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Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Today is Camerone Day:

This battle took place on the 30th of April 1863, during the campaign of Mexico. It is celebrated each year, on the anniversary of this date, by all the regiments of the French Foreign Legion.

History: The French Army was besieging Puebla. The mission of the Legion was to ensure the movement and safety of the convoys, over an 80 mile distance. On the 29th of April 1863, Colonel Jeanningros was informed that an important convoy was on its way to Puebla, with a load of 3 million francs, and material and munitions for the seige. Captain Danjou, his quartermaster, decided to send a company to escort the convoy. The 3rd company of the Foreign Regiment was assigned to this mission, but had no officers available. So Captain Danjou, himself, took the command and 2nd lieutenants Maudet, company guide, and Vilain, the paymaster, joined him voluntarily.

On the 30th of April, at 1 a.m., the 3rd company was on its way, with its 3 officers and 62 men. At 7 a.m., after a 15 mile march, it stopped at Palo Verde in order to get some rest. At this very moment, the enemy showed up and the battle began. Captain Danjou made the company take up a square formation and, even though retreating, he victoriously drove back several cavalry charges, inflicting the first heavy losses on the enemy . By the inn of Camerone, a large building with a courtyard protected by a wall 3 meters high, Danjou decided to stay, in order to keep the enemy and so delay for as long as possible, any attacks on the convoy. While the legionnaires were rapidly setting up the defense of the inn, a Mexican officer demanded that Captain Danjou surrender, pointing out the fact that the Mexican Army was greatly superior in number. Danjou's answer was: "We have munitions. We will not surrender." Then, he swore to fight to the death and made his men swear the same. It was 10 a.m. Until 6 p.m., these 60 men who had had nothing to eat or drink since the day before, in spite of the extreme heat, of the thirst and hunger, resisted against 2,000 Mexicans: 800 cavalry and 1,200 infantry. At noon, Captain Danjou was shot in the chest and died. At 2 p.m., 2nd lieutenant Vilain was shot in the head. About this time, the Mexican colonel succeeded in setting the inn on fire. In spite of the heat and the smoke, the legionnaires resisted, but many of them were killed or injured. By 5 p.m., only 12 men could still fight with 2nd lieutenant Maudet. At this time, the Mexican colonel gathered his soldiers and told them what disgrace it would be if they were unable to defeat such a small number of men. The Mexicans were about to give the general assault through holes opened in the walls of the courtyard, but Colonel Milan, who had previously asked 2nd lieutenant Maudet to surrender, once again gave him the opportunity to. Maudet scornfully refused. The final charge was given. Soon, only 5 men were left around Maudet; Corporal Maine, legionnaires Catteau, Wensel, Constantin and Leonard. Each had only one bullet left. In a corner of the courtyard, their back against the wall, still facing the enemy, they fixed bayonets. When the signal was given, they opened fire and fought with their bayonets. 2nd lieutenant Maudet and 2 legionnaires fell, mortally wounded. Maine and his 2 remaining companions were about to be slaughtered when a Mexican officer saved them. He shouted: "Surrender"! "We will only if you promise to allow us to carry and care for our injured men and if you leave us our guns". "Nothing can be refused to men like you"!, answered the officer.

Captain Danjou's men had kept their promise; for 11 hours, they had resisted 2,000 enemy troops. They had killed 300 of them and had injured as many. Their sacrifice had saved the convoy and they had fulfilled their mission. Emperor Napoleon the 3rd decided that the name of Camerone would be written on the flag of the Foreign Regiment and the names of Danjou, Vilain and Maudet would be engraved in golden letters on the walls of the Invalides, in Paris. Moreover, a monument was built in 1892, at the very place of the fight. The following inscription can be read there :


Since then, when Mexican troops pass by the monument, they present arms.

9:01:56 PM    comment ()

Beltway Slugs.

These slugs we like. A similar informal, spontaneous jitney system operates in the Bay Area, I've heard. Haven't heard of one in L.A., except during the bus strike.

[Hit & Run]
2:35:24 PM    comment ()

"We are at War".

A disturbing tale of Patriot Act enforcement in a New York City Indian restaurant here.

[Link courtesy Angela Keaton]

[Hit & Run]

It's more than just disturbing to me. One part I thought was particularly interesting:

As I continued to press for legal counsel, a female officer who had been busy typing on her laptop in the front of the restaurant, walked over and put her finger in my face. "We are at war, we are at war and this is for your safety," she exclaimed. As she walked away from the table, she continued to repeat it to herself? "We are at war, we are at war. How can they not understand this."

I think the author of the article never did understand. Perhaps the cop should have worn a t-shirt saying "we are at war with you." Yes, the American people are at war--and she is the enemy.

I disagree with the author's idea that people disturbed by the article should make a contribution to the ACLU, though. The ACLU is useless--if you want to do something about this kind of thing, stand up to the KGB. Refuse to cooperate, walk away even if it means being shot in the back, maybe even fight back against them.
11:48:21 AM    comment ()

Quote of the day. You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto... [Survival Arts]
9:48:00 AM    comment ()

Police defend gun amnesty 'success'. Police reject criticism that a gun amnesty has not had an impact on weapons held by real criminals. [BBC News | Front Page | UK Edition]

That's because governments don't care about weapons used by criminals--those weapons help the government, by scaring the sheeple into accepting even more government control over their lives. The only criminals who take advantage of a "gun amnesty" are those wanting to get rid of incriminating evidence against them.
9:39:27 AM    comment ()

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