« PreviousContinue »
make a reconnaissance, and found the enemy in force on the road, and about one mile from Imus. A spirited combat ensued, and Gen. Wheaton, at Imus, hearing the firing, proceeded at once to reinforce the battalion with the other two battalions of the 4th U.S. Inf.,with three guns. The enemy, about 2500 strong, were immediately attacked in the flank by a heavy fire from the artillery placed by Gen. Wheaton, and the infantry advanced upon him. He was routed with great loss, and fled in the direction of Dasmarinas. The 20th Inf., Gen. Wheaton advanced on Dasmarinas with the 4th Inf., one battalion 14th U. S. Inf., one battalion 9th U. S. Inf., one troop Nevada Cav. (dismounted) and seven guns. Dasmarinas was occupied and the enemy's force entirely dispersed.
RESULT OF THE OPERATIONS. In this series of operations the enemy were driven from the country in the vicinity of Manila Bay and north of the city. His loss in killed, wounded and captured was at least 2000 men. His forces were in a great measure dispersed.
EXPEDITIONS TO THE SOUTHERN ISLANDS.
(CEBU, PANAY, NEGROS AND SULU.)
NTIL the treaty of peace should be ratified or rejected by the
United States Senate, the political situation in the Philippines was uncertain, but under the instructions of President McKinley, Gen. Otis was ordered to take and hold all the ceded territory. At this time the islands were entirely in the control of the natives, with the exception of the port and the city of Iloilo on the island of Panay. Here the Spanish force still held the city, but were closely besieged, and Gen. Otis had been notified by Gen. Rios that he could not hold the place
against the insurgents. With the uncertainties as to the disposition of the Philippines by the Spanish Cortez and the American Senate, neither the Spanish nor American commanders wished to disturb the status unless pressing need required it. It was for this reason that the command of Gen. Miller was left inactive and on board the transport off Iloilo so long.
OPERATIONS ON PANAY. On December 24, 1898, Gen. Otis, by order, created the “Separate Brigade," and assigned the command to Gen. Marcus P. Miller. The order directed that the command should proceed to Iloilo and there execute the special instructions which the commander might receive from headquarters. That part of the order relating to this matter is as follows:
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE PACIFIC GENERAL ORDERS, I
AND Eighth ARMY CORPs.
MANILA, P. I., Dec. 24, 1898. 1. Brigadier-General Marcus P. Miller is assigned to the command of the following designated troops, viz: Light Battery G, 6th U. S. Art., 18th U. S. Inf., 51st Iowa Volunteer Inf., and will proceed with them to Iloilo, island of Panay, by transports, Newport, Arizona and Pennsylvania, under such naval escorts as the Rear-Admiral, commanding the Asiatic squadron, may furnish hiin, and there execute the special instructions he will receive from these headquarters. These troops will constitute the Separate Brigade within the meaning of the 73d Article of War, to be known and designated as the 1st Separate Brigade of the 8th Army Corps. They will be equipped and supplied as orders already and hereaster to be issued indicate. By command of Major-General Otis.
The importance of this Visayan group will be understood by reference to the chapter entitled, “The Philippine Islands and Their People.” The principal islands in the group are Panay, Cebu and Negros. The distance from Iloilo to Cebu is about 60 miles; from Cebu to Escalante on Negros, about 50 miles; and from Bacolod, on Negros to Iloilo on Panay, about 35 miles. This is by the
usually traveled routes, and the distance from the nearest point in the group to Manila is 355 miles. The military operations in these islands could not, in detail, be well directed from Manila, but they are in such close proximity that in any important movements there, the forces could support each other. While these islands, under Spanish rule, were divided into provinces, and had separate commercial centers, still there was such interchange of commodities and business that the inhabitants had become closely allied. The population of Panay is 781,325; that of Cebu 504,076; and of Negros 321,777; and the total population of the whole Visayan group is 2,384,142.
So closely affiliated are the people of these islands, that immediately after the surrender of the Spaniards, under Gen. Rios, to the insurgents, the people organized “a Visayan Republic," with Iloilo as its capital. The governments in the different islands, however, were practically independent. The climate in these islands is salubrious, and the country well adapted to nearly all branches of husbandry. Next to Manila, the great centers of trade of the archipelago are here. It is not only a fine grazing country and well adapted to stockraising, but sugar, hemp, tobacco, the cereals and a great variety of fruits are grown.
The expedition, under Gen. Miller, left Manila,
December 26th, convoyed by the cruiser Baltimore. On Prison at Malolos, where five arrival at Iloilo it was found that the Spanish garrison
nearly three months." had withdrawn to Zamboango, and that the city was in possession of the insurgents. The expedition remained on the transports until February 11, 1899, pending instructions to meet the changed conditions. The 51st Iowa returned to Manila, and its place was taken by the 1st Tennessee, which arrived on February 10th. The Baltimore was replaced by the Boston and Petrel.
On the morning of February 11th, after bombardment of the insurgent position, the Tennessee Regiment and 18th Inf. landed, and took possession of the city, driving the insurgents from their positions, on the outskirts of the town, along the river, and saving much valuable property from incendiary fires. Capt. Richmond of Company C, 1st Tennessee, was placed at some sandbag entrenchments, on the point, to prevent the insurgents on the opposite side from firing on the landing party. The remainder of the force, accompanied by Gen. Miller, marched to the Plaza and Custom House, beyond which point were the insurgents. Here Col. Childers, of the Tennessee, assigned Companies A, Capt. Reed; E,
Americans were kept for