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Philippine–American War


Philippine–American War

Philippine–American War

Clockwise from top left: U.S. troops in Manila, Gregorio del Pilar and his troops around 1898, Americans guarding Pasig River bridge in 1898, Battle of Santa Cruz, Philippine Soldiers at Malolos, Battle of Quingua.
Date June 2, 1899 – July 4, 1902[lower-roman 1]
(3 years, 1 month and 2 days)
Moro Rebellion: 1899–1913
Location Philippines, Southeast Asia

American victory

The Philippines becomes an unincorporated territory of the United States and, later, a U.S. Commonwealth (until 1946).

 United States


Limited Foreign Support:
Empire of Japan

  • Shishi[3]
Commanders and leaders
William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
Elwell Stephen Otis
Arthur MacArthur, Jr.
Wesley Merritt
Thomas M. Anderson
Joseph Wheeler
John M. Stotsenburg 
John J. Pershing
Jacob H. Smith
Henry Lawton
Frederick N. Funston
Peyton C. March
Edward McConville
Leonard Wood
Emilio Aguinaldo
Antonio Luna
Artemio Ricarte
José Alejandrino
Apolinario Mabini
Miguel Malvar
Gregorio Del Pilar
Manuel Tinio
Pio del Pilar
Juan Cailles
Macario Sakay 
Dionisio Seguela
Vicente Alvarez
Sultan of Sulu
Hara Tei[3]

≈126,000 total[4][5]

≈24,000 to ≈44,000 field strength[6][7]
around 80,000–100,000[8]
≈Regular & Irregular
Casualties and losses
4,234[9]–6,165 killed,[10] 2,818 wounded[9] 12,000[4]–20,000[11] killed
Filipino civilians: 200,000-250,000 dead, mostly from disease[11][12][13][lower-roman 2]
  1. ^ July 4, 1902 is the official ending date of the War known as the "Filipino Rebellion"/"Philippine Insurrection", now more popularly referred to as the "Philippine-American War", though the "Moro", the "Pulahanes", the remnants of the "Katipunan", and the "Tagalog Republic", continued hostilities in the remote areas and islands until a decade later to June 15, 1913.[1][2]
  2. ^ While there are many estimates for civilian deaths, with some even going well over a million for the war, modern historians generally place the death toll between 200,000 and 250,000; see "Casualties".

The Philippine–American War (Spanish: Guerra Filipino-Estadounidense) (Filipino/Tagalog: Digmaang Pilipino-Amerikano) (1899–1902)[14] was an armed conflict between the United States and Philippine revolutionaries.

The conflict arose from the struggle of the First Philippine Republic to secure independence from the United States following the latter's acquisition of the Philippines from Spain after the Spanish–American War.[15][16] The war was a continuation of the Philippine struggle for independence that began in 1896 with the Philippine Revolution.

Fighting erupted between United States and Philippine revolutionary forces on February 4, 1899, and quickly escalated into the 1899 Second Battle of Manila. On June 2, 1899, the First Philippine Republic officially declared war against the United States.[17] The war officially ended on July 4, 1902.[18] However, some groups led by veterans of the Katipunan continued to battle the American forces. Among those leaders was General Macario Sacay, a veteran Katipunan member who assumed the presidency of the proclaimed "Tagalog Republic", formed in 1902 after the capture of President Emilio Aguinaldo. Other groups, including the Moro people and Pulahanes people, continued hostilities in remote areas and islands until their final defeat a decade later at the Battle of Bud Bagsak on June 15, 1913.[1][2]

The war and occupation by the U.S. would change the cultural landscape of the islands, as people dealt with an estimated 34,000 to 220,000 Philippine casualties (with more civilians dying from disease and hunger brought about by war), disestablishment of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines (as a "state Church" – as previously in Spain), and the introduction of the English language in the islands as the primary language of government, education, business, industrial and increasingly in future decades among families and educated individuals.

Under the 1902 "United States Congress, Filipinos were initially given very limited self-government, including the right to vote for some elected officials such as an elected Philippine Assembly, but it was not until 14 years later with the 1916 Philippine Autonomy Act, (or "Jones Act") passed by the United States Congress, during the administration of Democratic 28th President, Woodrow Wilson, that the U.S. officially promised eventual independence, along with more Philippine control in the meantime over the Philippines. The 1934 Philippine Independence Act created in the following year the Commonwealth of the Philippines, a limited form of independence, and established a process ending in Philippine independence (originally scheduled for 1944, but interrupted and delayed by World War II). Finally in 1946, following World War II and the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines, the United States granted independence through the Treaty of Manila concluded between the two governments and nations.


  • Nomenclature 1
  • Background 2
    • Philippine Revolution 2.1
    • Aguinaldo's exile and return 2.2
      • Sideco house (Emilio Aguinaldo' seat of First Philippine Republic) 2.2.1
  • War against the United States 3
    • Conflict origins 3.1
    • First Philippine Commission 3.2
    • Second Philippine Commission 3.3
    • American war strategy 3.4
      • American tactics 3.4.1
      • General Otis's actions 3.4.2
      • Signal Corps' Role in the Philippines 3.4.3
        • Purpose of the Signal Corps
        • Contribution of the Signal Corps
        • Anthony Morris Leafdale
    • Filipino war strategy 3.5
    • Guerrilla war phase 3.6
    • Decline and fall of the First Philippine Republic 3.7
    • Official end to the war 3.8
    • Irreconcilables 3.9
    • Pulajanes 3.10
    • Moro Rebellion 3.11
  • Political atmosphere 4
    • American opposition 4.1
    • Filipino collaboration 4.2
  • Casualties 5
  • Atrocities 6
    • American atrocities 6.1
      • American soldiers' letters and response 6.1.1
      • Concentration camps 6.1.2
    • Filipino atrocities 6.2
  • Consequences 7
    • Cultural impact 7.1
    • Philippine independence (1946) 7.2
  • See also 8
  • Notes 9
  • References 10
  • Further reading 11
    • Primary sources 11.1
  • External links 12


The war is known in the Philippines in Filipino language as Digmaang Pilipino-Amerikano (Philippine-American War) or Philippine War of Independence. In the United States, it has been known by a variety of names, including the Philippine Insurrection, the Philippine-American War, the Filipino-American War, the Philippine War, the Tagalog Insurgency,[19] and the Philippine Revolution.[20] In 1999 the U.S. Library of Congress reclassified its references to use the term Philippine-American War.[21]

Military engagements involving American forces in Mindanao in the early 20th century are sometimes referred to separately and collectively as The Moro War or The Moro-American War.[22][23][24]


Philippine Revolution

On July 7, 1892, Spanish colonial rule by armed revolt.[25] The "Katipunan" spread throughout the provinces, and the "Philippine Revolution" of 1896 was led by its members, called "Katipuneros".[1][26] Fighters in Cavite province won early victories. One of the most influential and popular Cavite leaders was Emilio Aguinaldo, mayor of Cavite El Viejo (modern-day Kawit), who gained control of much of the eastern Cavite province. Eventually Aguinaldo and his faction gained control of the leadership of the movement. In 1897, Aguinaldo was elected president of an insurgent government of the First Philippine Republic while the “outmaneuvered”[1] Bonifacio was executed for treason.[1][27] Aguinaldo is officially considered the first president of the Philippines.

Aguinaldo's exile and return

Emilio Aguinaldo in the field
Personifying the United States, "Uncle Sam" chases a bee representing Emilio Aguinaldo, the President of the Philippine Republic on the Islands from March 22, 1897 to April 1, 1901. In 1901, two years after this cartoon's publication in America, at the end of the "Philippine Insurrection" / Philippine-American War, Aguinaldo would surrender control of the Philippines to the United States.

By December 1897, the struggle had come to a stalemate. In August 1897, "armistice" negotiations were opened between President Aguinaldo and the Spanish governor-general, Fernando Primo de Rivera. By mid-December an agreement was reached in which the Governor would pay Aguinaldo a sum described in the Agreement as "$800,000 (Mexican pesos)" in three installments if Aguinaldo would go into exile.[28][29] Aguinaldo then established himself in Hong Kong.[28][30] Before leaving, Aguinaldo denounced the Revolution, exhorted Filipino rebel combatants to disarm and declared those who continued hostilities and waging war to be bandits.[1] However, some Philippine revolutionaries did continue armed struggle against the Spanish colonial government.[1][31][32][33][34][35]

Aguinaldo wrote retrospectively in 1899 that he had met with U.S. Consuls E. Spencer Pratt and Rounceville Wildman in Singapore in 1898 between April 22 and 25 and that they persuaded him to again take up the mantle of leadership in the revolution, with Pratt communicating with Admiral

  • The American Peril - An Examination of the Spanish American War and the Philippine Insurrection by Dan Carlin
  • Philippine–American War Arnaldo Dumindin
  • Images from the Philippine-United States War
  • The Philippine Centennial Celebration MSC Computer Training Center.
  • The Matter of the Philippines, from Birth of an American Empire, EDSITEment
  • El Primer Genocido at the Wayback Machine (archived October 15, 2006) (Spanish) (archived from the original on 2006-10-15)
  • A brief description of the war between the United States and the Philippines, which began in 1899.
  • "August 13, 1898 and RP's short-lived republic" at the Wayback Machine (archived February 13, 2008) by Mariano "Anong" Santos, Pinoy Newsmagazine, August 2006 (archived on 2008-02-13)
  • "Imperial Amnesia" by John B. Judis, Foreign Policy, July/August 2004
  • The Philippine Revolutionary Records at (archived on 2009-05-25).
  • "Battle of Paceo", 1899 painting by Kurz and Allison at the Wayback Machine (archived May 11, 2011) (archived on 2011-05-11)
  • "Battle Of Quingua", 1899 painting by Kurz and Allison at the Wayback Machine (archived May 11, 2011) (archived on 2011-05-11)
  • Images of Philippine–American War
  • , May 28, 1989.In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines interview with Stanley Karnow on Booknotes
  • No. 15 Spanish 12-pounder Photo of a bronze cannon captured by the Americans in Manila.
  • Philippine-American War - 1899-1902 (videos)
  • Reenactment of Spanish–American War (video) on YouTube
  • Spanish-American War Reenactment Groups

External links

  • The "Lodge Committee" (a.k.a. Philippine Investigating Committee) hearings and a great deal of documentation were published in three volumes (3000 pages) as S. Doc. 331, 57th Cong., 1st Session An abridged version of the oral testimony can be found in: American Imperialism and the Philippine Insurrection: Testimony Taken from Hearings on Affairs in the Philippine Islands before the Senate Committee on the Philippines—1902; edited by Henry F Graff; Publisher: Little, Brown; 1969. ASIN: B0006BYNI8
  • Storey, Moorfield and Julian Codman legal counsel for the Philippine Investigating Committee. (1902). Secretary Root's Record:"Marked Severities" in Philippine Warfare – Wikisource.
  • Anthony Morris Leafdale Diary (copy), Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, College of William and Mary. 1899-1911.

Primary sources

  • Delmendo, Sharon (2004), The Star-Entangled Banner: One Hundred Years of America in the Philippines, Rutgers University Press,  
  • Jacobson, Matthew Frye. (2000). Barbarian Virtues: The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876–1917. Hill and Wang, ISBN 978-0-8090-1628-0
  • Legarda, Benito J. Jr. (2001). The Hills of Sampaloc: the Opening Actions of the Philippine–American War, February 4–5, 1899. Makati: Bookmark. ISBN 978-971-569-418-6.
  • Silbey, David J. A War of Frontier and Empire: The Philippine–American War, 1899–1902 (2008)
  • Stewart, Richard W. General Editor, Ch. 16, Transition, Change, and the Road to war, 1902–1917", in "American Military History, Volume I: The United States Army and the Forging of a Nation, 1775–1917", Center of Military History, United States Army, ISBN 0-16-072362-0.
  • Wilcox, Marrion. Harper's History of the War. Harper, New York and London 1900, reprinted 1979. [Alternate title: Harper's History of the War in the Philippines]. Also reprinted in the Philippines by Vera-Reyes.

Further reading

  • Agoncillo, Teodoro (1997), Malolos: The crisis of the republic, University of the Philippines Press, Vol. 11, No. 4 (Dec., 1983), pp. 547–52 Reviews in American History Kenton J. Clymer states “The book provides the best account to date of the inner dynamics of the Filipino side of the war.”—Review: Not so Benevolent Assimilation: The Philippine–American War,  
  • Aguinaldo, Emilio (1899), "Chapter III. Negotiations", True Version of the Philippine Revolution, Authorama: Public Domain Books, retrieved February 7, 2008 
  • Bautista, Veltisezar (May 1998), The Filipino Americans from 1763 to the Present: Their History, Culture, and Traditions, Bookhaus Publishers,  
  • Anderson, Gerald R. (2009), Subic Bay from Magellan to Pinatubo: The History of the U.S. Naval Station, Subic Bay, Gerald Anderson,  
  • Bayor, Ronald H. (June 23, 2004), The Columbia Documentary History of Rac e and Ethnicity in America, Columbia University Press,  
  • Blitz, Amy (2000), The Contested State: American Foreign Policy and Regime Change in the Philippines, Rowman & Littlefield,  
  • Brooks, Van Wyck (1920), Ordeal of Mark Twain, E.P. Dutton & Company 
  • Coker, Kathy R.; Stokes, Carol E. (1991), A Concise History of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, U.S. Army Signal Center 
  • Burdeos, Ray L. (2008), Filipinos in the U.S. Navy & Coast Guard During the Vietnam War, AuthorHouse,  
  • Chambers, John W.; Anderson, Fred (1999), The Oxford Companion to American Military History, Oxford University Press,  
  • Chapman, William (1988), Inside the Philippine revolution, I.B.Tauris,  
  • Deady, Timothy K. (Spring 2005), "Lessons from a Successful Counterinsurgency: The Philippines, 1899–1902" (PDF), Parameters' (US Army War College) 35 (1), archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-26 
  • Escalante, Rene R. (2007), The Bearer of Pax Americana: The Philippine Career of William Howard Taft, New Day Publishers,  
  • Feuer, A. B. (2002), America at War: The Philippines, 1898–1913, Greenwood Publishing Group,  
  • Gates, John M. (1973), Schoolbooks and Krags: The United States Army in the Philippines, 1898–1902, Greenwood Press,  
  • Gates, John M. (1983), "War-Related Deaths in the Philippines, 1898–1902", Pacific Historical Review 53 (367) 
  • Gates, John M. (2002), "Chapter 3: The Pacification of the Philippines", The US Army and Irregular Warfare, The College of Wooster 
  • Golay, Frank H. (1997), Face of Empire: United States–Philippine relations, 1898–1946, Ateneo de Manila University Press,  
  • Guevara, Sulpico, ed. (2005), The laws of the first Philippine Republic (the laws of Malolos) 1898–1899, Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Library (published 1972), retrieved March 26, 2008 . (English translation by Sulpicio Guevara)
  • Hack, Karl; Rettig, Tobias (2006), Colonial armies in Southeast Asia, Routledge,  
  • Halstead, Murat (1898), "XII. The American Army in Manila", The Story of the Philippines and Our New Possessions, Including the Ladrones, Hawaii, Cuba and Porto Rico 
  • Halstead, Murat (1898), "XXVIII. Battles with the Filipinos before Manila", The Story of the Philippines and Our New Possessions, Including the Ladrones, Hawaii, Cuba and Porto Rico 
  • Hamilton, Richard F. (2007), President McKinley and America's "New Empire", Transaction Publishers,  
  • Jaycox, Faith (2005), The Progressive Era, Infobase Publishing,  
  • Joaquin, Nicomedes (1977), A Question of Heroes,  
  • Kalaw, Maximo Manguiat (1926), The Development of Philippine Politics, Oriental commercial, retrieved February 7, 2008 
  • Kalaw, Maximo Manguiat (1927), "Appendix C. Aguinaldo's Proclamation of June 23, 1898, Establishing the Revolutionary Government", The Development of Philippine Politics, Oriental commercial, pp. 423–429, retrieved September 7, 2009 
  • Kumar, Amitava (October 29, 1999), Poetics/Politics: Radical Aesthetics for the Classroom, Palgrave,  
  • Lacsamana, Leodivico Cruz (1990), Philippine History and Government (Second ed.), Phoenix Publishing House, Inc.,  
  • Linn, Brian McAllister (2000), The U.S. Army and Counterinsurgency in the Philippine War, 1899–1902, University of North Carolina Press,  
  • Linn, Brian McAllister (2000), The Philippine War, 1899–1902, University Press of Kansas,  
  • Lone, Stewart (2007), Daily Lives of Civilians in Wartime Asia: From the Taiping Rebellion to the Vietnam Warpublisher=Greenwood ,  
  • May, Glenn Anthony (1991), Battle for Batangas: A Philippine Province at War, Yale University Press,  
  • Miller, Stuart Creighton (1982), Benevolent Assimilation: The American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899–1903, Yale University Press, Kenton J. Clymer States "The War Miller describes is a more believable one than the one Gates pictures."  
  • Paine, Albert Bigelow (1912), Mark Twain: A Biography: The Personal and Literary Life of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, Harper & Brothers 
  • "Race-Making and Colonial Violence in the U.S. Empire: The Philippine–American War as Race War," Diplomatic History, Vol. 30, No. 2 (April 2006), 169–210. (Adapted version at
  • Ramsey, Robert D. III (2007), Savage Wars of Peace: Case Studies of Pacification in the Philippines, 1900–1902 (PDF), Combat Studies Institute Press , ISBN 978-0-16-078950-2.
  • Shaw, Angel Velasco (2002), Vestiges of War: The Philippine–American War and the Aftermath of an Imperial Dream, 1899–1999, New York University Press,  
  • Schirmer, Daniel B. (1972), Republic or Empire: American Resistance to the Philippine War, Schenkman,  
  • Schirmer, Daniel B.; Shalom, Stephen Rosskamm (1987), The Philippines Reader: A History of Colonialism, Neocolonialism, Dictatorship, and Resistance,  
  • Sexton, William Thaddeus (2008), Soldiers in the Sun, READ BOOKS,  
  • Silbey, David J. (2007), A War of Frontier and Empire: The Philippine–American War, 1899–1902, Farrar, Straus and Giroux,  
  • Simmons, Edwin H. (2003), The United States Marines: a history, Naval Institute Press,  
  • Smallman-Raynor, Matthew; Andrew D Cliff (January 1998), "The Philippines Insurrection and the 1902–4 cholera epidemic: Part I – Epidemiological diffusion processes in war", Journal of Historical Geography 24 (1): 69–89,  
  • Steinberg, David Joel (Summer 1972), "An Ambiguous Legacy: Years at War in the Philippines", Pacific Affairs 45 (2) 
  • Tucker, Spencer (2009), The encyclopedia of the Spanish–American and Philippine–American wars: a political, social, and military history, ABC-CLIO,  
  • Wildman, E. (1901), Aguinaldo: A Narrative of Filipino Ambitions, Norwood, Massachusetts: Norwood Press 
  • Wolff, Leon (1960), Little Brown Brother: How the United States Purchased and Pacified the Philippine Islands at the Century's Turn, Doubleday & Company, Inc, Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 61-6528 
  • Worcester, Dean Conant (1914), "IV. The Premeditated Insurgent Attack", The Philippines: Past and Present (vol. 1 of 2), Macmillan, pp. 75–89,  
  • Worcester, Dean Conant (1914), "IX, The conduct of the war", The Philippines: Past and Present (vol. 1 of 2), Macmillan, pp. 168–184,  
  • Worcester, Dean Conant (1914), "XIV, The Philippine Constabulary and Public Order", The Philippines: Past and Present (vol. 1 of 2), Macmillan, pp. 302–310,  
  • Worcester, Dean Conant (1914), "XVIII, The Coördination of Scientific Work", The Philippines: Past and Present (vol. 1 of 2), Macmillan, pp. 233–247,  
  • Young, Kenneth Ray (1994), The General's General: The Life and Times of Arthur Macarthur, Westview Press 
  • Zinn, Howard (1999), A People's History of the United States, Harper Collins 
  • Zwick, Jim (1992), Mark Twain's Weapons of Satire: Anti-Imperialist Writings on the Philippine–American War, Syracuse University Press,  
  • Zwick, Jim, Friends of the Filipino People Bulletin 
  • Zwick, Jim (1982), Militarism and Repression in the Philippines, Centre for Developing-Area Studies, McGill University,  
  • Zwick, Jim (January 1, 1992), Prodigally Endowed with Sympathy for the Cause: Mark Twain's Involvement with the Anti-Imperialist League, Ephemera Society of America, ASIN B0006R8RJ8 


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  3. ^ a b "Diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Japan". Republic of the Philippines - Presidential Museum & Library. Retrieved 1 June 2015. On February 4, 1899, the Philippine-American War broke out. A handful of Japanese shishi, or ultranationalists, fought alongside President Aguinaldo’s army. They landed in Manila, led by Captain Hara Tei and joined Aguinaldo’s forces in Bataan. 
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  86. ^ Aguinaldo's Proclamation of Formal Surrender to the United States, y – Philippine Culture, April 19, 1901, retrieved December 5, 2009 
  87. ^ Brands 1992, p. 59
  88. ^ Cruz, Maricel V. "Lawmaker: History wrong on Gen. Malvar." Manila Times, January 2, 2008 (archived on December 11, 2008)
  89. ^ a b Schirmer & Shalom 1987, pp. 18, [4]
  90. ^ Tucker 2009, pp. 477–478
  91. ^ Worcester 1914, p. 188
  92. ^ "GENERAL AMNESTY FOR THE FILIPINOS; Proclamation Issued by the President" (PDF), The New York Times, July 4, 1902, retrieved February 5, 2008 
  93. ^ "Presidential Proclamation No. 173 S. 2002". Official Gazette. April 9, 2002. 
  94. ^ Worcester 1914, p. 240 Ch.14
  95. ^ Dy-Liacco, Leonor R. (1996). Sarung Dolot sa Satuyang Ina. J & R Printing Co. Inc.
  96. ^ Froles, Paul, Macario Sakay: Tulisán or Patriot?, Philippine History Group of Los Angeles 
  97. ^ For accounts of Sakay's surrender, imprisonment, and execution, see
    • Reynaldo Clemeña Ileto (1997), Pasyon and revolution: popular movements in the Philippines, 1840–1910, Ateneo de Manila University Press, pp. 193–197,  
    • Arnaldo Dumindin, Philippine–American War, 1899–1902,
  98. ^ "Mindinao, Sulu, and ARMM". Retrieved April 27, 2008. 
  99. ^ Twain, Mark (October 6, 1900), "Mark Twain, The Greatest American Humorist, Returning Home", New York World, archived from the original on October 10, 2006 
  100. ^ Rohter, Larry (July 9, 2010), "Dead for a Century, Twain Says What He Meant", New York Times 
  101. ^ "NEW FILIPINO HORSE.; Four Troops of Macabebes to be Formed with Americans as Officers", New York Times, July 17, 1900.
  102. ^ Boot 2003, p. 125
  103. ^ "The U.S. Army and Irregular Warfare". 2002. Retrieved 2012-06-05. 
  104. ^  
  105. ^ Clodfelter, Michael, Warfare and Armed Conflict: A Statistical Reference to Casualty and Other Figures, 1618-1991
  106. ^ Leon Wolff, Little Brown Brother (1961) p.360
  107. ^ Benjamin A. Valentino, Final solutions: mass killing and genocide in the twentieth century (2005) p.27
  108. ^ FAS 2000: Federation of American Scientists, The World at War (2000)
  109. ^ Philip Sheldon Foner, The Spanish-Cuban-American War and the Birth of American Imperialism (1972) p.626
  110. ^ George C. Herring, From colony to superpower: U.S. foreign relations since 1776 (2008) p.329
  111. ^ Graff, American Imperialism and the Philippine Insurrection (1969)
  112. ^ Irving Werstein, 1898: The Spanish American War: told with pictures (1966) p.124
  113. ^ The Philippine-American War, 1899–1902, U.S. State Department, Office of the Historian.
  114. ^ a b "Jacob F. Smith."(2010). Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved September 30, 2010.
  115. ^ Secretary Root's Record:"Marked Severities" in Philippine Warfare, Wikisource (multiple mentions)
  116. ^ Secretary Root's Record:"Marked Severities" in Philippine Warfare#The Orders of Bell and Smith, Wikisource.
  117. ^ quoted in Zinn, Howard (2014). A PEOPLE’S HISTORY of the UNITED STATES 1492—PRESENT. Time Apt. Group. p. unnumbered.  
  118. ^ a b Miller 1982, p. 88.
  119. ^ a b Dumindin, Arnaldo, "The Last Holdouts: General Vicente Lukban falls, Feb. 18, 1902", Philippine–American War, 1899–1902, self-published, retrieved June 1, 2010 
  120. ^ David Brody (2010). Visualizing American Empire: Orientalism and Imperialism in the Philippines. University of Chicago Press. pp. 69–71.  
  121. ^ Boot 2003, p. 204
  122. ^ Miller 1982, p. 220
  123. ^ "Bob Couttie"
  124. ^ Simmons 2003, p. 78
  125. ^ "THE WATER CURE DESCRIBED.; Discharged Soldier Tells Senate Committee How and Why the Torture Was Inflicted" (PDF). The New York Times. May 4, 1902. p. 13. Retrieved March 29, 2008. 
  126. ^ Agoncillo 1990, pp. 227–231
  127. ^ Worcester 1914, p. 237 Ch.14
  128. ^ Seekins, Donald M. (1993), "The First Phase of United States Rule, 1898-1935", in Dolan, Ronald E., Philippines: A Country Study (4th ed.), Washington, D.C.: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress, retrieved 2007-12-25 
  129. ^ Escalante 2007, pp. 223,224.
  130. ^ Escalante 2007, p. 226.
  131. ^ a b c d Act No. 926, enacted October 7, 1903, ChanRobles law library.
  132. ^ Act No. 1120, enacted April 26, 1904.
  133. ^ Escalante 2007, p. 218.
  134. ^ a b c Escalante 2007, p. 219.
  135. ^ Andrew Gonzalez (1998), "The Language Planning Situation in the Philippines" (PDF), Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development (De La Salle University, via 19 (5&6): 513,  
  136. ^ Thomasites: An army like no other, Government of the Philippines, October 12, 2003, archived from the original on April 29, 2008, retrieved April 9, 2008 
  137. ^ a b c Ronald E. Dolan, ed. (1991), "United States Rule", Philippines: A Country Study, Washington, D.C.: GPO for the Library of Congress, retrieved January 5, 2008 
  138. ^ Karnow 1990, pp. 227–228.
  139. ^ a b Escalante 2007, pp. 48–54.
  140. ^ Miller 1982, pp. 18–19.


See also

The Philippine senate. The Tydings–McDuffie Act (officially the Philippine Independence Act; Public Law 73-127) approved on March 24, 1934 provided for self-government of the Philippines and for Filipino independence (from the United States) after a period of ten years. World War II intervened, bringing the Japanese occupation between 1941 and 1945. In 1946, the Treaty of Manila (1946) between the governments of the U.S. and the Republic of the Philippines provided for the recognition of the independence of the Republic of the Philippines and the relinquishment of American sovereignty over the Philippine Islands.

From the very beginning, United States presidents and their representatives in the islands defined their colonial mission as tutelage: preparing the Philippines for eventual independence.[138][139] Except for a small group of "retentionists," the issue was not whether the Philippines would be granted self-rule, but when and under what conditions.[139][140] Thus political development in the islands was rapid and particularly impressive in light of the complete lack of representative institutions under the Spanish. The Philippine Assembly, which would be popularly elected, and an upper house consisting of the Philippine Commission, which was to be appointed by the president of the United States.[137]

[137] The Second Philippine Commission (the

On January 20, 1899, President McKinley appointed the First Philippine Commission (the Schurman Commission), a five-person group headed by Dr. Jacob Schurman, president of Cornell University, to investigate conditions in the islands and make recommendations. In the report that they issued to the president the following year, the commissioners acknowledged Filipino aspirations for independence; they declared, however, that the Philippines was not ready for it. Specific recommendations included the establishment of civilian government as rapidly as possible (the American chief executive in the islands at that time was the military governor), including establishment of a bicameral legislature, autonomous governments on the provincial and municipal levels, and a new system of free public elementary schools.[137]

Manuel L. Quezón, the first president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines (from 1935 to 1944) and former revolutionary military commander.

Philippine independence (1946)

In 1901 at least five hundred teachers (365 males and 165 females) arrived from the U.S. aboard the USS Thomas. The name Thomasite was adopted for these teachers, who firmly established education as one of America's major contributions to the Philippines. Among the assignments given were Albay, Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, and Masbate. Twenty-seven of the original Thomasites either died of tropical diseases or were murdered by Filipino rebels during their first 20 months of residence. Despite the hardships, the Thomasites persisted, teaching and building learning institutions that prepared students for their chosen professions or trades. They opened the Philippine Normal School (now Philippine Normal University) and the Philippine School of Arts and Trades (PSAT) in 1901 and reopened the Philippine Nautical School, established in 1839 by the Board of Commerce of Manila under Spain. By the end of 1904, primary courses were mostly taught by Filipinos under American supervision.[136]

Governor General William Howard Taft addressing the audience at the Philippine Assembly in the Manila Grand Opera House, 16 October 1907

U.S. President McKinley, in his instructions to the First Philippine Commission in 1898, ordered the use of the Philippine languages as well as English for instructional purposes, and displace Spanish. The American administrators, used as excuse that finding the local languages to be too numerous and too difficult to learn and to write teaching materials in, ended up with a monolingual system in English, with no attention paid to the other Philippine languages except for the token statement concerning the necessity of using them eventually for the system[135]

The influence of the Roman Catholic Church was reduced when the secular United States Government [58] the Public Lands Act[131] and the Friar Lands Act.[132][133] Section 10 of the Public Land Act limited purchases to a maximum of 16 hectares for an individual or 1024 hectares for a corporation or like association.[131][134] Land was also offered for lease to landless farmers, at prices ranging from fifty centavos to one peso and fifty centavos per hectare per annum.[131][134] Section 28 of the Public Lands Act stipulated that lease contracts may run for a maximum period of 25 years, renewable for another 25 years.[131][134]

Cultural impact


However, Worcester cannot be regarded as a reliable source. He enriched himself in the Philippines and used as a cover his "scientific" studies that made out native Filipinos to be racially inferior.

"Millions of ants had done the rest."[127]

Another American prisoner, found on the same trip, had been buried in the ground with only his head projecting. His mouth had been propped open with a stick, a trail of sugar laid to it through the forest, and a handful thrown into it.

"A detachment, marching through Leyte, found an American who had disappeared a short time before crucified, head down. His abdominal wall had been carefully opened so that his intestines might hang down in his face.

Worcester recounts two specific Filipino atrocities as follows:

On the Filipino side, information regarding atrocities comes from the eyewitnesses and the participants themselves. In his History of the Filipino People Teodoro Agoncillo writes that the Filipino troops could match and even exceed American brutality on some prisoners of war. Kicking, slapping, and spitting at faces were common. In some cases, ears and noses were cut off and salt applied to the wounds. In other cases, captives were buried alive. These atrocities occurred regardless of Aguinaldo's orders and circulars concerning the good treatment of prisoners.[126]

Sergeant Hallock testified in the Lodge Committee that natives were given the water cure, "... in order to secure information of the murder of Private O'Herne of Company I, who had been not only killed, but roasted and otherwise tortured before death ensued."[125]

Other events dubbed atrocities included those attributed by the Americans to General Vicente Lukban, allegedly the Filipino commander who masterminded the Balangiga massacre in Samar province, a surprise Filipino attack that killed almost fifty American soldiers. Media reports stated that many of the bodies were mutilated.[121] The attack itself triggered American reprisals in Samar, ordered by General Jacob Hurd Smith, who reportedly ordered his men to kill everyone over ten years old. To his credit, Major Littleton Waller countermanded it to his own men.[122] Smith was court-martialed for this order and found guilty in 1902, which ended his career in the U.S. Army.[123] Waller was acquitted of killing eleven Filipino guides.[124]

In January 1899, the New York World published a story about an American soldier, Private William Lapeer, who had allegedly been deliberately infected with leprosy. The veracity of the story, however, has been questioned, and the opinion expressed that the name Lapeer itself is probably a pun.[120]

U.S. Army General Otis alleged that Filipino insurgents tortured American prisoners in "fiendish fashion". According to Otis, many were buried alive or were placed up to their necks in ant hills. He claimed others had their genitals removed and stuffed into their mouths and were then executed by suffocation or bleeding to death. It was also reported that Spanish priests were horribly mutilated before their congregations, and natives who refused to support Emilio Aguinaldo were slaughtered by the thousands. American newspaper headlines announced the "Murder and Rapine" by the "Fiendish Filipinos."[64] General "Fighting Joe" Wheeler insisted that it was the Filipinos who had mutilated their own dead, murdered women and children, and burned down villages, solely to discredit American soldiers.[64]

Filipino atrocities

In some areas, Filipinos were forced into concentration camps, called reconcentrados, which were surrounded by free-fire zones. These camps were overcrowded which led to disease and death. Between January and April 1902, 8,350 prisoners of approximately 298,000 died. Some camps incurred death rates as high as 20 percent. "One camp was two miles by one mile (3.2 by 1.6 km) in area and 'home' to some 8,000 Filipinos. Men were rounded up for questioning, tortured, and summarily executed."[119] In Batangas Province, where General Franklin Bell was responsible for setting up a concentration camp, a correspondent described the operation as "relentless." General Bell ordered that by December 25, 1901, the entire population of both Batangas Province and Laguna Province had to gather into small areas within the "poblacion" of their respective towns. Barrio families had to bring everything they could carry because anything left behind—including houses, gardens, carts, poultry and animals—was to be burned by the U.S. Army. Anyone found outside the concentration camps was shot. General Bell insisted that he had built these camps to "protect friendly natives from the insurgents, assure them an adequate food supply" while teaching them "proper sanitary standards." The commandant of one of the camps referred to them as the "suburbs of Hell."[119]

Concentration camps

General Otis' investigation of the content of these letters consisted of sending a copy of them to the author’s superior and having him force the author to write a retraction. When a soldier refused to do so, as Private Charles Brenner of the Kansas regiment did, he was court-martialed. In the case of Private Brenner, the charge was "for writing and conniving at the publication of an article which...contains willful falsehoods concerning himself and a false charge against Captain Bishop."[63] Not all such letters that discussed atrocities were intended to criticize General Otis or American actions. Many portrayed U.S. actions as the result of Filipino provocation and thus entirely justified.

  • A soldier from New York: "The town of Titatia was surrendered to us a few days ago, and two companies occupy the same. Last night one of our boys was found shot and his stomach cut open. Immediately orders were received from General Wheaton to burn the town and kill every native in sight; which was done to a finish. About 1,000 men, women and children were reported killed. I am probably growing hard-hearted, for I am in my glory when I can sight my gun on some dark skin and pull the trigger."[118]
  • Corporal Sam Gillis: "We make everyone get into his house by seven p.m., and we only tell a man once. If he refuses we shoot him. We killed over 300 natives the first night. They tried to set the town on fire. If they fire a shot from the house we burn the house down and every house near it, and shoot the natives, so they are pretty quiet in town now."[118]

Throughout the war American soldiers would write home about the atrocities committed by American forces. In these letters some would criticize General Otis and the U.S. military. When these letters reached anti-imperialist newspaper editors the letters would become national news which would force the War Department to investigate. Two such letters included:

American soldiers' letters and response

American operations into the countryside often included scorched earth campaigns[89] in which entire villages were destroyed; the use of torture including the water cure;[115] and the concentration of civilians into "protected zones".[116] In November 1901, the Manila correspondent of the Philadelphia Ledger wrote: "The present war is no bloodless, opera bouffe engagement; our men have been relentless, have killed to exterminate men, women, children, prisoners and captives, active insurgents and suspected people from lads of ten up, the idea prevailing that the Filipino as such was little better than a dog..."[117]

A newspaper depiction from 1902 of water curing by Macabebe Scouts under the Unites States.
Enraged by a guerrilla massacre of U.S. troops on the Island of Samar, General Jacob H. Smith retaliated by carrying out an indiscriminate attack upon its inhabitants.[114] His order "KILL EVERY ONE OVER TEN" became a 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". Published in the New York Journal-American, May 5, 1902. Smith was eventually court-martialed by the American military and forced to retire.[114]

American atrocities


The total number of Filipino who died remains a matter of debate. In 1908 Manuel Arellano Remondo, in General Geography of the Philippine Islands, wrote: "The population decreased due to the wars, in the five-year period from 1895 to 1900, since, at the start of the first insurrection, the population was estimated at 9,000,000, and at present (1908), the inhabitants of the Archipelago do not exceed 8,000,000 in number."[102] John M. Gates estimates that at least 15,000~20,000 Filipino soldiers were killed, with up to an additional 200,000 civilian deaths, mostly from a cholera epidemic.[103] Filipino historian E. San Juan, Jr. argues that 1.4 million Filipinos died during the war and that constitutes an act of genocide on the part of the United States.[104] Most sources cite a figure of 200,000 to 250,000 total Filipino civilians dead with most losses attributable to disease.[105][106][107][108][109][110][111][112] The United States Department of State states that the war "resulted in the death of over 4,200 American and over 20,000 Filipino combatants", and that "as many as 200,000 Filipino civilians died from violence, famine, and disease".[113]

Filipino casualties on the first day of Philippine-American War.
Dead American soldiers inside the coffins during the Philippine-American War.


U.S. Army Captain Matthew Arlington Batson formed the Macabebe Scouts[101] as a native guerrilla force to fight the insurgency.

Some of Aguinaldo's associates supported America, even before hostilities began. Pedro Paterno, Aguinaldo's prime minister and the author of the 1897 armistice treaty with Spain, advocated the incorporation of the Philippines into the United States in 1898. Other associates sympathetic to the U.S. were Trinidad Pardo de Tavera and Benito Legarda, prominent members of Congress; Gregorio Araneta, Aguinaldo's Secretary of Justice; and Felipe Buencamino, Aguinaldo's Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Buencamino is recorded to have said in 1902: "I am an American and all the money in the Philippines, the air, the light, and the sun I consider American." Many such people subsequently held posts in the colonial government.[1]

Filipino collaboration

In a diary passage removed by Twain's first biographical editor Thomas Bigelow Paine, Twain refers to American troops as "our uniformed assassins" and describes their killing of "six hundred helpless and weaponless savages" in the Philippines as "a long and happy picnic with nothing to do but sit in comfort and fire the Golden Rule into those people down there and imagine letters to write home to the admiring families, and pile glory upon glory."[100]

"There is the case of the Philippines. I have tried hard, and yet I cannot for the life of me comprehend how we got into that mess. Perhaps we could not have avoided it—perhaps it was inevitable that we should come to be fighting the natives of those islands—but I cannot understand it, and have never been able to get at the bottom of the origin of our antagonism to the natives. I thought we should act as their protector—not try to get them under our heel. We were to relieve them from Spanish tyranny to enable them to set up a government of their own, and we were to stand by and see that it got a fair trial. It was not to be a government according to our ideas, but a government that represented the feeling of the majority of the Filipinos, a government according to Filipino ideas. That would have been a worthy mission for the United States. But now—why, we have got into a mess, a quagmire from which each fresh step renders the difficulty of extrication immensely greater. I'm sure I wish I could see what we were getting out of it, and all it means to us as a nation."[99]

Mark Twain famously opposed the war by using his influence in the press. He said the war betrayed the ideals of American democracy by not allowing the Filipino people to choose their own destiny.

Some Americans, notably William Jennings Bryan, Mark Twain, Andrew Carnegie, Ernest Crosby, and other members of the American Anti-Imperialist League, strongly objected to the annexation of the Philippines. Anti-imperialist movements claimed that the United States had become a colonial power, by replacing Spain as the colonial power in the Philippines. Other anti-imperialists opposed annexation on racist grounds. Among these was Senator Benjamin Tillman of South Carolina, who feared that annexation of the Philippines would lead to an influx of non-white immigrants into the United States. As news of atrocities committed in subduing the Philippines arrived in the United States, support for the war flagged.

American opposition

Political atmosphere

The American government had a peace treaty with the Sultanate of Sulu at the outbreak of the war with Aguinaldo that was supposed to prevent war in Moro territory. However, after the resistance in the north was crippled, the United States began to colonize Moro land, which provoked the Moro Rebellion. Beginning with the Taraca, which occurred on April 4, 1904, American forces battled Datu Ampuanagus, who surrendered after losing 200 members of his people.[1][98] Numerous battles would occur after that up until the end of the conflict on June 15, 1913. During the conflict, the battles of Bud Dajo and Bud Bagsak were among the most notable since casualties included women and children.[2]

Moro Rebellion

Quasi-religious armed groups also fought Americans in assorted provinces. These groups included the pulajanes, so called because of their red garments; the colorum, from a corruption of the Latin in saecula saeculorum part of the Glory Be to the Father prayer; and Dios-Dios, literally "God-God". They were mostly composed of farmers and other poor people, led by messianic leaders such as Dionisio Seguela, a.k.a. Papa Isio ("Isio the Pope"), and subscribed to a blend of Roman Catholic and folk belief. For example, they believed amulets, called agimat or anting-anting, would make them bulletproof. These movements were all dismissed by the American government as bandits, fanatics or cattle rustlers.[1] The last of these groups were defeated or had surrendered by 1913.[1]

Captain Cornelius C. Smith, a Medal of Honor recipient, with members of the 14th U.S. Cavalry in 1904.


On September 25, 1903 in Bicol, Simeon Ola of Guinobatan, Albay surrendered in place of Malvar, becoming arguably the last Filipino general to surrender.[95] In 1902, Macario Sakay, a veteran Katipunan member formed another Tagalog Republic, called Katagalugan after Bonifacio's, in southern Luzon. The republic ended in 1906 when Sakay and his top followers were arrested and executed the following year by the American authorities as bandits, after they had accepted an amnesty offer.[1][96][97]

Historian Renato Constantino has suggested that the war unofficially continued for nearly a decade since remnants of the Katipunan and other resistance groups, collectively known as Irreconcilables, remained active fighting the United States military or Philippine Constabulary.[1] After the close of the war, however, Governor General Taft preferred to rely on the Philippine Constabulary and to treat the Irreconcibiles as a law enforcement concern rather than a military concern requiring the involvement of the American army. He was, in fact, criticized for this.[94]


On April 9, 2002, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo proclaimed that the Philippine–American War had ended on April 16, 1902 with the surrender of General Miguel Malvar, and declared the centennial anniversary of that date as a national working holiday and as a special non-working holiday in the Province of Batangas and in the Cities of Batangas, Lipa and Tanaun.[93]

The [58] On July 2. the U.S. Secretary of War telegraphed that since the insurrection against the U.S. had ended and provincial civil governments had been established, the office of military governor was terminated. On July 4, Theodore Roosevelt, who had succeeded to the U.S. Presidency after the assassination of President McKinley on September 5, 1901, proclaimed a full and complete pardon and amnesty to all people in the Philippine archipelago who had participated in the conflict.[91][92]

Official end to the war

Bell also relentlessly pursued Malvar and his men, breaking ranks, dropping morale, and forcing the surrender of many of the Filipino soldiers. Finally, Malvar surrendered, along with his sick wife and children and some of his officers, on April 13, 1902. By the end of the month nearly 3,000 of Malvar's men had also surrendered. With the surrender of Malvar, the Filipino war effort began to dwindle even further.[90]

The 24th U.S. Infantry at drill, Camp Walker, Philippine Islands 1902

In response General J. Franklin Bell adopted tactics to counter Malvar's guerrilla strategy. Forcing civilians to live in concentration camps, use of water cure interrogation, and his scorched earth campaigns took a heavy toll on the Filipino revolutionaries.[89]

On April 1, 1901, at the Malacañan Palace in Manila, Aguinaldo swore an oath accepting the authority of the United States over the Philippines and pledging his allegiance to the American government. On April 19, he issued a Proclamation of Formal Surrender to the United States, telling his followers to lay down their weapons and give up the fight. "Let the stream of blood cease to flow; let there be an end to tears and desolation," Aguinaldo said. "The lesson which the war holds out and the significance of which I realized only recently, leads me to the firm conviction that the complete termination of hostilities and a lasting peace are not only desirable but also absolutely essential for the well-being of the Philippines."[86][87] The capture of Aguinaldo dealt a severe blow to the Filipino cause, but not as much as the Americans had hoped. General Miguel Malvar took over the leadership of the Filipino government, or what remained of it.[88] He originally had taken a defensive stance against the Americans, but now launched all-out offensive against the American-held towns in the Batangas region.[2] General Vicente Lukbán in Samar, and other army officers, continued the war in their respective areas.[2]

On March 23, 1901 General Frederick Funston and his troops captured Aguinaldo in Palanan, Isabela, with the help of some Filipinos (called the Macabebe Scouts after their home locale[83][84]) who had joined the Americans' side. The Americans pretended to be captives of the Scouts, who were dressed in Philippine Army uniforms. Once Funston and his "captors" entered Aguinaldo's camp, they immediately fell upon the guards and quickly overwhelmed them and the weary Aguinaldo.[85]

The Philippine Army continued suffering defeats from the better armed United States Army during the conventional warfare phase, forcing Aguinaldo to continually change his base of operations, which he did for nearly the length of the entire war.

A group of Filipino combatants are photographed just as they lay down their weapons prior to their surrender.

Decline and fall of the First Philippine Republic

The shift to guerrilla warfare drove the US Army to adopt counter-insurgency tactics. Civilians were given identification and forced into concentration camps with a publicly announced deadline after which all persons found outside of camps without identification would be shot on sight. Thousands of civilians died in these camps due to poor conditions.[82]

For most of 1899, the revolutionary leadership had viewed guerrilla warfare strategically only as a tactical option of final recourse, not as a means of operation which better suited their disadvantaged situation. On November 13, 1899, Emilio Aguinaldo decreed that guerrilla war would henceforth be the strategy.[80] This made American occupation of the Philippine archipelago all the more difficult over the next few years. In fact, during just the first four months of the guerrilla war, the Americans had nearly 500 casualties.[81] The Philippine Army began staging bloody ambushes and raids, such as the guerrilla victories at Paye, Catubig, Makahambus, Pulang Lupa, Balangiga and Mabitac. At first, it even seemed as if the Filipinos would fight the Americans to a stalemate and force them to withdraw. This was even considered by President McKinley at the beginning of the phase.

Guerrilla war phase

The Filipino operational center of gravity was the ability to sustain its force of 100,000 irregulars in the field.[79] The Filipino general Francisco Macabulos described the Filipinos' war aim as, "not to vanquish the U.S. Army but to inflict on them constant losses." They initially sought to use conventional tactics and an increasing toll of U.S. casualties to contribute to McKinley's defeat in the 1900 presidential election.[79] Their hope was that as President the avowedly anti-imperialist future Secretary of state William Jennings Bryan would withdraw from the Philippines.[79] They pursued this short-term goal with guerrilla tactics better suited to a protracted struggle.[79] While targeting McKinley motivated the revolutionaries in the short term, his victory demoralized them and convinced many undecided Filipinos that the United States would not depart precipitously.[79]

The goal, or end-state, sought by the First Philippine Republic was a sovereign, independent, socially stable Philippines led by the ilustrado (intellectual) oligarchy.[78] Local chieftains, landowners, and businessmen were the principales who controlled local politics. The war was strongest when illustrados, principales, and peasants were unified in opposition to annexation.[78] The peasants, who provided the bulk of guerrilla manpower, had interests different from their illustrado leaders and the principales of their villages.[78] Coupled with the ethnic and geographic fragmentation, unity was a daunting task. The challenge for Aguinaldo and his generals was to sustain unified Filipino public opposition; this was the revolutionaries' strategic center of gravity.[78]

Remnants of rifles used by Filipino soldiers during the War on display at Clark Museum. The Philippine Army suffered a shortage of firearms and was forced to arm its soldiers with primitive weapons.

Estimates of the Filipino forces vary between 80,000 to 100,000, with tens of thousands of auxiliaries.[6] Lack of weapons and ammunition was a significant impediment to the Filipinos, so most of the forces were only armed with bolo knives, bows and arrows, spears and other primitive weapons that, in practice, proved vastly inferior to U.S. firepower.

Manila—Filipino attack on the barracks of Co. C, 13th Minnesota Volunteers, during the Tondo Fire.

Filipino war strategy

Leafdale uses his diary to describe and keep record of his duties while in the Philippines. On 1/12/1900, Leafdale writes of how he and some of his colleagues were on a "train to Dagupan to receive instructions […] to build lines, or rather repair Spanish lines between there and Subig". The lines he is referring to are the telephone lines that the Signal Corps was working on laying down. These were a much more effective form of communication than telegrams or hand-written letters.[76]

Anthony Morris Leafdale, a member of USASC, traveled to the Philippines from Fort Walla Walla, Washington. During this time Leafdale kept a diary in which he logged his everyday assignments for signaling and his interactions with Filipinos. Immediately upon getting into Manila Bay, Leafdale remarks on the civility displayed by the natives. He describes his initial thoughts as the Filipinos looking "as savage and wild as [he] had imagined them to be".[76] This contrasts the propaganda campaigns which had been occurring in the United States that claimed the natives were "unfit for self-government".[77] This is important to mention because it shows the contrast between propaganda campaigns and what soldiers were experiencing in the Philippines.

Anthony Morris Leafdale

The Philippine–American War was a stepping-stone for the Signal Corps' new endeavors. The use of telephones in battle, heliographs, and combat photography in this war was only the beginning of the participation of the USASC in active wars. Shortly following this war, the Signal Corps constructed the Washington-Alaska Military Cable and Telegraph System, thereby introducing the first wireless telegraph in the Western Hemisphere.[75]

The most common form of telegraph wire was known as the "flying lines"[73] which got its name from the ability to construct these lines. These lines were developed one of two ways: either by laying insulated wire on the ground or by throwing it upon bushes and trees. To demonstrate the speed with which these lines can be created, the example of American troops creating a line at Manila is often used. A telegraph station was established inside Spanish entrenchments just a mere fifteen minutes after American troops had captured the Spanish camps.[73]

In addition to connecting these islands, the Corps aided by providing visual signaling, in the form of heliograph, supplying telephone and telegraph wire lines. This was the first time that telephones had been used in combat and that combat photography had been used. A heliograph is a wireless solar telegraph that signals by flashes of sunlight (generally using Morse code) reflected by a mirror.[74]

After Spain left the Philippines, American troops were still involved in a guerilla war-torn Philippines. The USASC remained present, and it was important to continue the advances the USASC had already made. During the Philippine insurrection, the USASC aimed to construct, maintain, and operate an effective communication system between all the major islands of the Philippines. By the end of 1899, the Signal Corps had already connected Leyte, Cebu, and Samar.[74]

Contribution of the Signal Corps

In each organized division of the Volunteer Signal Corps there had to be at least one colonel, one lieutenant colonel, one major, two captains, two first lieutenants, two second lieutenants, five first-class sergeants, ten sergeants, ten corporals, and thirty privates. Of these officers and enlisted men, two-thirds had to be skilled electricians or telegraph operators. This ensured that most members of the Signal Corps understood and were competent with the tools needed to successfully implement signaling advantages in the Philippines.[73]

The Signal Corps is a division of the United States Army, often referred to as the Signal Corps (United States Army) (USASC). In general, the Signal Corps is used to provide communication and information systems for the efforts of combined armed forces. The USASC, before the Philippine–American War, was a small division of the Army and had virtually no significance. However, during the Philippine–American War this changed. The need for telephone wires and visual signaling increased, and demand for more Signal Corps officers increased. On May 18, 1898 an Act of Congress was approved which allowed for the creation of a Volunteer Signal Corps to serve during the war. For years the Army Regulations had a stipulation that a certain percentage of soldiers be proficient in signalling, but with the creation of the Volunteer Signal Corps, the number of experts greatly decreased. Despite this, the Signal Corps proved highly efficient. This could be attributed to the number of ranking officers in each division of the USASC.[73]

Purpose of the Signal Corps

Signal Corps' Role in the Philippines

When F.A. Blake of the International Red Cross arrived at Emilio Aguinaldo's request, Otis kept him confined to Manila, where Otis's staff explained all of the Filipinos' violations of civilized warfare. Blake managed to slip away from an escort and venture into the field. Blake never made it past American lines, but even within American lines he saw burned out villages and "horribly mutilated bodies, with stomachs slit open and occasionally decapitated." Blake waited to return to San Francisco, where he told one reporter that "American soldiers are determined to kill every Filipino in sight."[69][70][71][72]

Picture of Young's Scouts in Philippines, including Marcus W. Robertson

Naval Lieutenant J.C. Gilmore, whose release was forced by American cavalry pursuing Aguinaldo into the mountains, insisted that he had received "considerable treatment" and that he was no more starved than were his captors. Otis responded to these two articles by ordering the "capture" of the two authors, and that they be "investigated", therefore questioning their loyalty.[65][68]

Meanwhile, Otis claimed that Filipino insurgents tortured American prisoners in "fiendish fashion".[64] During the closing months of 1899 Emilio Aguinaldo attempted to counter General Otis's account by suggesting that neutral parties—foreign journalists or representatives of the International Red Cross—inspect his military operations. Otis refused, but Emilio Aguinaldo managed to smuggle four reporters—two English, one Canadian, and one Japanese—into the Philippines. The correspondents returned to Manila to report that American captives were "treated more like guests than prisoners," were "fed the best that the country affords, and everything is done to gain their favor." The story went on to say that American prisoners were offered commissions in the Filipino army and that three had accepted. The four reporters were expelled from the Philippines as soon as their stories were printed.[65][66][67]

Otis also played a large role in suppressing information about American military tactics from the media. When letters describing American atrocities reached the American media, the War Department became involved and demanded that General Otis investigate their authenticity. Each press clipping was forwarded to the original writer's commanding officer, who would then convince or force the soldier to write a retraction of the original statements.[63]

Kansas Volunteers marching through Caloocan at night, 1899

General Otis gained a significant amount of notoriety for his actions in the Philippines. Although multiple orders were given to Otis from Washington to avoid military conflict, he did very little to circumvent the breakout of war. Notably, shortly after fighting began he turned down a proposal from Emilio Aguinaldo to end the fighting, stating "fighting, having begun, must go on to the grim end." Otis refused to accept anything but unconditional surrender from the Philippine Army. He often made major military decisions on his own, without first consulting leadership in Washington at all. He acted aggressively in dealing with the Filipinos under the impression that their resistance would collapse quickly; even after this proved false, he continued to insist that the insurgency had been defeated, and that the remaining casualties were caused by "isolated bands of outlaws".[62]

General Otis's actions

Support for American imperial actions in the Philippines was justified by those in the U.S. government and media who supported the conflict through the use of moralistic oration. Stuart Creighton Miller writes "Americans altruistically went to war with Spain to liberate the Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and Filipinos from their tyrannical yoke. If they lingered on too long in the Philippines, it was to protect the Filipinos from European predators waiting in the wings for an American withdrawal and to tutor them in American-style democracy."[61]

The initial American military strategy was to secure Manila from the rebels. Once this was accomplished, American forces moved northwards, engaging in combat at the brigade and battalion level in pursuit of the fleeing insurgent commanders.[59] After the rebels shifted to guerilla warfare tactics in November 1899, American military strategy shifted from a conventional footing to a suppression footing. Tactics were changed toward control of key areas with internment and segregation of the civilian population in "zones of protection" from the guerrilla population. Due to unsanitary conditions, many of the interned died from dysentery.[60]

Utah Light Artillery in action in the Philippines, 1899

American tactics

American war strategy

The Second Philippine Commission (the [58]

Second Philippine Commission

"Should our power by any fatality be withdrawn, the commission believe that the government of the Philippines would speedily lapse into anarchy, which would excuse, if it did not necessitate, the intervention of other powers and the eventual division of the islands among them. Only through American occupation, therefore, is the idea of a free, self-governing, and united Philippine commonwealth at all conceivable. And the indispensable need from the Filipino point of view of maintaining American sovereignty over the archipelago is recognized by all intelligent Filipinos and even by those insurgents who desire an American protectorate. The latter, it is true, would take the revenues and leave us the responsibilities. Nevertheless, they recognize the indubitable fact that the Filipinos cannot stand alone. Thus the welfare of the Filipinos coincides with the dictates of national honour in forbidding our abandonment of the archipelago. We cannot from any point of view escape the responsibilities of government which our sovereignty entails; and the commission is strongly persuaded that the performance of our national duty will prove the greatest blessing to the peoples of the Philippine Islands. [...]"[57]

On November 2, 1900 Dr. Schurman signed the following statement:

In the report that they issued to the president the following year, the commissioners acknowledged Filipino aspirations for independence; they declared, however, that the Philippines was not ready for it. Specific recommendations included the establishment of civilian control over Manila (Otis would have veto power over the city's government), creation of civilian government as rapidly as possible, especially in areas already declared "pacified" (the American chief executive in the islands at that time was the military governor), including the establishment of a bicameral legislature, autonomous governments on the provincial and municipal levels, and a system of free public elementary schools.[53]

The battle before Caloocan, Maj. Gen. Arthur MacArthur on inner wall, February 1899

A session of the Revolutionary Congress convened by Aguinaldo voted unanimously to cease fighting and accept peace on the basis of McKinley's proposal. The revolutionary cabinet headed by Apolinario Mabini was replaced on May 8 by a new "peace" cabinet headed by Pedro Paterno. and Felipe Buencamino. After a meeting of the Revolutionary Congress and military commanders, Aguinaldo advised the commission that he was being advised by a new cabinet "which is more moderate and concilatory", and appointed a delegation to meet with the commission. At this point, General Antonio Luna, field commander of the revolutionary army, arrested Paterno and most of his cabinet. Confronted with this development, Aguinaldo withdrew his support from the "peace" cabinet, and Mabini and his cabinet returned to power. Schurman, after proposing unsuccessfully to the commission that they urge McKinley to revise his plan to enlarge Filipino participation, cabled the suggestion to the President as his own. McKinley instructed Secretary of State John Hay to cable Schurman that he wanted peace "preferably by kindness and conciliation," but the preference was contradicted by a threat to "send all the force necessary to suppress the insurrection if Filipino resistance continued." McKinley also polled the other commission members, receiving a response that "indecision now would be fatal" and urging "prosecution of the war until the insurgents submit."[56]

Meetings in April with Aguinaldo's representative, Colonel Manuel Arguelles, convinced the commission that Filipinos wanted concrete information on the governmental role they would be allowed to play, and the commission requested authorization from McKinley to offer a specific plan. McKinley authorized an offer of a government consisting of "a Governor-General appointed by the President; cabinet appointed by the Governor-General; [and] a general advisory council elected by the people." McKinley also promised Filipinos "the largest measure of local self-government consistent with peace and good order.", with the caveat that U.S. constitutional considerations required that Congress would need to make specific rules and regulations.[55]

On January 20, 1899, President McKinley had appointed Dr. Jacob Gould Schurman to chair a commission, with Dean C. Worcester, Charles H. Denby, Admiral Dewey, and General Otis as members, to investigate conditions in the islands and make recommendations. Fighting subsequently erupted between U.S. and Filipino forces in February, and when the non-military commission members arrived in the Philippines in March, they found General Otis looking upon the commission as an infringement upon his authority.[52][53][54][18]

Wounded American soldiers at Santa Mesa, Manila in 1899.

First Philippine Commission

Otis regarded these two proclamations as tantamount to war, alerting his troops and strengthening observation posts. On the other hand, Aguinaldo's proclamations energized the masses with a vigorous determination to fight what was perceived as an ally turned enemy.[50] On the evening of February 4, two American sentries, one of which was Pvt. Robert William Greyson, on guard duty at Manila's San Juan del Monte bridge fired the shots which began the 1899 Battle of Manila. The following day, General Arthur MacArthur, without investigating the cause of the firing, ordered his troops to advance against Filipino troops, beginning a full-scale armed clash.[51]

On December 21, 1898, President McKinley issued a Proclamation of Benevolent assimilation. General Otis delayed its publication until January 4, 1899, then publishing an amended version edited so as not to convey the meanings of the terms "sovereignty", "protection", and "right of cessation" which were present in the unabridged version.[47] However, General Marcus Miller, then in Iloilo and unaware that an altered version had been published by Otis, passed a copy of the unabridged proclamation to a Filipino official there. The unaltered version then found its way to Aguinaldo who, on January 5, issued a counter-proclamation:[48] "My government cannot remain indifferent in view of such a violent and aggressive seizure of a portion of its territory by a nation which arrogated to itself the title of champion of oppressed nations. Thus it is that my government is disposed to open hostilities if the American troops attempt to take forcible possession of the Visayan islands. I denounce these acts before the world, in order that the conscience of mankind may pronounce its infallible verdict as to who are true oppressors of nations and the tormentors of mankind.[49] In a revised proclamation issued the same day, Aguinaldo protested "most solemnly against his intrusion of the United States Government on the sovereignty of these islands".[50]

Filipino soldiers outside Manila in 1899

Filipino historian Teodoro Agoncillo writes of "American Apostasy", saying that it was the Americans who first approached Aguinaldo in Hong Kong and Singapore to persuade him to cooperate with Dewey in wresting power from the Spanish. Conceding that Dewey may not have promised Aguinaldo American recognition and Philippine independence (Dewey had no authority to make such promises), he writes that Dewey and Aguinaldo had an informal alliance to fight a common enemy, that Dewey breached that alliance by making secret arrangements for a Spanish surrender to American forces, and that he treated Aguinaldo badly after the surrender was secured. Agoncillo concludes that the American attitude towards Aguinaldo "... showed that they came to the Philippines not as a friend, but as an enemy masking as a friend."[46]

American soldiers guard a bridge over the Pasig River after the Battle of Manila, August 13, 1898

Conflict origins

War against the United States

[44] On the 29th of March 1899, President/General

Sideco house served originally as Col. Frederick Funston's (U.S. Army) headquarters, and then later as Emilio Aguinaldo's "seat" or "capitol" from the fall of Malolos on March 31, 1899 until May 17, 1899, when San Isidro was taken by the Americans.

The house had been the "seat" of General Emilio Aguinaldo's First Philippine Republic when he established it as his headquarters in San Isidro during the last part of his odyssey from the American forces.

The Crispulo Sideco (also known as "Kapitang Pulong") house [43] San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, was built in the 19th century (Floral period in the Philippine colonial architecture; ogee arches, filigreed wooden panels, grilles wrought in curlicues and floral and foliate designs abound in the house as basic structural elements or as ornaments).

Sideco house (Emilio Aguinaldo' seat of First Philippine Republic)

"From my observation of Aguinaldo and his advisers I decided that it would be unwise to co-operate with him or his adherents in an official manner. ... In short, my policy was to avoid any entangling alliance with the insurgents, while I appreciated that, pending the arrival of our troops, they might be of service."[34]

On January 1, 1899, Aguinaldo was declared Malolos, Bulacan to draft a constitution.[42] Admiral Dewey later argued that he had promised nothing regarding the future:

The June 12 declaration of Philippine independence had not been recognized by either the United States or Spain, and the Spanish government ceded the Philippines to the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris, which was signed on December 10, 1898, in consideration for an indemnity for Spanish expenses and assets lost.

At the beginning of the war allies against Spain in all but name; now Spanish and Americans were in a partnership that excluded the Filipino insurgents. Fighting between American and Filipino troops almost broke out as the former moved in to dislodge the latter from strategic positions around Manila on the eve of the attack. Aguinaldo had been told bluntly by the Americans that his army could not participate and would be fired upon if it crossed into the city. The insurgents were infuriated at being denied triumphant entry into their own capital, but Aguinaldo bided his time. Relations continued to deteriorate, however, as it became clear to Filipinos that the Americans were in the islands to stay.[38]

Uncle Sam (representing the United States), gets entangled with rope around a tree labelled
1899 political cartoon by Winsor McCay

Spanish Governor-General Fermín Jáudenes had made a secret agreement with Dewey and General Wesley Merritt. Jaudenes specifically requested to surrender only to the Americans, not to the Filipino revolutionaries. To save face, he proposed a mock battle with the Americans preceding the Spanish surrender; the Filipinos would not be allowed to enter the city. Dewey and Merritt agreed to this, and no one else in either camp knew about the agreement. On the eve of the mock battle, General Thomas M. Anderson telegraphed Aguinaldo, "Do not let your troops enter Manila without the permission of the American commander. On this side of the Pasig River you will be under fire".[39] On August 13, with American commanders unaware that a peace protocol had been signed between Spain and the United States on the previous day, American forces captured the city of Manila from the Spanish.[40]

In a matter of months after Aguinaldo's return, Philippine revolutionary forces conquered nearly all of Spanish-held ground within the Philippines. With the exception of Manila, which was surrounded by revolutionary forces some 12,000 strong, the Filipinos now controlled the Philippines. Aguinaldo also turned over 15,000 Spanish prisoners to the Americans, offering them valuable intelligence. On June 12 Aguinaldo declared independence at his house in Cavite El Viejo.

A late 19th century photograph of Filipino Katipuneros.

In Camiguin, Aguinaldo reports meeting with Admiral Dewey, and recalls: "I asked whether it was true that he had sent all the telegrams to the Consul at Singapore, Mr. Pratt, which that gentleman had told me he received in regard to myself. The Admiral replied in the affirmative, adding that the United States had come to the Philippines to protect the natives and free them from the yoke of Spain. He said, moreover, that America is exceedingly well off as regards territory, revenue, and resources and therefore needs no colonies, assuring me finally that there was no occasion for me to entertain any doubts whatever about the recognition of the Independence of the Philippines by the United States."[36] By late May, Dewey had been ordered by the U.S. Department of the Navy to distance himself from Aguinaldo lest he make untoward commitments to the Philippine forces.[38]

[37] reports the court ruling to uphold Mr. Pratt's position that he had "no dealings of a political character" with Aguinaldo and the book publisher withdrew from publication statements to the contrary.The Times [37] wrote on August 6, 1899 that Pratt had obtained a court order enjoining the publication of certain statements "... which might be regarded as showing a positive connection" between himself and Aguinaldo.The New York Times [36], and arriving in Cavite on May 19.McCulloch, onwards from Hong Kong on American dispatch-boat Malacca Aguinaldo reports agreeing to return to the Philippines, traveling from Singapore to Hong Kong aboard the steamship [36]

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