Page images

to have numbered 600. Again was demonstrated the value of these scouts. In the quest of information for the objective attack on this reported stronghold of San Miguel de Mayumo, Capt. Birkhimer urged forward the scouts, only eighteen of them being able to turn out that morning. After a steady advance before anything definite had been developed or known, the outskirts of the town were reached.

CHIEF SCOUT YOUNG MORTALLY WOUNDED. All of a sudden a heavy skirmish line appeared. It consisted of what was then estimated at 300 in view, behind rice dykes; the right upon the river concealed in the bamboos, and left on a hill with ravine in front, both flanks unturnable. The enemy were not more than 150 to 175 yards distant, —with Chief Young opposite the center. There happened to be only 11 other scouts present, their names follow:

First North Dakota Volunteer Inf. Privates P. Hussey, Company K;J. McIntyre, Company B; J. R. Desmond, Company I; G. Jensen, Company D; F. Summerfield, Company K. Fourth U.S. Cav.-Privates P. Quinn, Troop L; S. Harris, Troop G; Eli L. Watkins, Troop C. Second Oregon Volunteer Inf.—Private Jas. Harrington, Company G. (Privates McIntyre and Summerfield voluntarily joined the scouts after detail was made.)

Taking the situation at a glance, with the favorable endorsement of Capt. Birkhimer, who was with this party throughout, Chief Young, with scout Harrington at his side, gallantly and desperately charged the center of this line, unhesitatingly followed by the above loyal ten. The line faltered, and finally broke and fled to the other side of the river. It was on this side of the river, on this side of the bridge, that this gallant leader received a severe wound through his knee, that subsequently proved fatal. These ten scouts were recommended by Gen. Lawton, for a medal of honor.

Four companies of the 3d Inf., were moved forward to San Miguel, where they arrived about 8:30 P. M. without incident, and the telegraphic communication was established with that place about the same time.


THE COMMAND OCCUPIES SAN MIGUEL. Col. Summers had during the afternoon occupied San Miguel with his command, except two companies left at Maasim, and two at San Ildefonso. In compliance with telegraphic authority, thirty dollars reward was offered for each insurgent rifle turned in. This information was published in Spanish and Tagalog, and every effort made to get it within the insurgent lines. On account of desired concert of movement, with the column moving toward Candaba, the movement of Lawton's headquarters from Baliuag toward San Miguel was postponed by the Corps Commander. The piece of artillery (Battery D, 6th Art.), and Companies E and I, 3d Inf., reported at Baliuag about four o'clock on the afternoon of the

14th. Orders were then received for the movement of all the command, except a battalion of 22d Inf. from Baliuag to San Miguel. This was made next day. It commenced early in the morning and headquarters arrived at San Miguel about 10 A. M., without incident. About three o'clock in the afternoon Col. Summers with the 2d Oregons and


panied by a section of artillery, were advanced from San Miguel and proceeded north toward San Isidro, to the village of Bulac (or on most maps, San Jose), a distance of about three miles, A bout two and one half miles out, the scouts were fired on, and the command deployed, driving the enemy who were strongly entrenched on the north bank of a stream, about one and one-half miles north of Bulac, toward San Isidro. Our casualties—one enlisted man, 13th Minnesotas, very slight wound, not disabling for continuance on duty with regiment. The insurgent loss—sixteen killed, including at least one officer, and five wounded, left on the field. Twenty-one or more guns and equipments were captured from the enemy.

On the morning of May 16th, Capt. Gale, commanding 4th Cav., moved out with his dismounted squadron, two battalions 3d Inf., Troop I, 4th Cav., and Hawthorne's Mountain Battery, toward Sibul, for the purpose of reconnoitering that town, and the insurgent stronghold known as Split Rock, and to destroy the supplies supposed to be at the first-named place.

Sibul was reached by the middle of the forenoon and found deserted by the insurgent troops, although a few of the residents of the town remained. Much difficulty was experienced by the wagons and artillery as the road passed through muddy sloughs. An attempt was made to find the trail into the mountains, but owing to unreliable information of natives, nothing was accomplished and the reconnoissance was concluded by the return of the command to San Miguel, in the evening.

San Miguel was the most important town occupied thus far by the expedition, with the exception of Baliuag. There were many handsome residences and other evidences of the wealth of the people who had, with the exception of a very few of the wealthy class, and a few hundred of the poorer classes, deserted their homes, and gone to the mountains. Many came in as soon as the troops arrived, and the insurgents had fallen back toward San Isidro, and hundreds were returning daily


as long as we remained there. As is the case with all these towns of considerable size, no reliable information is at hand concerning their population. The inhabitants cannot even guess, and it is not easy to form a satisfactory estimate, owing to the crowding of houses and huts customary among the lower classes of the natives and Chinese. Of the latter a large number appear to have lived in each of these larger provincial towns, and to have constituted the commercial class, conducting a multitude of small shops. These Chinese merchants have been scattered by the unsettled conditions in the provinces, some remaining, paying heavy war taxes to the insurgent officials, for which they are supposed to receive protection from the Filipino soldiers who are said to have ruthlessly slaughtered many.

LIEUT. THORNTON SUCCEEDS CHIEF SCOUT YOUNG. About the time that Capt. Gale's column moved out on its reconnoissance toward Sibul, Col. Summers and his column advanced toward, and occupied San Roque, where they arrived about nine o'clock. The scouts under 2d Lieut. J. E. Thornton, 2d Oregons, (successor to Chief Scout Young) were sent forward in search of water. About two and one-half miles out they were fired on by the enemy, whom they engaged and forced back across a river about forty feet wide, and too deep to be forded, necessitating the use of a large wooden bridge by any one desirous of crossing to the north bank. The insurgents retreated across the bridge, which they set on fire, and entered their trenches which commanded the approach to the bridge by a frontal and enfilading

INSURGENTS FISHED OUT OF THE MARILAO RIVER. fire. The scouts charged across the bridge, followed by a battalion of the Oregons, and engaged the enemy in their trenches, completely routing them, with a known loss of six killed and eight prisoners, six of whom were wounded. Fourteen Mausers, and two Remingtons with equipments and ammunition, were captured. Many killed and wounded are known to have been carried away to San Isidro, which is not far from the bridge.


SCOUT HARRINGTON KILLED. Our loss was numerically small, but was nevertheless severe, in that Scout James Harrington of the 2d Oregons was killed. As Young's assistant, he had done many gallant deeds of which official records exist. Prior to the organization of Young's scouts, Harrington's reputation as a successful, intelligent scout had extended beyond his regiment, his many daring encounters with outposts of the enemy being known generally throughout the whole command; and after the beginning of the operations of the scouts as an organization, he was invariably placed in charge of any detachment sent out from Young's charge.

The bridge was saved from destruction by the efforts of the Oregons and the scouts, and, occupying both sides of the river, they set about repairing it, wisely recognizing the delay that would otherwise be caused the main command in advancing. Col. Summers and his troops were again commended in reports, and great regret expressed at the loss of the two most important and valuable members of the detachment of scouts.


Orders were then issued for an advance on San Isidro, the new objective, to take place early on the morning of the 17th. Col. J. W. French, 22d Inf., commanding his own regiment and the 1st North Dakotas, was sent forward in the evening of the 16th to join Col. Summers for the contemplated movement of the morrow. About four o'clock, May 17th, Gen. Lawton and staff left San Miguel for the front, which was found to be just north of the bridge and trenches occupied the day before by the scouts and the 2d Oregons. Telegraphic communication was established with San Miguel, and Corps Headquarters without delay, and the movement on San Isidro commenced. Col. Summers deployed the column; the 22d Inf. on the left, their right resting on the road, the 1st North Dakotas and 1st Battalion, 2d Oregons on right of road; along which Scott's Battery followed; the scouts preceded the right of the line. Troop I, 4th Cav., operated on the left of the road.

The command advanced toward the town, and when within about 1800 yards of it, fire was opened on the scouts and on the right of our line. The advance was continued and the city occupied by our forces. Our casualties, one enlisted man, each, 13th Minnesotas and 2d Oregons slightly wounded. Insurgent loss, fifteen killed, twenty wounded, three prisoners. Seven guns and four horses fell into our hands. Several Spaniards who claimed to have been held prisoners by the insurgents were found in the city, among them three officers. Many wealthy natives remained with their property and families, and at once applied for, and were accorded protection by our troops. Dr. Albert a former Peace Commissioner selected by the Filipino Congress, of which he was still a member, reported the presence at his residence of a large number of non-combatants, including the wives and children of insurgent officers, and gave much imformation concerning the doings of the insurgent leaders.

THE FILIPINO PEACE COMMISSION. Arrangements were made for the entry of Gen. Gregorio del Pilar, and three other members of the Filipino Peace Commission, who desired to go to Manila for conference with the American Commission, with a view to the termination of hostilities. These persons came within our lines, May 18th, and next morning started for Manila, accompanied by Lieut. E. L. King, Aide-de-camp, with orders to commanders of all forces of this expedition, located on their route, to secure for the party every accommodation and courtesy possible. It was learned that the insurgents had had at this place fourteen prisoners, thirteen Americans, including a lieutenant of our navy, and one Englishman, whom they had moved back into the mountains on our advance. The afternoon of the capture of San Isidro, it was reported that the enemy had fled toward Gapan, a town of considerable importance, about four miles east of San Isidro. The insurgents had a hospital there, which was reported to be filled with wounded Filipinos. It was further alleged that stores and munitions were there located.

One battalion of Oregons and one of Minnesotas were sent to Gapan from San Isidro, and their departure so timed as to effect a junction with another column, under Capt. Hannay, from San Miguel, by way of cross-roads at San Roque, the second column consisting of Gale's dismounted squadron and a battalion of the 3d Inf. The two columns joined as anticipated, and with the exception of a desultory fire from the other side of the river, no resistance was encountered. The town was deserted. The San Isidro troops were returned next morning and the San Miguel troops were sent to San Miguel the same afternoon.

Capt. Hannay, with ten companies of the 3d Inf. and one gun from Hawthorne's Mountain Battery, was ordered to remain at San Miguel, and Gale's squadron, with another gun from Hawthorne's Battery, were ordered to re-inforce the garrison at Baliuag, which was reported to be in danger of attack by a large force of the enemy.

AN ENGAGEMENT NEAR SAN FERNANDO. Col. French with the 22d Inf., 1st North Dakotas and Scott's Battery (two guns), proceeded down the Rio Grande toward Candaba, on the afternoon of the 18th. When near San Fernando they met the enemy in trenches, or behind embankments commanding the road, and an engagement ensued which lasted until


ENGINEER CORPS REPAIRING RAILROAD TRACK TORN UP BY INSURGENTS. darkness came on, the enemy being forced back across the river, where they poured in a hot fire from that side of the stream. Scott's guns were brought up, and threw shrapnel at point-blank range. Many of these shrapnel burst in the piece, the projectiles falling harmlessly into the water. This frequently occurred during the campaign, and experience had rendered the use of shrapnel for the protection of our advancing infantry too dangerous an experiment to hazard.

« PreviousContinue »