Luna County, New Mexico

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Luna County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Mexico. As of 2000, the population was 25,016. Its county seat is Deming.[1]

Contents

History

Before dawn on March 16, 1916, Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa led several hundred of his rebel soldiers across the Mexican border into the southern county village of Columbus. The invaders raided and burned much of the town, causing many residents to flee to the desert. Although the raid completely surprised everyone in the town, it also awakened 350 United States Army soldiers at Camp Furlong at the edge of town, who defended the town with two machine guns. The fighting continued until dawn, when Villa fled back across the Mexican border, five hours after invading and approximately ninety minutes after attacking the town. Despite the U.S. Army's counter "Mexican Expedition" into Mexico, Villa was never caught; he died seven years later at the hands of an assassin.

Eighteen Columbus residents and U.S. soldiers were killed in the raid, while approximately seventy-five of Villa's soldiers were killed. This raid was the last invasion of American territory until the Japanese invasion of Attu Island during World War II.

Today, Pancho Villa State Park is located in the village of Columbus. It features beautiful cacti and the ruins of "the U.S. Army's first greaserack".

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,965 square miles (7,680 km²), of which 2,965 square miles (7,680 km²) is land and 0 square miles (0 km²) (0.01%) is water. The bulk of the county is flat lowland, either grassland or desert scrub, but it also contains three mountain ranges: Cooke's Range in the north, the Florida Mountains on the southeastern side of Deming near the center of the county, and the Tres Hermanas Mountains in the southern part of the county near Columbus.

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