Thursday, January 17, 2019

May 22-23, 1899: Filipinos negotiate with the Schurman Commission

With the Philippine army unable to contain the American offensive, President Emilio Aguinaldo created a peace commission to negotiate an armistice. He appointed 23-year-old General Gregorio del Pilar to head the Filipino panel, with Captain Lorenzo Zialcita, Alberto Barretto and Gracio Gonzaga as members.

May 22-23, 1899: The Filipinos conferred with the U.S. First Philippine Commission, also known as the Schurman Commission, at the house occupied by the Americans at Malate district, Manila.

The Philippine government was represented by, left to right: Captain Lorenzo Zialcita, Alberto Barretto, General Gregorio del Pilar, and Gracio Gonzaga. [Captain Zialcita, who had taken a business course in Hong Kong, spoke English; General Del Pilar was killed in action at Tirad Pass, Concepcion, Ilocos Sur Province on Dec. 2, 1899].

The members of the Schurman Commission, left to right: Jacob Schurman (Chairman), Charles Denby, Dean C. Worcester, and John MacArthur (Secretary).

The armistice sought by the Filipinos was rejected. The American panel insisted on the recognition of United States sovereignty which the Filipinos understood to mean the unconditional surrender of the Filipino army.

Ten days later, on June 2, Pedro Paterno, the head of Aguinaldo's cabinet, issued a manifesto recognizing the futility of the peace efforts with the Americans and exhorted all Filipinos to continue the struggle: "To war, then, beloved brothers, to war."

House occupied by the US First Philippine Commission (aka Schurman Commission) at Malate district, Manila. Photo was taken in 1900.

Living room of the house occupied by the US First Philippine Commission
Nov. 12, 1899: Aguinaldo shifts to Guerilla Warfare

By the closing months of 1899, the army of the Philippine Republic was no longer a regular fighting force.

Issue of Nov. 14, 1899

President Emilio Aguinaldo himself was under siege in Pangasinan Province from three pursuing American generals, from the north by Brig. Gen. Loyd Wheaton, from the south by Brig. Gen. Arthur MacArthur, Jr., and from the east by Maj. Gen. Henry Lawton.

On Nov. 12, 1899, at a meeting of the council of war in Bayambang, the army was dissolved by Aguinaldo. It was formed into guerrilla units that would carry on the war unconventionally, relying on ambush, concealment, and the avoidance of set-piece battles.

The Wichita Daily Eagle, Wichita, Kansas, issue dated Nov. 11, 1899, quotes the La Independencia, official newspaper of the Philippine Republic

The Filipinos also hoped that William Jennings Bryan, Democratic party candidate who opposed the annexation of the Philippines, would topple Mckinley in the 1900 US presidential election. Otherwise, they would prolong the war until the Americans tired out.

Aguinaldo, in a proclamation circulated among his troops, said:

"In America there is a great party that insists on the Government recognizing Filipino Independence. That party will compel the United States to fulfil the promises made to us in all solemnity and good faith, though not put into writing. Therefore, we must show our gratitude and maintain our position more resolutely than ever.

"We should pray to God that the great Democratic party may win the next Presidential election and imperialism fall in its mad attempt to subjugate us by force of arms."

He also denounced "the imperialists" in the United States, and declared that "we do not want war against the United States; we only defend our independence against the imperialists; the sons of that mighty nation are our friends and brothers."

13th Minnesota Volunteers in action against Filipinos

Americans dash for cover. Photo taken in 1899. Location not specified.

American scouting party under fire. Photo taken in 1899. Location not specified. When Americans fell into an ambush, nearby barrios were ordered burned. If an American was assassinated in one of the towns, that town was burned.

Photo taken in 1899. Location not specified

Americans engaging Filipinos in a bamboo thicket. Photo taken in 1899. Location not specified

American troops at rest before a battle. PHOTO was taken in 1899.

Men of Company D, 30th US Volunteer Infantry Regiment, take hasty positions just outside Manila at Pasay, 1899.

US troops moving in the bamboo, 1899.

Americans in bamboo fighting. Photo taken in 1899. Location not specified

Americans in bamboo fighting. Photo taken in 1899. Location not specified

On Dec. 20, 1900, Brig. Gen. Arthur C. MacArthur, Jr., declared in an official proclamation that since guerrilla warfare was contrary to "the customs and usages of war," those engaged in it "divest themselves of the character of soldiers, and if captured are not entitled to the privileges of prisoners of war." Less self-disciplined men found in the proclamation authorization for identifying Filipino fighters as outlaws and dealing with them accordingly.

POWs bringing in a wounded Filipino to a field hospital of the 1st Colorado Volunteers, 1899.

Official American reports claimed fifteen Filipinos killed for every one wounded; the historical norm was five wounded for every soldier killed. Maj. Gen. Elwell S. Otis explained this anomaly by the superior marksmanship of rural southerners and westerners who had hunted all their lives.

A medic attends to a wounded American soldier. PHOTO was taken in 1899, somewhere in Luzon Island.

MacArthur added a racial twist, asserting that Anglo-Saxons do not succumb to wounds as easily as do men of "inferior races."

John Roberts, a bugler in the 13th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment, said, "We have been vastly more cruel than the Spanish. I have known of orders being given which, if put in writing, would read, in effect: Let there be no wounded among the enemy."

Two Filipinos fight behind cogon grass; undated photo and location not specified Few of the Filipinos had rifles; most were armed only with boloknives. Ammunition was equally scarce, and the Filipinos were forced to manufacture their own cartridges and powder. The latter was unreliable and released thick black smoke that revealed their positions.

Richard E. Welch, Jr., a professor of history at Lafayette College, wrote that the Filipinos' use of guerrilla tactics was the result of his inferior mind and his lowly race. He said, "...the American soldier viewed his Filipino enemies with contempt because of their short stature and color. Contempt was also occasioned by the refusal of the Filipino 'to fight fair'- to stand his ground and be shot down like a man. When the Filipino adopted guerrilla tactics, it was because he was by his very nature half-savage and half-bandit. His practice of fighting with a bolo on one day and assuming the guise of a peaceful villager on the next proved his depravity."

Charles Ballantine of the Associated Press stated that the Filipinos were "unreliable, untrustworthy, ignorant, vicious, immoral and lazy . . . tricky, and, as a race more dishonest than any known race on the face of the earth."

Original caption: " U.S. troops moving into the back country in the war against Philippine insurgents"

Original caption: "Bloody Lane, where the 14th Infantry charged." Photo was taken in 1899, location not specified.

Americans with loot and prisoners; photo taken in 1899; location not specified. Captain John H. Parker argued in a November 1900 letter to President Theodore Roosevelt complaining that the U.S. Army should not “attempt to meet a half civilized foe… with the same methods devised for civilized warfare against people of our own race, country and blood.”

Father and son killed by Americans. Photo taken in 1899, location not specified. A U.S. Red Cross worker reported seeing “horribly mutilated Filipino bodies,” and said, “American soldiers are determined to kill every Filipino in sight.” A soldier from Washington wrote of bloodthirsty “sights you could hardly believe,” and concluded, “A white man seems to forget that he is human.”

U.S. military forays descended into a series of atrocities that included the massacre of prisoners, civilian and military, and entire villages. General William Shafter told a journalist it might be necessary to kill half the native population to bring “perfect justice” to the other half.

American soldiers at an outpost; photo undated and location in the Philippines not specified

American soldiers at an outpost somewhere in Luzon Island, 1899.

American soldiers at an outpost somewhere in Luzon Island, 1899.

American soldiers at an outpost. Colorized photo was taken in 1899, somewhere in Luzon Island.

Leonard F. Adams, 1st Washington Volunteers, wrote home about a campaign in Luzon: "In the path of the Washington regiment..there were 1,008 dead niggers and a great many wounded. We burned all their houses. I don't know how many men, women and children the Tennessee boys did kill. They would not take any prisoners. One company of the Tennessee boys was sent to headquarters with thirty prisoners, and got there with about a hundred chickens and no prisoners."

A group of Filipino women and children. Photo taken in 1898 or 1899.

General Robert Hughes, U.S. commander in Manila, justified the Army's atrocities against civilians: “The women and children are part of the family and where you wish to inflict punishment you can punish the man probably worse in that way than in any other.”

A Filipino and his children. Photo taken in 1898 or 1899.

The San Francisco Argonaut, an influential Republican newspaper, spoke candidly: "We do not want the Filipinos. We want the Philippines. The islands are enormously rich, but unfortunately they are infested with Filipinos. There are many millions there, and it is to be feared their extinction will be slow." The paper's solution was to recommend several unusually cruel methods of torture it believed "would impress the Malay mind" ”—“the rack, the thumbscrew, the trial by fire, the trial by molten lead, boiling insurgents alive.”

The advice was well taken. The Baltimore American had to admit the U.S. occupation “aped” Spain's cruelty and committed crimes “we went to war to banish.”

American historian Leon Wolff quoted an observer, "Even the Spaniards are appalled at American cruelty."

The U.S. Army hangs 2 Filipinos, circa 1899.

Thanksgiving Day dinner for Company D, 30th US Volunteers, a few miles south of Manila at Pasay, Nov. 24, 1899.
Trapping Aguinaldo, Oct.12 - Nov. 20, 1899

Map of the Northern Luzon campaign intended to trap President Emilio Aguinaldo.

In October 1899, the Americans launched a campaign intended to cut Emilio Aguinaldo's northward retreat and trap his remaining conventional forces. The 3-pronged attack consisted of Lawton's command (red and green lines) moving northeastward to cut off any possibility of Aguinaldo's army heading east to take refuge in the mountains; Wheaton's command (light blue line) steaming from Manila around the northwestern edge of Luzon, coming through Lingayen Gulf and landing at San Fabian, Pangasinan Province, to block roads heading north; and MacArthur's command (dark blue line) moving northwestward along the Manila-Dagupan railroad from Angeles to Dagupan, Pangasinan Province, to push Aguinaldo into the pocket created by Lawton's and Wheaton's forces.

At this time, Aguinaldo was at the southern Pangasinan town of Bayambang.

Maj. Gen. Henry W. Lawton and his aide, Capt. Edward L. King. Photo taken near the Rio Grande de Pampanga at Arayat, 1899.

On October 12 a strong column, under Maj. Gen. Henry W. Lawton, with Brig. Gen. Samuel BM Young commanding the advance, commenced the northerly movement up the Rio Grande de la Pampanga from Arayat, Pampanga Province, driving the Filipinos before it to the northward and westward.

Lawton's men negotiating a waterlogged road between Arayat and Cabiao

Lawton's men halt at a muddy road between Arayat and Cabiao

On October 18, the Americans reached Cabiao, Nueva Ecija Province.

On October 19, Lawton's column recaptured San Isidro, Nueva Ecija Province. It was rainy season in the country. The Americans had taken San Isidro in May 1899 but did not occupy the town.

General Lawton at Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija Province.

On October 27 Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija Province, was occupied and a permanent station established there. On November 1, the Nueva Ecija towns of Aliaga and Talavera were occupied. In the meantime detachments, chiefly of Young's cavalry, were operating to the west of the general line of advance, striking Filipino parties wherever they were found and driving them toward the line of the railroad.

Original caption: "The gunboats bombarding San Fabian preparatory to the landing of the troops." PHOTO was taken on Nov. 7, 1899.

On November 6, with Lawton's column well under way, Brig. Gen. Loyd Wheaton sailed from Manila with 2,500 men, and with the assistance of cruisers and gunboats under Commander Henry Knox, US Navy, landed at San Fabian on November 7, and drove the Filipinos from their entrenchments around the town, killing 2, wounding 2, capturing 35 and releasing 20 Spanish prisoners.

Original caption: "The Gatling Gun on the beach at San Fabian."

Original caption: "Bringing in wounded Filipinos." PHOTO was taken at the churchyard in San Fabian, Pangasinan Province.

[An aged Filipino picked up in a field a little child who had been wounded by one of the shells from a gunboat. He carried the child in his arms to the hospital that the Americans had established in the church at San Fabian. The Americans gave him a pass back to his farm, and on his way he was hailed by a sentry on one of the 33rd Infantry's outposts. The sentry shouted "Halt!" three times, but the old man, who probably had never heard the English language spoken, would not stop.The sentry shot him through the heart, killing him instantly.]

110 years later: The San Fabian Church in 2009. Photo by Boyette A.

Brig. Gen. Arthur C. MacArthur, Jr., and staff advancing to the north on a freight train.

On November 8, Brig. Gen. Arthur C. MacArthur, Jr., began his northward advance from Angeles through the Central Luzon plain.

On the same day, Aguinaldo ordered his men to repair the road leading to the pass near Tayug in the northeast; the pass led to remote Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya Province, in the forested Cagayan Valley, where he planned to establish a new base. His equipment and supplies preceded him in Tayug. However, the Americans got wind of Aguinaldo's order. A part of Lawton's force was directed to take Tayug.

Meanwhile, on November 10, Companies B, G, E and H, 33rd Volunteer Infantry Regiment (part of Wheaton's expedition), under Maj. Peyton C. March, attacked a party of Filipinos 600 strong under Colonel Carlos about 2 1/2 miles (4 km) from San Fabian on the Mangaldan road, and dispersed the whole force, killing 70, including Carlos. The Americans suffered 2 killed.

Nov. 11, 1899: The bridge at Bamban, Tarlac Province, destroyed by the Filipinos to prevent General MacArthur from closing the pincer on President Emilio Aguinaldo, who, at this time, was being assailed in northern and eastern Pangasinan Province by Generals Wheaton and Lawton.

General Manuel Tinio (LEFT), who was based in the far north at Vigan, Ilocos Sur Province, was sent south to San Jacinto, Pangasinan Province, to block Wheaton's advance and delay his pursuit of Emilio Aguinaldo. Tinio put up entrenchments about a mile west of the town.

On November 11, Wheaton sent eleven companies of the 33rd Volunteers under Col. Luther R. Hare, and 1 Gatling Gun under Capt. Charles R. Howland, 28th Volunteers, to disperse Tinio's blocking force.

Both sides had roughly 1,200 men. Tinio and his men were forced to withdraw.

The Americans lost 7 men killed and 15 wounded and reported 134 Filipinos killed.

The Times, Washington, D.C., issue of Nov. 15, 1899

Monument marking the spot where Maj. John H. Logan was killed at San Jacinto. This photo was sent to his mother by Maj. Gen. Leonard Wood, then Governor-General of the Philippines (1921-1927). A battalion commander, Maj. John H. Logan (RIGHT, in 1899), was among the American dead. He was a son of the late General and Senator John A. Logan of Illinois.

[A bronze and steel marker put up by the Americans to commemorate his death still stands in barangayMacayug, San Jacinto.]

The Filipinos regrouped in Pozorrubio town and set up their defenses inbarangays Dilan and Malasin.

President Emilio Aguinaldo's newspaper printing machinery seized by the Americans in Tayug, Pangasinan Province, on Nov. 11, 1899. In addition, the Americans captured 13 carts with Filipino war records, several hundred thousand pounds of rice, 3,500 pounds of flour, 7,500 pounds of salt, 1,300 uniform coats, many blankets and other articles of clothing. They also captured several Filipino army officers and liberated 69 Spanish and 2 American prisoners.  PHOTO was taken in front of the US army printing office in Manila.

Dismounted 3rd US Cavalry troopers drilling on Luzon Island

The St. Paul Globe, St. Paul, Minnesota, Nov. 15, 1899, Page 1

On November 11, Lt. Col. Henry W. Wessels of the 3rd US Cavalry (part of Lawton's forces) attacked and captured Tayug; at the latter, the Americans also found a letter written by Aguinaldo indicating that his treasury and certain valuables would be sent to nearby San Nicolas and over a mountain trail to Bayombong. US troops were pushed out to San Manuel and Binalonan and a troop dispatched to capture the treasure.

The Marietta Daily Leader, Marietta, Ohio, Nov. 19, 1899, Page 1

The following day, the Americans captured San Nicolas and seized 75,000 Mexican pesos belonging to the fugitive Philippine government.

The capture of Tayug and San Nicolas effectively blocked Aguinaldo's passage to the east and northeast.

From Bayambang, Aguinaldo decided to go north in the direction of Pozorrubio. He would attempt to slip through the 20-mile (32 km) open gap between San Fabian and Tayug.

Aguinaldo's headquarters at Tarlac

On November 12, MacArthur seized the town of Tarlac in Tarlac Province.

General MacArthur's supply train near Bamban, Tarlac Province. PHOTO taken on Nov. 13, 1899.

The San Francisco Call, datelined Manila, November 13, issue dated Nov. 14, 1899, Page 1

By November 13, Lawton's advance had turned to the westward, having captured San Jose and Lupao in Nueva Ecija Province, and the Pangasinan towns of Umingan, San Quintin, Tayug, and San Nicolas.

In the evening of the same day, Aguinaldo and his entourage left Bayambang by special train for Calasiao (10 miles, or 16 km by road from the American headquarters at San Fabian); from Calasiao, they marched and reached Pozorrubio at 6:00 p.m. on November 14. Aguinaldo, his wife Hilaria, and son Miguel stayed the night in the house of Apolinario Salcedo.

On November 15, at about 9:00 a.m., Wheaton's troops attacked Pozorrubio. While the Filipinos stalled the Americans, Aguinaldo and his entourage escaped northward for La Union Province. Brig. Gen. Samuel BM Young, who was in nearby Binalonan town, could have blocked Aguinaldo's escape from Pozorrubio, had not his Filipino guide deliberately misdirected the American cavalry. The guide led the Americans westward to Manaoag via what is now the town of Laoac instead of going northward and straight to Pozorrubio.

An American correspondent reported, “General Wheaton sent General Lawton’s division, spearheaded by Brig. Gen. B.M. Young to intercept or capture Aguinaldo in Pozorrubio. Frantically they pressed forward from Binalonan to Pozorrubio, the next town led by a native guide. Were they on time?"

“The only reason that the guide who led us to Manaoag instead of Pozorrubio was not shot was because he could no longer be found.”.

Nevertheless, General Wheaton noted "the unusual courage and spirited resistance put up by the Filipino troops in San Jacinto and Pozorrubio."

Mounted detachment of Company H, 12th US Infantry Regiment (part of MacArthur's column), in La Paz, Tarlac Province. The company commander was Capt. David J. Baker, Jr. Photo was taken on Nov. 16, 1899.

By November 18 Lawton's advance had occupied Asingan and Rosales, and was moving on Pozorrubio, about 12 miles (20 km) east of San Fabian. His forces now held a line of posts extending up the eastern side of the Pangasinan plain and curving around and across the northern end to within a few miles of the Gulf of Lingayen.

The US Navy's Gunboat No. 41, Samar, moored in the Dagupan River, November 1899.

Wheaton linked up with MacArthur's column at Dagupan on November 20. Inexplicably, although Wheaton had captured San Fabian on November 6 and Lawton's men were in Tayug by November 11, Wheaton did not link up with them. This allowed their quarry, President Aguinaldo, to slip through the open gap. Consequently, on November 17, three days before Wheaton and MacArthur met up, Aguinaldo had already reached the upland town of Naguilian, La Union Province, 20 miles (32 km) up the road from San Fabian. At Naguilian, a band of music, all the leading men, and a great crowd of people turned out to meet Aguinaldo and his party.

The Salt Lake Herald, issue of Nov. 24, 1899, Page 1

Brig. Gen. Arthur C. MacArthur, Jr., and staff at the headquarters of the 2nd Division, 8th Army Corps in Bautista, Pangasinan Province. The HQ was established on Nov. 24, 1899.

MacArthur told reporter H. Irving Hannock:

"When I first started in against these rebels, I believed that Aguinaldo’s troops represented only a faction. I did not like to believe that the whole population of Luzon—the native population that is—was opposed to us and our offers of aid and good government. But after having come this far, after having occupied several towns and cities in succession, and having been brought much into contact with both insurrectos and amigos, I have been reluctantly compelled to believe that the Filipino masses are loyal to Aguinaldo and the government which he heads."

The Salt Lake Herald, issue of Nov. 26, 1899, Page 1

The U.S. Army hangs 2 Filipinos in Urdaneta, Pangasinan Province, circa 1900-1901
Capture of Aguinaldo, March 23, 1901

On Nov. 12, 1899, with his conventional forces shattered, Emilio Aguinaldo ordered a shift to guerilla warfare. Since then, the Americans found it frustrating to crush an enemy who appeared from nowhere, struck at will and slinked back into the shadows. They concluded that the resistance would never be broken until Aquinaldo was killed or captured. However, they did not know his whereabouts.

General Funston's headquarters at San Isidro. The house served as Aguinaldo's capitol from the fall of Malolos on March 31, 1899 until May 17, 1899, when San Isidro was taken by the Americans. It was owned by Crispulo Sideco, also known as "Kapitang Pulong." It is now occupied by a Christian organization.

On Feb. 8, 1901, Brig. Gen. Frederick Funston was at San Isidro, Nueva Ecija Provinceon Luzon Island when six tired and famished guerillas surrendered at Pantabangan town to 1Lt. James D. Taylor, Jr., commander of Company C, 24th Infantry Regiment of U.S. Volunteers. The town mayor, Francisco Villajuan, had convinced the worn-out men to give up. The group was led by Cecilio Segismundo, an Ilocano and Aguinaldo's messenger, who carried some important dispatches. He was a native of Ilocos Norte Province who had moved to Bulacan Province at age 12; he used to be a member of the municipal police (Guardia Civil Veterana) of Manila under the Spanish. He defected to theKatipunan when the Revolution broke out in August 1896. In 1899, he became a corporal in the Philippine army under Major Nazario Alhambra.

Original caption: "AGUINALDO'S BODY-GUARD. This was regarded as the finest regiment in the Filipino service, and it was accordingly selected as the body-guard of the commander. The buildings on the hill at the right were occupied by Aguinaldo as his headquarters at the time of his capture."

Segismundo pinpointed the village of Palanan, in mountainous Isabela Province, as Aguinaldo’s headquarters. He told Funston that there was no more than fifty guards at Palanan (Aguinaldo later charged that Segismundo did not talk until after he had been given the water cure twice, but American officers insisted that he gave his cooperation voluntarily).
Some of the coded dispatches carried by Segismundo were signed with the names "Pastor" and "Colon de Magdalo," which were pseudonyms often used by Aquinaldo. Funston, another American officer, and Lazaro Segovia deciphered the messages. The latter was a former Spanish army officer who had defected to the Philippine army and then switched allegiance to the American side; he understood English, Spanish, and the Tagalog dialect, . The most important message was an order to General Baldomero Aguinaldo instructing him to send some troops to Palanan.

Macabebe scouts that captured Emilio Aguinaldo

Funston disguised the Macabebes and sent them to Palanan, posing as the men Aquinaldo had requested. Funston and four other American officers, disguised as prisoners of war, accompanied the column. The handpicked Macabebes --78 in number, members of Company D, First Battalion, Macabebe Scouts-- spoke Tagalog in addition to their dialect. They turned in their Springfields and were issued 50 Mausers, 18 Remingtons and 10 Krag-Jorgensens, which were the types of rifles used by Aguinaldo's soldiers. Twenty of them wore the rayadillo uniform of the Philippine army. In addition to Segismundo, Funston included in the column Hilario Tal Placido, Lazaro Segovia, Dionisio Bato, and Gregorio Cadhit. Placido had been a Lieutenant Colonel in the Philippine army and he knew Aquinaldo personally.

Some months previously, Funston had captured General Urbano Lacuna's seal and official signed correspondence. From this material, two letters were forged—supposedly from Lacuna to Aguinaldo. One letter contained information as to the progress of the war. The other stated that in accordance with instructions from General Baldomero Aguinaldo, he was sending eighty men to Palanan under the command of Placido, Segovia, and Segismundo.

General Lacuna's signature was forged by Roman Roque, an expert penman and a former officer in the Philippine army who had surrendered to the Americans; he was employed by the US army as interpreter and clerk. Roque was a native of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija.

French journal features the capture of Aguinaldo in its issue of April 14, 1901. The "Le Petit Journal / Parisien" was a leading illustrated news journal published in France from 1891 until WWII. It was famous for its brightly colored prints graphically depicting news events around the world as well as happenings in France.

A decoration for President Emilio Aguinaldo on his 32nd birthday on March 22, the day before his capture. The remote village was in gala dress, with arches and such other decorations that were provided. The day was celebrated with horse races, dancing, serenades, and amateur theatricals. PHOTO taken at Palanan, March 24, 1901.

Diagram of Aguinaldo's headquarters. KEYS TO NUMBERS: A. Aguinaldo's house. 1. Sitting room. 2. Hallway. 3. Bedroom used by Aguinaldo, Barcelona and Villa. 4. Kitchen. 5,6. Doorways. 7,9. Barracks. 8. Village church. 10,11. Bandstands. 12. Summer house. 13. Window from which Aguinaldo called to the Macabebes to cease firing. 14. Position of Aguinaldo's guard when fired on. 15, 16. Position of Funston's men at beginning of attack. The marks "- - - -" indicate trenches placed in the public square around the bandstands.

Issue dated March 23, 1901.

On March 23, the men in disguise reached Palanan, Isabela Province.

Issue dated March 23, 1901.

The house in which Aguinaldo was captured. The man in white coat, with his hat on back of his head, is Lazaro Segovia. The rest are Macabebes. The house is still festooned with garlands from the previous day's celebration of Aguinaldo's birthday. PHOTO taken at Palanan, March 23, 1901.

In his memoirs, Aguinaldo describes his capture (paraphrasing mine):

"It was not long before the new troops...entered the village...and halted in the plaza in front of my house, where about twenty soldiers of my guard were drawn up waiting to receive them. It was about three o'clock... The officers, Colonel Tal Placido and Captain Segovia...then came into my house... After talking with Tal Placido and Segovia for fifteen or twenty minutes, I gave orders that the newly arrived men be allowed to fall out and go to rest...Segovia immediately left the house and returned to the place where his men were drawn up...Segovia order which we did not hear distinctly...Instantly his men began to shoot...not suspecting any plan against myself, I thought it was a salute with blank cartridges...I ran to the window and cried out several times, 'Cease firing.' But seeing that the ...bullets from the rifles of the attacking party were directed against me as well as against the soldiers of my guard, I for the first time realized that the newcomers were enemies. I...ran into another room ... seized a revolver, intending to defend myself, but Dr. Barcelona threw both arms around me, crying out, 'Don't sacrifice yourself. The country needs your life.' ...Colonel Villa ran from the house in an attempt to break through the lines of the enemy and rally our men, but he was shot three times and finally taken prisoner.

"Tal Placido...told us that we were the prisoners of the Americans, who, he said, were on the other side of the river with four hundred American soldiers, and would soon be here...several of Tal Placido's soldiers came into the house...and surrounded Barcelona and myself. A little later five Americans...came into the room where we of them asked, 'Which one of you is Aguinaldo?' As soon as I had been identified by the Americans I was placed, with Dr. Barcelona and Colonel Villa, in one of the rooms of the house...We were then informed that our captors were General Funston, Captains Newton and Hazzard, and Lieutenants Hazzard and Mitchell..."

Macabebe Scouts patrol in front of Aguinaldo's headquarters at Palanan.

The quarters of Aguinaldo's guard, taken from the window of his house a few moments after the capture. The two white objects are men of his guard who were killed. PHOTO taken on March 23, 1901.

Two of Aguinaldo's guards were killed. Colonel Simeon Villa, aide to Aguinaldo, suffered superficial gunshot wounds. 

The 5 ex-Philippine army officers who helped the Americans to capture President Emilio Aguinaldo. LEFT to RIGHT: Gregorio Cadhit, Cecilio Segismundo, Hilario Tal Placido, Dionisio Bato and Lazaro Segovia. PHOTO taken at Palanan, March 24, 1901.

The 5 American officers in the expedition. LEFT to RIGHT: Capt. Harry W. Newton, 1Lt. Burton J. Mitchell (who brought a small camera), 1Lt Oliver P.M. Hazzard, Brig. Gen Frederick Funston, and Capt. Russell T. Hazzard. PHOTO taken at Palanan, March 24, 1901.

LEFT to RIGHT: Col. Simeon Villa, President Emilio Aguinaldo, Brig. Gen. Frederick Funston, and Dr. Santiago Barcelona. Funston, at 5'4" (162.6 cm), was an inch taller than Aguinaldo (160 cm). PHOTO taken at Palanan, March 24, 1901.

The Macabebes with Capt. Russell T. Hazzard and 1Lt. Oliver P.M. Hazzard. PHOTO taken at Palanan, March 24, 1901.

March 25, 1901: Aguinaldo and his aides are being prepared for loading onto the USS Vicksburg. PHOTO was taken near the beach at Palanan Bay.

On the morning of March 25, Aguinaldo and three of his men were marched six miles (10 km) to the seashore at Palanan Bay, arriving there at noon.

The USS Vicksburg. Photo taken in 1898.

The Americans made two signal fires and hoisted a white flag. A little later, a steamer rose on the horizon. Within two hours the warship USS Vicksburgwas anchored near the beach.

President and General Emilio F. Aguinaldo boarding the USS Vicksburg as a POW

By five o'clock in the afternoon, the prisoners and their captors were all on board, the anchor was hoisted, and the ship made for the open sea bound for Manila.

Brig. Gen. Frederick Funston and President Emilio Aguinaldo on the USS Vicksburg, on the way to Manila.

Aguinaldo (LEFT), Col. Simeon Villa (CENTER) and Dr. Santiago Barcelona (RIGHT) on theUSS Vicksburg. Funston wrote:  "The prisoners were treated with the greatest courtesy, being entertained in the officers' messes, and sitting about on deck whenever they desired."

Aguinaldo on board the USS Vicksburg on the way to Manila

During the trip, Aguinaldo admitted to Funston that he had been completely fooled by the phony dispatches. He later confided that he could "hardly believe myself to be a prisoner" and that he was gripped by a "feeling of disgust and despair for I had failed my people and my motherland."

Issue of March 28, 1901

At 2:00 a.m. of March 28, the USS Vicksburg anchored in Manila Bay, with all lights screened, to keep the return of the expedition secret.

The Vicksburg launch, with Aguinaldo and his aides on board, steaming for the mouth of the Pasig River, at daybreak, March 28, 1901.

At 6:00 a.m., General Funston and Aguinaldo, accompanied by some officers, boarded one of the launches and left the USS Vicksburg.

Malacañan Palace: Photo taken in 1904 or 1905

They went up the Pasig River to the residence of the Governor-General in Malacañan, where they disembarked. Aguinaldo was presented to Brig. Gen. Arthur C. MacArthur, Jr. as a prisoner of war. He was treated by the Americans more as a guest than as

a prisoner.

Malacañang Palace (with the letter "G"), 2010

San Francisco Chronicle, August 4, 1901

At breakfast, MacArthur promised Aguinaldo that he would immediately send for his family, whom he had not seen for a long time.

Aguinaldo complimented his captors: "At all times since our capture, as well in Palanan as on board the Vicksburg, we have been treated with the highest consideration by our captors, as well as by all the other American officers with whom we have come in contact."

The administration in Washington called Aguinaldo's capture "the most important single military event of the year in the Philippines." 

Issue of March 29, 1901

Hilaria Aguinaldo, wife of Emilio Aguinaldo, issue of March 29, 1901

Nine days after his capture, on April 1, Aguinaldo swore allegiance to the United States.

Issue of April 4, 1901

Macabebe Scouts who captured Emilio Aguinaldo

Photo published in the New-York Daily Tribune, issue of June 23, 1901

The Macabebes were fierce freedom fighters when they first appeared in written history; they fought the Spanish invaders in 1571. Ironically, it was the Tagalogs (under Lakandula of Tondo and Rajah Soliman of Manila) who eventually welcomed the Spaniards while the Kapampangans (under Tarik Soliman of Macabebe) had to die fighting in the Battle of Bangkusay.

Years later, Macabebes helped the Spaniards drive away the Chinese pirate Limahong, and that was the start of a friendship that would endure to the very last day of the Spanish Period. The Macabebes helped the Spaniards colonize the rest of the archipelago; they also joined in the invasion of the Marianas, Moluccas, Borneo, Formosa, Indochina and the Malay Peninsula.

Without the Macabebes, the Philippines would have been colonized by the Dutch and later by the British, two Protestant nations. This is the reason the feast of the La Naval is celebrated only in two places, Manila and Pampanga.

When the Revolution broke out, the Macabebes sided with the Spaniards even while the rest of Pampanga threw its support for the quest for independence. On June 26, 1898 representatives from all Pampanga towns, except Macabebe, gathered in San Fernando and swore allegiance to Gen. Maximino Hizon (LEFT, image from who was the provincial military governor and representative of General Emilio Aguinaldo. Macabebes in the Spanish military were called "Voluntarios de Macabebe". Macabebes protected the retreating Spaniards, rescuing friars and the families of the Spanish Army. The Spaniards promised to return and resettle the Macabebes to the Caroline Islands should the revolution succeed.

In retaliation, Antonio Luna's troops burned the town of Macabebe and executed a large number of its residents (hundreds, according to one unverified account). When the Americans bought and colonized the Philippines, Macabebes enlisted in the US Army by the hundreds. These events fueled the enmity between Kapampangans and Tagalogs, climaxing in the sensational capture of the Tagalog general, Emilio Aguinaldo, President of the Republic of the Philippines. The US President and US Congress, jubilant over Aguinaldo's capture, authorized the formal inclusion of the Macabebes into the Philippine Scouts, a special unit of the US Army.

Brig. Gen. Frederick Funston (sitting) and the 4 officers who helped capture Aguinaldo: LEFT to RIGHT, Captains Harry W. Newton and Russell T. Hazzard, and First Lieutenants Oliver P.M. Hazzard and Burton J. Mitchell. [Aguinaldo's son, Emilio Jr., entered West Point in 1923, in the same class as Gen. Funston's son; see their photo below, in section entitled "Aguinaldo, In Later Years"].

In 1901 scarcely an American alive was unfamiliar with the story of the "hero of the Philippine insurrection". [LEFT, Harper's Weekly, April 6, 1901]

But Funston soon fell under criticism for his methods used to capture Aguinaldo. An editorial in the Boston Post made the following comments:

"When the capture of Aguinaldo by Funston was announced by cable, it was hailed as a great exploit... But, as the details have come to light, contempt and disgust have taken the place of admiration. The American people accepted, though not without some qualms of conscience, the forgery, treachery and disguise with which Funston prepared his expedition.”

In 1902, Funston toured the United States to increase public support of the Philippine-American War. He became the focus of controversy by bellicosely promoting total war, enthusiastically endorsing torture and condoning civilian massacres.

In Chicago, he stated, in reaction to the courts-martial of Brig. Gen. Jacob H. Smith and Maj. Littleton Waller for atrocities committed in Samar:

"I personally strung up thirty-five Filipinos without trial, so what was all the fuss over Waller's 'dispatching' a few 'treacherous savages'? If there had been more Smiths and Wallers, the war would have been over long ago. Impromptu domestic hanging might also hasten the end of the war. For starters, all Americans who had recently petitioned Congress to sue for peace in the Philippines should be dragged out of their homes and lynched."

General Funston and family at San Francisco, California.

In San Francisco, he suggested that the editor of a noted anti-imperialist paper "ought to be strung up to the nearest lamppost." At a banquet in the city he called Filipinos "unruly savages" and claimed he had personally killed fifty prisoners without trial.

Captain Edmond Boltwood, an officer under Funston, confirmed that the general had personally administered the water cure to captives, and had told his troops "to take no prisoners."

Frederick Funston was born on Nov. 10, 1865 in New Carlisle, Ohio. He graduated from High School in 1886 and entered the University of Kansas, but left college without earning a degree. In 1896, he enlisted in the Cuban Revolutionary Army and was made a captain of artillery. Before he became sick with malaria in 1898 and returned home he had risen to the rank of lieutenant colonel. When the Spanish-American war broke out, Funston was appointed a Colonel of the US 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

He rose to the rank of Major General (LEFT). In the 1910’s his subordinates included Brig. Gen. John J. Pershing and future generals, then Captain Douglas MacArthur, Lieutenant George S. Patton, Jr., and Lieutenant Dwight D. Eisenhower.

On Feb. 19, 1917, he was having dinner with friends at theSt. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio, Texas, close to his headquarters at Fort Sam Houston. He had just finished dinner and was listening to the hotel orchestra play when a moment later he was dead. A heart attack took his life; he was 51-years-old. The people of Texas showed their respect by opening their most sacred shrine, the Alamo, so that he could lie in state there. He was the first person ever so honored. His body was then taken to the San Francisco City Hall Rotunda, where he laid in state for two days.

He was laid to rest at the Presidio (San Francisco NationalCemetery) in full dress uniform on a hill overlooking the city.

A San Francisco park was named after General Funston.

Had he not died in early 1917, President Woodrow Wilson would have picked him, not General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, to command the American forces in World War I.

Entrance to Malacañan Palace in San Miguel District, Manila. Photo was taken in 1900 or 1901

Aguinaldo's quarters in the Malacañan Palace grounds, Manila

Aguinaldo at Malacañan Palace with an American visitor, Annie Mitchell, a few days after his arrival in Manila.

Emilio Aguinaldo, Colonel Simeon Villa, Chief of Staff, and Dr. Santiago Barcelona on the balcony overlooking the Pasig River at Malacañan. PHOTO was taken on Dec. 4, 1901.

Balangiga Massacre, September 28, 1901

Some soldiers of Company C, 9th U.S. Infantry ("Manchus") Regiment, in Balangiga in August 1901. Valeriano Abanador, the native chief of police who would lead the attack on the Balangiga garrison seven weeks later, is standing with arms folded across his chest (sixth from right).

On Aug 11, 1901, Company C, 9th US Infantry Regiment, arrived in Balangiga on the southern coast of Samar island, to close its port and prevent supplies reaching Filipino guerillas in the interior.

A glamour unit, Company C was assigned provost duty and guarded the captured President Emilio Aguinaldo upon their return to the Philippines on June 5, 1901, after fighting Boxer rebels and helping capture Peking in China.

They also performed as honor guard during the historic July 4, 1901 inauguration of the American civil government in the Philippines and the installation as first civil governor of William Howard Taft, later president of the U.S.

Soldiers of the 9th US Infantry "Manchus" Regiment enjoying a cockfight, somewhere in the Philippines. Thirteen companies arrived in Manila on April 23 and 27, 1899. The regiment was temporarily deployed to China during the Boxer rebellion and arrived there on July 6, 1900. Three members were awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism at Tientsin on July 13, 1900, including Pvt. Robert H. Von Schlick of Company C, who was killed in action. Grateful Chinese officials bestowed on the regiment the nickname “Manchu”. Eleven companies returned to Manila on June 2, 1901, and the remaining two on June 5, 1901. They left the Philippines in batches on June 12 and 20, 1902.

Filipino historian, Prof. Rolando O. Borrinaga, tells the story of the massacre in an article entitled "Vintage View: The Balangiga Incident and Its Aftermath":

"The first month of Company C’s presence in Balangiga was marked by extensive fraternization between the Americans and the local residents. The friendly activities included tuba (native wine) drinking among the soldiers and native males, baseball games and arnis (stick fighting) demonstrations in the town plaza, and even a romantic link between an American sergeant, Frank Betron, and a native woman church leader, Casiana “Geronima” Nacionales.

"Tensions rose when on September 22, at a tuba store, two drunken American soldiers tried to molest the girl tending the store. The girl was rescued by her two brothers, who mauled the soldiers. In retaliation, the Company Commander, Capt. Thomas W. Connell, West Point class of 1894, rounded up 143 male residents for forced labor to clean up the town in preparation for an official visit by his superior officers. They were detained overnight without food under two conical Sibley tents in the town plaza, each of which could only accommodate 16 persons; 78 of the detainees remained the next morning, after 65 others were released due to age and physical infirmity. Finally, Connell ordered the confiscation from their houses of all sharp bolos, and the confiscation and destruction of stored rice. Feeling aggrieved, the townspeople plotted to attack the U.S. Army garrison.

"The mastermind was Valeriano Abanador (LEFT, IN OLD AGE), a Letran dropout and the local chief of police; he was assisted by five locals and two guerilla officers under the command of Brig. Gen. Vicente Lukban: Capt. Eugenio Daza and Sgt. Pedro Duran, Sr. The lone woman plotter was Casiana “Geronima” Nacionales. Lukban played no role in the planning of the attack; he only learned about it a week later. About 500 men in seven attack units would take part. They represented virtually all families of Balangiga, whose outlying villages then included the present towns of Lawaan and Giporlos, and of Quinapundan, a town served by the priest in Balangiga.


“on September 27, Friday, the natives sought divine help and intervention for the success of their plot through an afternoon procession and marathon evening novena prayers to their protector saints inside the church. They also ensured the safety of the women and children by having them leave the town after midnight, hours before the attack. Pvt. Adolph Gamlin observed women and children evacuating the town and reported it, but he was ignored.

"To mask the disappearance of the women from the dawn service inside the church, 34 attackers from Barrio Lawaan cross-dressed as women worshippers.

"At 6:45 a.m., on Saturday, September 28, Abanador grabbed Pvt. Adolph Gamlin's rifle from behind and hit him unconcious with its butt. Abanador turned the rifle at the men in the sergeant’s mess tent, wounding one. He then waved a rattan cane above his head, and yelled: “Atake, mga Balangigan-on! (Attack, men of Balangiga!). A bell in the church tower was rung seconds later, to announce that the attack had begun.

"The guards outside the convent and municipal hall were killed. The Filipinos apparently sealed in the Sibley tents at the front of the municipal hall, having had weapons smuggled to them in water carriers, broke free and entered the municipal hall and made their way to the second floor. The men in the church broke into the convent through a connecting corridor and killed the officers who were billeted there. The mess tent and the two barracks were attacked. Most of the Americans were hacked to death before they could grab their firearms. The few who escaped the main attack fought with kitchen utensils, steak knives, and chairs.

"The convent was successfully occupied and so, initially, was the municipal hall, but the mess tent and barracks attack suffered a fatal flaw - about one hundred men were split into three groups, one of each target but too few attackers had been assigned to ensure success. A number of Co. C. personnel escaped from the mess tent and the barracks and were able to retake the municipal hall, arm themselves and fight back. Adolph Gamlin recovered consciousness, found a rifle and caused considerable casualties among the Filipinos. [Gamlin died at age 92 in the U.S. in 1969].

"Faced with immensely superior firepower and a rapidly degrading attack, Abanador ordered a retreat. But with insufficient numbers and fear that the rebels would re-group and attack again, the surviving Americans, led by Sgt. Frank Betron, escaped by baroto(native canoes with outriggers, navigated by using wooden paddles) to Basey, Samar, about 20 miles away. The townspeople returned to bury their dead, then abandoned the town."

Capt. Edwin V. Bookmiller, West Point Class 1889 and commander of Company G of the 9th US Infantry at 

Basey, commandeered a civilian coastal steamer from Tacloban, the SS Pittsburg, and with his men steamed to Balangiga. The town was deserted. The dead of Company C lay where they fell, many bearing horrible hack wounds. Bookmiller and his men burned the town to the ground.

Of the original 74 man contingent, 48 died and 26 survived, 22 of them severely wounded. The dead included all of Company C's commissioned officers: Capt. Thomas W. Connell (RIGHT), 1st Lt. Edward A. Bumpus, and Maj. Richard S. Griswold (the Company surgeon). The guerillas also took 100 rifles with 25,000 rounds of ammunition; 28 Filipinos died and 22 were wounded.

The Akron Daily Democrat, Akron, Ohio, Sept. 30, 1901, Page 1

The massacre shocked the U.S. public; many newspaper editors noted that it was the worst disaster suffered by the U.S. Army since Custer's last stand at Little Big Horn. An infuriated Maj. Gen. Adna R. Chaffee, military governor for the “unpacified” areas of the Philippines, assured the press that "the situation calls for shot, shells and bayonets as the natives are not to be trusted." He advised newspaper correspondent Joseph Ohl, "If you should hear of a few Filipinos more or less being put away don't grow too sentimental over it."

Chaffee informed his officers that it was his intention "to give the Filipinos 'bayonet rule' for years to come." President Theodore Roosevelt ordered Chaffee to adopt "in no unmistakable terms," the "most stern measures to pacify Samar."

Adna Romanza Chaffee (LEFT, in 1898) was born in Ohio in 1842. A veteran of the Civil war and countless Indian campaigns, he served throughout the Spanish-American War, and commanded American troops in the capture of Peking, China, during the Boxer rebellion. He replaced Brig. Gen. Arthur C. MacArthur, Jr., as military governor of the “unpacified” areas of the Philippines on July 4, 1901. He appointed Brigadier Generals James Franklin Bell to Batangas and Jacob Smith to Samar, with orders to do whatever was necessary to destroy the opposition--he wanted an Indian-style campaign. Chaffee’s orders were largely responsible for the atrocities that marked the later stages of the war. When the war ended in 1902, Chaffee returned to the States, where he served as lieutenant general and Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army from 1904-1906. He retired in 1906 and died in 1914.

St. Anthony Church: the present structure dates from 1927. The original church was burned down by the Americans on September 29, 1901

General Jake "Howling" Smith and his staff inspecting the ruins of Balangiga in October 1901, a few weeks after the retaliation by Captain Bookmiller and his troops.

Maj. Gen. Adna R. Chaffee (left) and Brig. Gen. Jacob Smith in Tacloban, Leyte in 1902

Colors of the 9th Infantry Regiment, Calbayog, Samar. These same colors entered Santiago (Cuba), Tarlac (Philippines), and Peking (China).

Survivors of Balangiga Massacre in April 1902 photo taken in Calbayog, Samar

Source: L. Mervin Maus's book, An Army Officer On Leave In Japan, published in 1911.

This 1895 Balangiga bell ---the smallest of the three Balangiga church bells---was turned over to the headquarters of the 9th U.S. Infantry Regiment in Calbayog, Samar, around April 1902. This relic is on permanent display at the museum of the 9th U.S. Infantry, stationed in Camp Hovey, Tongduchon, South Korea. It is now considered by most Filipino historians as the one that was rung during the Balangiga attack.

The two bigger Balangiga bells: These were brought to the U.S. by returning 11th Infantry soldiers to their home station at the former Fort D.A. Russell, now the F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Both are displayed at the Balangiga Memorial in its Trophy Park.

Issue of April 22, 1902
The U.S. Army's retaliation measures included actions that resulted in the courts-martial of two field commanders, Brig. Gen. Jacob "Howling Jake" Smith (LEFT, in Tagbilaran in 1901) and Marine Maj. Littleton Waller.

After the massacre at Balangiga, General Smith issued his infamous Circular No. 6, which stated his plans for crushing all resistance on the island of Samar.

He ordered his command thus:

"I want no prisoners" and "I wish you to kill and burn; and the more you burn and kill, the better it will please me."

Brig. Gen. Jacob H. Smith's infamous order "KILL EVERYONE OVER TEN" was the caption in the New York Journal cartoon on May 5, 1902. The Old Glory draped an American shield on which a vulture replaced the bald eagle. The bottom caption exclaimed, "Criminals Because They Were Born Ten Years Before We Took the Philippines." The Philippine occupation was the first war, historian Gail Buckley has pointed out, in which “American officers and troops were officially charged with what we would now call war crimes.” In 44 military trials, all of which ended in convictions, including that of General Jacob Smith, “sentences, almost invariably, were light.” TheBaltimore American had to admit the U.S. occupation “aped” Spain's cruelty and committed crimes “we went to war to banish.”

Then he tasked his men to reduce Samar into a "howling wilderness," to kill anyone 10 years old and above capable of bearing arms.

He stressed that, "Every native will henceforth be treated as an enemy until he has conclusively shown that he is a friend." His policy would be "to wage war in the sharpest and most decisive manner," and that "a course would be pursued that would create a burning desire for peace." [On Dec. 29, 1890, as a cavalryman, Smith was present at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, an incident ---also referred to as a massacre---that left about 300 Sioux men, women and children, and 29 Army soldiers dead.]

An American river expedition in Samar

In Samar, he gave his subordinates carte blanche authority in the application of Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 General Order 100. This order, in brief, authorized the shooting on sight of all persons not in uniform acting as soldiers and those committing, or seeking to commit, sabotage.

The exact number of civilians massacred by US troops will never be known, but exhaustive research made by a sympathetic British writer in the 1990s put the figure at about 2,500; Filipino historians believe it was around 50,000.

General Smith and Major Waller (RIGHT) underwent separate courts-martial for their roles in the suppressive campaign of Nov 1901- Jan 1902. Although he received the "Kill all over ten" order from Gen. Smith, Waller countermanded it and told his men not to obey it.

However, he was specifically tried for murder in the summary execution of 11 Filipino porters. After a long march, Marine Lt. A.S. Wlliams accused the porters of mutinuous behavior, hiding food and supplies and keeping themselves nourished from the jungle while the Marines starved. Waller ordered the execution of the porters. Ten were shot in groups of three, while one was gunned down in the water attempting to escape. The bodies were left in the square of Lanang (now Llorente), as an example, until one evening, under cover of darkness, some townspeople carried them off for a Christian burial.

An American expedition enters the Calbiga River, Samar

US soldiers drill on main plaza at Catbalogan, Samar.

USS Vicksburg sailors led by Lt. ((later Rear Admiral) Henry V. Butler burning a village church in Samar, October 1901.

In an eleven-day span, Major Waller also reported that his men burned 255 dwellings, slaughtered 13 carabaos and killed 39 people. Other officers reported similar activity.

US Marines in action in the Philippines; at left, a Marine appears to have been hit. Photo was probably taken in Samar island, where the Marines battled extensively with General Vicente Lukban's guerillas in 1901-1902. During the Philippine-American War, 50 US Marines were killed in combat while 300 died from other causes, mainly disease. The "Philippine Insurrection" was the basis of the US Marine Corps' Small Wars Manual, which remains its bible to this day.

Smith commanded the Sixth Separate Brigade, which included a battalion of 315 Marines under Waller. Waller's court martial acquitted him but Smith's found him guilty, for which he was admonished and retired from the service. Gen. Smith was born in 1840 and died in San Diego, California on March 1, 1918.

The San Francisco Call, April 29, 1902, Page 1

USS Vicksburg sailors led by Lt. ((later Rear Admiral) Henry V. Butler burning a village in Samar, October 1901.

Outcry in America over the brutal nature of the Samar campaign cost Waller his chance at the Commandancy of the US Marine Corps. Liberal newspapers took to addressing him as "The Butcher Of Samar".

Waller was born in York County, Virginia on Sept. 26, 1856. He was appointed as a second lieutenant of Marines on June 24, 1880. He rose to Major General, retired in June 1920 and died on July 13, 1926. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. In 1942, the destroyer USS Waller was named in his honor.

In April 1902, Abanador accepted the general amnesty offered by the Americans. He died sometime in the 1950's.

Balangiga Plaza in front of the municipal hall with a monument to Valeriano Abanador. An annual event, “Balangiga Encounter Day”, was made possible by the passage into law on February 10, 1989 of Republic Act. No 6692, “An Act Declaring September Twenty-Eight as Balangiga Encounter Day and a Special Non-Working Holiday in the Province of Eastern Samar.” The original bill was filed by Eastern Samar Rep. Jose Tan Ramirez.
Dec. 27, 1901: Atrocity in Panay Island

Page 1

In the April 18, 1902 issue of the New York World,Richard Thomas O'Brien, formerly a corporal in Company M, 26th U.S. Volunteer Infantry Regiment, based in Miag-ao, Iloilo Province, Panay Island, described how his birthday went on Dec. 27, 1901 at Barrio Lanog: [LEFT, Miag-ao Church, late 1890's]

"It was on the 27th day of December, the anniversary of my birth, and I shall never forget the scenes I witnessed on that day. As we approached the town the word passed along the line that there would be no prisoners taken. It meant that we were to shoot every living thing in sight—man, woman, and child. The first shot was fired by the then first sergeant of our company. His target was a mere boy, who was coming down the mountain path into the town astride of a caribou. The boy was not struck by the bullet, but that was not the sergeant's fault. The little Filipino boy slid from the back of his caribou and fled in terror up the mountain side. Half a dozen shots were fired after him. The shooting now had attracted the villagers, who came out of their homes in alarm, wondering what it all meant. They offered no offense, did not display a weapon, made no hostile movement whatsoever, but they were ruthlessly shot down in cold blood—men, women, and children. The poor natives huddled together or fled in terror. Many were pursued and killed on the spot.

"Two old men, bearing between them a white flag and clasping hands like two brothers, approached the lines. Their hair was white. They fairly tottered, they were so feeble under the weight of years. To my horror and that of the other men in the command, the order was given to fire, and the two old men were shot down in their tracks. We entered the village. A man who had been on a sick-bed appeared at the doorway of his home. He received a bullet in the abdomen and fell dead in the doorway. Dum-dum bullets were used in that massacre, but we were not told the name of the bullets. We didn't have to be told. We knew what they were.

"In another part of the village a mother with a babe at her breast and two young children at her side pleaded for mercy. She feared to leave her home, which had just been fired—accidentally, I believe. She faced the flames with her children, and not a hand was raised to save her or the little ones. They perished miserably. It was sure death if she left the house—it was sure death if she remained. She feared the American soldiers, however, worse than the devouring flames."

Company M was commanded by Capt. Fred McDonald.
The Last Holdouts: General Vicente Lukban falls, Feb. 18, 1902

General Vicente Lukban (4th from Left, right hand on pistol holster), with staff officers on Samar Island.

General Vicente Lukban commanded Filipino guerilla forces on Samar and Leyte islands in the eastern Visayas, central Philippines.

Lukban's men on dress parade at Samar.

Chained together in photo are, LEFT to RIGHT: Major Esteban Aparri, General Vicente Lukban, and Colonel Benedicto Sabater.

On Feb. 18, 1902, he was captured by a scouting party composed of Americans and Filipinos commanded by 1Lt. Alphonse Strebler of Company 39, Visayas, Philippine Scouts.

General Vicente Lukban (in LEFT PHOTO, seated at center) as a prisoner of war, February 1902. Photos published in the Detroit Free Press-Illustrated Supplement, issue of May 17, 1903.

Maj. Gen. Adna R. Chaffee, military governor for the “unpacified” areas of the Philippines, ordered that Lukban be treated as a prisoner of war of officer's rank.

General Vicente Lukban is flanked by his captor, 1Lt. Alphonse Strebler (LEFT), and 1Lt. Ray Hoover (RIGHT), officer-in-charge of the guard over him, February 1902. He was imprisoned in Talim Island in Laguna de Bay until July 15, 1902 after he took an oath of allegiance to the United States.


Four days later, on Feb. 22, 1902, at Cagbayan, Samar, 2Lt. Frank Pratt of the 1st U.S. Infantry Regiment, encountered and captured William C. Denton (LEFT, in February 1902), a deserter from the ill-fated Company C, 9th U.S. Infantry Regiment, who had joined Lukban's guerilla force. Eleven Filipinos in Denton's group were killed. [Denton deserted to the Filipinos shortly before the Balangiga massacre; Lukban described him as a "noble son of Washington, who had joined the Filipino cause as a lover of liberty."].

[Two weeks earlier, on Feb. 8, 1902, another white American deserter, John Winfrey, from the 43rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, was killed along with 8 Filipino guerillas in a clash with 1Lt. Allen Walker of Company 45, Visayas, Philippine Scouts.

The encounter took place in the vicinity of Loguilocon, Samar. On his body was found a commission as second lieutenant from Gen. Vicente Lukban.]

Newspaper report on the death of American deserter John Winfrey

On Feb. 27, 1902, the New York Times reported:

"The officials of the War Department regard the capture of Lucban as the most important military event since Aguinaldo's capture. He was run down on the Island of Samar. The place of his confinement is a tiny island in a bay on the north coast of Samar. Lucban is one of the most energetic and ferocious of rebels. He is a half-breed, a mixture of Chinese and Filipino stock, and has been an irreconcilable from the first. He had various fastnesses in the mountains of Samar, from which he would descend upon the coast towns, and his reign of terror was so complete that the entire population of the island paid tribute to him as the price of freedom from attack."

The Americans tagged Lukban as the mastermind of the infamous "Balangiga Massacre" on Sept. 28, 1901, in which 48 troopers of Company C, 9th U.S. Infantry Regiment, were killed. In fact, he played no part in the planning of the attack; he only learned about it a week later, on Oct. 6, 1901.

Lukban was born on Feb. 11, 1860 at Labo, Camarines Norte Province. After his elementary education at the Escuela Pia Publica in his hometown, he proceeded to Manila and completed his secondary schooling at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila. He took up Law at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, and then worked in the Court of First Instance in Quiapo, Manila, before becoming Justice of the Peace in Labo.

In 1894, he was inducted into the Masonic Lodge adopting the name "Luz del Oriente" (Light of the Orient) and co-founded Bicol Lodge in Libmanan, Camarines Sur with Juan Miguel. He joined the secret revolutionary societyKatipunan that same year.

In 1896, Lukban resigned from government service and engaged in business and agriculture. He founded the agricultural society La Cooperativa Popular.

On Sept. 29, 1896 Lukban was in Manila attending a meeting of the agricultural society when Spanish authorities arrested him for his involvement with the Katipunan. He was kept at the Carcel de Bilibid and despite torture did not expose his fellow revolutionaries. Torture and imprisonment in a flooded cell left him with a permanent limp. He was released on May 17, 1897 after Governor-General Fernando Primo de Rivera granted amnesty to political prisoners. He immediately joined General Emilio Aguinaldo’s forces.

After the Pact of Biak na Bato was forged on Dec. 14, 1897, he went into exile with Aguinaldo in Hongkong and became part of the revolutionary junta (LEFT, photo taken in Hong Kong).

In May 1898, Lukban returned to the Philippines and resumed his involvement with the revolutionists; he was given the rank of a Colonel. On Oct. 29, 1898, General Aguinaldo appointed him Comandante Militar of the Bicol region. On December 21 of the same year, he was promoted General of Samar and Leyte.

When the Filipino-American War broke out on Feb. 4, 1899, Lukban established his arsenal in the mountains of Catbalogan and carried out guerrilla warfare.

Brig. Gen. Arthur C. MacArthur, Jr., offered $5,000 (read as "Pesos") for Lukban’s head. He was offered the position of governor of Samar under the American regime, with autonomy, if he would surrender, but he refused to accept the offer.

After his capture, the Americans asked Lukban to use his influence and convince the rest of his command to surrender. He demurred at first, but subsequently changed his mind and wrote several letters, which were sent out and carried by pro-American Filipinos.

Col. Claro Guevarra succeeded Lukban and forbade his men to give attention to the latter's letters. He assumed the rank of General and prepared to continue the resistance. The Americans sent peace envoys to negotiate with Guevarra.

Issue of April 28, 1902, Page 1

On April 26, 1902,Guevarra relented and the following day surrendered with 744 men to Brig. Gen. Frederick Dent Grant, commander of the Sixth US Infantry Brigade, at Catbalogan, Samar.

April 26, 1902: Gen. Claro Guevarra and his men on board the U.S. Navy collierNanshan, while being transported from the mouth of the Gandara River to Catbalogan, Samar, where they formally surrendered the following day.

April 26, 1902: The first lighter load of guerillas under General Guevarra approaching the wharf at 4 pm; a welcome arch had been erected under which they would pass.

April 26, 1902: Gen. Claro Guevarra (LEFT) and his chief of staff, Col. Francisco Rafael, are photographed on arrival at Catbalogan, Samar.

April 26, 1902: Gen. Claro Guevarra (CENTRAL FIGURE, tallest man in front row) and his officers. His chief of staff, Col. Francisco Rafael, stands to his right. Photo taken at Catbalogan, Samar.

April 27, 1902: Gen. Claro Guevarra and Brig. Gen. Frederick Dent Grant shake hands for the camera at Catbalogan, Samar. Grant was the oldest son of Civil War general and United States President Ulysses S. Grant; he graduated from West Point in 1871.

April 27, 1902: Gen. Guevarra and his men formally surrendering at the town plaza of Catbalogan, Samar. Photo, taken at about 3:30 P.M., was published in the Detroit Free Press-Illustrated Supplement, issue of May 17, 1903.

Guevarra's entourage consisted of 65 officers, 236 riflemen and 443 boleros. A few days later, 5 more riflemen and 53 boleros also surrendered at Catbalogan. Arms and ammunition surrendered: 115 Krag rifles, 1 Krag carbine, 79 Remington rifles, 31 Mauser rifles, 14 miscellaneous guns; total, 240. Seven thousand five hundred rounds Krag cartridges, 500 miscellaneous; total, 8,000.

On May 11, 1902, 18 guerillas with 2 Remington rifles, 1 shotgun and 18 rounds of ammunition surrendered at Catbalogan. Two days later, Lt. Ignacio Alar, with 3 officers, 35 men, 12 Krag rifles, 1 Springfield rifle, 3 shotguns and 1,000 rounds of ammunition gave up at Tacloban. This last surrender accounted for every guerilla officer known then to the Americans in Samar, and for every rifle except two.

On June 17, 1902, provincial civil government was established on Samar Island by an act of the Philippine Commission.

In 1904, Lukban was arrested with two of his brothers, Justo and Cayetano, on charges of sedition filed against them by the Manila Secret Police. The Supreme Court, however, acquitted them for lack of evidence.

In 1912, Lukban ran for Governor in Tayabas and although not a native of the place, won handily (His mother, though, was born in Lucban, Tayabas). He was reelected for another term in 1916 but died on November 16 of the same year.
March 30, 1902: US Newspaper Lists Filipino Collaborators

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Gen. Miguel Malvar surrenders, April 16, 1902

Miguel Malvar and his wife Paula Maloles (seated, left) and mother-in-law, late 1880's.

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