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The Federal Army, also known as the
In February 1912, the Federal army consisted of 32,594 regulars and 15,550 irregulars. This was far below the official number of 80,000 as stated by the army executive. By September of the same year the official strength of the army was 85,000 men. In addition there were 16,000
Specific numbers aside, the rapid expansion of the army had led to a deterioration in the quality of the average recruit, or more accurately, conscript. Huerta made an attempt to increase the size of the army by ordering a mass levy, or forced conscription from the streets by his press-gangs, who would fall upon men as they left church or pull them from cinemas. Very few of the men under his command were volunteers and many deserted the army. Huerta tried improving morale by increasing pay in May 1913 by 50%. At the same time 382 military cadets were given commissions and attempts were made to increase the number in training.
Federal army generals were often corrupt and guilty of undermining morale with poor leadership. Some were so corrupt their dealings extended as far as selling ammunition, food and uniforms to the enemy. Also guilty of this corruption were Huerta's two sons, Victoriano Jr. and Jorge, both of whom had been placed in important positions overseeing the procurement of arms, supplies, uniforms and ammunition.
Despite these problems Huerta worked at creating an army capable of keeping him in power. He tried to expand the army by creating new units to distance them from the defeatism of the former Porfirista army. To bolster the resolve of the population he militarized society in the
Huerta's greatest success was attracting the support of many former rebels, such as Benjamin Argumedo, "Cheche" Campos and, most notably,
The Federal Army was disbanded on August 13, 1914, a month after Huerta's exile. "Totally discredited, the old Federal army had come to the end of its run. Unable to control the Zapatistas, the Villistas, and other rebels, following the expulsion of Huerta, the Federist force disbanded and disappeared."
At the time the full strength of the Federal army was 10 Generals of Division, 61 Generals of Brigade, 1,006 Jefes, 2,446 Officers, 24,800 other ranks and 7,058 horses. In addition there were 21 regiments of Rurales with 500 men in each, a total of 10,500 men.
The Federal army was replaced by the