The Battle of Zacatecas was fought between the Northern Division, led by Felipe Angeles (Pancho Villa’s General), and the federal army, commanded by Luis Medina Barron (president Victoriano Huerta’s General), on June 23, 1914, in Zacatecas, during the second phase of the Mexican Revolution. The Northern Division thoroughly defeated the federal army of Huerta, who was forced to resign and escape to Europe as a result.
Francisco Madero had started the Mexican Revolution by rising up against dictator Porfirio Diaz, who was defeated and forced to go into exile. Then, Madero was elected president of Mexico. However, he was ousted from Office during a revolt organized by men who used to work for the old regime; one of them was Victoriano Huerta (Diaz’s former army commander). Having defeated and executed Francisco Madero, Victoriano Huerta had himself proclaimed president of Mexico. As a result, Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, and Venustiano Carranza rose up against the new dictator, who sent the federal army to the north to crush the rebel forces.
About 11,000 federal troops had been stationed by Huerta in and around the city of Zacatecas to stop the advance of Pancho Villa’s Northern Division. Huerta’s men were commanded by General Medina Barron, who deployed some units on two of the hills that surrounded the city, while Pancho Villa put his troops under the command of General Felipe Angeles, who was a very good tactician. The Battle of Zacatecas began at about 10 AM in the morning of June 23, 1914, with artillery barrage on the federal army positions on the hills overlooking the town. Having taken the hill summits, Pancho Villa’s men attacked the city, which was captured after ferocious fighting.
A federal army’s artillery position in the city of Zacatecas.
Pancho Villa and Felipe Angeles getting ready for the final cavalry charge.