EL PASO, Tex., March 9, — In a battle between Villista bandits, reported to be under the personal command of Villa, and American soldiers at Columbus, New Mexico, this morning, three American soldiers were killed and four were wounded. Several civilians were killed and wounded, and many Mexicans were killed.
The battle followed an attack upon the city by the Mexican bandits, according to General Pershing, after he had received a report from Colonel Slocum, commanding officer at Columbus.
The Mexicans advanced under cover of darkness, and set fire to the depot and neighboring buildings. Troops armed with rifles and machine guns repulsed the bandits after two hours of fighting. The Thirteenth cavalry then pursued the bandits until they were driven over the border.
Latest advices say that forty Mexicans were slain. Their bodies were scattered through the streets. Four soldiers and seven civilians were killed and five civilians and eight soldiers were seriously wounded, including one officer.
W.T. Richey, a hotel proprietor, and four others were killed while aiding the troops. James Gean and wife were shot while they were defending their home.
The Mexicans captured several cavalry horses.
Eye witnesses are positive that Villa led the attack.