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Pingenot Auction, Lot 257


257. [PUNITIVE EXPEDITION]. UNITED STATES. ARMY. NEW YORK DIVISION. The Rio Grande Rattler. Published in the Field by the New York Division. Vol. I, No. 7 (October 4, 1916). Hidalgo County, Texas, 1916. 8 pp., cartoon illustration, map of Wells Fargo route, pictorial ads. Double folio newspaper. Mild uniform browning, some light marginal tears or chipping, friable.
         An interesting, sprightly newspaper relating to U.S. military pursuit of Pancho Villa. "The Rattler is a credit to the boys who publish it ‘weekly at odd places in Texas’" declares the masthead. The motto of this ephemeral production is: "The Strength of the Wolf is the Pack, but the Strength of the Pack is the Wolf." The newspaper imparts a real flavor of military operations and life along the border for the New York soldiers sent to pursue the wily Villa. Besides official news, there are articles such as "Aviation Training Camp, Hempstead...Would be a Great Asset on Border" and "Frontier Day Pronounced Greatest Event in Texas. Soldiers and Cow Boys Join in Entertaining Thousands of Visitors—McAllen Gets Greatest Throng in History of Town. The Red Letter Day on the Southern Mexican Border." One of the editorials—"Booze and By-Products"—explains the "beneficent effects of the order prohibiting the use of liquor and frequenting places of prostitution" and comments: "The men of the New York Division do not patronize prostitutes when they are at home, and there is no reason why they should when they are in the field as soldiers." Wares offered in ads include a host of ice cream establishments (90 cents a gallon delivered), pies, hotels (the Nueces Hotel is touted as "The Naples of the Gulf", screens for tents, Stetson hats, English wrap puttees for the Valley, military garb, hardware drugs, Post Toasties, etc.