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is cultivated. During the dry season the ground bakes hard, and the embankments make very good defensive works.
The roads which ran through the country were mostly of a primitive character and soon became impossible for the passage of troops. The embankment of the railroad which ran north from Manila to Dagupan was used as a highway by both American and Filipino troops. The latter took full advantage of the natural defenses of the country. During most of the march of twenty miles from Manila to Malolos the army moved in line of battle. Although there was constant fighting there were no general engagements of massed troops. Crossing a river was often a serious undertaking, but in no instance were the Filipinos able to more than delay the steady advance of the American troops. The Filipinos, who were armed with Mausers, were able to do effective execution while out of range of the Springfield rifles with which the American volunteer regiments had been supplied by a generous and wealthy country. After seven days of hard marching and almost continuous fighting the Americans entered Aguinaldo's capital city. 11
In possession of Malolos, MacArthur rested quietly for several weeks. The Filipino lines had been pushed back a few miles, but otherwise conditions were not materially changed. The enemy was as active as ever. When the Americans advanced, they retreated; when the Americans retired, they advanced.
From Malolos north the next important place was Calumpit, which Buencamino had marked for “the sepulture of the Americans.” In the possession of trained troops the place would have been very difficult to capture. The Filipinos had taken every advantage of the natural features of the locality and defended it with courage. The town lay in a rectangle formed by the railroad, the Rio Grande de la Pampanga, the Calumpit and Bagbag Rivers, which were supposed to be unfordable. The railroad embankment had been gashed with trenches cut across
11 Col. Harry C. Egbert, in command of the 22nd Infantry, was killed near Malinta.
and thus converted into formidable defensive works. The Filipinos had twelve thousand well-armed troops and several pieces of good modern artillery. Before reaching Calumpit General Hale's brigade fought a severe battle at Quingua, where Colonel Stotsenberg of the Nebraska regiment was killed. After severe fighting and under a heavy fire the troops finally crossed the Calumpit River. Wheaton's brigade advanced along the railroad embankment. A span of the bridge had been destroyed by the Filipinos, and a few officers and men gallantly swam the river just as Hale's men, who had found a ford, approached and assisted in driving the Filipinos out of the entrenchments. The Americans were now in possession of Calumpit, but the Filipinos were still in force on the north bank of the broad and deep Rio Grande, where they had constructed elaborate field fortifications. Near the end of the railroad bridge they had three pieces of artillery and one rapid-fire gun. Under a heavy fire Privates White and Trembley of the Kansas regiment swam the river and fastened a rope to a stake on the Filipino entrenchments, by means of which rafts loaded with troops were pulled across. They were soon in possession of the Filipino works. 12
On May 4 the northward movement was continued over a country which was more difficult than any that had previously been encountered. “It is,” wrote a correspondent, “a country which only an adventurous huntsman would venture over in search of the wildest fowl that inhabited its dark fensma 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 the passage through every river and swamp. Into this country of desolate moors and dangerous bogs the American army now plunged.”
The enemy was resourceful and active. At one place the road as it approached a stone bridge was found to be honeycombed with conical pits, in the bottoms of which sharp bamboo stakes were stuck, the whole covered with bamboo nets over which earth had been carefully spread. At one point where the Filipinos made a stand, the troops advanced through swamps waistdeep, across mud-bottomed esteros, in which they often sank to their waists, under a galling fire, until they had thus crossed eleven such streams.
12 Gen. Funston's Memories of Two Wars, pp. 281, 282, says: “I had initiated this enterprise and felt that I must see it through. I could not but consider the outcome as doubtful and knew mighty well that if I should send a small force across and sacrifice it I would be damned in my home state all the rest of my life and held up to scorn by all the corner-grocery tacticians in the country.” So the colonel of the regiment, with eight men, crossed on the first raft.
On the night of May 4 General Luna abandoned San Fernando Pampanga, after burning much of the town,13 and on the following day it was occupied by the Americans. On May 16 General Funston, who had been promoted, relieved General Wheaton in command of the First Brigade. The advance north now ceased for a time, but there was almost constant fighting in the neighborhood of San Fernando. On July 16 the Filipinos in force made a determined attack on the place, but, as usual, were driven off with heavy loss.
While these operations were going on in the north, General Hall, who had remained in command of the troops near Manila, captured the mountain town of Antipolo and drove the Filipinos from the Morong Peninsula. During the early part of April General W. H. Lawton led an expedition up the Pasig River and about the shores of the Laguna de Bay, with no results other than the acquisition of a certain amount of geographical information. 14
While General MacArthur was preparing to advance on Calumpit, his flank and line of communication were seriously threatened by the Filipinos operating from the east. General Lawton was now recalled to Manila and placed in charge of an expedition which was to proceed north along the base of the mountains east of MacArthur's position, and thus support him by striking the extreme right of the Filipinos and preventing the concentration of their forces. It was anticipated that these move
18 Luna generally burned the towns before retreating, injuring only his own people.
14 Lawton's Report, Rept. War Dept., 1899, I, Part 5, pp. 20–74.
ments would drive the insurgents out of the Tagalog provinces and into the north country, where the people were supposed to be unfriendly to them. Lawton started on April 22, and after a march through very difficult country, during which he had a number of spirited engagements, reached Baluiag, where he was detained for several days while MacArthur was trying to locate the elusive enemy. On May 14 Lawton advanced and captured San Maguil de Mayuma. From there he moved rapidly on to San Isidro, of which he took possession on May 17. Aguinaldo, who, with what was left of his government, had been at San Isidro, now retired to Cabanatuan, a few miles to the northeast. Soon thereafter the most of Lawton's troops were sent to join MacArthur at Calumpit, and he returned to Manila.
General Otis had not deemed it necessary to hold possession of the country between Manila and Cavite, and on the withdrawal of the American troops it had been promptly reoccupied by the Filipinos. By June they had become very demonstrative, and it was thought necessary to throw them back again. They had constructed strong works in front of San Pedro Macati and at Parañaque, on the bay south of Manila. With four thousand men General Lawton, after a severe preliminary fight on the Bacour road, found the Filipinos strongly entrenched at the Zapote River, where during the insurrection of 1896 they had defeated the Spaniards. Here on June 13 Lawton fought one of the severest engagements of the war, driving the Filipinos out and thus clearing the way from Manila to Cavite. 15
The southern islands were also gradually brought under control. The Visayans, except in the island of Panay, never offered any very serious organized resistance. Aguinaldo's agents were active and secured their formal adherence to the Philippine Republic, but the insurrection as a military proposition was never so formidable in the south central islands as in Luzon. Iloilo was taken on February 11, after it had been set on fire by the Filipinos.16
15 Rept. War. Dept., 1900, I, Part 5, pp. 273–385. 16 Claims for damages caused by fire were subsequently made to the United
The mixed Filipino population which occupied the northern shores of the great Moro island of Mindanao cast their lot with the Tagalogs. At Zamboanga the Moro, Tagalog and Visayan factions struggled with one another for control. In the spring of 1899 the insurgents at Zamboanga seized several Spanish gunboats and thus obtained possession of a number of quick-firing guns, rifles and much ammunition. In November the faction which then had the upper hand delivered Zamboanga to one of the American naval officers.
Early in the year 1900 American troops were sent to Cottabatu, Basilan and Davao. At Cottabatu the Moros rose against the Filipino agents, established a government of their own and with conscious merit notified the Americans that they had destroyed their tormentors and hoped for their reward in the favor and protection of the United States.
Evidently the Spaniards who were stationed in the southern islands did not expect to be immediately relieved by American troops, as soon after the treaty of peace was ratified they delivered the town of Siassi to the Sultan of Sulu, and were preparing to deliver Jolo to the same eager potentate, when, in May, 1899, General Otis, much to the disgust of the sultan, sent a regiment of infantry to the Moro country. The sultan, who had recently returned from a journey to Mecca and was residing at Siassi, did not respond with enthusiasm to an invitation to call on the American commander at Jolo. Although friendly relations were finally established, the situation throughout the entire southern archipelago was dangerous and unsatisfactory. Early in July General Bates was directed to establish some kind of a working agreement with the sultan. He found this quasi monarch under the delusion that after the departure of the Spaniards he had become a real sovereign. Spanish sovereignty over the Sulu Archipelago had been conceded in numerous treaties to which European states were parties, and in 1878 the sultan, in consideration of certain money payments, had acknowledged States government by foreign residents of Iloilo, but were disallowed. See For. Rel., 1903, pp. 479-483.