1st Battalion 22nd Infantry

 

SGT Grover C. Hart
G Company 22nd Infantry

SGT Grover C. Hart

In a formal portrait SGT Hart is seen wearing on his collar
the crossed rifles and letters of G Company 22nd Infantry

A studio portrait of SGT Hart.

His dress uniform includes a 1902 model dark blue coat
with white infantry trim and sky blue trousers
with white stripe (infantry color).

Grover C. Hart enlisted in the US Army in Kansas City, Missouri, on December 1, 1904.
Born in Port Washington, Ohio, he was 21 years old at the time of his enlistment,
was not married and had been a Lineman for the railroad.

He spent three years in the 22nd Infantry Regiment, enduring the arduous campaigns and fighting
of the Philippines Insurrection and served with distinction during the relief efforts and riot duty
performed by the Regiment after the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.

He was promoted to the rank of Corporal, then Sergeant, and finally Quartermaster Sergeant
during his time in the 22nd Infantry.

His Army record shows special notice of his service during the Mindanao campaign
of 1902-1905, where he took part in the final engagement which eliminated the Datu Ali,
the Moro warlord whose defeat is considered to have ended the Insurrection.

 

The Provisional Company of of the 22nd Infantry, October, 1905.
G.C. Hart is on the bottom row, 4th from the left.

On October 5, 1905, Captain F.R. McCoy of the 3rd Cavalry, and Aide De Camp to General Leonard Wood,
formed the above Provisional Company consisting of volunteers from the 22nd Infantry,
specifically to go after the Moro chieftain called the Datu Ali, who was the last major chieftain to oppose
American sovereignty on the island of Mindanao. Ali consistently raided local villages,
conducted hit and run attacks on US camps, and continued his campaign of insurrection through terror and fear.
In September of 1905, General Wood received intelligence that Ali was encamped on his ranch deep in the mountains
along the Malola (Malala) River. Wood ordered that an assault force be raised to find and apprehend the Datu.
A large number of volunteers arose from the Regiment for the dangerous assignment, and from those volunteers
Captain McCoy hand-picked 100 men. They became the Provisional Company pictured above,
commanded by Captain McCoy and Lieutenant Remington.

The Company travelled by boat to Digas, on the coast of the Davao Gulf. Upon landing on the 16th Of October,
they were joined by 10 Filipino Scouts and began the hazardous journey into the interior.
They crossed the jungle covered mountains in five days, reaching Ali's encampment
in the early morning hours of October 22. Quickly and quietly they surrounded the ranch buildings
and waited. As the sun rose, Ali and a dozen of his men came out of the main house unsuspecting and unarmed.
Lt Remington sent one squad forward and another around to the rear of the house.
Ali ran back inside and armed himself and began firing at the Americans. A bullet just missed Remington
but hit and killed Private Bobbs. Remington then charged into the house firing his pistol,
hitting Ali and knocking the man down. Staggering to his feet, Ali ran through the back door,
only to be cut down by a hail of bullets from the waiting second squad.

With the death of Datu Ali, organized insurrection on a major scale ended. Though armed resistance would continue
by several Moro leaders over the next six years, the major battles and campaigns of the Insurrection
could now be considered to be over.

 

Grover Hart is center of photo, with the Provisional Company 22nd Infantry.

 

Grover's son recalls his father's memories of the expedition against Datu Ali:

As stated before, he observed that many  soldiers discarded equipment
to lighten loads on the way - they shot wild pigs (those w/big tusks of which he saved one) for eating.

On the way, it was essential to build a protective "surround" at night
which consisted of a high pile of impenetrable thicket type brush around the encampment. 
This was provided with only one way in and out -
you had to crawl out which would also slow down anyone coming in.

He said that the soldiers drew lots for guard duty outside this "surround"
& he drew the "long" lot one night which excused him from duty. 
Two other soldiers drew "short' lots.  They had their heads cut off
when they emerged from the end of the "tunnel" by Moros waiting outside. 
Whether these Moros were associated with Datu Ali or not, I don't know. 
If he'd drawn a "short" lot, you wouldn't be reading this.

He didn't talk much about the fight and never elaborated on it.
He observed that Datu Ali ended up in a kneeling position, face down (prayer position).


He said that it was customary for these natives to chew "betel nut"
which stained their teeth dark red - it was a mild narcotic
& maybe an adjunct to "running amok" which they often did -


He also said that one of the soldiers was shot in the leg
(groin) with a bullet from a rifle such as the one he brought back -
whether he was a survivor or not I don't know.

**********************

 

 

Grover C. Hart's promotion orders to Corporal,
date of rank occuring on board the US Army Transport Ship Sherman,
during the sea voyage back to San Francisco in December of 1905.

 

U. S. Army Transport (USAT) "Sherman",
on which the 22nd Infantry Regiment returned to the United States in 1905.
It was on this ship that Grover Hart was promoted to Corporal.

 

 

Details of the expedition against the Datu Ali taken from the book:
Combat Diary
by A. B. Feuer

All photos are copyright Michael Belis 2004 on behalf of the 1st Battalion 22nd Infantry Website


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