« PreviousContinue »
flying column, with orders to drive out the enemy along the Pasig River, and thereby break all communication between the northern and southern wings of Aguinaldo's army.
WHEATON'S FLYING COLUMN. Reference to the map will show that the American position at the water-works, which it was essential to maintain, was much in advance, on the eastward, of the general line of our army, and greatly exposed to flank attacks from Pasig and vicinity where the insurrectos were encamped. The repeated attempts on the water-works have been mentioned, and there was a constant feeling of insecurity with so vital a point so greatly exposed. Added to this was the easy communication of the insurgents south of the Pasig with Aguinaldo's headquarters and army at Malolos. The army having been strengthened by the arrival of re-inforcements, it was determined to put an end to these conditions by driving the insurrectos out of the Pasig district. To this end a “Provisional Brigade” was organized, which has been known as “Wheaton's Flying Column,” and placed under the command of Brigadier-General Lloyd Wheaton, with instructions to clear the Pasig country. The following account of the operations of this brigade is given in the language of an officer who accompanied the expedition:
“By general orders No. 11, Headquarters Department of the Pacific and Eighth Army Corps, Gen. Wheaton was assigned to the command of “A Provisional Brigade," composed of the 20th and 22d Regiments of U. S. Inf., two battalions of the 1st Washington Volunteer Inf., seven companies of the 2d Oregon Volunteer Inf., a platoon of 6th U. S. Art., and a squadron of three troops 4th U. S. Cav. His instructions were to clear the enemy from the country to Pasig and to strike him wherever found. The brigade was formed on the night of March 12th, and bivouacked in line in rear of the entrenched position extending from San Pedro Macati on the Pasig one mile and a half in the direction of Pasai from right to left in the following order: Squadron 4th U. S. Inf., Lieutenant-Colonel
McCaskey; seven companies 2d Oregon Volunteer Inf., Col. Summers; one platoon, two guns, 6th U. S. Art., Lieut. Scott; two battalions 1st Washington Volunteer Inf., Col. Wholley. Soon after daylight on the morning of March 13th, the brigade moved by Echelon, from the right, the cavalry and the 22d U. S. Inf. moving first, then the 20th U. S. Inf., followed by the 2d Oregon Volunteer Inf. When the cavalry and 22d Inf, had advanced one mile and a half, the line wheeled to the left and marched toward the river road along the Pasig. Scott's guns had now opened fire upon the position of the enemy at Guadalupe, and the left of the line advancing, forced him out, the 20th Inf. and the 1st Washington Volunteer Inf., reaching the church at Guadalupe at nearly the same time. The right of
the 22d Inf., struck the enemy as he was retreating in the direction of Pasig, inflicting heavy loss. The whole line moved on and occupied the Pasig Road, and then marching east along the road, soon came under fire of the enemy from his entrenched position at Pasig, on the north side of the river; opened fire upon his entrenchments from one gun on the road, and placed the other upon a cliff or ridge, extending at right angles to the Pasig; occupied the ridge with infantry, and extended the 20th and 22d U. S. Infs, to the right on the high ground in the direction of Pateros. One battalion of the 22d Inf., under Capt. Lockwood, and the squadron of 4th Cav., under Maj. Rucker, attacked a force of the enemy in the direction of Pateros and drove him beyond Taguig. The gunboat Laguna de Bay, under Capt. Grant, came up, and night closed in with the enemy driven to the north side of Pasig. March 14th, Gen. Wheaton extended his line to the south and west of Pateros, and reconnoitered the country to the west and south. The cavalry engaged the enemy in force in the direction of Taguig and drove him beyond that place.
“The enemy being entrenched in the bamboo thickets across the channel near Pateros, the 1st Washington Volunteer Inf., one battalion under Maj. J. J. Weissenburger, crossed the channels in canoes and by swimming, stormed the entrenchments and captured or killed all the rebels there. The town of Pateros took fire and burned. March 15th one battalion of the 20th U. S. Inf. was ordered across the river at Pasig under command of Maj. Rogers; a gun was brought up and the entrenchments in front of Pasig and to the left shelled. The battalions of the 20th Inf. carried the city by storm. A part of the 2d Oregon Volunteer Inf. were crossed below Pasig and when the rebels fled from Pasig they were exposed to a heavy flank fire from this detachment. The whole of the 20th Inf. was then sent over to Pasig, the regiment being carried across upon the steam launch Maritimo. The 1st Washington was advanced on the right to Taguig and captured about 500 prisoners. Night came on with the enemy in the front, and on the right killed, captured or dispersed. The enemy lost at least 1000 men this day. March 16th Lieutenant-Colonel McCaskey, 20th U. S. Inf. at Pasig, was instructed to clear the country in his immediate vicinity of any of the insurgents who might be lurking near, and soon after he sent a despatch that he had sent out two battalions to be deployed as skirmishers to clear the island of Pasig. Soon after a heavy and continued firing was heard to the east and north of Pasig. At 12 m. it was learned that Maj. William P. Rogers, commanding 3d Battalion 20th Inf., had come upon the enemy entrenched, 1000 strong, at the village of Cainta and that he had carried the entrenchments and burned the town, the enemy flying in the direction of Taytay. Maj. Rogers returned with his battalion to Pasig. In this affair he lost two killed and fourteen wounded.
On the 17th of March, by direction of the Corps Commander, the 20th U. S. Inf. returned to Manila, being relieved at Pasig by a part of the 1st Washington Volunteer Inf. On the afternoon of March 18th a force of the enemy appeared in the vicinity of Taguig, which was held by one company of the 1st Washington Volunteer Inf. The place was re-inforced with two companies of infantry, and the colonel of the 22d Inf. directed to send a battalion south of the position, held by his regiment, and to the west of Taguig to ascertain the force of the enemy. The latter was found about 800 strong, occupying the crests of the ridges, and a spirited combat ensued, which was terminated by darkness. The 22d Inf. had twenty men killed and wounded in this affair. Among the wounded was Capt. Frank B. Jones, 22d Inf., commanding the battalion. The enemy fell back toward the south.
“The morning of March 19th, soon after daylight, Gen. Wheaton formed line, deployed in the extended order, facing to the south as follows: 22d U. S. Inf., six companies, center; 1st Washington Volunteer Inf., six companies, left. The line advanced and struck the enemy four miles south of Taguig; wheeling to the left the enemy was partly enclosed toward the lake and completely routed with great loss. The left of the line pursued him down the lake for fifteen miles from
VIEW OF BURNING OF TONDO DISTRICT, SHOWING DEPOT OF MANILA & DAGUPAN RAILROAD. Taguig as far as San Pedro Tunasan, all the houses along the lake to that point being burned. The enemy's entrenchments on the left and in front of the 1st Washington Volunteer Inf. were carried, the enemy leaving more than 200 dead upon the field. The command returned to the vicinity of Pateros and bivouacked there, receiving orders to return to their respective former encampments near
Manila, excepting that the 1st Washington Volunteer Inf. was designated to hold Pasig, Pateros and Taguig and adjacent country. This ended the operations of the “Provisional Brigade.” In one week all the enemy's positions, that were attacked, were taken and his troops killed, captured, or dispersed. The towns,
TRENCHES OVER WHICH THE PENNSYLVANIA REGIMENT PASSED IN CHARGE ON LA LOMA CHURCH.
from where he brought over troops or in which he resisted, were burned or destroyed; he burned them himself. The enemy's loss in killed, wounded and captured was not less than 2000 men.
“Gen. Wheaton was ably supported and assisted by the several regimental commanders through the series of operations. He calls attention to the energetic conduct of Col. J. H. Wholley, 1st Washington Volunteer Inf., and the gallant conduct in action of Maj. William P. Rogers, 20th U. S. Inf., and Maj. J. J. Weissenburger, 1st Washington Volunteer Inf., and to the gallant and meritorious services of Capt. Frank B. Jones, 22d U. S. Inf., 2d Lieut. E. D. Scott, 6th U. S. Art., rendered most efficient service with his guns, showing skill and intrepidity. He also calls attention to the very gallant conduct of Capts. Herbert S. Foster, James A. Irons and Benjamin Alrord, 20th U. S. Inf., in the storming of Pasig and in the combat of Cainta. First Lieuts. F. D. Webster and Chas. R. Howland, 20th U. S. Inf., Aides, gave valuable assistance, also 1st Lieut. Wm. D. Connor, Corps of Engineers, Acting Aide. Service, both efficient and gallant, was rendered by Capt. Elmore McKenna and Lieut. Charles E. Kilbourne, Volunteer Signal Corps.”
About Manila, all was quiet, with the exception of a little skirmishing, until the morning of March 25th. During this time the insurgent army had massed its forces at Malolos, and Gen. MacArthur, by command of Major-General Otis, was preparing for an advance for the capture of that stronghold.
RE-ORGANIZATION OF THE ARMY CORPS. At this time the American force was re-organized as follows: Major-General H. W. Lawton on March 18th, replaced Gen. Anderson in command of the first division, the latter returning to the United States according to orders. Gen. Lawton's Division consisted of the following: The Washington, North Dakota and California Volunteers, under Gen. King; six troops of the 4th Cav., the 14th
Regiment, the Idaho Volunteers and a battalion of the Iowa troops, under Gen. Ovenshine; the 3d and 22d Regiments Inf., and the Oregon Regiment, under Gen. Wheaton, and Dyer's and Hawthorne's Light Batteries.
Gen. MacArthur's Division, -two batteries of the 3d Art.; the Kansas and Montana Volunteers, under Gen. H. G. Otis; the Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota Regiments, and six companies of the Pennsylvania Regiment, under Gen. Hale; the 4th and 17th Regiments; the Minnesota and Wyoming Volunteers, and the Utah Art., under Gen. Hall.
A separate brigade was assigned to provost guard duty, consisting of the 20th Regiment, and eight companies of the 230 Regiment Inf.
THE PHILIPPINE COMMISSION. President McKinley, by appointment, had created a "Philippine Commission." This consisted of five members as follows: Admiral Dewey; Gen. Elwell S. Otis; President J. G. Schurman, of Cornell University; Prof. Dean C. Worcester and Chas.
"LAGUNA DE BAY” BOMBARDING CONVENT OF GUADALUPE. This was the largest of four small boats, known as the “mosquito fleet,” used to patrol the lake and rivers,
where they did most effectual work. Denby. This commission was advisory to the Executive Department of the government, and was vested with the authority to proclaim to the people of the Philippine Islands a Modus Vivendi in their civic affairs, pending the action of Congress in the premises. This was a strong commission and well constituted to deal with the matter in hand. Mr. Denby had thirteen years' experience, as Minister to China, in dealing with Oriental questions. Prof. Worcester had spent years in the Philippines in the study of the people and the country. Pres. Schurman was deeply learned in civic affairs and constitutional questions, and the military and naval situation could not have been in abler hands.
This commission could not exceed the prerogative of the President, and the Executive only had such power as accrued by the treaty of peace and the military occupation of the country. The most this commission or the President could do was to arrange a temporary government, leaving to Congress the future government or final disposition of the islands, and to make a general study of the situation,