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It was then decided to abandon Guadalupe church, and retire to San Pedro Macati, and again the Laguna de Bay advanced to cover the retreat. All night long a desultory fire was kept up on the boat and between the outposts. At daylight on the 19th, the church was fired by the infantry, which at once retired to San Pedro Macati. The church and hill, upon which it was situated, were immediately occupied by the natives, whose sharpshooters began firing on the boat and outposts. At ten o'clock Maj. Grant decided to test the boat by running up between the native lines and see what the effect would be. As the beat advanced she received a hail of bullets from the native rifles, but the steel plates warded them off. For half an hour every gun on the boat was turned loose, and shells and bullets whistled into the insurgent position. At the end of the fire not a shot came from the natives, who were completely silenced. The boat again returned to a position below San Pedro Macati. The skirmish at Guadalupe had the effect of quieting the natives, and when they afterward became troublesome, the boat would be sent for. Five times similar engagements were had at Guadalupe, but so effective was the armor that but one man was killed, he being Private John Toiza, of Battery G, 3d Art., who was killed by a rifle ball on March 4th.
After the arrival of more troops it was again decided to clear the Pasig River. On the morning of March 14th, Gen. Wheaton's Brigade advanced to the attack. The Laguna de Bay drove the natives from
“WAR IS HELL." the hill and it was occupied by the infantry without interference. A short distance above Guadalupe, sunken cascos in the river prevented the gunboat from cutting off the natives, who escaped across the river. After a brief delay, a channel was found in the river through the obstructions, and the boat again advanced to the attack. The natives were in their trenches across the river from Gen. Wheaton's Brigade, but when the boat arrived, they broke and fled toward the city. A heavy fire was kept up, and on arrival at Pasig, in the open fields beyond the town were seen thousands of natives, soldiers and non-combatants. These were hurrying for shelter in the woods beyond and were not fired on. Two launches left Pasig as the gunboat neared the town. They were fired upon repeatedly, but succeeded in making their escape out into the lake.
The next day the Oeste, a tug protected with steel plates and armed with a small cannon and two Gatling guns, joined the Laguna de Bay. She was commanded by Lieut. W. C. Webb, of the Utah Art., and manned by men from the larger boat.
Photo by Jackson.
IN SUPPORT OF EXPEDITIONS. The next move was to fit out an expedition to capture the towns on the lake. A company of the 23d Inf. was sent with the boats to accomplish this. The towns of Morong and Jalajala were taken. No resistance was met, but at the former a quantity of stores were burned. The next morning Santa Cruz was visited. The locality was reconnoitered, but it was decided that there was not sufficient force at hand to land. The steam tugs belonging to the insurgents were located in the Lambang River.
When the advance on Malabon was contemplated, the Laguna de Bay was ordered to that point to operate in the shallow bays and inlets which are everywhere along the coast, and which kept the ships of Admiral Dewey's fleet away from shore. The towns along the coast were shelled by this gunboat. On the 25th of March, the Napidan joined Maj. Grant. She was commanded by Lieut. Franklin of the 23d Inf., and manned by men from the same regiment. She carried two six-pound rifles, and two Gatling guns. The two boats operated along the shore in the advance on Malolos. The next move of the gunboats was in a campaign against Santa Cruz, and a direct move to cripple and destroy the power of the Filipinos on the lake. Major-General Lawton took great interest in Maj. Grant's report concerning Santa Cruz, and he decided on a move against that place. Before daylight on April 9th, there were assembled on the lake, besides the three gunboats, a number of tugs and cascos, on which were 1500 men of the 14th Inf., the 4th Cav., dismounted, and the North Dakota Inf. Major-General Lawton and Brigadier-General King were at the head of the expedition. The feet started directly for Santa Cruz, under the convoy of the gunboats.
On nearing the city, a plan of campaign was adopted. The troops landed at a point about five miles from the city, under the guns of the Napidan, while the Laguna de Bay and the Oeste, with three troops of cavalry, anchored directly in front of the city. The land forces met little opposition, and succeeded in surrounding the city. The next morning the bombardment was commenced, and early in the forenoon the city was in the hands of the Americans. The Filipino loss was heavy, and many prisoners were taken. The loss of the land forces was light.
The troops scoured the surrounding country, while the gunboats directed their attention to the six captured tugs in the river. The natives had disabled the engines, but enough were repaired to tow the remainder to the city. On April 17th, the whole expedition returned to Manila, after a successful campaign.
Maj. Grant next made an attempt to ascend the Malolos River, to co-operate with the land forces in the advance on Calumpit, but it was found to be impossible on account of low water. The boats are now doing duty guarding the lake and upper waters of the Pasig River.
On May 7th, the Laguna de Bay and Covadonga, ascended the Pasig River to Guagua, to establish water communication with Major-General MacArthur's Division. No opposition was encountered until the boat arrived at Sexmoan, where a force of natives were found strongly entrenched. After a brisk skirmish for a few minutes, the natives retired, firing the town. Guagua, a mile further up the river, was also evacuated and set on fire. With this move the advance line north of Manila, was put into communication with the city by an open water-way, as well as by the railroad.
Gen. MacArthur failing to meet Maj. Grant at Guagua as arranged, the boats waited at the town from 1 until 5 P. M., and as they could not hold the town without assistance it was left for the time.
On May 10, 1899, the Laguna de Bay and Covadonga entered the Rio Grande Pampanga River and made their way up to Calumpit, where they were in a position to assist the land forces and carry supplies up to Gen. Lawton's command at Candaba. On May 17th, the boats led the advance of Maj. Kobbe's troops, driving the insurgents before them and capturing San Luis. On the following day the town of Candaba was surrendered to Grant, Maj. Kobbe's command arriving about three hours later.
CAPTURES BY THE FLOTILLA. The Laguna de Bay, Napidan, Oeste, Covadonga and Oceania captured over two hundred thousand dollars worth of coal, cascos and steamboats from the insurgents. In all eight steamers were captured, and at Guagua the enemy burned one gunboat and sunk another large steamer.
Gen. Lawton, who operated with the boats more than any other commander, was very loud in his praise of the work done by them. The foregoing is a correct statement.
F. H. GRANT,
LATER EVENTS IN THE ISLANDS. The events occurring between the closing of the spring campaign and the opening of that which has just begun, have had no bearing on the fortunes of the war, and are of interest only to those who were engaged in them. So far as the volunteer troops were concerned in them, their history will be found in the regimental histories in the “special editions” of this book. There has been a series of detached operations whenever the insurgents happened to be most troublesome. Aguinaldo's forces have remained in front of our lines everywhere. As our army has been depleted by the return of the volunteer regiments and by sickness, the insurgents have pressed more heavily against them, only to be punished and driven back once more. Aguinaldo's capital has been pushed back along the railroad, having been variously reported, at different times, as at San Isidro, on the Rio Grande, Tarlac, on the railroad, and Porac. In the south the late fighting has been in the province of Cavite between Cavite and Manila, where our troops first landed. The absence of official reports, which are not available for the later operations, renders it impossible to give a very clear account of what has happened. We seem to have defeated all the bodies of insurgents with which our forces have come in contact, and taken all the towns which we have attacked. Whether or not we have retained or abandoned them is usually not clear. Aguinaldo is evidently without resources to maintain a large army in one place, and his troops are broken up into small bands which hover about and harass our outposts. There is little or no vestige of civil government in any part of the island of Luzon with which we have become acquainted. In the Visayan group, where our force is small, there have of late been a good many outbreaks, doubtless incited by agents of Aguinaldo.
CHARACTER OF THE CAMPAIGN NOW OPENING. The detailed history of our operations in the Philippines necessarily closes with the end of the spring campaign, and the beginning of the rainy season. The new campaign with increased forces is beginning as this volume goes to press. The reader of these pages will be able, in connection with the maps herein contained, to follow the telegraphic accounts of the movements of our army far more intelligently than has hitherto been possible to the American public. With the increased force now at command, and the certainty that they can be retained until their mission is accomplished, the American commander will be able to proceed far more effectively than has hitherto been possible. The geography of the country has become known, the disposition of the inhabitants, and the resources of the insurgents. It is announced that it will be the policy of the gove ernment to close all ports on the island of Luzon except those controlled by our forces. This will cut off a large revenue which Aguinaldo has enjoyed from customs, and put a stop to the importations of arms and ammunition, except such as escaping the vigilance of our navy, may be landed in out-of-the-way places. The first military operation will be to occupy the great fertile valley which runs northward from the province of Cavite, through Manila, and which is traversed by the Manila and Dagupan Railroad, which has been continually fought over for the past year. It is announced that this valley will now be occupied for the entire length of the railroad by a force sufficient to permanently hold and police it. When this is done, and the ports closed, the power of Aguinaldo will be broken. He can no longer maintain armies, and must either submit or resort to a guerrilla warfare in the mountains, which, if he is not captured, he can doubtless continue for some time. But with the permanent occupation of the great valley, the natives assured of protection, will certainly return and resume their occupations. They will have no other alternative. They cannot live otherwise. They will certainly enjoy a better government than they have ever before lived under, and the island will probably gradually become pacified.
THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
T HE story of the campaign in the Philippines cannot be intelli
gently followed without some knowledge of the islands and their people. It is also evident that, for other reasons, all that pertains to the country and its inhabitants is at this time of deep concern to the people of the United States; while no argument will be made upon questions of public policy, the facts set forth herein may be of benefit to those seeking a judicious solution of the vexed questions arising from our occupation; and while the moral and intellectual worth of the
islanders is of grave consideration to those seeking their betterment, the material conditions and possibilities of the country will be important factors in shaping our policy with regard to it.
All that will be attempted, however, is a brief statement of the essential facts, leaving the reader to pursue such further research into non-essentials he may desire. While the descriptive matter is necessarily brief, it will be found well supplemented by the various maps, charts and illustrations.
The Philippine Islands (so called in honor of Philip II of Spain) extend over an area of about one thousand miles north and south, and six hundred miles east and west. The number of islands is variously estimated at from four hundred to two thousand. Of these many are unknown even by name, and of those enumerated many are wholly or in great part unexplored. All of the present maps and charts of the islands are very defective, even those which relate to the harbors, the bays, and the coast line. The value of each island to the group, or of that of the group to the world, can at best be but imperfectly understood until their interiors are better explored, and the numerous bays, harbors and channels properly surveyed. The maps and charts give substantially the location of the archipelago, or group, in reference to the seas and the continents. These should be considered in connection with a study of established steamship lines to or near the islands.
Some twenty islands are named as being considered the chief in size and importance, the principal of which is Luzon, upon which Manila is situated. TŁeir particular specification will not add to the value of this summary. Their estimated area is 114,356 square miles. Luzon has 41,000 square miles, Mindanao has 37,500 square miles, and five of the others have over 10,000 square miles each. Luzon has been compared to the State of Virginia in size, and that of the group to Arizona.
PHYSICAL ASPECTS. The physical aspect of these islands is of interest. Throughout the group there is a mountain system with a trend north and south, with occasional deflec. tions. From sources in these mountain ranges spring a great multitude of rivers and rivulets, which make their outlet into the sea. In these, cascades, cataracts