Page images

communications, reporting directly to the Corps Commander. On April 2d, Gen. Wheaton was assigned to the temporary command of the 1st Brigade, relieving Gen. H. G. Otis, resigned, Gen. Wheaton retaining command of the troops on the railroad.

OPERATIONS OF HALE'S BRIGADE. With the 2d Brigade, as stated, were two Nordenfeldt guns and a detachment of the Utah Light Battery, under Lieut. Naylor, accompanied by Lieut. Perry, of the brigade staff. These advanced on March 25th up the Masambong sunken road, under cover of the infantry fire. Very soon the Filipinos, who were well entrenched, opened on the infantry and artillery. The Americans advanced almost on a run, and in less than an hour drove the insurgents from their trenches. The Nebraskas, along the San Juan River, at San Francisco del Monte, rushed into a hand-to-hand fight. The South Dakotas and Pennsylvanias gallantly forced the barricades on the Masambong Road. Naylor's guns did effective work, keeping abreast of the infantry firing line throughout the advance.


CALIFORNIA TRENCHES NEAR CONVENT OF GUADALUPE. As the writer crossed the field that morning, half an hour after the troops, he found that the Americans had thrown away their rations and blanket rolls, and that ambulance wagons were gathering up what could be found of the soldiers' belongings; also, however, they were bringing in the wounded of both forces, and, while the Americans exhibited more tenderness towards their own wounded, yet they did not neglect those of the enemy. A dozen Filipino prisoners had been captured, and these were given stretchers and made to carry their injured companions to the ambulances. Neither were correspondents overlooked. The Hospital Corps gave to us “first aid” bandages, and asked us to do what we could for the wounded rebels, who were scattered through the woods and in the ricefields. Behind the breastworks were appalling sights. Here an old man lay weltering in his blood; there a boy, his strong limbs shattered by Springfield bullets, and yonder in the rice-fields were rebel soldiers in all attitudes of pain—the lifeblood bedewing the land they died to free. Some cried for water, and some for cigarettes, and some for death. The fields were brown and unsown, but the next year, how this red rain would nourish a harvest !

In the woods was an old man from Tarlac, who cried for water and a priest. His leg was shattered by a Springfield bullet, and he said he felt the chill of death. Through an interpreter we listened to his confession. He told us he had a wife and five children at Tarlac, and his last words were, “Forgive me for fighting the Americans, I did not know the kind of people they were." Meanwhile the brigade kept advancing along the Novaliches Road. After a fierce struggle the insurrectos gave up the villages of Cabataon and Talinapa. The

REFUGEES COMING DOWN THE RIO GRANDE. day was extremely hot, and many men fell out of the march, overcome by the sun. About noon, the advance was ordered in a northwesterly direction along the Tuliahan River. At a ford of this river, where there was an uncompleted bridge, a small body of the 4th Cav, attached to the division, ran into a strong position of the enemy. In a few minutes twelve of the cavalrymen had fallen. Gen. MacArthur immediately sent the Utah Battery to their aid. The rebels were driven out after a short fight, and the brigade bivouacked for the night along the river, the Nebraskas, South Dakotas and Pennsylvanias guarding the ridges. The insurgents came in force towards the rear of our army that night, but were held in check by Maj. Allison's Battalion of the South Dakotas, sent back as rear outpost. At the Tuliahan Bridge in one rail which had been used in an entrenchment, were found ninety-six bullet marks.

On the 26th of March, Gen. Hale marched northwesterly across the country towards Polo, a town on the Dagupan railroad, supposed to contain a strong force of rebels. Near the railroad he effected a junction with the 1st Brigade, and soon after Gen. MacArthur directed him to deploy north of the 1st Brigade and take such action against the town of Polo as circumstances might render advisable. While he was deploying the Pennsylvanias, facing west towards Polo, the Filipinos opened a brisk fire on that regiment from the north, and the South Dakotas were directed to form on the Pennsylvanias' right in a semi-circle around the crest of a hill facing north and east, while the Nebraskas, as a general reserve, were placed in the rear.

By three o'clock in the afternoon, Hale was ready to begin operations on Polo, or rather, on Meycauayan, as it turned out, the enemy having retreated to the strong entrenchments south of the latter town. The insurrectos kept continually harassing the brigade from the right flank, and Maj. Howard's Battalion of the South Dakotas was sent into the woods in that direction to drive them off. The main attack began by the discharge of the Utah Battery guns, followed by the Nebraska Hotchkiss gun, which did effective work on the eastern entrenchments. The Filipinos fought valiantly, and covered their retreat with considerable skill. At four o'clock the Pennsylvanias and South Dakotas advanced on the entrenchments, the Nebraskas following as a reserve. Gen. Hale cleverly placed his men so that the South Dakotas' right flanked the insurgents' left, demoralizing the enemy and driving him back all along the line. While Gen. Hale was thus engaged, riding along the firing line, he came upon the South Dakotas while they were under a hot fire from the rebels, entrenched in woods and villages across the Meycauayan railroad bridge. In endeavoring to ascertain the position of the enemy he was exposed to a brisk fusilade and received a painful, though not serious wound on the knee.


Seeing that it was necessary at once to flank the enemy's trenches across the river, he sent Capt. Krayenbuhl to bring up Lieutentant-Colonel Stover's Battalion for this work. Capt. Krayenbuhl had just brought up the battalion, under heavy fire, when he was fatally wounded. Col. Stotsenberg came up with part of his Nebraska troops and reported that it would be necessary to flank the entrenchments from the railroad bridge, and was told that the South Dakotas' left had just swung around to this, and to co-operate with them in this work which he did gallantly and effectively.

Gen. Hale, his knee having been bandaged, conducted the companies on the right up the railroad, and personally directed the fire from the embankment against the trenches across the river. After capturing the railroad embankment, the river bank and the bridge, the South Dakota and Nebraska men drove the enemy from their earthworks and killed many of them as they ran across the plain. Ninetysix Filipino dead were counted in the vicinity.

The Nebraska troops were then directed to take possession of the Meycauayan railroad station, about 1000 yards north of the bridge, and extend their line 500 yards eastward into the plain. The South Dakotas were deployed across the plain on the Nebraskas' right, with their own right thrown back on the river. After locating the troops, Gen. Hale returned across the river, reconnoitered the town of Meycauayan and esteros to the west, and placed the Pennsylvanias on the Nebraskas' left, extending westward through Meycauayan. This arrangement put the brigade in a crescent, with its right flank on the river and its left flank on an estero.


THE SUPPLY TRAIN FOLLOWING UP TROOPS ON THE ADVANCE ON MALOLOS. This crescent formation prevents flanking by the enemy, and enables a skilled commander cleverly to change his formation to meet all exigencies.

During the forenoon of the 27th of March, the 2d Brigade advanced toward the Marilao River, the South Dakotas acting as advance guard, the Nebraskas and Pennsylvanias as the main body. At noon the insurrectos opened fire upon the

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors]


1. BRIGADIER-GENERAL IRVING HALE (Colorado Regiment), appointed August 13, 1898. 2. BRIGADIERGENERAL FREDERICK FUNSTON (Kansas Regiment), appointed May 4, 1899. 3. BRIGADIER-GENERAL OWEN SUMMERS (Oregon Regiment), appointed (Brevet) May 24, 1899. 4. BRIGADIER-GENERAL JAMES F. SMITH (California Regiment), appointed April 23, 1899. 5. BRIGADIER-GENERAL HARRY C. KESSLER (Montana Regiment). appointed (Brevet) October 1, 1899. 6. BRIGADIER-GENERAL C. McC. REEVE (Minnesota Regiment), appointed August 13, 1898. 7. COLONEL JOHN H. WHOLLEY (Washington Regiment) recommended for Brevet.

« PreviousContinue »