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OPERATIONS OF WHEATON'S BRIGADE TO CALUMPIT.*
Pursuant to orders of Major-General MacArthur, Gen. Wheaton moved his brigade, now consisting of a battalion of 3d U. S. Cav., one of Montana Volunteer Inf. and one 20th Kansas Volunteer Inf., out of Malolos, on the morning of April 24th, with instructions to attack the enemy on the north bank of the Bagbag River, but the brigade of Gen. Hale, with which it was desired he should co-operate, not having advanced from the direction of Quinga on Calumpit sufficiently to attack at that point that day, Gen. Wheaton was directed by Major-General MacArthur to hold his brigade in the vicinity of the railroad at Barasoain until Hale had fought his way to the vicinity of a ford across the Quinga, not far from the Calumpit River. About 8:30 A. M., on the morning of April 25th, by direction of the Division Commander, Gen. Wheaton marched his brigade on the enemy's position, moving the 20th Kansas Volunteer Inf. on the left of the railroad and the 1st Montana Volunteer Inf. on the right. The battalion of the 3d U. S. Art., Maj. Kobbe, was left at Malolos and Barasoain to guard the line of road. The armored train was directed to follow up the track, after the brigade was well on
the march. His movements being well screened from the enemy by extensive lines of bamboo jungle, the General moved both regiments of infantry into a wellprotected position, about 1200 yards from the enemy's entrenchments along the Bagbag. The armored train, having reached at this time a point on the road near the infantry, it was ordered that fire be opened from the rifled six-pounder and the three machine guns on the train, and at this minute Hale's Artillery, in front and on the right, across the Quinga, opened fire, and the guns of the Utah Battery on the right commenced firing. Soon after the armored train was moved to the front and several companies of infantry, from both regiments, were advanced to seize all places near the river, from which an effective fire might be directed upon the enemy's entrenchments. The converging fire of the two brigades of the division and the artillery now began to shake the enemy.
Col. Funston, 20th Kansas Volunteer Inf., with Lieut. C. M. Warner, 1st Sergt. Raymond Enslow and Sergt. C. P. Barshfield, Company K 20th Kansas, endeavored to rush across the railroad bridge. A span of the bridge being
* Written by an officer of the brigade.
broken, Col. Funston, Lieut. Ball and the two sergeants named, swam the river and drove the enemy out of the entrenchments near the bridge. At the same time Hale's Infantry on the right, forded the Calumpit to the front and right, turned the enemy out of his entrenchments along the Calumpit and pursued him to the vicinity of the Rio Grande, near the town of Calumpit, which the enemy burned. The two regiments of Gen. Wheaton's Brigade bivouacked near the Bagbag. April 26th, the enemy was in force on the north bank of the Rio Grande de la Pampanga, a broad and deep river. He was protected by a most elaborate system of field fortifications and had near the railroad bridge three pieces of artillery, and one rapid fire Maxim. The important stragetic position of Calumpit would be untenable until he was driven off. Gen. Wheaton was directed to do this, his force to be the 20th Kansas, and 1st Montana Volunteer Inf., five guns Utah Light Artillery, and three machine guns. It was effected in thirty-six hours as follows: The infantry was advanced in deployed lines in the extended order from the Bagbag, to an entrenched position about 600 yards from the Rio Grande, which position had been abandoned by the enemy, placing the 20th Kansas on the left of the railroad, and the 1st Montana on the right. The main body now being well screened from the enemy's fire, detachments and several parties of skirmishers were advanced, and seized all sheltered places near the river, and within long rifle range of the railroad bridge. Two brick and stone buildings near the river were seized and loopholed for musketry. The machine guns and a part of the artillery were placed in position for fire upon the enemy's entrenchments. The river was reconnoitered below the railroad bridge for the purpose of ascertaining any place feasible to cross. A constant and continued fire of sharpshooters was kept up, and a slow, but continued fire from the 3.2-inch guns, during the 26th. On the night of the 26th, the railroad bridge was found to be in such condition that to rush it with men carrying arms would be impracticable. A reconnaissance at night by Col. Funston, made it apparent that the enemy was entrenched in force at all points for a considerable distance down the river. The morning of the 27th of April, a 3.2-inch gun was brought up to the brick house near the bridge and opened fire at short range upon the enemy's works.
Upon consultation with Col. Funston a point about 900 yards below the railroad bridge was selected as the place that he would endeavor to cross part of his regiment. The enemy's entrenchments opposite this point were well screened by bamboo thickets, but a welldirected fire from the brick house near the bridge from the 3.2-inch gun and by the companies of infantry was kept up.
Col. Funston also advanced to the river bank strong parties that kept up a fire of great volume. The effect of the heavy and continued fire was to drive a part of the enemy's force from his works and Privates Edward White and W. B. Trembly of Company B, 20th Kansas swam the river with a rope and fastened it to a stake on the enemy's entrenchments while yet occupied. Rafts were pulled over by means of this rope, Col. Funston going over on the first raft. The artillery had during this time kept up a heavy fire from positions selected by Maj. Richard W. Young, Utah Light Artillery. Under direction of Lieutenant-Colonel Wallace, 1st Montana, a heavy and continuous fire was directed on the enemy near the railroad bridge, the machine guns also being directed upon the same place. When Col. Funston had crossed forty-five officers and men he attacked the enemy, turning him out of his works near the bridge. Gen. Wheaton with his staff then crossed the bridge
followed by the 20th Kansas and 1st Montana as fast as they could pass over such frame work as the enemy had not destroyed. Upon reaching the north bank of the river two bodies of the enemy, each about 1500 strong were observed, one about one and a half miles to our left which had evidently been guarding the river below. They formed in deployed line in extended order and advanced, but after being subjected to fire about twenty minutes they fell back in disorder and retreated out of range. The other body was in front and along the railroad. The 20th Kansas and 1st Montana were deployed on the left and right side of the railroad embankment and drove them beyond Apalit Station in the direction of St. Tomas. The whole force of the enemy disappearing in that direction, the nature of the
country being such that they were compelled to march along the embankment, Gen. Wheaton estimated as 4000. The night of the 27th of April the brigade bivouacked in the town north of the railroad bridge. The next morning two commissioned officers came from the rebels under a flag of truce and asked for an armistice saying, “They wished to acknowledge the valor of the American soldier,” They were sent to the Division Commander.
Gen. Wheaton invites attention to the gallant conduct of Col. Frederick Funston—now Brigadier-General U. S. V.,-during these operations. Also to the very efficient services and meritorious conduct of Lieutenant-Colonel Robert B. Wallace, Commanding 1st Montana Volunteer Inf., and Maj. Richard W. Young, Utah Light Artillery, for the courage and skill with which he directed the operations
OUTLOOK IN THE TREE TOP.
of his guns. The extraordinary and most gallant conduct of Private Edward White, Company B, 20th Kansas and that of Private W. B. Trembly same company and regiment in swimming the Rio Grande in face of the enemy's fire and fastening a rope to a stake in his occupied works is worthy of high commendation and reward. The conduct of Lieut. C.H. Ball and of Sergts. Emerson and Barshfield and Corp. A. M. Ferguson of Company E, 20th Kansas Volunteer Inf. in swimming the Bagbag with Col. Funston under the fire of the enemy is worthy of reward and great praise. Gen. Wheaton also states that he is indebted for efficient assistance to Maj. G. F. Shiels, Brigade Surgeon of Volunteers; to Capt. H. C. Cabell, 3d U. S. Inf.; to 1st Lieut. F. D. Webster, 20th Inf., Aide-de-camp; to Lieut. A. P. Hayne, Battery A, California Heavy Artillery. Lieut. Philip P. Russell, 1st Nebraska Volunteer Inf., A. A. G. rendered gallant and effective service during these operations.
HALE'S BRIGADE FROM CALUMPIT TO SAN FERNANDO. Beyond Calumpit the Dagupan Railway runs northwesterly ten miles to San Fernando, past the towns of Apalit and Santo Tomas. The 2d Brigade marched on the right on the railroad. It moved for two miles north, along the Rio Grande de la Pampanga, and by wagon road ten miles more, in a northwesterly direction, parallel to the railroad and a mile or two from it. From the river to San Fernando the country is flat and cut by esteros, mud-bottoms, swamps and bayous. It is a country which only an adventurous huntsman would venture over in search of the wild fowl that inhabit its dark fens—a land of moors and tarns, difficult to cross in most peaceful times—a horrible place for an army with artillery, baggage and accoutrements, and with an entrenched enemy to dispute its passage through every river and swamp. Into this country of desolate moors and dangerous bogs the American army plunged.
Hale's Brigade advanced in a northwesterly direction along the wagon road toward Santo Tomas and San Fernando, co-operating with the 1st Brigade which was to move up the railroad. The Divisional Artillery (Utah and 6th U. S., under Maj. Young), squadron of 4th Cav. and the wagon train, went with the 2d Brigade. The 3d Battalion of the 51st Iowas was left at the Rio Grande Bridge to guard the stores and bridge. On May 4th the column formed in the following manner: 2d Battalion of the 51st Iowas advance guard; two field guns Gatling gun behind the advance party, for prompt action if resistance was encountered; 1st Battalion of 51st Iowas; remainder of artillery; 1st Nebraska Inf.; 1st South Dakota Inf, and wagon train escorted by squadron of 4th Cav.
At five o'clock the advance began. After marching a couple of hours, they
reached some recently constructed, but unoccupied trenches across the road. Receiving a report from Maj. Bell, who as usual, was scouting to the front, that there was a party of natives or insurgents half a mile ahead in the road, Gen. Hale deployed the advance battalion, placed the guns near the road out of sight, and went forward with Maj. Bell to reconnoiter. The suspected party consisted of some uniformed insurrectos, and some natives in white, who were swarming in the road, busy as ants in constructing obstacles to the advance of the Americans. A shell or two from a field gun put to Aight the trench builders, and also brought a fusilade from a party of Filipinos to the right, sheltered in the woods. Another field piece and a Gatling gun were brought into operation, and the concealed foe was silenced. The infantry devoted its attention to the road party which retreated northward. The road which had just been the scene of so much industry was discovered to be honeycombed with conical pits, in the bottom of which sharpened bamboo stakes had been stuck, and the whole covered with light bamboo mats on which earth was being spread to make the place appear safe. As the pits were in front of a stone bridge, which had swampy ground on either side, it took some time to build a road strong enough to support the artillery around the pits. While
this was being done, the artillery again opened fire on the insurrectos, who had halted and seemed disposed to make a stand, but who finally moved on. When the column had passed the pitfalls, and come to where the enemy's fire had been so annoying, they found a deep estero with a destroyed foot bridge.
Just before reaching this place, a battalion of the Iowas which had swung out to the left of the road, came upon a swamp and were obliged to return. At the estero a strong fire from the enemy was encountered at 800 to 1000 yards to the front and right. Hale replied with all the artillery he could advantageously place on the road, and sent the Iowa Battalion to the right, along the bank of the estero, and the Nebraskas still further to the right, with a view to their crossing the stream and flanking the enemy. The Nebraskas, however, were greatly impeded by the deep swamps they encountered. A heavy artillery and infantry fire for half or three-quarters of an hour producing no apparent discouragement on the part of the Filipinos, it became evident that only a charge would drive them from their stronghold among the swamps. Gen. Hale found that the estero could barely be forded by his troops, being neck-deep in places, with a foot or two of