Ten Days at Veracruz
By Captain Paul B. Ryan, U. S. Navy (Retired)
In April 1914, Hampton Roads was filled only partially with ships of the Atlantic Fleet. Seven months before, Rear Admiral Charles J. Badger, the Fleet Commander, on instructions from Washington, had ordered his 1st and 4th divisions to the Gulf Coast, ostensibly to protect American interests.
For the preceding year, President Woodrow Wilson had viewed the regime of President Victoriano Huerta with increasing distaste, being convinced that political tranquility and democracy would never come to Mexico until that “desperate brute” was removed. Day by day, Wilson became more determined to take some sort of action—of what type and dimension he was not yet sure.
While Wilson viewed U. S. troubles with Mexico in terms of a personal vendetta with a tyrant, Huerta, other powerful figures like Senator Henry Cabot Lodge pressed for armed intervention to protect American investments and citizens.