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A LULL PENDING ARRIVAL OF RE-INFORCEMENTS. After the establishment of our lines as described, there was nothing further to be accomplished until re-inforcements should arrive from the United States. The natural defenses of Manila having been reached, and a defensive line established about the city, the fighting was only such as resulted from the meeting of scouting parties. On the 15th of February, a portion of the 4th Cav., on a reconnaissance, encountered a party of Filipinos near Paranaque, and in an exchange of shots had one of its men wounded. The cruiser Buffalo, later on the same day, fired a few small shells to arrest the operations of another party of natives who were attempting to mount a battery near Paranaque, causing them to withdraw their guns to the tower. BRINGING IN A WOUNDED MAN. Frequent small affairs like these simply kept alive the embers of war during February and early in March. Rumors, however, were rife of the intensions of Aguinaldo, and there was a growing impression that a crisis for the city was impending. The natives in Manila had been greatly affected by the disastrous results which followed the attack upon the Americans, of the 4th and 5th. They had been buoyed up ever since the capitulation of Manila in the previous August, by the hope that when the Americans should withdraw from the city, whether compulsorily or not, they would, in the confusion which was sure to ensue, have the long desired opportunity of looting the city and wreaking vengeance upon the Spanish population. But this expectation had not been realized, and they were disappointed and wrathful, looking upon the new invaders as taking the place of the old. Considering the miscarriage of this part of the revolt, and the heavy losses they had sustained, they were in a condition bordering on frenzy. That condition had been met with tact by a strong hand, but American troops were eager to avenge their fallen comrades; the Filipinos were sullenly awaiting an opportunity to repeat their first revolt.
THE FILIPINOS PREPARE FOR A MASSACRE That there was ground for alarm was made evident by the finding at Malabon, of the following order which was to have been executed on the 15th, its execution being only delayed by the capture of Caloocan and succeeding events.
First, you will dispose so that at eight o'clock at night the individuals of the territorial militia at your order will be found united in all of the streets of San Pedro, armed with their bolos and revolvers, or guns and ammunition if convenient.
Second, Filipino families only will be respected. They should not be molested, but all other individuals, of whatever race they be, will be exterminated without any compassion after the externination of the army of occupation.
Third, the defenders of the Philippines in your cominand will attack the guard at Bilibid, and liberate the prisoners and presidarios," and having accomplished this they will be armed saying to them, “Brothers, we must avenge ourselves on the Americans, and exterminate them that we may take our revenge for the infamy and treachery which they have committed upon us; have no compassion upon them; attack with vigor. All Filipinos en masse will second you -long live Filipinos' independence.”
Fifth, the order which will be followed in the attack will be as follows: The sharpshooters of Tondo and Santa Ana will begin the attack from without, and these shots will be the signal for the militia of Troso, Binondo, Quiapo and Sampaloc to go out into the street and do their duty; those of Paco, Ermita, Malate, Santa Cruz and San Miguel will not start out until twelve o'clock, unless they see their companions need assistance.
Sixth, the militia of Tondo will start out at three o'clock in the morning; if all do their duty our revenge will be complete. Brothers, Europe contemplates us. We know how to die · as men shedding our blood in the defense of the liberty of our country. Death to the tyrants ! War without quarter to the false Americans who have deceived us! Either independence or death!
The fourth paragraph was not furnished to the press, but its substance could be conjectured.
Following the discovery of this plot, the tension in the city was high. The guards were doubled, and squads of soldiers searched the suspected houses. Notwithstanding this watchfulness, a secret conference of 100 Filipinos at midnight was discovered, adding to the general apprehension. Day by day, incidents more or less alarming were occurring.
THE ATTEMPT TO LOOT MANILA. On the evening of the 22d of February, a considerable body of Filipinos, leaving their entrenchments at Malabon, forded the swamps on Gen. MacArthur's left and entered the city. At eight o'clock, an incendiary fire broke out in the Calle la Coste, in the Santa Cruz district, where, owing to the inflammable nature of the native houses, the flames spread rapidly. The city fire department being
AT THE BATTLE OF TONDO.-WORK OF MINNESOTA MEN. unable to deal with a serious conflagration, the English fire brigade was summoned from Santa Mesa, and after several hours brought the fire under control. In the meantime, confusion reigned, notwithstanding the thorough police arrangements directed by Gen. Hughes. The district was, by the closing of the electric circuit, deprived of light, except that from the burning buildings. In the semidarkness the hose of the fire brigade was several times cut, causing the issuing of an order to drive the natives into vacant lots, and guard them there. This action stopped the placing of impediments in the way of the firemen, although in their anxiety to save their furniture and property, such of the inhabitants as were not participating in the plot to burn the city, had crowded the streets for a quarter of a mile, The flames in Santa Cruz district had hardly been subdued, when another conflagration was started in Tondo district, where there were three miles of “nipa" houses. When the firemen and soldiers made an attempt to ex
INSURGENT O'T POST. tinguish the burning houses, they were met with a fusilade from the windows and roofs of the buildings passed. The firemen, then, in connection with the soldiers, directed their efforts to clearing these houses of the assassins, while the fire was unheeded.
GREAT DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY BY FIRE. The fires and the frequent shots spread terror through Manila. It was remarked that immediately before the first fire-alarm, the sounding of a native bugle had startled the city. Timid persons, men and women, hoping to find safety on board one of the men-of-war, hastened from their houses or hotels into the streets, only to be turned back at the first corner, by a guard. The Chinese population hurried across the bridges, into the city, to seek the protection of their consulate ; and all night long the fire spread, devastating the Tondo district and destroying property, valued at a million dollars, which belonged to the natives themselves. So nearly had Aguinaldo's plot, to destroy the lives and pillage the property of the foreigners in Manila, succeeded.
THE ATTEMPTED MASSACRE FAILS. The failure did not deter the insurrectos from making a concerted attack on MacArthur's front during the forenoon. At the first sign of hostilities the artillery was brought into action, the insurrectos replying not only by volley firing, but with six shots from a battery. The signal was then given from the station to the Monadnock, which hurled ten-inch shells, as indicated by the Signal Corps, over the American lines into the Filipino positions. About eleven o'clock there were sharp engagements at the Chinese cemetery and at San Pedro Macati, with the apparent design of withdrawing attention from the city. In this intention the enemy was checked by the artillery of the Americans. The Monadnock's shells, also, added to the extent of fires still burning in Tondo, Santa Cruz, San Nicolas, and other environs. Early in the afternoon the Filipinos, becoming convinced of the futility of their present efforts, abandoned their designs on Manila and retired.
Numerous arrests had been made in the Tondo district, and two carloads of arms, with accoutrements, captured, together with sixty of the enemy, guarding them. Early on the afternoon of the 23d, one battalion of the 23d Inf., under Maj. Goodale, three companies of Minnesotas, three of the Oregons, and a battalion of the 4th Cav. were ordered to this position. Proceeding along the road they were fired on from house-tops, making their advance slow. At Tondo Bridge they encountered about 250 of Aguinaldo's army, who, during the night, had built fine trenches across the road and taken possession of the bridge, cutting the line of communication with MacArthur's front wing. Here occurred one of the fiercest engagements of the campaign, the insurrectos making a stubborn resistance, but being overcome by superior strength. In this battle Capt. N. C. Robinson, of the Minnesotas, a non-commissioned officer, and six privates were wounded. The Filipino loss was twenty killed and many wounded, to whom the
American surgeons gave their services as kindly as to their own people. Hundreds of refugees afterwards came into the American lines—soldiers, who had thrown away their uniforms, weeping women, bearing their children in their arms, and sullen, hopeless men.
On MacArthur's right the Filipino army had pressed the American lines closely, looking for a point of the least resistance, but Col. Frost of the South Dakotas, by a
flank movement drove them back, with a loss of Lieut. Eugene S. French, 1st Montana Volunteers, and one private of the South Dakotas, killed, and two other Dakotas wounded.
Threats to burn the walled city on the night of the 23d were current, and fearing the attempt, the wives of army officers and other Americans were taken on board the transport St. Paul to remain until order should be restored. To the gloom of the situation was added the shadow of heavy clouds of smoke hanging over the city and its environs. This element of discomfort had indeed driven many of the natives to the beach, where they were exposed to artillery firing, and where many were killed. Extraordinary precautions were taken by Gen. Otis to prevent a recurrence of incendiarism, one of which was the establishment of a curfew regulation, by which all persons without orders or passes were confined to their houses after seven o'clock in the evening. This seriously interfered with the comfort and convenience of all classes of people, but was recognized as necessary to their safety.
THE INSURRECTOS ASK A CONFERENCE. Following the re-establishment of comparative quiet in and about the city, there was but little fighting. On February 27th, under a flag of truce, the insurrectos asked for a conference, and prominent Filipinos attempted to open negotiations with Gen. Otis, but were met with a demand for unconditional surrender. During the week following February 27th, there was no general attack from either side of the contending armies. But on the 2d of March an unsuccessful attempt
BATTLE OF SANTA MESA, SHOWING BLOCK-HOUSE NO. 8, AND THE ROFE FACTORY WHICH
WAS AFTERWARDS BURNED BY THE NEBRASKANS. was made to dislodge the American outposts in front of San Pedro Macati, resulting in a severe loss to the Filipinos. On the 4th of March, the U. S. gunboat Bennington was fired upon by the insurrectos, and replied by shelling the suburbs of Malabon. The arrival about this time, of several transports with troops materially strengthening our position, may have given the Department Commander a greater confidence in the army, a crushing blow to the rebellion being promised about this date.
RENEWED ATTACKS ON THE WATER-WORKS. On the night of March 5th, the Filipinos attacked Gen. Hale's front, but were driven off after a short encounter. This action centered about Mariquina. No sooner was the fight well under way than the Filipinos, knowing that Hale's force had been weakened by sending troops to Mariquina, attacked the water-works in the rear. They thus attempted to recapture the pumping station, but without success. This continued attempt on the part of the enemy to recapture the water-works caused Gen. Hale, on March 7th, to move forward for the dislodgment of the Filipinos on his front. Throwing forward detachments from the 20th Inf., 1st Nebraska and 1st Wyoming, supported by a gunboat under the command of Capt. Grant, the enemy was attacked on three sides and rapidly driven back, leaving the country free between the reservoir and pumping station.
The brigade of Gen. King, which had been placed temporarily under the command of Gen. Wheaton, during the interval between February 27th and March 13th, had been much annoyed by this desultory fighting. So also were the troops in front of Caloocan. On the recovery of Gen. King from his illness, he was returned to his command and Ger. Wheaton was assigned to the command of a