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advance skirmish line of the South Dakotas (Maj. Howard's Battalion) from entrenchments in the woods south of the river. This line pressed on, and LieutenantColonel Stover and Maj. Allison rushed forward their battalions to its support, Col. Frost personally superintending the advance of the entire line. The Filipinos contended foot by foot for the ground. From one line of trenches to the next,
SAN JUAN BRIDGE, TAKEN SOON AFTER THE BATTLE OF SANTA MESA. Companies of the Tennessee, Colorado and Nebraska Regiments charged over the bridge in a most gallant
manner, in the face of murderous fire.
they fell back. Then they crossed the river and formed in strong trenches there. Again the victorious Americans pursued them, the South Dakotas wading waistdeep in the stream, and with wild cheers, charged up the opposite bank on the sullen foe. After one of the hardest fought battles of the campaign, the Filipinos were again routed, the South Dakota Regiment losing three officers and six men killed and twenty-three men wounded. Admiration is divided between the wild valor of the Americans and the courageous defense of the Filipinos. All through the afternoon they kept up a desultory fire from the woods across the plain to the north and a bitter enfilading fire along the north bank of the river, wounding several of our men, who returned their attacks with spirit, the enemy evidently covering in this way his obstinate retreat.
As night came on, large bodies of insurrectos, apparently brought from the north by trains, formed and deployed along the north side of the plain, 2000 yards away, covering the entire front of MacArthur's Division. These at once began a hot fusilade all along our lines. The 3d Art., (1st Brigade) on the left of the railroad replied with Krage-Jorgensens. Gen. Hale found his line exposed on the right to a galling enfilading fire and instructed his troops to lie low behind their entrenchments until the enemy were within 600 yards before returning their fire. This order was given in view of the fact that the Springfield rifle is much inferior in range to the Mauser of the Filipinos. On this occasion it seems that the enemy pressed very closely upon the right flank of the Nebraskas, who charged before the order was given. The rest of the regiment, seeing their comrades pursuing the foe, joined in the charge and drove the insurrectos across the plain two miles to a wooded ridge. The South Dakotas were sent forward half way across the plain to support the Nebraskas, who were afterwards withdrawn to the river where the whole brigade encamped for the night.
The next day the whole of MacArthur's Division remained at Marilao recuperating, bringing up the supply trains and issuing rations and ammunition. On reconnoitering, the patrols found that the ridge captured by the Nebraskas the
day before, was still unoccupied, although some insurrectos were found near the railroad. On March 29th, the brigade advanced on the east side of the railroad track. The Nebraskas then moved on
the right of the brigade against
the ridge which they had captured on the night of the 27th. They swung to the left, and flanked the enemy in front of the Pennsylvanias and Dakotas. The Nebraskas engaged the enemy at 7:30 in the morning, and pursued them across the Bocaue River towards Santa Maria. A company of Nebraskas then caused the town to be evacuated. The South Dakotas and Pennsylvanias crossed the river without serious opposition, and the whole command arrived at the Bigaa River about noon, where the enemy had partially destroyed the railroad and the bridges. A fire had been set to the bridge, and 100 feet of the railroad track torn up, but the Yankee troops came up too rapidly, and the fire was extinguished leaving the bridge practically uninjured, while the road was easily repaired.
These marches were usually commenced just after daylight. The morning hours in the tropics are the coolest and the men can then work without suffering from the heat. The hours from four to six in the afternoon are also favorable for hard work. Accordingly, at half past three o'clock the march from Bigaa was assumed and the Guiguinto River reached about five. As there was no sign of a concealed foe the Pennsylvanias began to cross the bridge. When about fifteen men had passed over and deployed, the insurrectos, from a ridge at some distance, opened a hot fusilade on the bridge and the railroad track. Col. Hawkins, who was with his advanced line when the attack was made, gallantly returned the fire and the few men who were already on the ground deploying, the others as they came up held the position until enough troops were on the line to repulse the enemy, the Pennsylvanias standing well to their guns while Gen. Hale hurried the remainder of the regiment across, while Maj. Howard's Battalion of South Dakotas quickly came up and took a position on the right. The 20th Kansas, of the 1st Brigade, and the Utah guns and rapid fire guns also crossed and came into the action. A barricade across the railroad track was demolished by the artillery. At this bridge the Filipinos were doing very good work with their Mausers with
which they fired on men, armed with Springfields, without coming into effective range of the latter. But when the cannon began to speak, the enemy gave up their position on the hill. Lieut. Perry of the Brigade Staff, was slightly wounded in this engagement. As darkness was drawing on, the troops camped for the night on the river bank. The men enjoyed their evening meal in peace, and many of them had a swim in the mild waters.
The forenoon of the following day was passed in bringing up the train, and issuing rations and ammunition. In the afternoon preparations were made to renew the march on the Filipino capital. When the brigade had reached a point west of the Guiguinto River, it met with a scattering, insurrecto fire. The General perceived soon after that a party of Filipinos were coming down the railroad track, apparently with the intention to surrender. He sent out a man to meet them, but as he approached, the Filipinos ran back towards their own lines. Sometime later a second party appeared on the track, and this time a Filipino was sent out to interview them. They, however, made some paltry excuse for their action, and it became evident that they were trying to spy upon our lines, or lead our troops into a trap. No further attempt was made to communicate with them, but, as a precaution, Hale advanced one company of Pennsylvanias, and one company of Kansas (1st Brigade), to take possession of entrenchments, supposed to be unoccupied. But the wily enemy, from his cover where he had been watching like a panther, sent his fire into our men the moment they advanced. Nothing daunted, however, the two companies with great dash and elan went at the position and took it, without the loss of a man. Then camp was made once more. In all our marching, fighting and bivouacking, it was cheering to see how readily the troops adapted things to their comfort. Thus, one
into river to catch some ducks for his evening meal; another boy had a gamecock, captured at the last village, while the rank and file fell upon the pigs and chickens and made a vast slaughter of them. In fact, it soon came to be a settled thing that no self-respecting hen would trust herself inside the American lines. When we entered a captured place, the first question asked, was: “Well, comrade, are hens flying high?" If there were'a
few shacks, or some bamboo tables, or Filipino stretchers, the boys would get at these things and put them to use in the most ingenious way. They sometimes entered the abandoned houses, but there was little left to take away. If there was a white flag or any sign of peaceful inhabitant, they were invariably left unmolested. A11 “pacificos" were encouraged to return to their homes, and to pursue their peaceful avocations.
On the night of March 30th, a reconnaissance was made by Gen. Hale, and trenches with insurrectos in them, were found at Santa Isabel, the eastern suburb of Malolos. Outposts were placed along the edge of the woods, the Utah Battery and the infantry detachments built emplacements for guns on each side of the railroad, and preparations were made to attack Malolos in the morning.
Shortly after dawn, on March 31st, the 2d Brigade advanced up the right side of the railroad in the following order: The Nebraskas on the right moved fifteen minutes after the Utah Battery had opened fire; the South Dakotas marched in the center five minutes after the Nebraskas; the Pennsylvanias, with their left near
WARD IN FIRST RESERVE HOSPITAL. the railroad, moved five minutes later than the Dakotas. This made a crescent formation concave toward the enemy, enveloping his left flank, and compelling him to abandon his trenches and the town of Malolos, thus facilitating the entrance of the 1st Brigade which moved up the west side of the track into the town itself.
At half past six the Filipinos began to fire. The fire at this time was not heavy nor long continued, and it soon became evide it either that Malolos was being evacuated by the enemy, or Aguinaldo was holding fire for stragetic reasons.
The first supposition turned out to be the true one. After the brigade had crossed the Malolos Creek and the Malolos-Quingua Road it wheeled to the left across a broad open plain under a galling Mauser fire from the railroad embankment, which could not be effectively returned by our men, armed mostly with Springfield rifles. The Hotchkiss gun of the Nebraskas fired three shots at the foe, retreating up the railroad track 2000 yards away. The shots seemed to strike right among the fleeing insurgents. At half past ten, Gen. Hale's command reached Barasoain Station, the northwest suburb of Malolos. In accordance with
instructions from Gen. MacArthur, it was afterwards swung back upon the Malolos-Quingua Road, where it remained until the advance upon Calumpit began.
In the advance from Manila to Malolos, the losses on the staff were four; in the Pennsylvanias, thirty-eight; in the South Dakotas sixty-two; in the Nebraskas, eighty-seven, making a total of one hundred and ninety-one. One officer on the staff was killed, and two officers and one orderly wounded; in the Pennsylvanias four enlisted men were killed, and two officers and thirty-two men wounded; in the South Dakotas three officers and four men were killed, and two officers and fifty-three men wounded; in the Nebraskas six enlisted men were killed, and four officers and seventy-seven men wounded. This is the most eloquent tribute to the bravery of these regiments.
The total distance marched by the right flank from March 25th to 31st was sixty-six miles, or over three times the air-line distance from Caloocan to Malolos. This was due to the repeated turning movements executed by the 2d Brigade to flank the enemy out of entrenched positions, and render the advance along the railroad less deadly. As the result of this arduous and dangerous campaign, in addition to those already mentioned, one officer and four enlisted men died from the effects of their wounds before the march on Calumpit, and large numbers were obliged to return to Manila sick and suffering from heat prostration. This is not surprising, when we consider the heavy weight which the men had to carry in this rough country. Each soldier was loaded with gun, with strap and bayonet, belt, haversack, mess-kit, canteen full of water or coffee, one day's rations, 100 to 150 rounds of ammunition, and poncho hung in belt.
OPERATIONS OF GEN. OTIS' BRIGADE. At 6 P. M. on the 25th, the column, consisting of 2184 officers and men, advanced from near the La Loma church and to the right and left of it—at right angles to Caloocan and the Balantasig Road. The word was whispered down the Kansas line, “Let us throw away our rations and blankets and go at the niggers with guns, canteens and ammunition alone." The writer crossed the field of war half an hour after the engagement. The boys had dropped their cans of beef and salmon, their blankets and camp kit; they kept their canteens and guns, and went at the foe. With such a brigade of fighters, the Filipinos thought all pandemonium was after them. They fought bravely at the first onset, but it was soon evident that the white man's nerve and the white man's science were too much for the wild valor of Aguinaldo's mountain men. Before two hours had passed the 3d Art. and the Kansans had gained the north bank of the Tuliahan River, the men intrepidly swimming the stream in the face of a severe fire. It was a short range, and the brave little regiment, the 3d Art., lost heavily. But the loss they inflicted was greater still.
COL. STOTSENBERG, TAKEN SHORTLY BEFORE
HE WAS KILLED.