December 21, 2018

Part V: US Military Operations in Batangas from 1901-02 during the Fil-American War

Officers of the United States Army after entering the town of Batangas in 1900.
Officers of the United States Army after entering the town of Batangas in 1900.
[In this article: Philippine-American War, Philippine Revolution, Filipino rebels, Macabebe Scouts, Ilocano Scouts, Fil-Am War Batangas, Bauan Batangas, Taal Batangas, Batangas City Batangas, Taysan Batangas, Talisay Batangas]
We continue with the fifth installment of a series running on Batangas History detailing operations of the United States Army in the Province of Batangas during the Philippine-American War. The details are taken from the annual report1 of the United States War Department from 1901 to 1902.

The details are presented below in snippets and presented in chronological order. Those who missed the earlier installments may find these under the Fil-Am section of the main menu at the top of this page.

21 December 1901
  • Two detachments sent to scout the Calumpang Peninsula under the command of 1st Lieutenant Percy W. Arnold, accompanied by 18 native scouts of the 2nd Company of Macabebe Scouts, found 15 Remingtons, 14 Mausers, 3 Muratas, 1 Krag-Jörgensenand 50 rounds of ammunition for the Krag. Five of the Remingtons and two of the Mausers were in poor condition. The capture brought to 66 the number of guns captured by American forces stationed at Bauan.
  • While on a scouting mission from Ambulan (probably Ambulong in Tanauan), a group of American soldiers number 15 men and some 45 Macabebe Scouts under the command of Captain William S. Graves, accompanied by Captain George H. Estes Jr., struck Filipino rebels west of Caloocan (in present-day Talisay) at noon. The Filipinos numbered from 50-150 and were entrenched from a vertical cliff to Taal Lake, a distance of roughly 100 yards. Because it was not possible to flank the rebels, the American officers ordered a direct attack upon the entrenchment, killing seven of the rebels and capturing one. One Sergeant Isaac I. Cooper, among the first to attack, seized a rebel, threw him down and started to fire at the others. In all, three Americans and one Macabebe Scout was wounded. The rest of the rebels fled, leaving no wounded behind.

23 December 1901
Company F of the 21st Infantry engaged in a “desperate hand-to-hand encounter with bolo men in a deep gorge” near barrio Soro-soro in Batangas town. A total of 22 Filipino rebels were killed, their barracks destroyed and seven heads of cattle captured along with several bolos. One of the rebels, armed with a bolo, rushed one 1st Lieutenant Patrick A. Connolly but was shot by the musician Nelson Gilbert of Company F and twice by Connolly himself. The lieutenant and the rebel continued to struggle only hit with the butt of Connolly’s rifle. As the two combatants had fallen into the water and knocked unconscious, Connolly held him down in the water until he drowned. The lieutenant was slashed on the left cheek. Meanwhile, on Private Carney was attacked by two rebels, one of whom he bayoneted. The other was dealt with by Private Harry Hillibush while he attacked Carney, who took 6 bolo cuts his neck and shoulder.

28 December 1901
1st Lieutenant Nicolas Encarnacion and 1st Lieutenant Ricardo Maxsino2 of the Philippine revolutionary forces, accompanied by one other soldier and with them one rifle, presented themselves to the Americans in Taal, presumably to surrender.

29 December 1901
Just north of Mt. Maculot near Taal Lake, some 30 soldiers of the 10th Company of Macabebe Scouts under the command of one 1st Lieutenant Samuel W. Widdifield and accompanied by a civilian scout named drake, attacked a group of some 20 Filipino rebels. The group killed and wounded five of the rebels and captured three prisoners, along with a few of their bolos.

31 December 1901
In the mountains near Taysan, a group of some 20 Filipino rebels were encountered by Captain Daniel H. Boughton of the 3rd Cavalry, 1st Lieutenant Charles W. Exton of the 20th Infantry, a Mr. Morris of the Quartermaster’s3 Department in Manila and one Crispulo Patajo. The Americans immediately charged using their revolvers, defeating the rebels and capturing three ponies and some of their equipment.

1 January 1902
Right on New Year’s Day, Company G of the 21st Infantry, commanded by 1st Lieutenant William F. Fassett, engaged Filipino rebels while landing near the town of Lobo. Privates Harry H. Brown and Elmer Scott were wounded. The Filipino casualties were not known.

3 January 1902
  • A detachment under the command of 1st Lieutenant Charles P. Faulkner of the 8th Infantry struck a group of Filipino rebels near the town of Taal. One rebel was killed, none on the part of the Americans.
  • American soldiers under the command of Colonel Theodore J. Wint of the 6th Cavalry started searching the area from the Taysan to San Juan de Bocboc road to the sea for Filipino rebels who were believed encamped with a vast storehouse “containing accumulated supplies of palay, cattle, hogs, carabaos, chickens and corn, sufficient to last 20,000 men for six months. Just before noon that day, the Ilocano Scouts commanded by 1st Lieutenant John H. Neff had an encounter with the rebels, who fled their trenches when flanked by the Americans. Pocket skirmishes occurred throughout the day, without any casualties to the Americans. The Americans went on to sweep the western half of the Lobo Peninsula, where they had encounters with the rebels. A number of their cuartels (barracks) were destroyed. Nine rebels were killed and their equipment captured, along with their supplies.



4 January 1902
Near Lake Taal, some 30 men under the command of one 1st Lieutenant Clarence S. Nettles of the 21st Infantry struck Lott’s cuartel (presumably belonging to the Filipino rebels), killing 7 bolo men. They then burned the cuartel along with the storehouse, which was said to contain 300 bushels of rice.

7 January 1902
  • Men of the 20th Infantry under the command of Captain George H. Estes Jr. attacked a small band of some 12 riflemen Filipino rebels who were foraging near barrio San Isidro in the town of Batangas. Two of the rebels were killed and one rifle captured, along with the rebels’ supplies. The group also encountered a group of some 15 bolo men near barrio San Francisco of the same town, killing two of the rebels. On the side of the Americans, a Private Charlie C. Morison was wounded.
  • One 1st Lieutenant Lorenzo Tanganiban (Panganiban?) of the Filipino rebels went to Bauan to surrender to the Americans, bringing with him one revolver and one bolo.
  • Some 14 Filipino rebels were captured in the mountains near the town of Batangas by Crispulo Patajo, mentioned earlier in the encounter in Taysan, who was with Urelio (presumably Aurelio) Ramos, a post interpreter and 6 native scouts.

8 January 1902
  • In Taal, a sizeable group of Filipino rebels led by its commander Colonel Anastacio Marasigan surrendered to the Americans. Also with the group was Major Mariano Cabrera and a rebel priest named Magdaleno Castillo. The Americans were hoping that if the surrender was complete, it would bring to an end resistance in the western part of Batangas.
  • Fifty bolo men among the Filipino rebels laid down their arms and surrendered in the town of Bauan.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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Notes and references:
1Annual Reports of the War Department for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1902,” report of the Lieutenant-General Commanding the Army and Department Commanders, published 1902 in the United States, online at HathiTrust.
2 Maxsino was likely Magsino.
3 The quartermaster was a senior officer in charge of supplies and provisions. Wikipedia.

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