The Revolution got off to an anemic start. Madero had escaped to San Antonio, Texas, on a freight train.
On February 13th, 1911, he crossed the border into Mexico with a small band of armed volunteers.
After a few successful skirmishes against weak Federal forces he was joined by Pancho Villa and Pascual Orozco, one a bandit, the other a muleteer, both with deep grievances against Díaz’s rurales and the rich landowners of the north.
Villa had been independently fighting federales since Madero’s call to arms was published.
Madero was a man of wealth, respected, with a strong family behind him. In his first armed encounter, he had proven his courage in battle. What better leader could they have?
As soon as it was evident that the northern rebels were having success, Emiliano Zapata led a rebellion in the southern state of Morelos .
LAND AND LIBERTY, his war cry, flashed across the country.
The flickering flame Madero had lighted soon became a blazing prairie fire.
Like a string of firecrackers, uprisings were set off in Chihuahua, Sonora, Sinaloa, Coahuila, Durango, Tamaulipas, Guerrero, Morelos, Yucatán.
“Madero has loosed the tiger”, a senator is quoted as saying.