1st Battalion 22nd Infantry
The 22nd Infantry in the Malolos Campaign 1899
Campaign Streamer awarded to the 22nd
for its service during the Malolos Campaign
The 22nd Infantry advancing across rice
paddies toward Malolos
Photo from the 1904 Regimental History
(Ed.) Malolos was the headquarters and seat of
power for the First Philippine Republic.
It was here that Aguinaldo convened the first Philippine Congress and declared the Philippines to be
an independent Republic. As it became clear the United States wanted the Philippines as US possessions,
Aguinaldo declared war upon the US. His army was spread out between Manila and Malolos and consisted of between
20,000 to 30,000 soldiers. Commanding the forces sent against this army was MG Arthur MacArthur,
who, with four brigades of US Army Soldiers, had approximately 12,000 troops for the expedition.
Also at MacArthur's disposal were elements of the US Navy's Pacific Fleet, to provide gunfire support
from their positions along the coast of Manila Bay. All units involved were engaged in direct fighting,
and contributed to the overall success of the mission; however, this account will focus on the 22nd Infantry.
The following narrative is taken from the 1904 Regimental History.
THE MALOLOS EXPEDITION
Major General Arthur MacArthur, commanding.
2nd division, 8th army corps, consisting of:
1st brigade, Brigadier General H. G. Otistwo battalions 3rd artillery; 20th Kansas volunteer infantry; 1st Montana volunteer infantry.
2nd brigade, Brigadier General Irving Hale1st Colorado volunteer infantry; 1st Nebraska volunteer infantry;
1st South Dakota volunteer infantry; l0th Pennsylvania volunteer infantry.
3rd brigade, Brigadier General R. H. Hall4th infantry; one battalion 17th infantry; 13th Minnesota volunteer infantry;
1st Wyoming volunteer infantry.
Cavalryone squadron 4th cavalry.
Artilleryone battalion Utah light artillery.
Attached to 2nd division:
3rd brigade, 1st division, 8th army corps, Brigadier General Loyd Wheaton22nd infantry, one battalion 3rd infantry;
eleven companies 2nd Oregon volunteer infantry.
Major General Elwell S. Otis
As a Lieutenant Colonel, Otis
had served eleven years
Original illustration from The
Story of Two Wars,
The object of the campaign was the capture of
Malolos, the insurgent capital.
Shortly after the beginning of hostilities, the 2nd division, 8th army corps, operating north of Manila, occupied a line of trenches from Caloocan
to the pumping station near Santolan. On the night of March 24, the 3rd brigade, 1st division, was attached to the 2nd division,
and under cover of darkness relieved the 1st brigade, 2nd division, which at once moved and occupied trenches to the right of its original position.
Insurgent forces were massed along the eight miles of front of the American line. The greater part of them had never been under American fire
their morale was excellent; by extravagantly-worded proclamations of their leaders, enthusiasm had been worked up to the highest point;
the equipment of their infantry was good; the supply of ammunition unlimited.
The plan of campaign, as published in orders,
was as follows: Wheaton's brigade, the left of the line, to
maintain a watching attitude
toward the insurgent line in its immediate front and toward Malabon, moving forward if the enemy began a retrograde movement;
Hall's brigade, the right of the line, to remain in reserve, the attached troops to make demonstrations in the direction of the Mariquina road;
the two central brigades to move forward and to execute a change of front to the left near Polo; further progress to be determined
by the result and character of the antecedent contest.
The 22nd infantry, in brigade, moved to its
assigned position and relieved the Montana volunteers on the
night of March 24.
The insurgents, occupying lines about 1000 yards distant, were in high spirit. During the night, they sang, danced, cheered,
and volleyed the American line, which, by order, did not return the fire. Emboldened by this, the insurgents displayed a bravery and effrontery
never afterward equalled. Bonfires blazed along their lines. Around these they freely exposed themselves; in chorus they yelled taunts and insults
to the Americans; their bugles played our calls; their voices imitated our commands.
The advance of General MacArthur's command
began at daylight, March 25, as planned. Shortly after the left
center brigade moved out,
General Wheaton ordered the 3rd battalion of the 22nd forward in echelon to protect the left flank of the brigade; at 8:30 a. m.,
the remaining battalions of the regiment advanced. The insurgents were found in great force in their trenches, and at once opened with heavy fire,
to which the American line replied. Soon the firing was continuous along the many miles of front of the opposing armies. For a time, the insurgent fire,
delivered from protecting trenches, was accurate and incessant; as the American lines advanced, this fire decreased in volume and deadly effect;
rifles were dropped in the trenches or fired, unaimed, high over the heads of the advancing Americans. In marked contrast was the fire of our line
ever stronger, despite casualties, as the line advanced; ever more accurate as the enemy offered better targets.
Before half of the space separating the
opposing lines of trenches had been traversed by our line, the
insurgents abandoned their trenches
and began a retreat. The terrain was such that they were able to make many stands under protection or in concealment; from these positions they fired,
at first rapidly and with effect, afterward with less vigor and with less accuracy. Despite advantage of intrenched position, they could not withstand
the uninterrupted advance of our lines; American methods of warfare did not permit hours of fighting from intrenched positions
and without loss to either combatant. Beyond the insurgent trenches, dense jungles of bamboo and many Filipino strongholds
along the extended front caused the advance to become a series of detached combats. In front of the 22nd, the enemy were driven back
from line after line of their works; they retreated stubbornly, taking advantage of all natural obstacles of the terrain, and abandoning positions
only after severe losses.
By 11:30 a. m., the insurgents in front of
Wheaton's brigade were forced back to trenches beyond the
Their position at this point was very strong, successive lines of trenches on rising ground. By command, the brigade bivouacked in its position
south of the river, in order to allow the right of the division time for its swinging movement. During the remainder of the day,
the insurgents kept up a continuous, long range fire on the regiment.
Wounded in action, March 25, 1899:
1st Lieutenant Harold L.
Jackson; Private Edward B. Miller, company B;
Privates George C. Richards and Nicholas Gearin, company D;
Private William Meyer, company F;
Private Bert E. Clough, company G;
Sergeant Albert E. Axt and Private Fritz Herter, company H;
Musician Spurgeon A. Cain, company K;
Private Morton R. Hunsicker, company L;
Privates Edward F. Lammers and Louis T. Skillman, company M;
Sergeant LaVergne L. Gregg, company M.
Above is a portion of a map from the
1904 Regimental History (colorized by the editor)
The march to Malolos proceeded along the railroad (the heavy black line heading north from Manila).
The red marks are the major engagements of the 22nd Infantry, starting with Caloocan, then Malabon
and finally across the Tuliajan River at Malinta, where the Regimental Commander, COL Egbert, was killed.
Owing to the impossibility of maneuvering the
long line of the division over the immense jungles, it was
apparent during the first day's fighting
that the strategical plans formulated could not be carried out. Although the enemy's center had been broken, it was impossible to advance sufficiently rapidly
to envelope to the west the main fraction of his army thus cut off. Reconnaissances made early on the 26th showed that the only road available
for artillery and wagon trains passed through Malinta, which was in the immediate front of the 22nd. To meet these changed conditions,
the two central brigades of the division were ordered to change front on Malinta, instead of on Polo, as originally planned.
Early in the morning of the 26th, the enemy in front of Wheaton's brigade were in retreat. Malabon, on the left front, was in flames;
a stream of insurgent soldiers and natives of the country was pouring north. The 22nd marched a short distance to the right of where it had bivouacked,
received the fire of the insurgent rear guard, forded the Tuliajan river, and formed line perpendicular to the river in order to flank the enemy's trenches.
Advancing to the railroad, these trenches were found deserted.
The regiment changed front to the north; the
first battalion moved forward to scout toward Malinta. On
800 yards south of Malinta, the insurgents were strongly intrenched; these works were charged and captured. Five hundred yards beyond
was a stone church; a breast-high stone wall surrounding the church bristled with Mauser rifles; here the rear guard of the retreating insurgent army
hoped to check the American advance. The ground in front of this stronghold was a natural glacis, broken with only a few rice paddies;
each seventy meters of the approach was marked with nipa streamers flying from tall bamboos. A galling fire, accurately delivered by a superior force,
met the battalion and forced it to seek the shelter of the captured trenches and rice paddies. Return volleys directed at the crest of the stone wall
seemed only to increase the intensity of the insurgent fire. Meanwhile the remainder of the regiment was racing from the rear to assist the troops
so sorely pressed. Arriving on the line, they threw themselves on the ground, and at once poured over the stone walls a fire so accurate
that the well-directed firing of the insurgents promptly ceased. There was no diminution of their firemerely less accuracy in their aim.
During this stage of the engagement, Colonel Egbert, the gallant commander of the regiment, was mortally wounded.
(Ed., Some accounts portray Colonel Harry
Egbert as having been killed while leading a bayonet charge upon
the Insurgent forces' defensive positions
in and around the church at Malinta. The Regimental histories make no mention of this bayonet charge. Major L.O. Parker's
after-action report states that Colonel Egbert was mortally wounded just after the capture of the enemy positions at Malinta.
There is no doubt that Colonel Egbert was the kind of commander who led from the front, and exposed himself to enemy fire consistenly;
as a Lieutenant Colonel commanding the 6th Infantry in Cuba, he was wounded, being "shot through the body" at the Battle of El Caney,
an engagement in which the 22nd Infantry also fought.)
For twenty minutes the fusillade from both
lines continued. At the end of that time, the insurgent fire
slackened; ten minutes later it ceased.
Entering Malinta, great quantities of loaded and empty rifle shells were found behind the stone walls of the church; only artillery
could have forced a valiant enemy from this position. A part of Otis' brigade completed its change of front and entered Malinta simultaneously
with the 22nd. It: had taken, however, no part in the capture of this stronghold. On the night of March 26, the regiment bivouacked at Malinta.
Killed in action, March 26, 1899:
Colonel Harry C. Egbert;
Private John Miller, company I;
1st Sergeant Charles F. Brooke, company L.
Wounded in action, March 26, 1899:
Privates William E. Geyer
and Harry J.Scanlau, company A;
1st Sergeant Patrick J. Byrne, company B;
Privates Fred W. Arndt and William Howard, company E;
1st Sergeant Ole Waloe, company F;
Artificer John A. Hogeboom, company I;
Private William Dunlap, company L.
button made during the period
American Soldiers at Malinta, March 26, 1899
March 27, Wheaton's brigade was detached from
the 2nd division, 8th army corps, and detailed to guard the
and preserve communication with Manila. The network of unfordable streams between Manila and Malolos necessitated the seizure
of the railroad bridges before the insurgents could destroy them. A rapid advance, unimpeded with wagon trains, became of primary importance.
On this day, the regiment marched to Meycauayan; March 28, to the San Marco river; March 29, to near Bigaa, companies D, E, G, and M
being left on the San Marco river to guard the division wagon train; March 30, near Guiguinto.
At Malolos, a desperate resistance was
expected. Friendly natives reported that the insurgents were
prepared to defend their capital
as a political necessity; reconnaissance disclosed formidable field works, well filled with men. On the American side, preparations were made
for a battle of considerable proportions. Five battalions of regular troops, including the 1st and 3rd battalions of the 22nd, were brought
from their positions along the line of communications to the front, to be placed in support of the main fighting line.
At 7:00 a. m., March 31, the attack was begun
with artillery. Fifteen minutes later, the Nebraskas, on the
extreme right of the line, advanced.
At 7:20, the South Dakotas, second from the right, moved out; at 7:25, the next regiment from the right, the Pennsylvanias, moved forward.
These movements were followed by the direct advance of the remainder of the battle line, giving the line a crescent shape,
concave toward the enemy, with a view to force his left toward Malolos. The two battalions of the 22nd were placed in support
of the left brigade (Otis') of the battle line, the 1st battalion overlapping the extreme left, the 3rd battalion some distance to the right.
In front of this part of the line, the ground sloped upward toward the insurgent positions.
The attacking force moved out in successive
lines of skirmishers, presenting an appearance of great strength.
From their superior positions,
the insurgents at once opened a spirited fire. The approach was marked with a series of natural obstaclesswamps, lagoons, marshes,
bamboo thickets, and dense banana groves. Through these, the American lines advanced unwaveringly and in magnificent order;
the general plan of battle and its execution were typical examples of strategy and military skill.
The expected insurgent resistance melted away. The battalions of the 22nd, in close support when all parts of the firing line were united,
came under sharp fire for five minutes; after that all general resistance ended. The insurgents retreated in disorder; the American troops
entered the capital at 10:30 a. m.
Filipino Insurgents of Aguinaldo's
Their uniforms and equipment are captured from the Spanish,
and they are armed with Remington designed rolling block rifles in caliber .43 Spanish.
By his own acts, the enemy's line of retreat
from Caloocan to Malolos had been made a pathway of fire and
Non-combatants had been forced from their homes, their property entirely destroyed, by the army whose leaders prated of liberty
and the fatherland. At Malolos, this army was forced to retreat before it could accomplish its customary vandalism. Before the American troops
entered the town, columns of smoke were arising from the principal building, the governor's palace; after the troops were in possession,
two powder explosions, planned and timed by the Filipinos, shook the city. With the exception of these damages and the customary looting
from their own countrymen, the city and its non-combatants were not injured.
The successful ending of this campaign found
the American forces flushed with success. Their enthusiasm on
entering the insurgent capital
was at its highest. Hardships of the campaign were forgotten in the general rejoicing and belief that, with the fall of the capital, fell the insurrection.
On the evening of April 1, the regiment returned by rail to Manila. April 9, it marched to Pasay and occupied a line of trenches extending from Pasay,
on Manila bay, toward San Pedro Macatithe southern line held by the American army at this time. The insurgents held positions to the front
at distances varying from five hundred to one thousand yards. Very few of their forces here had been under American fire; as a result,
almost hourly attacks were made upon some part of the regiment's line. At night their trenches blazed with rifle fire; under orders,
the regiment gave back no answering shot. It was the sort of warfare that robs men of sleep, strains their nerves, and makes them fret
because of forced inactivity. It was warfare that required all watchfulness and vigilance, but promised no rewards of victory.
April 19, the regiment returned to Manila and equipped for the expedition then being organized against the new insurgent capital at San Isidro.
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