On February 22, 1913, after a brief military rebellion in Mexico City, the federal General Victoriano Huerta, with the encouragement and complicity of the United States ambassador Henry Lane Wilson, had Francisco I. Madero assasinated and assumed the presidency of Mexico himself. Upon hearing of Maderoís death, the governor of the northern border state of Coahuila, Venustiano Carranza, declared Huertaís presidency infamous and illegitimate and put himself at the head of a movement to restore constitutional government. Carranza was quickly joined by the government of the border state of Sonora, and the whole north of the country rose up in arms against the usurper Huerta in Mexico City.
Francisco Villa, only recently escaped from his Mexico City jail cell, crossed the Rio Grande from his temporary refuge in Texas with eight men in March 1913 and quickly took over control of Chihuahua. Thousands and thousands of former maderistas streamed down out of their mountain hideouts to join Villa as he began what was to become the decisive march down the middle of the country to drive Huerta out of Mexico City.
BenjamÌn Argumedo and his desperately loyal band of horsemen, perhaps haunted by the odor of villista blood still clinging to their hands from the battles of the year before between orozquistas and maderistas, lost no time in enrolling as irregular cavalry with General Huertaís federales. When Villaís suddenly awesome DivisiÛn del Norte rolled down the railroad line towards TorreÛn in 1913, it was Argumedoís cavalry, fighting a cruel and seemingly interminable rear guard action, that repeatedly threw back the advancing villistas with incredibly fierce and abandoned charges. ìEl Tigre de la Lagunaî and his valientes seemingly relished the chance to throw themselves against their recent adversariesñand former comrades in armsñ, Villaís own most hardened horsemen under the command of his oldcompadre from back in his pre-revolutionary days as cattle rustler and ìroad agentî specializing in ìliberatingî well-guarded mine payrolls: Tom·s Urbina.
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