against Huerta and marches north to Tamaulipas
==Mar.--- > The Cedillos’ agrarian manifesto is issued in San Luis Potosi

Constitutionalist Revolt.(northwest).
==Mar.--- > Widespread revolts are breaking out in Sinaloa

Constitutionalist Revolt.(south).
==Mar.--- > A serious revolt erupts in Guerrero, and soon spreads into Michoacán

April 1913

Huerta Regime.
==Apr.01 > In Huerta’s first address to the Mexican Congress, he pledges to “re-establish peace, cost what it may.”
==beginning.Apr. > Open rumors of a split between Huerta and Félix Díaz

Huerta Regime.
==mid.Apr.-late.May > Tough Congressional debates over Huerta’s proposed foreign loan

Constitutionalist Revolt.(northwest).
==mid.Apr.-May.02 > Obregón occupies Empalme - the Sonorans take Naco and Alamos

Zapatista Revolt.
The war in Morelos intensifies:
==Apr.14 > The brutal Robles returns as the Federal military commander in Morelos
==Apr.15-16 > The Morelos legislature resists Robles’ demands that he be named governor of the state
==Apr.16-17 > Robles arrests local political leaders and installs himself as governor [night]; harsh military rule in Morelos - the end of the regional moderate reform movement
==Apr.17-18 > Zapata storms Jonacatepec in tough fighting; Federal General Aguilar defects to the Zapatistas
==Apr.19 > A Zapatista raid reaches Mexico City
==Apr.21 > Huerta announces to a banquet of Morelos landowners that “...the government is going... to depopulate the state...” - ~frightened peasants swell Zapata’s army
==Apr.23 > Zapata besieges Cuautla; rebel attacks are accelerating into May

==Apr.19 > The Monclova conference of Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Coahuilan rebels forms a rudimentary Constitutionalist government, based on Carranza’s Plan de Guadelupe - ~Carranza acts as the rebel dictator

US Relations.
==Apr.19 > Woodrow Wilson asks journalist William Bayard Hale to undertake a fact-finding trip to Mexico, bypassing the pro-Huerta US Ambassador Henry Lane Wilson

Constitutionalist Revolt.(north).
Fighting at Ciudad Durango:
==Apr.20 > Rebels cut the city’s last communication link with the outside world
==Apr.23-25 > A determined Constitutionalist attack fails - summary executions of prisoners by Federal forces

Constitutionalist Revolt.(north).
==Apr.22 > A Constitutionalist attack on Ciudad Victoria in Tamaulipas is repelled

Huerta Regime.
==Apr.22 > Huerta announces a pay increase of 50% for soldiers, but still fails to attract recruits
==Apr.23 > Secretary of Gobernación García Granados resigns - Huerta begins driving Díaz supporters from his government
==Apr.--- > Huerta sends 50 officers to France to study aviation

==Apr.23 > Carranza decrees that all peace negotiators from Huerta will be arrested
==Apr.26 > Carranza authorizes the printing of Constitutionalist paper money, in an unsuccessful attempt to bring order to rebel finances

May 1913

Labor.Far Left.
==May.01 > Syndicalists of the COM hold Mexico City’s first large May Day march in years

Constitutionalist Revolt.(northwest).
==May.02 > Obregón retreats north from the Empalme-Guaymas are

Huerta Regime.
==May.03 > The Federal government closes down opposition papers and arrests their staffs - ~the Huerta regime begins to grow openly repressive

Zapatista Revolt.
==May.03 > Zapatistas destroy a train on the Cuautla-Ozumba line
==May.04 > Zapatistas attack Yautepec

US Relations.
==May.06 > American business leaders propose that the US recognize the Huerta regime in return for the promise of an early free election

Constitutionalist Revolt.(northwest).
==May.09-12 > Obregón severely defeats the Federals at Santa Rosa

Constitutionalist Revolt.(north).Orozco.
==May.09 > The Federal northern offensive opens: Orozco advances north from Torreón into Chihuahua

Zapatista Revolt.
==May.09 > Robles orders all rural residents of Morelos to ‘reconcentrate’ in urban centers, where the men will be conscripted wholesale into the Federal army; anyone found in the countryside will be shot - ~ferocious repression in Morelos through the summer; the extreme disintegration of local life horrifies even the landowners

US Relations.
==May.10 > Huerta ends all but routine contacts with the US Ambassador in an attempt to force recognition

==May.10 > The Constitutionalist Carranza government accepts ultimate responsibility for repaying damages caused by the revolution

Rural.Huerta Regime.
==May.12 > The Huerta regime proposes a greatly expanded rural education system

==May.14 > Carranza authorizes the summary execution of Federal prisoners of war

Maderistas.Huerta Regime.
==mid.May. > The Maderista Renovadores in Congress finally begin to actively oppose Huerta

US Relations.
==May.17 > Woodrow Wilson announces that he will refuse to recognize the Huerta regime and will deal with it only “on the basis of the fact of its existence” - ~Wilson says privately “I will not recognize a government of butchers.”
==late.May > A second proposal by American business leaders suggests that the US mediate the conflict and recognize any president chosen in a free election

Labor.Huerta Regime.
==May.25 > Huerta arrests syndicalist labor leaders after they hold an anti-government rally, although the COM continues to function
==late.May > Huerta establishes state labor arbitration offices

Constitutionalist Revolt.(north).
==late.May > A Federal offensive opens against Carranza in Coahuila - it soon fizzles out

Constitutionalist Revolt.(northwest).
==late.May > The Federals again advance north from Guaymas into Sonora
==May.29-Aug > Federal gunships are bombed in Guaymas Bay by the French pilot Didier Masson, who is flying for Obregón: the world’s first air attack on warships

Zapatista Revolt.
==late.May > Zapatistas are operating freely in Guerrero and are beginning to penetrate Puebla
==May.30 > Zapata releases a revised Plan of Ayala, directed against Huerta and Orozco - the Zapatistas’ command structure is reorganized
==end.May > A band of rebel women under ‘La China’ subjects western Morelos to fierce raids

Photo of Huerta from
Independencia de México

Mexican Revolution: Introduction   ///   (1) The Background: 1904-Oct.1910
(2) The Maderista Revolt: Nov.1910-May.1911   ///  (3) The Madero Era I: Jun.1911-Feb.1912
(4) The Madero Era II: Mar.1912-Jan.1913   ///   (6) The Constitutionalist Revolt II: Jun.-Dec.1913
(7) The Constitutionalist Revolt III: Jan.-Jul.1914   ///  Biograhies and Glossary