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readers' forum • foro de lectores
page 2
2007-2009
  Readers' Forum Homepage

     This is the second page of the Readers' Forum devoted to you, the reader  — envisioned as an interactive blog-forum for questions, contributions, comments, insights, reflections, observations, interpretations, ruminations, informed speculations, educated guesses & mediated open dialogue among & between folks who have something they want to say or ask about this topic or website.  

     The most recent readers' comments appear at the top, the oldest at the bottom.  If you have something you'd like to say or contribute, please send me an email:  mjsch313@yahoo.com.  Many thanks to all who've taken the time to write, comment, or contribute something to this website.

       Esta es la segunda página del Foro de Lectores que se dedica a usted, el lector — que se concibe como un foro y blog interactivo para preguntas, contribuciones, comentarios, ideas, revelaciones, observaciones, interpretaciones, reflexiones, especulaciones informadas, conjeturas educadas, y diálogo abierto entre personas que tengan algo que quieren decir o preguntar sobre este tema o página web.

     Lo más recientes comentarios de los lectores salen en la parte superior, los más antiguos en la inferior.  Si usted tenga algo que quiere decir o contribuir, por favor envíenme un correo electrónico:  mjsch313@yahoo.com.  Agradecimientos a todos que han dado de su tiempo a escribir, comentar o aportar algo a este sitio web.


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Inventory of Readers' Comments
& Dates of First Correspondence, Page 2

 

 

2007-2009

 

Ian Roxborough, New York, New York - December 30, 2009  

Gilbert Ortiz, California - December 23, 2009

Sergio Mayorga-Mercado, Nicaragua - December 23, 2009

C. B., Florida - October 15, 2009

Hector Perla, Santa Cruz, California - July 13, 2009

Carlos Correa, Marseille, France - May 22, 2009

William Alvarez, Atlanta, Georgia - March 22, 2009

Linda John, San Francisco, California - October 12, 2008

Richard C. DeBold, Higganum, Connecticut - September 2, 2008

Joyce Onion, South Carolina - August 8, 2008

Patrick McNamara, Brooklyn, New York - June 16, 2008

Barry Carr, Victoria, Australia - April 29, 2008

Walter Castillo Sandino, Managua, Nicaragua - April 13, 2008

Rodrigo Peñaba, from Nicaragua - April 12, 2008

Alessandro Marchi, Florence, Italy - March 31, 2008

Erich Wagner, Boston, Mass. - February 25, 2008

Dan Plazak on the San Albino Mine - December 1, 2007

Jaime Pfaeffle, San José, Costa Rica - September 4, 2007

Carlos Rosa, Fort Lauderdale, Florida - October 8, 2007

 

..

 

 

 Ian Roxborough, New York, New York  

 

Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Subject: Sandino

Dear Michael Schroeder,

I have just come across your website on the Sandino period, and want to thank you for the immense effort you have put in to make these documents easily accessible.

I am in the early stages of a comparative study of several instances of US and UK military occupation, Nicaragua being one of the cases. I read your chapter in the Close Encounters volume, enjoyed it immensely, and was searching for other things by you when I ran across your web site.

I haven't yet had the time to do more than glance at some of the documents you have posted. Nevertheless, I wanted to express my appreciation.

sincerely,

Ian Roxborough
Professor of History and Sociology
Dept of Sociology
Stony Brook University
NY 11794-4356



 

Friday, January 1, 2010
Re: Sandino

Dear Prof Roxborough,

Thanks very much for your kind words on my website. I'm very glad you found it useful for your work, that's the whole point. I still need to upgrade the software (and create a Spanish-language version toggle) but for the life of me I can't seem to figure out this newfangled Cascading Style Sheet / Dynamic Web Template business -- looks like I'm going to need to hire a professional to tutor me in the basics so I can do it on my own. But it's a fun & interesting project and I'm grateful that folks like you are finding it useful. Thanks for taking the time to send me your note of appreciation, it is much appreciated on this end.

Good luck on your project & if you have any critical comments about the site's aesthetics, design, organization, content, etc., I'd be very happy to hear what you think.

Happy New Year,

Mike

Michael Schroeder
Annville PA

 

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 Gilbert Ortiz, California  

 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Subject: Website

Here is a document from the '27 conflict...
It was during the second attack that Private Obleski was killed by a sniper
from an adjoining wall. This sniper was killed by Sergeant Ollie R.
Blackburn with fire from his pistol and was found with four forty-five
calibre bullet wounds in his head and neck.

Had this in my files. All the best, Gil Ortiz

 

     

 

 


 

December 23, 2009
Re: Website

Dear Gil Ortiz,

Thank you so much for sending me this document, which with your permission I will publish on the Sandino website. Please accept my sincere gratitude and my best wishes for the New Year.

Warm Regards,

Michael

Michael Schroeder
Annville Pennsylvania, USA
for www.SandinoRebellion.com

 

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 Sergio Mayorga-Mercado, Nicaragua  

 

Wednesday, December 23, 2009
document request from sandino homepage MISc

Dear Mr. Schroeder,

I found you site very educative and informative on the Sandino rebellion. My uncles fought under Sandino and under the Guardia Nacional. Brothers against bothers, it caught my attention that under the misc document M_DOCS there is a report about my uncle Jose Maria Mercado.

29.09.13 Darnal Chinandega AC, W.Area Jose Maria Mercado, Sandinista, Report on 1 209/7

how can I obtain a copy of the report? It will give me light on my uncle service under Sandino. My uncle used to tell us about his years under the lidership of Sandino. he is now long gone, and I will appreciate any information about him. I was born in Ocotal, Nueva Segovias.

Thanks,

Sergio Mayorga-Mercado

 


 

Monday, December 28, 2009
Re:  document request from sandino homepage MISc

Dear Sergio,

I am attaching a .jpg file of the document you asked about that includes information on your uncle Jose Maria Mercado.  The source for the document is:

United States National Archives, Record Group 127, Entry 209, Box 7.

I checked through my other documents and found one other reference to your uncle.  It is from a file in Record Group 127, Entry 202, Box 16, File 76, titled "National Penitentiary, Managua.  Records of Prisoners, Casefiles, Special Orders from 18 September 1928 to February 19, 1931."  In this file, there is a letter dated 20 November 1929 from the Comandante to the Jefe Director of the Guardia Nacional, with the subject "Bandit Prisoners."  It includes the following brief reference to your uncle:

"The following bandit prisoners are now confined in the National Penitentiary:  .... S-17 .... Mercado, Jose Maria.  Received Sept. 27, Jefe Director telegram, 15426, Sept." 

That is all it says.  Evidently he was confined in the National Penitentiary in Managua starting Sept. 27, 1929.  I have found no record of his release, though that information is probably somewhere in the US National Archives in the Records of the Guardia Nacional de Nicaragua (Record Group 127).

Your uncle sounds like a fascinating character.  If you have any information about him or other family members that you would like to share and permit me to publish on the website, I would be very happy to do that.

I hope this helps you to better understand the role that your uncle Jose Maria Mercado played in the Sandino rebellion and US Marine intervention in your homeland.

Please accept my best wishes for a Blessed New Year for you and your family,

Warm regards,

Michael

Michael Schroeder
Annville, Pennsylvania, USA

 

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 C. B., Florida  

 

Thursday, October 15, 2009
Subject: Sale of Sandino Letter

Dear Mr Schroeder,


I am the owner letter written by Sandino. I would like to sell it. My Mother was given this letter by her friend a retire Colonel in the Spanish military. Apparently, the Colonel was given this letter after forty of service to the King of Spain Juan Carlos by the King of Spain. Unfortunately, we must sell this letter but we would like to see it preserved and shared with others. Finding a buyer among the Sandinistas seems rather likely but it also means that the letter would like vanish from the pages of history. Enclosed is a photo of the letter and more photos can be provided if there is an interest. Thank in advance for anything that may help facilitate the sale of this letter.

Sincerely,
C.B.

 


 

Thursday, October 15, 2009
Re: Sale of Sandino Letter

Dear C.B.,

How much?

Thank you,

Michael Schroeder

 



Monday, October 19, 2009
Re: Sale of Sandino Letter

Dear Mr. Schroeder,

Apologies,for late response- limited Internet access. I am looking for $11,000 dollars for the letter. This negotiable. Additionally the letter can be delivered at anytime when we have an agreement.

Sincerely,
C.B.

 


 

October 21, 2009
Re: Sale of Sandino Letter

Dear C.B.,

Eleven thousand dollars is a little out of my league. I'd be willing to pay around $100. That's about what it's worth, in my professional estimation. Its quality appears poor, with severe stains in the middle, and letters signed by Sandino are not terribly rare. I'd also be willing to pay, say, $50 for a high resolution digital photograph. In case you wish to donate the letter to a Nicaraguan archive or museum so that it become part of humanity's common stock of knowledge, I would suggest the Instituto de Historia de Nicaragua y Centroamérica (IHNCA), housed in the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) in Managua...

 

Regards,

MS

 


 

Thursday, October 22, 2009,
Re: Sale of Sandino Letter

Dear Mr. Schroeder,

Thank you for your honest appraisal.  I was shocked at the value you suggested. One hundred dollars hardly seems worth the time needed to pack and ship the letter to you. The framing of the letter cost me $150 back in the 90's. As far charging you for a digital photo, you can have the photo for free. Feel free to upload to your excellent website. I need no credit or citation.

C.B.

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Back to Inventory


 Hector Perla, Santa Cruz, California  

 

Monday, July 13, 2009
Sandino Rebellion

Dear Dr. Schroeder,


I just recently came across your website "SandinoRebellion." I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for launching such an important endeavor! I am a political scientist (in the Latin American & Latino Studies department at University of California, Santa Cruz) currently working on finishing my book on the FSLN's transnational resistance strategies to Reagan's efforts to overthrow them. I have a brief historical chapter that includes the Sandino period and both your articles and archival sources are extremely helpful. I am particularly interested in the anti-imperialist committees that formed against the Marine occupation in the US & internationally (any additional suggestions/insight on this would be greatly appreciated).

Beyond that I think your website will serve as an invaluable resource that I can pass along to my many undergraduates (especially Nicaraguan-American students) who know very little of this history, but want to discover it. I also noticed that you cited some sources from the Leatherneck from Alden Library... my first teaching position out of grad school was at Ohio University as the Latin Americanist after Tom Walker's semi-retirement. But Ohio was geographically & culturally a long way from family and community, and I took a position here at UCSC last year.

Lastly, I take the liberty to pass along one of my articles that may be of interest to you. It tries to document the agency of Central Americans both in the diaspora and in their home countries in the formation of the US Central American Peace/Solidarity Movement of the 80s.

Thank you for your attention.
Best wishes,
Hector


 

Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Re: Sandino Rebellion

Dear Hector,

Thank you so much for your very kind note, and for your article that you so kindly sent along with it -- both were most welcome. In fact I am in Nicaragua as we speak, here to observe the 30th Anniversary of the Sandinista Triumph on Sunday, and to dig a little more in the local archives. Interestingly, I just learned that the Nicaraguan Army has taken control of the interviews with old-time Sandinistas conducted by the (now defunct) Instituto de Estudio del Sandinismo in the early 1980s, and I was just granted permission by them to conduct additional research in their archives -- so I´m pretty psyched (as I´m sure you know, it´s hard gaining access to this stuff unless one has personal connections, so this comes as something of a welcome surprise).

In any case, I´m very glad you find the website of interest -- in fact in the near future I´ll be totally revamping it, because the software (Microsoft Frontpage 2003) is antiquated and the website itself needs a major facelift -- so any constructive criticisms you have of its layout, design, organization, aesthetics, or anything else, I´m all ears (e.g., I´m going to jettison the background of crinkly paper ... seemed like a good idea at the time). I expect to begin revamping it upon my return from Nicaragua in late July, and to continue through the academic year as time permits.

So thanks again for your very kind note and I look forward to reading your piece and to being in touch.

Saludos de Managua,

Mike

Michael Schroeder

 

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 Carlos Correa, Marseille, France  

 

Friday, May 22, 2009
Subject:  About Sandino...-


Dear Dr. Schroeder, recently by chance (the magic of google i guess), I found your extraordinary website sandinorebellion.com. I am a Nicaraguan activist and a student of Sandino's cause, so I took the liberty to link your site to my small homage to Sandino at http://www.carloscorea.com/sandino.html. Basically all this excessive writing is to ask you two things:

1. linking to your site...is it ok for you? Can I have your authorization?
2. Adding to my luck, I also found out you are the author of a seminal paper on the 1920's Nicaraguan political arena "Horse Thieves to Rebels to Dogs: Political Gang Violence and the State of the Western Segovias, Nicaragua in te Time of Sandino, 1927-1934". I got a copy while i was in college in California...then went back to Nicaragua...then France...so needless to say, I don't have that copy anymore and i can't find it in the web. Would it be possible to get a copy from you?

Finally and sorry for taking your time (this is almost spam!), regarding your next book on Sandino, if you need to go to Nicaragua for further research, I will be more than happy to help you with anything you need (contacting people, access to some libraries, etc.). Currently I am serving as the Designated Nicaraguan Ambassador in Paris, and it occurs to me that our embassy may facilitate for you some of what I have mentioned in this email. So, estoy a la orden para servirle

Thank you, fraterno
Carlos Corea L.

 


 

Sunday, May 24, 2009
Re: About Sandino...

Estimado Carlos,

Muchisimas gracias por su mensaje. Of course you have my permission to link to the site - the more links the better! And yes, I would be happy to send you a copy of my JLAS article on "Horse Thieves to Rebels to Dogs" - in fact I've been meaning to get that article translated into Spanish but I need a professional translator. Also, you might be interested in the chapter I wrote called "The Sandino Rebellion Revisited" in the "Close Encounters of Empire" volume edited by Gilbert Joseph et al. Finally there's the article on the air war in Nicaragua, published in 2007 in International History Review. I'm still working on my book manuscript but hope to have it completed & published in a few years.

In short, I will be happy to mail you copies of these articles. Is this your correct address?:

Carlos Corea
xxx
Marseille, France

I'm also planning on going to Nicaragua this July to observe the public commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Triumph of the Sandinista Revolution ... The website is intended as a kind of documentary annex to my book in progress. As you know, the history of Sandino and his movement is so wrapped up in myth and legend that in my view it will be useful to have an authoritative website with original documents so that people can do their own research on the topic and come to their own conclusions about what happened, what it all means, etc.

So thank you again for your message and I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Mike

Michael Schroeder

 



Monday, May 25, 2009
Re: About Sandino...

Estimado Dr. Schroeder, thank you for your reply.

Regarding your paper "Horse Thieves to Rebels to Dogs":

* That is my address in Marseille, France. Thank you much for sending your paper to me.
* We could do a translation in Nicaragua by a professional translator-free of charge of course (there is no fine print here...I will distribute your paper among nica people interested on Sandino-just to further knowledge on our history-completely respecting your rights as an author.

Regarding your trip to Nicaragua for the 30 Aniversario:

* I you agree, I will send information about your trip to Dr. Orlando Núñez-Asesor Social del Presidente Ortega, to see if he can manage to have you as a guest for the celebrations-invitation to the ceremonies, etc.
* Perhaps you guys can arrange some sort of talks on Sandino, and possibilities for publishing in Nicaragua, etc.

As you may know, the FSLN archives were divided among el Instituto de Historia and the Army Military Archives, so you might be interested on having access to the Army archives too. If you are-I am assuming you are, we can also, arrange that. But first things first, so if you agree, I could let Dr. Núñez know about your coming to Nicaragua.

Un saludo,
Carlos Corea

 


May 25, 2009
Re: About Sandino ...

Estimado Carlos,

Muchisimas gracias por su mensaje y su oferta de pasar la información sobre mi viaje a Nicaragua a Dr. Núñez -- I would be delighted! Thank you so much. I will mail the three articles I mentioned to your address in Marseille tomorrow (today is Memorial Day & the Post Office is closed .... )  I'd also be delighted to have my "Horse Thieves" article translated into Spanish & published in a Nicaraguan venue -- and, if you & others think it worthy, my chapter in the "Close Encounters" volume (1998), which I think stands with the "Horse Thieves" piece as the best thing I've published so far on the rebellion and how to interpret it historically.

In any case, my response to your very kind offer is Yes, please do get in touch with Dr. Núñez and we can take it from there. Just to let you know, I am planning to go to Sao Paulo, Brazil around the third week of June and am hoping to arrive in Nicaragua around the second week of July.

Gracias otra vez, y un saludo fraterno a usted,

Mike

 


 

NOTE:  Correspondence continued into the coming weeks & months ...

 

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 William Alvarez, Atlanta, Georgia  

 

Sunday, March 22, 2009
Sandino Rebellion

Dr. Schroeder,


I would like to take this time to thank you for your Sandino website. I am just beginning a personal study of the history of Nicaragua and of Sandino in particular. I find Sandino's life and exploits fascinating. He has become one of my heros (I am not Nica and am a Marine-Ironic) but I find it difficult to find information on him. Discovering your site was like finding a burried treasure. Your site will be an asset in my study of Nicaragua and Sandino. Again, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You.


Semper Fidelis
William Alvarez

 


 

Sunday, March 22, 2009
Re: Sandino Rebellion

Dear William,

Thank you so much for your very kind note about my Sandino Rebellion website. I know it's pretty skeletal right now, but at some point in the future I hope it'll be the definitive website on the topic. In fact I just received a grant from my college to work with students on developing the site -- I need to ramp up the software, incorporate maps & timelines, do all kinds of things -- but it's getting there. So thank you very much for your kind and inspiring words, and please let me know if I can be of any assistance in your research.

Best regards,

Mike

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 Linda John, San Francisco, California  

 

 
Sunday, October 12, 2008

Subject:  mil gracias!

Michael,

A Nicaraguan artist friend just forwarded me your website. I've read enough to know that it is like finding gold on the moon!

I am a haircutter/barber in San Francisco (but native minnesotan) who traveled to Nicaragua from 1984 on, to simply see "how they did it." I returned again and again, to live with ordinary people, follow their lives, and of course the life of the revolutionary project. I have many friends an customers with their own experiences, loves and tales of Nicaragua. But all of us, now in the 'autumn' years, are feeling the weight of what we carry, as we realize that we may be among the last for generations to come who had the privilege of meeting and sharing with people who had risked all and amazingly won, and had a brief period to try to create a new way of life.

And now, the past - both the Sandinista history of the 30's and the 80's - is being erased and banned in Nicaragua. Which is why your work is so valuable!
The young women and men who committed to live or die in an effort to rid the country of Somoza were fortified and inspired over and over again by Sandino and the first 'ejercito loco." They excavated what they could of that buried history, and then they MADE history in their own time. So, i just want to say THANK YOU for all the work you have done and especially for making it accessible to all and to the future. (and i loved your version of Mao's quote!)

Linda John

 


 

Monday, October 13, 2008

Re:  mil gracias!

 

Dear Linda,

 

Thank you so much for your very kind note on my Sandino rebellion website -- it's very gratifying to know that folks are stumbling into it and finding it useful.  I really appreciate your words & comments.

 

Best wishes,

 

Michael

 


 

September 13, 2008

Re: mil gracias!

 

Hi Linda,

Greetings from Annville PA!  I'm writing because this morning I took the liberty of publishing excerpts from the very kind note you sent me last year; it appeaers on the homepage of the Sandino Rebellion website (www.sandinorebellion.com) and I just wanted to get your approval before keeping it there.  Thank you!

Blessings & Solidarity,

Michael Schroeder

 



September 14, 2008

re: mil gracias!

 

you have my heartfelt approval!

 

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 Richard C. DeBold, Higganum, Connecticut  

 

September 2, 2008
Subject:  Sandino
From: Richard C. DeBold

Dear Dr. Schroeder,

I have only recently begun to explore your web site devoted to the Sandino Rebellion.

About seven years ago, I wrote a fictionalized version of the war, based on stories told to me by an actual Marine participant. I called the Novel The Banana Shooter.

In almost all aspects, my book agrees with your published history of the events. But I surely wish I had your research available at the time I wrote. My reliance on my memory of stories and cursory research in the LOC and NAUSA did not really do the subject justice.

You might enjoy visiting the books web site:

www.bananashooter.com

If you have any interest, I would be pleased to send you a complimentary copy.

Best wishes,

Dick DeBold, HHB

 



IN MEMORIUM

 

Richard C. Debold died on 29 June 2010 at 82 years of age.  Here is his obituary from the Middletown Press of Middletown, CT:

DEBOLD, Richard C. Richard C. DeBold, 82, of Saybrook Rd., Higganum, husband of Marjorie (Warren) DeBold, passed away Tuesday (June 29, 2010) at his home. He was born in the Bronx, NY, the son of the late William and Emma (Herzog) DeBold and was a veteran of the U.S. Navy. Richard received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. He retired as a teacher from Long Island University; he was an author, publisher and fisherman.

 

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 Joyce Onion, South Carolina  


 

August 8, 2008

Subject: Information about my Father

First of all I must tell you how valuable your site has been to me. I can see you have worked very hard to compile this information. Its been very informative.

My Father served in Nicaragua between 1928 to 1931. He was stationed in Managua. I am trying to find out any information I can about his action or duty at the time but don't know how to go about it. I have a few letters he wrote while stationed there.

 

If you could be of help I would appreciate it.  His name and information is as follows:

Albert R. Fisher
Co.C Electoral Detachment
2nd Brigade
Managua, Nicargua

I have searched your site but came up empty.  Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Joyce Onion

 


 

August 12, 2008
Subject: Re: Information about my Father

Dear Joyce,

Thanks for you note and I'm glad you found the Website on the Sandino rebellion useful, to be honest your father's name does not ring a bell but that's not surprising since there were so many Americans in Nicaragua in the 20s and 30s. Unfortunately there's not an easy way to find information about his activities there, doubtless his name appears on numerous documents but one has to actually go through them to find it -- I might suggest that you get in touch with the Gray Research Center in Quantico VA, which is the central repository for Marine Corps history -- though if your father was a civilian attached to the electoral commission it's doubtful that there's any information on him there. The best I can do is to jot his name down and remember it, and as I go through the documents in the future I'll keep an eye peeled for ALBERT R. FISHER and hopefully his name will pop up and I'll let you know. The other thing you might try is to order the microfilm of the State Dept records via interlibrary loan (public libraries will borrow this stuff for you) and go through the microfilm to see if his name pops up there. If you're interested in doing that I'll send you the specific information about which reels & group number to request. So let me know, and otherwise sorry I can't be of more help right now, but as I say I'll tuck his name into my brain and keep my eye out for it in the future and let you know if I find anything.

Good luck with your research & thanks again for your note,

Mike

Michael Schroeder for www.SandinoRebellion.com



 

August 13, 2008

Subject: Re: Information about my Father

Dear Mike,

Thank You so much for even answering my note. My Dad was not a civilian, he was in the Marine Corp. from 1927 to 1931 and was in Nicaragua. His address was:


Albert R. Fisher
Co. C Electoral Detachment
2nd Brigade
Managua Nicaragua

This is difficult information to get as you know. I have been trying to wade through the Marine Corp files with much difficulty. My Dad has been deceased since 1975 and he never really talked much about his service life.
He was a orphan and had little family to write to but I do have a few letters he had written while stationed there. He was always a private man, never talking about himself, I think he felt no one would ever be interested.
If it wouldn't be to much of a problem to send the reel and group numbers I would appreciate it very much. And should his name pop up, could you please let me know.

Thank you so much for your time.

Sincerely,

Joyce Onion



 

Dear Joyce,

Thanks for your note, if you could give me a couple of weeks to get this information to you I'd appreciate it ...

Also, if you live anywhere near Washington DC you might think about making the trip yourself and looking through Record Group 127, which is housed in the National Archives in DC and is the record group for Marine Corps records -- it's pretty amazing material to go through -- and in the meantime I would suggest getting in touch with the Gray Research Center in Quantico just to see if he left any personal papers -- Here's the homepage for the Library: http://www.mcu.usmc.mil/MCRCweb/library.htm ...

Best,

Mike



 

August 15, 2008

 

Dear Mike,

Thanks for answering. ... Please take your time as I am in no hurry for anything. I'm retired now, although you wouldn't know it as I am busier then ever.

I am totally indebted to you for the information you have already given me per your web site and e-mail.

Its great you will be closer to the repositories. I will be looking forward to new information on your site as you expand it. I have already copied much of it to read at my leisure. Hope you don't mind.

Finding your site has been such a blessing to me. I can only imagine how much work it has been for you. If you don't mind my asking, what inspired you to take on such an ambitious project?

I don't live anywhere near Washington. I live in the sunny south, SC to be exact. I'm sure looking through those old records would be impressive as well as exciting. I will get a hold of the web site you have given me. And thanks so much for your help. ...


God Bless,


Joyce

 


 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hello Michael,

 

I am sending you some info that my Aunt JOYCE ONION asked me to send to you concerning my grandfather Albert Fisher during his duty in Nicaragua. From what I read in your emails to my aunt, I really do not think that what we have is what you are looking for. All I have is one letter and a couple of pictures. Below is the letter. Thank you,

 

 Jennifer

From: Albert Fisher To: Alice Pettit

Co. C Electoral Detachment Fleming, Ohio

2ond Brigade

Monogua Nicaragua Aug 10 or 11, 1930

Dear Mother,

I am back to Nic again. The country has not run away. It is still the same old land of Monona I think I am going to my cantone in about two more weeks.

They have been teaching us Spanish and Electoral laws for over a month. It is all very easy for me as I was through it before in the Election of 1928. Was transfered from the East coast detail. That was better for me. As that was the worst outfit I ever did duty with. I got eighteen hours extra duty before I left them. I sure could not express my opinion of them top sgt. on paper. I left a lot of old friends tho when I left them one fellow I had did duty with almost everywhere I was stationed. There was 16 of us shonghied. So I was not alone. This is a good outfit I am with now. I have did duty with almost all of them off and on.

There was a bad accident happened about a week ago in the blue jacket Batallion right across from my tent row. This is the first time for these blue jackets in Nic. They are here on Electoral duty. As there was not enough Marines. One of them was playing with his pistol and shot his bunkie with in a fraction of an inch of the heart. The bunkie kicked up two or three times and died. It sure goes hard with the fellow he will get about two or three yrs for man slaughter.

We get radio grams from the states that tell all the news of the day. These are published on the bullitin boards. I have been reading these, and got some very serious news of the drought all through the central states as far south as the Carolinas I have been some worried about you. In quantico the Post water works almost completly dried up. They are hauling water down to them by tugs from Washington. They also have sent 700 home on furlougs. In other places it is just as bad. I certainly hope some of this rain were getting would go your way. The gooks don’t need it any longer. Their fruit and corn is developed plenty bueno for them. In fort we are eating roasting ears in the mess. In the train coming up I seen plenty of corn in full tossel.

Tell Flora and the rest of the family I said hello. I got 10 mo and a bit to do now, getting short.

I hope you luck from the War department. You are the only one that could get it. If such a thing can be done.

I came do on the Mississippi a battleship. Your letter came on the same ship. I was on her 3 days so was your letter. But did not get it till I hit Monogua. So please excuse this delay in reply. I must close.

With love

your son Albert
 

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 Patrick McNamara, Brooklyn, New York  

 

Monday, June 16, 2008
Sandino Rebellion
From: Patrick McNamara

 

Dear Dr. Schroeder:

I have been reading and admiring your website on the Sandino Rebellion. I am also looking forward to reading your new book on the subject.

Recently I discovered a photo album that belonged to my grandfather Thomas McNamara (1908-1966), when he was a Marine in Nicaragua in the late 1920's. There's about 40 photos or so. The family tradition has it that he ran away from his home in Queens, lied about his age and joined the Marine Corps. I guess this was about 1925. I found him listed in Ancestry.com. He was sent to Nicaragua and was there about 1927. I guess that's when the pictures were taken. As a historian, my guess is that there aren't many such collections out there.

I have scanned the photos and burned them to a CD, and would be glad to send you a copy if you wouldn't mind looking at them. I have no interest in their monetary value, but I would like to to get a little better appreciation of their significance. But this is not my area of expertise. ... I belive he was stationed with the third battalion of the fifth Marines in Matagalpa in 1927 if that helps at all.

Thanks for any help you could give.

Sincerely,
Patrick McNamara

Patrick J. McNamara, Ph.D.
Assistant Archivist
R.C. Diocese of Brooklyn
310 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, NY 11212

 


 
Monday, June 16, 2008

Re: Sandino Rebellion


Dear Patrick,

Thanks very much for your note and your kind words on my website. The photos taken by your grandfather sound intriguing, and I would be delighted to take a look at them to give you my best sense of their historical value. If you'd be so kind as to mail me a copy I'd gladly pay for postage and any other associated costs. ...

As you've probably gathered from perusing my website, it's my goal to use the site as a public repository for documents, including photos, relating to this topic (needless to say, I don't make any money off of it -- it's not a commercial site, but one intended only to make these materials publicly available). So after I look over your photos and give you my best assessment of their historical value, and with your permission, I'd be delighted to publish them on the site, with all due credit given to you & your grandfather, of course.

Thanks again for your note and I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Mike

Michael Schroeder
Ann Arbor, MI
site administrator, www.SandinoRebellion.com

 

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 Barry Carr, Victoria, Australia  

 

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Subject:  Hi and congratulations on your Sandino web site
From:  Barry Carr

Hi Michael

Just been browsing your extraordinary Sandino web site. And I just had to
email you to send you my congratulations. Its an extraordinary achievement
and will be immensely useful to scholars and activists and..

Keep up the good work.

Barry carr

 


 

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

 

Subject:  Hi and congratulations on your Sandino web site

 

Hi Barry,

Thanks very much for your note, that means a lot coming from you. I'm hoping to get funding for it because it's a time sink as you might imagine - I haven't officially announced it on H-Net or anything because it's not in good enough shape yet - but maybe soon. Anyway thanks boatloads for your words of support --

Peace,

Mike

 


 

Michael:

You deserve the good words! I look forward to keeping track of its contents.

Barry

 

 

[Correspondence ongoing ... ]

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 Walter Castillo Sandino, Managua, Nicaragua  

 

 

Sunday, April 13, 2008

 

Subject:  Muy estimado Profesor Schroeder

 

Estimado Profesor:

Reciba Usted en nombre de mi Sra. Madre Blanca Segovia Sandino (única hija del General Augusto C. Sandino) y en el mío propio todo el respeto y admiración por el trabajo que ha realizado sobre nuestro padre y abuelo respectivamente, “The Sandino Rebellion in Nicaragua”.

Nos parece sumamente interesante e importante se de a conocer a las futuras generaciones la veracidad de lo ocurrido, pues yo en lo personal he dedicado toda mi vida para investigar y conocer todo lo relacionado con la vida y obra de mi Abuelo.

Seria para mi un gran honor tener el privilegio de poder conocerlo personalmente algún día y dar continuidad a ese grandioso trabajo que Usted ya ha comenzado. Yo le pudiera asegurar que al igual que mi abuelo, pienso que Uds. representan a la clase democrática de ese hermano País, y que tienen el todo el derecho y la obligación de conocer la verdadera historia de su patria y los sacrificios de sus antepasados. Cuando medio desnudos, sin zapatos marchaban sobre la nieve, dejando manchas de sangre y aceptando el sacrificio pudieron heredar a ustedes una patria libre, tal y como lo soñaba mi abuelo y sus contemporáneos: Ellos también estaban ebrios de patriotismo y no escatimaron esfuerzos de sacrificios para alcanzar la libertad y poder así heredarnos a nosotros una patria libre como la heredaron Uds. de sus antepasados.

Mi abuelo decía, que nosotros comprendemos que el pueblo democrático de los Estados Unidos es generoso y que no esta de acuerdo con los abusos que cometió el Presidente Coolidge contra nuestro Pueblo y que Uds. no quisieron estar representando el triste papel a que los obligó Coolidge, quien se aprovechaba de la disciplina de Uds. No fue nunca el propósito de mi abuelo herir la dignidad de persona alguna, sino el de admiración por Uds. y su historia.

Sin embargo nuca fue escuchado, el solo pedía tener apoyo para la democracia de nuestra amada Nicaragua: según uno de los escritos suministrado por Usted en “The Sandino Rebellion in Nicaragua”, él aceptaba tener en su poder un poco mas de dos millones de dólares (de esa época), y estaba dispuesto a entregárselos todo a cambio que las fuerzas invasoras salieran de nuestro territorio.

Quedo esperando la contestación de Uds.

Walter C. Sandino

Nieto del general Augusto C. Sandino

 


 

Sunday, April 13, 2008 1:12 PM

From:  Michael Schroeder

Subject:  Re: Muy estimado Profesor Schroeder


Estimado Sr. Walter C. Sandino,

Muchas gracias por su nota y expresiones de solidaridad. Yo tengo la esperanza tambien que un dia tendremos la oportunidad a vernos cara a cara. Tengo planes de venir a Nicaragua en el verano que viene, si Dios quiera, y seria un gran honor a reunir con Ud para hablar sobre las temas y cuestiones alrededor de su Abuelo y su lucha por la libertad de su patria y contra el imperialism del EEUU. Entonces gracias otra vez por su apreciable carta, buena suerte en todo, y tengo esperanzas de continuar nuestra comunicacion,

Sinceramente,

Michael Schroeder

 


 

December 18, 2008

Subject:  Muy estimado Profesor Schroeder

 

Estimado Profesor Schroeder:

Un fraterno saludos desde Managua, Nicaragua. Desde la tierra y descendencia directa del General Augusto Cesar Sandino, deseandole se encuentre bien de salud en union de sus seres mas queridos.

Estimado Profesos he quedado en espera de su visita a Nicaragua, para mi seria un gran honor el poderlo conocer personalmente, pues el trabajo que Usted ha hecho en “The Sandino Rebellion in Nicaragua”, es muy importante para nuestras futuras generaciones. Yo estoy sumamente interesado en que usted continues este trabajo de Historia entre nuestros pueblos hermanos.

En estos momentos estoy trabajando una pagina web que debera estar lista en los proximos dias y queria solicitarle su permiso para publicar algunos de los documentos y fotos que usted ha publicado en ese sitio web “The Sandino Rebellion in Nicaragua”.

Quisiera por favor me conteste por esta misma via su aprobacion a nuestra solicitud.

Me suscribo de usted,

atentamente

WCSandino

 


 

December 20, 2008

 

Muy Estimado Sr. Walter C. Sandino,

Muchas gracias por tu mensaje, me alegro de que encuentre mi sitio web útil. Por supuesto, usted puede utilizar cualquier documentos o fotografías en el sitio web que desea - todas las fotos y los documentos son de dominio público, y están ahí para que cualquiera que esté interesado lo puedan utilizar. Así que sí, por todos los medios, usted tiene mi permiso para hacer un enlace al Sitio y utilizar cualquiera de los documentos o fotografías que desee.

Con la esperanza de que este mensaje se encuentra usted y su familia con buena salud y disfrutar de esta época de Navidad, por favor acepte mis cálidos saludos desde Pennsylvania EEUU,

Gracias otra vez por su solicitud,,

Atentamente,

 

Michael Schroeder

 


 

August 17, 2009
Subject: Estimado Profesor Schroeder

Muy estimado Profesor Schroeder:

Le deseo mucha Salud en compañía de sus seres más queridos.

Estimado Profesor nos quedamos esperando su visita a Nicaragua, para mí sería un gran honor poderlo conocer personalmente e invitarlo para que venga a nuestro país, pues sigo considerando que el maravilloso trabajo que Usted ha realizado en “Sandino Rebellion in Nicaragua”, es muy importante para nuestras presentes y futuras generaciones. Yo estoy sumamente interesado en que usted continúe este trabajo de Historia entre nuestros pueblos hermanos.

Profesor, si Dios quiere estaré viajando en los próximos días junto a mi Sra. esposa a Washington DC. Nuestro único propósito es conocerlo personalmente y tratar de ver algunos de los documentos originales que Usted menciona en su página web. Yo se que están en dos lugares principalmente: en los Archivos de la Marina de los Estados Unidos (National Archives in Washington, DC, y Marine Corps Research Center, VA).

Quisiera por favor me conteste por esta misma vía si Usted estará disponible para la semana del 22 al 29 de Agosto, y de ser posible me de sus teléfonos y dirección para visitarlo.

Me suscribo de Usted,

Siempre mas allá...

WCSandino



August 17, 2009
RE: Estimado Profesor Schroeder

Estimado Walter Sandino,

Muchas gracias por tu mensaje. Yo sería muy feliz de reunirse con usted y su esposa la semana próxima. El único problema es que en mi universidad las clases comienzan la semana próxima y tengo demasiadas obligaciones aquí para hacer un viaje a Washington DC. Pero yo sería muy feliz de ofrecerle un lugar para alojarse si usted podría hacer para Annville, PA. Mi número de teléfono móvil es xxx, y mi teléfono de casa es xxx. Mi dirección en Annville es xxx. Es alrededor de 3 horas de viaje (en carro) desde Washington D.C.

Gracias de nuevo por su mensaje, es un verdadero placer estar en contacto con usted. Estoy copiando de mi otra cuenta de correo electrónico porque es más fácil y la uso con más frecuencia....

Me suscribo de Usted,

Siempre mas allá,

Michael

Michael J. Schroeder
Assistant Professor of History
Lebanon Valley College

 


 

NOTE:  The foregoing exchanges, and many others to follow, led Sr. Walter C. Sandino, his wife Sra. Marbely, and son Walmar to a weeklong visit to Lebanon Valley College in Fall 2009 & to the beginnings of an exceptionally fruitful & gratifying personal & professional relationship that includes several ongoing collaborative projects.  The following photographs were taken during Sr. Sandino's visita a nuestro humilde pueblito y universidad en las orillas del riachuelo Quittapahilla.

 

W. C. Sandino meeting with LVC President Stephen MacDonald Meeting with LVC Dean of the Faculty Mike Green Delivering one of many classroom presentations Dancing at a party held in honor of his & his family's visit

 

 

[Correspondence ongoing ... ]

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 Rodrigo Peñaba, from Nicaragua  


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Subject:  About the "hyper-masculine statue dubbed "Rambo" in SandinoRebellion
From:  Rodrigo Peñalba

Hello Michael,

 

i'm Rodrigo, from Nicaragua

i found via google your work on Sandino Rebellion, amazing work of documentation, congratulations =)

I just had a correction to be made. The "Right: hyper-masculine statue dubbed "Rambo" by locals, dilapidated, paint-splashed & graffiti-ridden, months before its dismantling, with children clustered on pedestal, Managua, Nicaragua, 1996") picture you have in your cover page have not been demolished.

Here's a recent picture from 2007. The statue is called also "Estatua del Soldado Desconocido" and now has a plaque from the FNT (National Front of Workers, the FSLN-affiliated labour centre)

I hope this info will help you

 

 



April 13, 2008

 

Rodrigo,

Thanks so much for the photo and the correction! I was told that that statue was torn down but obviously I heard wrong. With your permission I'll publish the photo you sent me as well (and correct my error on the homepage). Thanks for your words of encouragement with the website, if you have any more suggestions on anything, or anything to contribute, I'd be delighted to receive it. So thanks again and I hope we might be in touch again,

saludos,

Michael

 


 

April 13, 2008

 

Hello Michael

The image i did sent you is from Dereck Blackladder, and you can' find the original here
http://flickr.com/photos/dblackadder/413087978/in/set-72157594574198188/

He published it with AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved. so you should ask him or notify him at least.

 

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 Alessandro Marchi, Florence, Italy  

 

March 31, 2008

 

Subject:  from Sandinorebellion.com

 

Hello mr Schroeder,


I'm an Italian student living in Florence, and writing down a thesys with italian professor Antonio Annino about Sandino's period, according to his ability in becoming a national Nicaraguan's icon. I read ur articles available on Jstor and Ingenta Connect, and the topic of my work is focusing on
1st) why Sandino became a national, then a latino-american icon of rebellion
2nd) how (propaganda, proper use of "mass-media", sponsoritation by international anti-imperialist league...


Can u please help me in finding materials (ok in english either spanish) about these 2 purposes? The only stuff i'm able to find are about Sandino's life, his religious views, and historical course, but I'm finding it hard to trace the link between becoming a nationalist icon, and especially how, as materials from 1920s is not focusing very much and the technics he used.


I thank you very much in advance, hope not to disturb, and to receive some possible clues about my task.


Best Regards,
Alessandro Marchi

 


 

March 31, 2008

 

Subject:  Re:  from Sandinorebellion.com

 

Alessandro,

Thanks very much for your note. The international dimension of the Sandino Rebellion is not something I've focused on very much, but you might find some items of interest in my recent article, 'Social Memory and Tactical Doctrine: The Air War during the Sandino Rebellion in Nicaragua, 1927-1932' (International History Review, Sept. 2007). Also, Michele Dospital, "Siempre más allá" - have you read it? She has some good sources listed there. I would also suggest (since you are doing a doctoral thesis, I presume) that you look at the US State Department's records on Nicaragua during these years. They are available on microfilm. The State Dept was very concerned about the international aspect and their records reflect that concern. And of course Sandino's own writings are essential in understanding the international aspect.

What is interesting to me, among other things, is how Sandino tried desperately to get the support of Latin American heads of state and failed utterly. He could not garner any significant international support, and that's why (I argue) his forces had to rely on 'patriotic plunder' to finance the rebellion.

On the other hand he did gain a lot of rhetorical support from anti-imperialist activists, as Michele Dospital and others emphasize (and as I outline in my air war article).

Did you see the documents relating to Julio Cesar Rivas on my website? Here is the link:

http://www.sandinorebellion.com/Top100pgs/Top100-p7a.html

Best of luck with your research, and please let me know if I can be of further help.

Saludos de Ann Arbor, Michigan, EEUU,

Michael

Michael Schroeder

 


 

April 2, 2008

 

Subject:  Re:  from Sandinorebellion.com

 

Mr Schroeder,


first of all, thanks very much for helping me, it doesn't happen often to be helped when u're having a hard time.


Second, i read ur article with the interviews to general Rivas and i found it very helpful, especially in those parts describing how materially Sandino looked for international consensus to his rebellion. In order to complete the first chapter of my thesys (which u were correctly assuming is part of a bachelor degree in International Studies) i'd only need to read also ur article u recommended about the Air War. I caouldn't find it online (jstor or ingenta) nor even in my university's library online periodical database. I please you to send me the link to those website, (or also directly), which inlcude the payment of your own copyright. I'd like to contribute in any case is requested (donations via paypal, payment by credit card...). Please let me know.

Second issue: i'd like to cite the article 'www.sandinorebellion.com/mjs/lasa98.htm ' for which u asked a written permission. My thesys of course doesn't have profit goals, and i'm gonna listing the exact translation of what i would like to write, in order to give you the exact idea wheter granting or not ur permission. I enclosed the pages.

If you need a letter from my professor, a copy of my university career, or any other documents attesting my work, please let me know. I hope not to be disturbing, and i thank you in advance once again.


Best regards, (we say: distinti saluti da firenze!)

 

/s/  Sir Axel Mark

 



Thursday, October 9, 2008
From: alessandro marchi

Dear Mr Schroeder,

first of all please let me apologize for the delay in replying to ur last email, I've been busy as never before, and I'm able to do it only now, as I'm just graduated..

I decided to type down a pecial thanks to the author of sandinorebellion.com, and this is the introduction of my thesys:

“Dedico un ringraziamento particolare a Michael J. Schroeder, professore della Lebanon Valley College, il quale, con le sue pubblicazioni su Sandino, ha costituito una preziosa fonte d’ispirazione per l’intero studio relativo al periodo 1921-‘34. Tutti i saggi sui quali ho potuto lavorare previa autorizzazione diretta, sono reperibili sul sito internet curato dall’autore www.sandinorebellion.com, oltre ad alcune opere consultabili nell’archivio online jstor.org”.

“I dedicate a special thanks to M J Schroeder, professor at the Lebanon Valley College, who, with his essays on Sandino, has represented a precious inspiration's source for the whole study about the 1921-'34 period. All the essays and works which I've been previously authorized to work on by the author itself, are available on the website sandinorebellion.com, and also on jstor's online archive”.

It's not an official awarding, but the fact that my professor has allowed and recommended me to quote all ur works and ur name, has to be considered a great satisfaction as he'sactually considered the second maximum expert on Latin-American studies in the world ranking.

I thank you personally for introducing me to a new experience, which was made of collaboration between complete strangers who live in different parts of the world but who agree on finding a common ground of interest, even if I know that it's something of not so exceptional in the academic system.

I'd like to send you the conclusions of this work, the only thing is that it's completely written in Italian, one of the most charming and useless language of the world! I'll be in California the whole next summer, so at the moment I can only promise you to offer you a real espresso if u'll ever show up in Florence.

It has been a pleasure, best regards.

/s/  Sir axel mark

 

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 Erich Wagner, Boston, Mass.  

 

Monday, February 25, 2008


Subject: Question

Dear Sir,

I am a Major in the USMCR and currently researching how the US Marines trained and led the Guardia in Nicaragua. I'm especially interested in the problems they encountered - whether of their own doing or of the inherent difficulties in training native armies - and lessons we could learn and how they overcame them (religious, ethnic, whatever). I know you are the premier expert on this subject, so please forgive me for bothering you. Do you have any information I might utilize. I would love to get a copy of Robert Denig's Diary of a Guardia Officer, but have looked ALL over and cannot find a copy. Any guidance you might be able to provide would be incredibly appreciated and I would be indebted to you for anything you could provide me with.

Kind Regards

Erich Wagner

 


 

Date:  March 1, 2008

 

Dear Erich Wagner,

Thanks for your note, and my apologies for the delay, I just returned from a whirlwind few days and did not have email access.

I'd be happy to share with you whatever expertise I have on this subject -- as for Denig's diary, it is housed at the Marine Corps Research Center in Quantico VA -- I have a copy but it's all marked up with my marginal notes, etc. -- if you can't visit Quantico in person then I'd suggest trying to get a copy via interlibrary loan -- and if that doesn't work let me know and we'll see what we can work out --

Also, you probably know about this but you might find some useful tidbits in my chapter "The Sandino Rebellion Revisited" in Gilbert Joseph, et al., "Close Encounters of Empire: Writing the History of US-Latin American Relations" (Duke 1998). Some of the principal sources I've used to explore the topic you're interested in are referenced there.

Again, thanks for the note and let me know what you find out! I'd be very interested to hear what you end up uncovering and arguing -- because even though we might not agree on every little thing about the US intervention and the formation of the Guardia Nacional during this perod, I really enjoy a good discussion & debate and count on folks with perspectives that differ from my own to offer fresh insights and new perspectives.

So good luck and let me know if I can offer any additional help,

Best regards,

Michael Schroeder

 


 

Date:  March 4, 2008

 

Sir:

I apologize for being a pain and bothering you again. As you can see below, the only copy that exists of the Diary of a Guardia Officer isn’t coming to me. I don’t know if there were any alternative ideas you might have had, but if so, I would be willing to pay for any expenses.

Thanks so much for your consideration.

Kind Regards

Erich Wagner



 

March 4, 2008

 

Erich,

No problem at all. If it serves your purposes I'll copy mine and mail it to you, though it might take a week or two as I'm sort of backed up with stuff, and you'll have to ignore all the marginal comments. Is your need for it urgent? Yes, it can be a real pain doing long-distance research, I certainly empathize with that. If you get a chance sometime, I'd like to hear about your research agenda, as it sounds like you're doing interesting work. In any case, we'll work it out. So let me know how urgent your need is and we can take it from there.

Best,

Mike



 

March 5, 2008

 

Mike,

That’s very kind of you. I know that the book is about 150 pages or so. I understand that’s an incredible thing to ask of you. My need is not urgent. My thesis is do in April. I’ve attached a working draft copy, but it’s just going to my advisor today. The concept of my paper is that the Marine Corps was successful – in the short run – raising indigenous soldiers in Nicaragua in the 1930s, and that we as an organization can learn something from their trials and tribulations in our dealings with raising Iraqi soldiers today, although the task of what we are attempting to accomplish is much greater in scope. I was an advisor – the equivalent of a Guardia officer – to the Iraqis from 2005-2006. Many of the trials and tribulations we encountered were the same, and yet, many weren’t. You can see I used your “Bandits and blanket thieves, communists and terrorists: the politics of naming Sandinistas in Nicaragua, 1927 – 36 and 1979 – 90.”

Thanks again.

Sincerely

Erich



 

March 5, 2008

Dear Erich,

Thanks very much for sending me your thesis draft, which I look forward to reading. It sounds like your basic thesis is a solid one, because I think the Marines were successful in forging an effective National Guard, at least in the short-term. A couple of observations and suggestions:

- I'm struck by how the US worked to create a "non-partisan constabulary" and largely succeeded, but then, after the US withdrawal in early 1933, this modernized fighting force basically became just as partisan and "caudillo-oriented" as previous military organizations. I think the effort to create a truly non-partisan National Guard basically failed in the medium- and longer-term, as Somoza made the Guardia his own personal army, in keeping with the much longer tradition in Nicaraguan history of personalism and personalized control of the means of organized violence. I'd say by 1936 or so it had devolved into his own personal army - so as I see it, it's short-term success followed by longer-term failure - in terms of creating a non-partisan national army.

- Another thing that strikes me is the degree to which, during the war, sheer hatred of the Sandinistas provided a kind of "glue" that bound together the soldiers and officers of the Guardia - it was less a sense of "duty" or professionalism than it was hatred for the *&^% "bandoleros", i.e., Sandinistas. The same was true of the Sandinistas, of course - hatred of the other side ran extremely deep on both sides, and I think became the principal unifying factor for each side. So I think that's worth looking at.

- During the period when the Guardia was just forming, say 1930-32, there's a very high degree of ambiguity and fluidity in terms of "which side are we on?" There are tons of patrol and combat reports that show Sandinista soldiers wearing GN uniforms; GN members switching sides to fight with the rebels; cases where you can't tell whether the attackers are GN or EDSN; and so on. For evidence for this I'd point you to the patrol & combat reports in the National Archives -- which is pretty extensive collection (a couple of boxes of reports at least), and it'd take a lot of work to pick out those instances that illustrate what I'm talking about here, but they're also incredibly rich and provide a kind of bottom-up "worm's eye" view of the process that you don't get with the more formulaic and standardized reports by the brass.

- You might want to look at the report I wrote for the DoD on "Intelligence Successes and Failures in the Sandino Rebellion" - it's on my website -- where I argue, for instance, that contrary to popular perception and latter-day treatments, Chesty Puller and Bill Lee failed in many ways to cultivate alliances with local notables, establish effective intelligence networks, and basically relied on using brute force against civilians, which in many ways backfired by generating tremendous hatred for the Marines more generally. There are still stories in Las Segovias of "Lt. Lee" throwing babies up in the air and spearing them on his bayonet, e.g. On the other hand, officers like George Stockes and Julian Frisbie, I argue, were very successful in cultivating local alliances and thereby gathering actionable intelligence. Far more so than Puller & Lee, or Hanneken & Escamilla, e.g. So you might want to take a peek at this study:

http://www.sandinorebellion.com/mjs/mjs-intel.htm


So I'll stop there - again, just throwing out ideas as you figure out what to argue and how to frame things. For what it's worth.

I'll see if I can get the staff at EMU to copy this diary and get it off to you asap, because (as you know) April is right around the corner.

Good luck and thanks again,

Mike

 


 

March 6, 2008

 

Mike,

Thanks so much for this detailed email. I am going to pursue the angles you suggested and appreciate the effort you went to in this email. It is terribly interesting to see how these constabularies failed in the past when we left, and I think it is a challenge for us now in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s something I don’t have many recommendations on how to rectify, save for a functioning democracy left established when we leave, but . . . perhaps we thought we had done that in Nicaragua. The corruption problem in these societies is immense, and I know one of the biggest heartaches for Americans in operating and trying to teach such forces.

Again thanks, and I look forward to any annotations or suggestions you can provide in the future. I’ll make sure if I use any of your remarks I give you credit for them.

Sincerely
Erich Wagner



 

April 11, 2008

 

Subject:  RE:  Question

 

Mike, I’m finishing my work and tightening up things, and am getting flak for my statement :” The Nicaraguan is a natural fighting man, unlike the Iraqi.” Is there any good study, or quote you could provide, that would prove this? Or, perhaps you disagree. I feel, and the Marines felt, that the Nicaraguans were a warrior class of people. Any kind of anthropological citation I could provide for this?

R/

Erich

PS – I hope you received my thank you note sent weeks ago, as I am sincerely grateful for all you have done for me.

 


 

April 11, 2008

 

Subject:  RE:  Question

 

Hi Erich,

First, thanks for the nice note, sorry for not acknowledging it earlier but it was much appreciated. Second, as for your assertion, I profoundly disagree. For one thing only half of Nicaraguans are male - to say "the Nicaraguan is a man" is obviously problematic (another way to say the same thing would be something like, "Nicaraguan men are natural fighters"). More substantively, to my mind no national / ethnic / racial group can be characterized as "warlike" or "peaceful" or "phlegmatic" or any of the other blanket statements that anthropologists & historians of old used to make - especially when the word "natural" is thrown in, which makes it seem like it's biological or something. The whole thing dredges up the old debates about "national character", etc, which have been pretty much debunked and discarded as essentialist & naturalizing & ahistorical. Yes, the Marines felt that Nicaraguans were a "warrior class" of sorts, but that doesn't mean they were right. I think it's good to talk about the Marines' perceptions about the Nicaraguan "national character," or whatever, but for a scholar to adopt their perspective and perceptions wholesale strikes me as wrongheaded, especially given all the academic literature in recent years that critically analyze the whole "essentialist" perspective. But then I have these debates with my friend David Brooks all the time, who tends to make these kinds of blanket statements and then we go at it over beers. Have you read Edward Said's "Orientalism"? That's the starting point for these kinds of discussions about "essentializing the Other." But of course you're gonna write what you're gonna write. I just think it's not a very helpful way to think about it.

Besides, what do you gain by making this assertion? How does it move your argument forward? What's wrong with saying that both Iraqis and Nicaraguans have long traditions of violence, and that culturally specific forms of violence-making characterize each? Would that compromise or diminish the larger argument you're making? Anyway some thoughts off the top of my head. Best of luck finishing up and thanks again for the nice note,

Mike

 


 

April 11, 2008

 

Subject:  RE:  Question

 

Mike


Great points, and I will heed you advice, as your points are sound, and it benefits my paper little to make that assertion. Thanks for being patient with a novice. I think what you said about the perceptions of the foreigner are dead on – that being, that the Marines perceived one class as more warlike than the other is very valid, but that doesn’t necessarily make it fact.
Thanks for setting me on the straight course again.
R/
Erich Wagner

 


 

April 11, 2008

 

Subject:  RE:  Question

 

 

Erich, glad I could help - these are tough questions you're grappling with. Best of luck & keep on plugging,

Mike

 

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Back to Inventory


 Dan Plazak on the San Albino Mine 

 
December 1, 2007

 

Subject:  Thank you for your website

 

Dear Mr. Plazak,

Thank you for your wonderfully informative website, especially the page http://www.miningswindles.com/html/el_rosario__honduras.html;  I'm a historian, and I was looking for information on the Rosario Mine in Honduras and stumbled upon your site and was captivated by both its style and substance. Very nicely done, it really gave me a feel for the place. Thank you!

Michael Schroeder
Ann Arbor, MI

 


 

December 2, 2007

 

Subject:  Re:  Thank you for your website

 
Michael -

Thanks for the encouraging note.  I'm glad that my website was of some use to you.

I assume that you have tracked down English-language sources on Rosario.  I know that Spanish-language sources are usually much more difficult.  When I was in Honduras last January, I picked up a book that included some historical info on Rosario:  "Esplendor y Miseria de la Mineria en Honduras" by Leticia de Oyuela (Tegucigalpa: Editorial Guaymuras, 2003).  I don't know how deep you want to dig into Rosario, but if you would like, I could copy the 20 or so pages on Rosario and mail them to you.  Let me know.

- Dan Plazak

 


 

December 3, 2007

 

Subject:  Re: Thank you for your website

 

Dear Dan,

Thanks so much for your note, and for your kind offer to copy sections of your book on the Rosario Mining Co. The reference you provided should be enough; the paper I'm working on is focusing on the Nicaragua-Honduras borderlands in the interwar years, and I was poking around on the Rosario Mining Co because I wanted to know exactly where it was located in relation to the borderlands -- and since it's north of Tegucigalpa, it can't be playing much of a role in the events around the borderlands in the 1920s and 1930s.

A long-winded way of saying "thanks very much but don't bother with the photocopies." On the other hand, if you know of any sources on mining activities in zones closer to the Nicaraguan border, I'd be very interested to hear about it. One of the things I'm looking at is how Sandino's rebels routinely crossed the Honduran border to work in Honduras -- on road construction gangs, for regional government agencies, and in the mining economy. So if you know anything about mining companies in the departments of Choluteca or El Paraiso in the interwar years, I would be delighted to hear about it.

Thanks again for your very kind offer, and best of luck with your website,

Michael

 


 

December 4, 2007

 

Subject:  Re: Thank you for your website

 

Michael -

Sounds like an interesting project. One of the places I visited in Nicaragua last winter was the San Albino gold mine, near El Jicaro in northern Nicaragua, NE of Ocotal. This mine was where Augusto Sandino worked as a clerk before becoming a revolutionary, and which Sandino siezed during the insurgency for its gold. I became interested in the place after reading "The Sandino Affair" by Neill Macauley.

When I was in Managua, I tried to find some more detailed info on Sandino, so I went to what my guidebook advised was the best bookstore in the city, but an employee there told me that they had no books on Augusto Sandino (!!!).

Anyway, the San Albino mine is fairly remote. I wound up hiking in the last couple of miles to the site, after my taxi-for-the-day gave up trying to drive down an ox-track. The San Albino mine and mill apparently haven't been worked much since Sandino. The mine openings are overgrown and impossible to find unless some local walks you through he brush to the opening. An old guy has built his one-room shack on the concrete foundation for the mill. Rusted machinery surrounds the mill. If you are interested, I could email you some fotos.

I would appreciate it if you could tell me of any references on the San Albino mine.

- Dan

 


 

December 4, 2007

 

Subject:  Re:  Thank you for your website

 

Dan,

Believe it or not I have a fair amount of info about the San Albino Mine in the 20s & 30s, even though I've never been there (yet). Here is a link to some of the information I've put on my website on Sandino and San Albino:  [outdated URL to older version of website]

As I say, I have a ton more on the mine itself, oral histories of men who worked there, the investments of Charles Butters, inventory of the buildings and machinery, etc.  What specifically were you wondering about it? (As you know the mine itself occupies a kind of sacrosanct space in Sandinista historical memory, as the birthplace of Sandino's original army, so it's as much a mythical place as a real one). I'd love to hear more about your experiences there, and love to see any photos you have of the place. ...

Thanks!

Michael

 


 

December 4, 2007

 

Subject:  Charles Butters

 

Michael -

My interest comes from the opposite direction: Charles Butters. There was a supposed incident in which a machete-wielding Sandino chased Butters through the mine tunnels, and Butters escaped with his life only by leaping down an ore chute. I've been meaning to dig into the Charles Butters papers at the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley to see how it actually happened. It sounds a bit embellished.

In fact, another page of my website is on another location where Charles Butters owned mines: Copala, Sinaloa, Mexico. The Copala page even has a newspaper drawing of a young Charles Butters.

I'm on a phone modem here at home, so I'll send you the San Albino fotos from my office tomorrow morning. And I'll dig out my notes on San Albino. It may be famous to history aficianados, but as near as I can tell San Albino is all but forgotten in Nicaragua.

- Dan

 


 

December 4, 2007: 

 

Subject:  Re: Charles Butters

 

Dan,

That's a fascinating story -- I bet it's apocryphal, but who knows? A couple of things make me doubt it: first, Butters' account of Sandino's return to San Albino in late May 1927 says nothing about being chased through mine tunnels with a machete-wielding Sandino hot on his heels; and second, I found a letter in the National Archives from Charles Butters to Sandino, dated around 1930-31, where Butters makes a preposterous proposition, essentially saying "Look, Augusto, we can work together in reviving the mine, and you can have some of the profits, what do you say old chap?" I can dig the letter out -- it has the Butters letterhead at the top -- but both the tone and substance of what I've looked at make the "chased through the mine" story sound pretty far-fetched. On the other hand it makes a very nice story. Where did you hear it? Also, I didn't know that the Charles Butters papers were at the Bancroft Library -- that's a great lead!

It's also interesting that you found that Nicaraguans today have largely forgotten the whole San Albino episode -- though from what I've seen I don't think that's true at a national level & in the cities.  The Sandinista narrative has penetrated pretty deeply, I think, and the words "La Mina de San Albino y la gesta de Sandino" resonate pretty deeply among a lot of Nicaraguans. Very interesting questions though.

Did you get a chance to look at the Web page I directed you to? The account of the building of the Limay-San Albino road is pretty amazing, I think, as are the accounts by Butters and Matteson. I'd be interested to hear what you think.

Best,

Michael

 

[NOTE:  Message accompanied by 4 batches of jpeg files of various documents relating to Charles Butters and San Albino Mine.]

 


 

December 4, 2007

 

Subject:  Re: Charles Butters

 

Michael -

The story about Butters and Sandino comes from:

Clark C. Spence, "Mining Engineers & the American West: the Lace-Boot Brigade, 1849-1933," (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970), 288.

However, I misremembered the story. As reported in the book, it was not Sandino himself that Butters escaped from, but some men that Sandino had sent to kill Butters.

I have not had the chance yet to take a good look at your website, but I'm looking forward to it.

- Dan

 


 

December 4, 2007

 

Subject:  How to get to San Albino Mine

 

Michael -

I was staying in Esteli, so I grabbed a bus up to Ocotal, flagged down a taxi on the square, and negotiated a rate to hire the taxi for the day.  We drove the road (mostly paved) to El Jicaro.  We asked at El Jicaro, and the locals directed us down a dirt road.  After a couple of miles, the road forked, and as directed we took the left fork.  Evidently the right fork is more travelled, because the left fork we were on became increasingly difficult. 

The driver pulled his Kia beater off the road, and we continued on foot.  Although the driver had never heard of San Albino, he was intrigued by my story of how Sandino used to work there, and decided to hike with me to see it for himself (I was lucky to have a young and inquisitive driver willing to walk a bit).  After a couple of miles, the road headed downhill and forked again.  We took the left fork, and about the point that we saw the river, my driver saw two old guys sitting on the edge of a big concrete platform on the side of the hill to the left of the road.  He went to ask them about directions to the San Albino mine, and I realized that the concrete platform and surrounding junk had to be the remains of the ore mill.

The old guys confirmed my assumption that this was indeed the place where Augusto Sandino worked, and told my driver of the importance of San Albino as the place where the revolution started.  With typical Latin formality, they always referred to Sandino as "General Augusto Sandino."

But where was the mine?  They old guys waved their arms and said that there were mines here and there.  They directed us to one mine opening that they said we couldn't miss.  Well, it turned out to be impossible to find unless you knew just where to look.  We walked around until we found a little one-armed man who went out of his way to lead us to the place.

There is apparently no village of San Albino.  The place name seems to refer to the general area.

Following are the Lat-Longs (in decimal degrees, NAD 83) from my GPS:

Mine adit:
N 13.69125 degrees
W 86.09930 degrees
elev 532 m

Ore treatment mill:
N 13.69458 degrees
W 86.09721 degrees
elev. 482 m

- Dan



 

December 5, 2007

 

Subject:  San Albino

 

Dan,

I took the liberty of publishing your photos, and your description of how you found San Albino Mine, here: 

http://www.sandinorebellion.com/Top100pgs/Top100-p2a.html

If you have any suggestions, or corrections (what year did you make the trip?), or if you don't want these items published here at all, just let me know. I did put in a good plug for your book though, which I look forward to reading at some point.


Thanks,

Michael



 

December 5, 2007

 

Subject:  Re:  San Albino

 

Michael –

The photos look fine; I’m glad that you think enough of them to put up on your site.

Just a couple of quibbles:

- I actually went to San Albino in January 2007.

- In the old days, an ore mill would be called a “hacienda de beneficio,” not “beneficio de haciendas.” Today, “hacienda” has an old-fashioned connotation, so such an establishment would be called a “planta de beneficio.” I don’t know when the change in terminology took place.

Thanks again for putting my photos on your site.  [Here]

- Dan

 


 

Note to readers:  See Dan Plazak's wonderful book, A Hole in the Ground with a Liar on Top: Fraud and Deceit in the Golden Age of American Mining, University of Utah Press, 2006.  Click on the image at left to visit Dan's website, at http://danplazak.com/ 

 

 

 

 

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Back to Inventory


 Jaime Pfaeffle, San José, Costa Rica 

 

September 4, 2007

Dear Mr. Schroeder:

A statement made by my grandfather, William Pfaeffle, is mentioned in the inventory of documents of the Sandino Rebellion. I would appreciate very much to have access to such statement, if possible.

 

"31.07.23  Pfaeffle, W  31.07.23 Pfaeffle, W.  Statement of Mr. W. Pfaeffle on Pedron raid of Javali Mine, Chontales"

Thank you in advance for your attention to this message.

Jaime Pfaeffle
San José, Costa Rica

 



September 4, 2007

 

Dear Jaime Pfaeffle,

A pleasure to get your note, and to comply with your request. I will send several messages with .jpg files, attached (Yahoo doesn't permit attachments of greater than 10 MB), scans of the five page statement by your grandfather William Pfaeffle.

The source is U.S. National Archives, Record Group 127, Entry 202, Box 2, File 9.0.

After you receive these files, I wonder if you might share with me a word or two about your grandfather, that I might include in an analysis and interpretation of this document (when I get to it). I would much appreciate anything you might have to offer.

Please let me know that you've received these message and the images intact? I expect there will be three separate messages, two following this one. Thank you and good luck, I hope you're weathering Hurricane Felix alright (though it looks like northern Nicaragua and southern Honduras are really going to get socked).

Best regards,

Mike Schroeder
Ann Arbor MI

 



September 5, 2007

 

Dear Mr. Schroeder:

Many thanks for taking the time to send me my grandfather’s statement. I must tell you that I was quite impacted by his words. I had heard about this happening from my dad, but not so vividly. My grandfather mentions that a son was with him at the time, but that was not my dad, who happened to be in a boarding school in Managua at the time. It was my uncle Otto, who was murdered in Managua in the late 50’s.

I was only six when my grandfather died in 1949, and my memories are very vague about him. However, my dad, 95, is still alive and quite well. As a matter of fact, I chat with him over the Internet several times per week. His name is also William, like my grandfather, and he lives in xxx. He was already married to my mom and living in Managua when Sandino was assassinated by Somoza’s National Guard. My mom passed away this past March, and I remember them talking about hearing the mortal shots that ended Sandino’s life.

I also recall my dad telling us a story that he acted once as a translator between Sandino and the Americans. But I’m sure that he’ll be delighted to share his stories with you. He happens to be in Nicaragua at the moment, but if Hurricane Felix allows it, he should be back in Miami by Thursday. His phone number is 305-xxx-xxxx. He’s hard of hearing, but you should have no problem in communicating with him. Should you call him, please do so after Sunday the 9th, to give me chance to tell him about you and your work.

Thanks again and the best for you and your project on Sandino.

Best regards,

Jaime Pfaeffle

 

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 Carlos Rosa, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 

 

8 October 2007

 

Michael,

Your research is spectacular! I’ve always found this period of Central American history fascinating. I especially love anything having to do with aviation. I’m enclosing two photos- I have more but have to find them- One is of a Marine Fokker tri-motor passing through Tegucigalpa on the way to Nicaragua and the other is of a Curtiss OC-1 which is mentioned in the air reports. If you are interested in more photos, let me know. I also have pictures of what appears to be Sandino and another photo of what appears to be a Marine hanging from a tree.

 

Regards,

Carlos Rosa

Fort Lauderdale, FL

 



8 October 2007

 

Dear Carlos,

Thanks so much for your kind words, and I'm glad you found the site useful. I'd love to see the photos you mention, but sadly there was nothing attached to your message. Could you try sending again? I'm especially interested in the photo of the Marine hanging from a tree, as I've seen textual references to it but have never seen the actual photo. Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing from you.

Best,

Michael



9 October 2007

 

Michael,

 

These four photos I’m enclosing, I have in the computer. The other ones I will have to find as they are stored away. I’ll send them ASAP. These photos are of a Marine Fokker and a Curtiss passing through Tegus on their way to Nicaragua . The portly man that is having a parachute strapped on him is Fracisco Martinez Funez. Honduras ’ Minister of War for a period during the Carias administration.

Regards,

Carlos

 


Photos from the Sunny Morgan Collection via Carlos Rosa.  All rights reserved.

 


 

9 October 2007

 

Carlos,

Thanks so much for those photos! Let me ask you about putting them on the website: would that be okay? For now I'll assume so and draft captions for them, then maybe you can correct my mistakes till we get it right. They're great photos. I'll send you the link once they're up, it may take a couple of days. Anything else you might dig up would be grand. Thanks again,

Michael

 


 

10 October 2007

 

Michael,

You can put them on the website. The only thing I ask is that you give the following credit- Photo Sunny Morgan Collection via Carlos Rosa.

I believe in giving credit where credit is due. Sunny Morgan was a pioneer pilot in Honduras and Nicaragua, he took many photos which I now own. I’ll send you the link to a couple of articles I wrote about him.

Regards,

Carlos

 



10 October 2007

 

Michael,

Below is the link to a short article on how I found Sunny Morgan’s documents, photos etc.

Regards,

Carlos

http://www.laahs.com/artman/publish/article_47.shtml

 

[NOTE: the above link no longer works, and the website of the Latin American Aviation History Society seems to have disappeared altogether ... very strange.]

 


 

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sandino Rebellion

 

Michael,

I’ve spent days reading your web site and I must say what an intellectual work this must have been.

Did you ever post the pictures of planes passing through Honduras that I sent you?

Regards,

Carlos Rosa




Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Re: Sandino Rebellion

 

Hi Carlos,

Thanks for your note, and no I haven't posted the photos yet, I've been accumulating stuff to put up on the Website and yours is near the top of my list! Too much other stuff to do, and yes, this was (and remains) an extraordinary amount of work & a labor of love. So thanks again & I'm glad you're finding the Website useful -- best regards,

Michael

 

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