Page images

THE SPANISH DUNGEONS. Beneath these walls and covering their length underground are the “dungeons." They are built in three apartments, the first 50 by 25 feet, the other two 30 by 25 feet. All are connected by stone causeways and built of solid masonry.

The guard-room to these is a little structure 8 by 12 feet. From this is an entrance to dungeon No. 1 by a series of stone steps, and the end of this descent is the gate of entrance, 2 feet high and 172 feet wide. The exit to the next dungeon

was of the same size SPANISH TRENCHES AT CAVITE.

and kind, and here another descent of a number of stone steps through a stone causeway and the same kind of entrance to dungeon No. 2. From dungeon No. 2 was a like causeway and descent to No. 3, which was located below sea level. There was a gate with iron grates opening from the third dungeon, which, when raised, would permit the water from the sea or Pasig River to flow into the dungeon. In this last dungeon it was the habit of the Spanish authorities to keep the Filipino prisoners, and when they failed to die of starvation or become too numerous, they could raise the gates. When the Spanish sought diversion in their executions they would take out the prisoners and publicly shoot them by the score. Two places were specially appropriated for this. One at the northwest corner of the wall, near the barracks and arsenal, and another across the street, south of the moat. Here most of the civilians were shot.


THE GATES, FORTS AND BARRICADES. There are six gates leading into the walled city, one of these being in the south wall mentioned, another in the east wall, and the remainder opening upon the bay or river. Nearly opposite the south gate and a little west of Luneta barracks is another fort similar in construction to the old wall, with moat and double walls. It covers nearly an acre of ground, and is 900 feet inland from the shore. Here was a powder magazine. At the place called Ermita, 1500 feet south of the city wall, were strong earthworks mounting a battery of Krupp guns, built as a defense against naval attack. Through this place extended the street or Calle Real from the wall southward to Malate, a distance of one mile. It runs nearly parallel to the shore and distant therefrom 200 to 500 feet. Here, extending across the street, was a strong barricade. It was 6 feet high and 6 feet wide at the top, with substantial buildings at either end, with openings between the sandbags on the top. At different places between this and Fort San Antonio, Abad, or Fort Malate, were three of these street barricades. In this suburb of Malate, all the streets or roads were crossed with these barricades. All through this section, also, were such barricades in the open, covering all approaches to the city. Twenty-four hundred feet south along the Calle Real Road, was another trench, commencing at the beach and extending eastward 700 feet. This barricaded the approach to Malate, the last suburb of the city south. The beach formed the west Aank of this trench, and an impassable swamp the east flank. Five hundred feet south from this trench, is Fort Malate. This was a stone fort, built of solid masonry and mounted with modern guns. Instead, however, of a moat in front, there was a slough or waterway, 100 feet wide and varying in depth, depending upon tide and rain. The slough approached the fort from the east, thence deflected southward, and thence westward into the bay. The approaches to this were swamps and brush. A stone bridge crosses this stream by the fort on the Calle Real Road, and the approaches to this bridge were covered by strong stone walls. Connecting with this stone bridge and the fort, was a strong line of trenches. They extended from the fort to the beach, west, a distance of 200 feet, and from the fort eastward, a distance of 3000 feet to block-house No. 14, which was flanked on the east by an impassable swamp, and by the bay on the west.

THE SPANISH BLOCK-HOUSES. All over the country wherever the Spaniards had outposts, is found the blockhouse. They are all on the same plan, although of different material. Some are of stone, some stone in part and partly wood, and some are all of wood. Blockhouse No. 14 was the kind known as the wooden block-house. It was thirty feet square, two stories high, built on raised ground, sloping from the base outward at an incline of about fifty degrees. At the corners are ten-inch timbers to which heavy planks are nailed, extending from one corner to the other, both on the inside and outside, making a double wall of plank. The space between these walls is filled with a mixture of earth and stone, forming a kind of cement or macadam, though not hardened. Each story has loopholes suitable for rifle firing; the holes are six inches in diameter, have an incline of thirty-five degrees, the bottom of which is steellined, so that a shot entering the hole would strike the steel plate and glance upward above the heads of the men behind the guns. There was a trench around block-house No. 14, so built that it intercepted and commanded the Cingalon Road, hereafter mentioned, also another highway, these two roads being ibe only approach to Manila from this district.




The Spanish trench is always about the same. There is a ditch in front about six feet wide and three feet deep, and the earth back of this is thrown up five feet high. They are five to seven feet thick on the top, and slope from this outward to the ground. They are usually covered with sandbags, between which are loopholes. Sometimes the breastwork is made entirely of sandbags. The approach to the trench at block-house No. 14 is a swamp, almost impassable, and brush. South of this trench along the Calle Real Road, and reaching to the trench, is the Spanish cernetery. The wall has a stone base and was a good protection against an assault. Adjoining this on the south is the American cemetery, where our soldiers are interred. South of this last trench, at an average distance of 1100 feet, runs a highway extending eastward at right angles from the Calle Real

Road, which here intercepts it from the north. This highway bears northward and passes blockhouse No. 14, and from there on forms what is known as


Road. On both sides of this road were Spanish trenches commanding open spaces where attacks could be made. South of the above intersection of the highway was another line of entrenchments extending from the Calle Real Road to the beach, the distance being 650 feet. This was the last Spanish outpost entrenched in front of the American line. All these fortifications, under the plan of battle of August 13th, were to be attacked and overcome by Gen. Greene's Brigade, known as the 2d Brigade of the division, with Gen. MacArthur's Brigade in supporting distance to the right. Gen. MacArthur's Brigade, under the plan of battle, was to move directly against other Spanish strongholds, with Greene's brigade in supporting distance on the left. These fortifications remain to be noticed. For this purpose we go back to block-house No. 14. The distance of block-house No. 13 from block-house No. 14 is 425 yards, air-line, varying north by ten degrees east, and between these two were a number of short trenches and rifle-pits, and a stone house and barricades, all so situated as to enfilade the approaches from different directions. This was a formidable place. Elock-house No. 13 rested on the west side of the Cingalon Road and was strongly built, and from this eastward and extending across the highway to an impassable swamp was a strong barricade. On the west of this fortified line was also a swamp. The only traveled way between these two blockhouses was the Cingalon Road, which ran eastward from blockhouse No. 14 255 yards and thence turned at right angles to block-house No. 13, 360 yards. Between this highway and the


LANDING OF TROOPS AT CAVITE. fortified line were cultivated fields. Back of block-house No. 13 and extending northeast towards block-house No. 12 were numerous trenches which gave protection against an advance from the south by a swamp and slough. The distance between these two block-houses is 750 yards, and between them there is no direct traveled way. The only connection is by highway eastward to Cingalon, where it is intersected by a road leading past block-house No. 13, and thence extending to Paco. The distance from Cingalon to block-house No. 12 is 440 yards, and from block-house No. 13 to Cingalon 600 yards. The highway continues from Cingalon to Paco and intersects the main highway from Malate to Paco, a distance of 830 yards. From this intersection to Paco bridge is 180 yards. The main traveled highway to the walled city gates from this locality intersects this highway 80 yards from the bridge, and this would be the line of approach to the south gate of the city. On this line of road lies the Paco cemetery, distant from intersection 700 yards. From Paco cemetery there are two ways to the city gates. By direct way to the south gate it is 1200 yards; the other makes a circuit northward. The gate also may be reached by a road going west to Ermita and thence north. The extent of the fortifications held by the Spaniards against the American troops was from the city wall to the south line of the entrer.chment, two miles, and from east to west at the furthest point in width, one mile.



In front of the Spanish fortifications, and surrounding the city, the Filipinos had thrown up trenches, many of them skilfully constructed, and were occupying them on the arrival of the American forces. They were very deficient in military discipline, and did not hold the trenches with any regularity. The trenches were often inadequately guarded, and at times an entire trench might be vacated. It was evident to our commanders that the Filipinos would be utterly unreliable as an auxiliary, or even a supporting force. In the event of their entering Manila with our forces it was evident that neither their own officers nor the Americans could control them. There were arms and equipments but for a small part even of the actual soldiers, and in case of success there would be no limit to the number of vengeful and bloodthirsty followers who would rush into the city, and who could not be distinguished from those actually under military discipline, or from the inhabitants of the city. It was certain that under such circumstances it would

be impossible for the small American army to prevent the sack and burning of the city, with accompanying horrors such as the world has not seen since the days of Attila, and for which, if permitted, America would be held responsible.

FILIPINOS NOT TO SHARE IN THE ATTACK. It was determined from the first, therefore, that the Filipinos should have no part in the attack, or recognition as an army in entering and occupying the city. Not the least difficult of the tasks assumed by the American commanders, was the inducing of Aguinaldo and his army to peacefully assent to this program. On the other hand they were doubtless aided in the negotiations for the final surrender by the fear of the Spanish and foreign residents of Manila of the terrible scenes which would follow the entrance of armed Filipinos, and the knowledge that the American commanders would probably not be able to restrain them if the city were taken by assault. Spanish military tradition, if not law, forbids the surrender of a fortified place, no matter what the force brought against it, until there has been such an exercise of that force as to actually demonstrate the futility of resistance. Some bad things have been done in the Philippines, as in all wars, but too much praise cannot be given to the American commanders for the care and tact displayed in so managing, in the interest of humanity, that open rupture with the Filipinos was avoided, while giving to the brave Spanish officers in command the opportunity to save themselves from the rigor of Spanish military law, while assuring to non-combatants in Manila the protection which civilization demands.

CAMP DEWEY ESTABLISHED. The first duty of Gen. T. N. Anderson, upon the arrival of the first expedition, was to reconnoiter the position of the enemy, and decide upon his base of operations, and the nature of his campaign. His base must be under the protection of the fleet, in the most healthful position possible, and easily accessible with supplies and reinforcements to the trenches, where the fighting must be done. For this purpose he settled upon a place, afterwards called Camp Dewey, by wagon road twenty-one miles from Cavite, and by boat six miles. The place was formerly a peanut field; the soil is sandy loam and about four feet above sea level. It was a mile and a quarter in length, by two hundred and fifty to three hundred yards in width. The place was protected from sea winds by trees and

shrubs. The 1st Battalion of California Volunteers first went into camp here July 15th, and was soon followed by the other troops. Upon the arrival of the


Greene made his headquarters at Camp Dewey, Gen. Anderson still retaining his headquarters at Cavite. Camp Dewey was located on the now famous Calle Real Road, which continued its way south from the place we last left it on the Spanish

« PreviousContinue »