Page images

of an order to drive the natives into vacant lots, and guard them there. This action stopped the placing of impediments in the way of the firemen, although in their anxiety to save their furniture and property, such of the inhabitants as were not participating in the plot to burn the city, had crowded the streets for a quarter of a mile, The flames in Santa Cruz district had hardly been subdued, when another conflagration was started in Tondo district, where there were three miles of “nipa” houses. When the firemen and soldiers made an attempt to ex

INSURGENT OUTPOST. tinguish the burning houses, they were met with a fusilade from the windows and roofs of the buildings passed. The firemen, then, in connection with the soldiers, directed their efforts to clearing these houses of the assassins, while the fire was unheeded.

GREAT DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY BY FIRE. The fires and the frequent shots spread terror through Manila. It was remarked that immediately before the first fire-alarm, the sounding of a native bugle had startled the city. Timid persons, men and women, hoping to find safety on board one of the men-of-war, hastened from their houses or hotels into the streets, only to be turned back at the first corner, by a guard. The Chinese population hurried across the bridges, into the city, to seek the protection of their consulate ; and all night long the fire spread, devastating the Tondo district and destroying property, valued at a million dollars, which belonged to the natives themselves. So nearly had Aguinaldo's plot, to destroy the lives and pillage the property of the foreigners in Manila, succeeded.


THE ATTEMPTED MASSACRE FAILS. The failure did not deter the insurrectos from making a concerted attack on MacArthur's front during the forenoon. At the first sign of hostilities the artillery was brought into action, the insurrectos replying not only by volley firing, but with six shots from a battery. The signal was then given from the station to the Monadnock, which hurled ten-inch shells, as indicated by the Signal Corps, over the American lines into the Filipino positions. About eleven o'clock there were sharp engagements at the Chinese cemetery and at San Pedro Macati, with the apparent design of withdrawing attention from the city. In this intention the enemy was checked by the artillery of the Americans. The Monadnock's shells, also, added to the extent of fires still burning in Tondo, Santa Cruz, San Nicolas, and other environs. Early in the afternoon the Filipinos, becoming convinced of the futility of their present efforts, abandoned their designs on Manila and retired.

Numerous arrests had been made in the Tondo district, and two carloads of arms, with accoutrements, captured, together with sixty of the enemy, guarding them. Early on the afternoon of the 23d, one battalion of the 23d Inf., under Maj. Goodale, three companies of Minnesotas, three of the Oregons, and a battalion of the 4th Cav. were ordered to this position. Proceeding along the road they were fired on from house-tops, making their advance slow. At Tondo Bridge they encountered about 250 of Aguinaldo's army, who, during the night, had built fine trenches across the road and taken possession of the bridge, cutting the line of communication with MacArthur's front wing. Here occurred one of the fiercest engagements of the campaign, the insurrectos making a stubborn resistance, but being overcome by superior strength. In this battle Capt. N. C. Robinson, of the Minnesotas, a non-commissioned officer, and six privates were wounded. The Filipino loss was twenty killed and many wounded, to whom the

American surgeons gave their services as kindly as to their own people. Hundreds of refugees afterwards came into the American lines—soldiers, who had thrown away their uniforms, weeping women, bearing their children in their arms, and sullen, hopeless men.

On MacArthur's right the Filipino army had pressed the American lines closely, looking for a point of the least resistance, but Col. Frost of the South Dakotas, by a

flank movement drove them back, with a loss of Lieut. Eugene S. French, 1st Montana Volunteers, and one private of the South Dakotas, killed, and two other Dakotas wounded.

Threats to burn the walled city on the night of the 23d were current, and fearing the attempt, the wives of army officers and other Americans were taken on board the transport St. Paul to remain until order should be restored. To the gloom of the situation was added the shadow of heavy clouds of smoke hanging over the city and its environs. This element of discomfort had indeed driven many of the natives to the beach, where they were exposed to artillery firing, and where many were killed. Extraordinary precautions were taken by Gen. Otis to prevent a recurrence of incendiarism, one of which was the establishment of a curfew regulation, by which all persons without orders or passes were confined to their houses after seven o'clock in the evening. This seriously interfered with the comfort and convenience of all classes of people, but was recognized as necessary to their safety.


THE INSURRECTOS ASK A CONFERENCE. Following the re-establishment of comparative quiet in and about the city, there was but little fighting. On February 27th, under a flag of truce, the insurrectos asked for a conference, and prominent Filipinos attempted to open negotiations with Gen. Otis, but were met with a demand for unconditional surrender. During the week following February 27th, there was no general attack from either side of the contending armies. But on the 2d of March an unsuccessful attempt



WAS AFTERWARDS BURNED BY THE NEBRASKANS. was made to dislodge the American outposts in front of San Pedro Macati, resulting in a severe loss to the Filipinos. On the 4th of March, the U. S. gunboat Bennington was fired upon by the insurrectos, and replied by shelling the suburbs of Malabon. The arrival about this time, of several transports with troops materially strengthening our position, may have given the Department Commander a greater confidence in the army, a crushing blow to the rebellion being promised about this date.

RENEWED ATTACKS ON THE WATER-WORKS. On the night of March 5th, the Filipinos attacked Gen. Hale's front, but were driven off after a short encounter. This action centered about Mariquina. No sooner was the fight well under way than the Filipinos, knowing that Hale's force had been weakened by sending troops to Mariquina, attacked the water-works in the rear. They thus attempted to recapture the pumping station, but without success. This continued attempt on the part of the enemy to recapture the water-works caused Gen. Hale, on March 7th, to move forward for the dislodgment of the Filipinos on his front. Throwing forward detachments from the 20th Inf., 1st Nebraska and 1st Wyoming, supported by a gunboat under the command of Capt. Grant, the enemy was attacked on three sides and rapidly driven back, leaving the country free between the reservoir and pumping station.

The brigade of Gen. King, which had been placed temporarily under the command of Gen. Wheaton, during the interval between February 27th and March 13th, had been much annoyed by this desultory fighting. So also were the troops in front of Caloocan. On the recovery of Gen. King from his illness, he was returned to his command and Ger.. Wheaton was assigned to the command of a

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


TAKING SUPPLIES TO THE FRONT 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


VIEW OF CALOOCAN, SHOWING BURNED DISTRICT. 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

« PreviousContinue »