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great world stage. They were also possessed by the idea that the majority of the people of the United States and even of the soldiers of the army privately justified them in their uprising
And there was some justification for this illusion. Many American newspapers, without much more sense of proportion than that possessed by the Filipinos themselves, were calling Aguinaldo the "savior of his country" and "the Washington of the Orient.” Enterprising editors solicited his views on the issues of the day for publication in America and political managers informed him that his influence would be of material value in the coming presidential election in the United States. Having no proper standard by which to measure the value of such expressions, Aguinaldo and his advisers, not unreasonably, attached undue importance to them and fatuously threw the gauge of battle at the feet of one of the great Powers of the world.
The sovereignty of the Philippines, having passed to the United States, it was necessary that order should be restored. The nation had no other reasonable choice. It was an unpleasant task, but it had to be performed. The Democratic leaders, having aided in determining the immediate policy of the country by voting for the ratification of the treaty with Spain, were not in a position to oppose the legislative measures which were necessary in order to suppress the revolt. The attempt to keep the immediate question of supporting the war measures distinct from that of the general policy of the future was only partially successful. As the campaign in the Philippines advanced, the Anti-Imperialists became daily more violent, illustrating by their conduct the extremes to which men are sometimes driven by circumstances which, to their great disgust, they are unable to control. Some of them worked themselves into that condition of mind where
2 Senator Hoar supported the administration during the war with Spain and attacked his old friend Norton for advising Harvard students that it was not their duty to enter it. For the correspondence, see Life of Charles Eliot Norton, II, Appendix D, p. 457 (1913).
facts lose their importance. They were determined to believe only the worst of their countrymen who were fighting in distant lands. They were avid for evil reports. Having by a process of reasoning from general principles reached the conclusion that only evil could result from the policy of the administration, they refused to allow their conclusions to be disturbed by mere facts. They were in the condition of mind of Lord Palmerston when he said, with reference to the Turks, that he "believed all that was said on the one side and nothing upon the other, and no arguments or facts could shake his convictions."
Carl Schurz wrote to Charles Francis Adams:8 "I have carefully and laboriously studied what has happened in all its details and bearings, and that study has profoundly convinced me that the story of our attempted conquest of the Philippines is a story of deceit, false pretenses, brutal treachery to friends, unconstitutional assumption of power, betrayal of the fundamental principles of our democracy, wanton sacrifice of our soldiers for an unjust cause, cruel slaughter of innocent people and thus of horrible blood guiltiness without parallel in the history of republics; and that such a policy is bound to bring upon this republic danger, demoralization, dishonor and disaster.”4
This picture of despair would not be complete without a sample patch from the poets.
"Tempt not our weakness, our cupidity," pleaded William Vaughn Moody in his Ode in Time of Hesitation.
3 Bancroft's Life of Schurz, III, p. 446. See also Schurz's Speeches at the University of Chicago on January 4, at Philadelphia on April 7, and at Cooper Union, September 28, 1900.
4 Charles Eliot Norton wrote to Frederick Harrison that the accession to the presidency of Mr. Roosevelt might result in a change of policy, as he was not, like McKinley, "possessed of a cruel spirit of Christian self-righteousness.” This war of ours “is even more criminal and in a profound sense more disastrous than the war in South Africa.” Life and Letters of Charles Eliot Norton, II, p. 312.
"It is all a miserable affair, a kind of world's comi-tragedy with a beginning of fine humanitarian pretensions.” Ibid., p. 281.
"For, save we let the island men go free,
. . Oh ye who lead
For the soldier fallen in the Philippines the poet was willing to
“Let the great bells toll
To the soldier his meed of praise, but never a whispered hint but that the
"... fight he fought was good; Never a word that the blood on his sword was his coun
try's own heart's blood.”5 Nevertheless the country went quietly and seriously about the work of suppressing the revolt and restoring order in the Philippines.
It does not fall within the scope of this work to give a detailed account of the military operations which resulted
5 Poems and Poetic Dramas, pp. 25, 29, Boston, 1912.
6 Under date of November 29, 1898, John Hay wrote to Whitelaw Reid, then a member of the Peace Commission, "There is a wild and frantic attack now going on in the press against the whole Philippine transaction. Andrew Carnegie really seems to be off his head. He writes me frantic letters, signing them Your Bitterest Opponent. He threatens the President, not only with the vengeance of the voters, but with practical punishment at the hands of the mob. He says henceforth the entire labor vote of America will be cast against us, and that he will see that it is done. He says the Administration will fall in irretrievable ruin the moment it shoots down one insurgent Filipino. He does not seem to reflect that the Government is in a somewhat robust condition even after shooting down several American citizens in his interest at Homestead. But all this confusion of tongues will go its way. The country will applaud the resolution that has been reached, and you will return in the rôle of conquering heroes with your brows bound with oak," Thayer's Life of John Hay, II, p. 198.
in the destruction of Aguinaldo's army and the suppression of the insurrection. A brief reference to the general course of events must suffice.
At the time of the outbreak, General E. S. Otis had at Manila about fourteen thousand men ready for active service. General Aguinaldo had between twenty and thirty thousand fairly well armed men and an indefinite number of irregulars, armed with bolos and other primitive weapons. The terms of enlistment of the state volunteers would expire when the treaty of peace was ratified and they would then become legally entitled to their discharges.' The volunteers had not enlisted to fight insurgents, but under the circumstances it was impossible to send them home, and they were simply held until new regiments could be organized and sent to the islands. The soldiers generally submitted gracefully to what they regarded as a patriotic duty.
After the fighting on February 5, 1899, the Americans waited as patiently as possible for reinforcements to arrive. It was necessary to hold the waterworks, upon which the city was dependent, and as its location was far in advance of the line and exposed to flank attacks, measures were taken to drive the Filipinos from the vicinity of Pasig. This was accomplished by a provisional brigade under the command of Brigadier-General Lloyd Wheaton. There was also more or less constant irregular fighting along the entire line. On February 22, the insurgents made a determined attempt to burn the city of Manila. In this they came very near being successful, as a number of them succeeded in entering the city and burning a large part of the Tondo district.10
7 The treaty was ratified April 11, 1899.
8 President McKinley in his message to Congress December 5, said: “I recommend that Congress provide a special medal of honor for the volunteers, regulars, sailors, and marines who voluntarily remained in the service after their terms of enlistment had expired.” See also Alger's The SpanishAmerican War, pp. 374-5.
General Frederick Funston in his interesting Memoirs of Two Wars gives a graphic account of events on the line during this period.
10 Rept. War Dept., 1899, I, Part_5, 6–20. Testimony of Gen. Hughes. Senate Doc. 331, pp. 506, 507. Luna's Report, Tel. Corp. Aguinaldo, pp. 46, 47, is absurdly inaccurate.
I brigade of Pasig were taken
Aguinaldo's army under General Luna was concentrating for the protection of his capital at Malolos. Early in March Congress authorized the enlistment of thirty new regiments of National Volunteers, to be organized without reference to states, and officered by the president of the United States. While they were organizing, regiments of regulars were rushed to Manila, and by the latter part of March the Eighth Army Corps, under Major-General E. S. Otis, twenty-four thousand strong, was ready to take the offensive. The second division, under MajorGeneral Arthur MacArthur, was north of a line which extended from a point on the bay near Caloocan, eastward from La Loma Church to the Deposito and the waterworks, and thence to the Pasig River at San Pedro Macati. The First Division, under Major-General H. W. Lawton, held the country south of the Pasig River.
On March 25 MacArthur's division moved northward for the capture of Malolos. The brigades of Brigadier-General Irving Hale and Brigadier-General Harrison G. Otis were in advance, with that of General Wheaton in the rear as a support. The line of advance covered about eight miles. The country was low and marshy, intersected by numerous tidal estuaries. From the shore of Manila Bay the land here rises gradually toward the east. Beyond Caloocan the foothills fall away and a wide and fertile valley extends northward through which flow numerous sluggish and troublesome rivers. Beyond the swamps the country was densely populated and highly cultivated. The villages which nestled among the bamboo thickets and banana plantations housed an astonishing number of people. The streams were lined with dense clumps of bamboo trees, which made perfect cover for troops acting on the defensive. Much of the country was devoted to the cultivation of rice; and during the wet season it was impossible for troops to pass over it. A rice field is laid out like a checker-board, the lines being drawn by narrow embankments of earth from two to three feet in height. In the planting and growing season the intervening spaces are covered with water, in which the plowing is done and the rice