1st Battalion 22nd Infantry

 

Arrival in the Philippines and the Pasig Expedition 1899

 

Campaign Streamer awarded to the 22nd Infantry for service
during the Pasig Expedition

 

 

After the Spanish American War the 22nd Infantry lost a large number of Soldiers to disease and end of enlistments.
During the latter part of 1898 the Regiment's ranks were replenished with a great many new, and for the most part,
raw recruits. A hurried training program was initiated for these recruits at Fort Crook. How they would perform
in a combat environment as harsh as the Philippines was unknown. As was later attested to in the Regimental Histories
and after-action reports these new recruits learned quickly, and aquitted themselves professionally,
adding to the long line of service of the Regiment.

The 22nd Infantry arrived in the Philippines in the early part of March, 1899, after the defeat of the Spanish.
US forces held the city of Manila when the Regiment landed there. War had already been declared by the Filipinos
while the Regiment was still at sea. The Filipino insurgent army, led by Aguinaldo, was spread out around Manila,
mostly to the north and east of the city. A large body of the insurgent army was headquartered at Pasig, to the east.
The first campaign of the war mounted by the US against the insurgency was against those enemy forces at Pasig.
The mission was to either destroy them, or drive them north, so as to make them link up with Aguinaldo's forces
in the northern part of the island, and therefore create a single front with which the Americans would have to contend.

Within a week of landing on Philippine soil, the 22nd Infantry became an integral part of that first campaign.

 

The following article describes in detail, the loading and departure of the 22nd Infantry
from San Francisco, for duty in the Philippines, February 1, 1899.

The article is incorrect when it names Lieutenant Colonel Patterson as being second in command of the Regiment.
LTC John Patterson was not with the 22nd Infantry at this time. He was in the process of retiring from the Army,
which he did on February 6, 1899.

Major Leopold O. Parker, mentioned in the article as being in command of the Army personnel on the ship Ohio,
was actually second in command of the Regiment at this time.

 




Article from The San Francisco Call, Wednesday, February 1, 1899

CDNC California Digital Newspaper Collection

 

 

 

The following narrative is taken from the Regimental histories compiled in 1904 and 1922

 

Character of the Enemy and Events Leading up to the Insurrection

The 22nd Infantry spent a comparatively short time in inaction after the close of the Spanish-American war.
On January 27, 1899, the command left Fort Crook and proceeded by rail to San Francisco, California,
bound for the Philippines and more adventure. (Ed., The 1st Battalion left Fort Crook on January 26,
the rest of the Command left the next day, January 27.)

The regiment did not waste much time in California.
Arriving there January 31, on the following day twenty-six officers and one thousand and seventy enlisted men
boarded the chartered transports Senator and Ohio and sailed for our new possessions in the Far East.
The first night at sea an enlisted man was washed overboard and drowned.

(Ed., The man lost overboard was Corporal George A. Abbott, of Company D.
In the 1904 Regimental History two other deaths were also recorded during the voyage. On February 6 Private James T. Larkin
of Company I, and on March 2 Private Clarence R. Overton of Company G. Both were recorded as "Died of Disease".
Private Overton was a passenger on the Ohio, and actually died of spinal meningitis, according to newspaper reports of the day.)

The transports stopped at Honolulu to coal, February 9 to 13. The Senator arrived in Manila bay March 4; the Ohio March 5.
During the voyage the Filipinos had rebelled against the authority of the United States and when the 22nd arrived,
Manila, in possession of the Americans, was invested on the land side by insurgent armies.
The regiment disembarked March 5 and 6, occupied Malate barracks and equipped for tropical service.

The thatch-roofed barracks at Malate

Photo from the Regimental History of 1904

 

March 10, Companies B, C, H and L, were assigned to a position on the line of outposts to the southwest of San Pedro Macati.
Since shortly after the beginning of hostilities, February 4, 1899, the American line south of the Pasig river
had extended from San Pedro Macati southwesterly to Manila bay. This line was intrenched and was opposed by insurgent forces
along its entire front. Shots were exchanged daily. Night attacks by the insurgents were frequent;
the regiment suffered casualties almost as soon as they took position on the line. (Ed., Wounded in action on March 11 was
Private Marshall Combs of Company B, and on March 12, Private Amos W. Seigenthaler of Company C.)

Beyond the fact that Pasig City was an insurgent stronghold and that the smaller towns were occupied
and levied upon by the Filipino soldiery, little was known of the strength and position of the enemy.
Aguinaldo, with whose insurrection the 22nd Infantry was now intimately concerned, was a wily and unscrupulous enemy.
After the destruction of the Spanish fleet in Manila bay the native leader, under advice of the Hong Kong junta,
proceeded from that city to Manila with the intention of securing as much aid as possible from the United States,
and then, when sufficiently strong, of driving out the Americans.
His course throughout was consistent with this well-settled intention. His declaration of independence of June, 1898;
his capture during the succeeding seven months of the weakly garrisoned posts throughout the islands,
by which he obtained large quantities of arms and ammunition; the elimination from his so-called government of his able advisers,
who advocated United States supremacy; his declared dictatorship; the concentration of his troops
and the building of intrenchments and fortifications around Manila; the public demonstrations and rejoicing at his capital of Malolos
on the anticipated victory shortly before hostilities were begun—all occurring in well-timed succession
prove conclusively a predetermined plan of action to place the islands under Tagalog rule.
Prior to February 4, 1899, the date of the outbreak, all of Aguinaldo's communications to General Otis—
and these were numerous—professed friendship toward the United States and manifested great desire to restrain his people from hostile acts.
January 9, he appointed a commission to confer with one to be appointed by General Otis, "for the sake of peace",
as he expressed it. On the very same day, with marvelous duplicity, he issued a proclamation containing instructions
to "the brave soldiers of Sandatahan of Manila''. This proclamation contained instructions in minute detail for the waging of treachery and death
upon the Americans, discussed methods of attack and massacre and urged all manner of deceit
in methods of gaining access to close quarters with American soldiers for the purpose of surprise onslaughts.
Natives were ordered to dress as women in order to kill sentinels. Stones, timbers, red-hot iron, heavy furniture, boiling oil,
water and molasses and rags soaked in oil and lighted were to be thrown on the Americans from the house-tops.
Native women were to be pressed into service to prepare boiling- water, molasses and other liquids
to be used against the troops of the United States.

On the 4th of February, following the proclamation of the insurrecto chief, the first shot of the war was fired by a Nebraska outpost
at a Filipino soldier who was advancing on our lines and who refused to halt.
This shot was immediately followed by general firing all along the line, the Filipinos receiving severe punishment.
Aguinaldo at once issued his declaration of war in a "general order to the Philippine Army" as follows:

Nine, o'clock, p. M., this date, I received from Caloocan station a message communicated to me
that the American forces, without prior notification or any just motive, attacked our camp
at San Juan del Monte and our forces garrisoning the blockhouse around the outskirts of Manila,
causing losses among our soldiers, who in view of this unexpected aggression and of the decided attack of the aggressors,
were obliged to defend themselves until the firing became general all along the line.
No one can deplore more than I this rupture of hostilities. I have a clear conscience that I have endeavored to avoid it
at all costs, using all my efforts to preserve friendship with the army of occupation at the cost of not a few humiliations
and many sacrificed rights. But it is my unavoidable duty to maintain the integrity of the national honor
and that of the army so unjustly attacked by those who, posing as our friends and liberators, attempt to dominate us
in place of Spaniards, as is shown by the grievances enumerated in my manifest of January 8,
last; such as the continued outrages and violent exactions committed against the people of Manila,
the useless conferences, and all my frustrated efforts in favor of peace and concord.
Summoned by this unexpected provocation, urged by the duties imposed upon me by honor and patriotism
and for the defense of the nation entrusted to me, calling on God as a witness of my good faith and uprightness of my intention———
I order and command :
1.—Peace and friendly relations between the Philippine forces and the American forces of occupation are broken,
and the latter will be treated as enemies, with the limits prescribed by the laws of war.
2.—American soldiers who may be captured by the Philippine forces will be treated as prisoners of war.
3.—This proclamation shall be communicated to the accredited consuls of Manila, and to congress,
in order that it may accord the suspension of the constitutional guarantees and the resulting declaration of war.
Given at Malolos, February 4, 1899.
(Sgd) EMILIO AGUINALDO,
General-in-Chief.

The following day Aguinaldo issued another manifesto addressed to the Philippine people
in which he disclaimed all responsibility for the rupture, placing all the blame on the Americans
and assuring the natives that they could resist the occupation as long as they wanted to.
The following day Aguinaldo issued instructions marked with the most savage ferocity.
For the sake of independence, all Americans—men, women and children—were to be massacred.
For policy's sake, English, French and Germans, their lives and their property, were to be spared.
But for oriental greed's sake, all Chinamen were to be put to the sword;
to appease the wily chieftain's half barbarous army, the property of Chinamen was to be subject to loot.
If these acts had been carried into execution, justification undoubtedly would have been made
in extravagantly worded phrases prating of liberty. Fortunately, American arms prevented the wholesale slaughter.
Such was the character of the enemy the regiment was to oppose. Added to this duplicity
were arms and munitions of war in great abundance. The terrain of the country, superbly suited to check the American advance,
afforded additional advantage. That our forces never suffered reverses in the islands in no way proves that the Filipinos were poor fighters.

Ed. note: The preceding paragraphs are taken from the 1922 Regimental history, and are a condensation and summary
of three proclamations issued by Aguinaldo on January 9, and February 4 and 5, 1899. In the 1904 Regimental history all three
of these proclamations are printed in full, and take up nearly five pages of the book. The January 9 proclamation
gruesomely details Aguinaldo's instructions to the "Sandatahan of Manila", as he called his army, in prescribing
methods of attacks upon and ways to kill Americans and Filipinos who sympathized with Americans.

 

Some of Aguinaldo's Katipuneros (Katipunan soldiers), wearing captured Spanish uniforms.
The Katipunan Society had been formed as a secret society to resist and fight Spanish occupation.
When Aguinaldo declared war on the Americans he assimilated Katipunan forces into his army.
A Filipino flag can be seen in the right center of the photo, with its distinctive "Sun" emblem,
the design of which evolved directly from previous Katipunan flags.
This "Sun"emblem of the Katipunans would, in 1923, be incorporated into the heraldic design
of the Coat-of-Arms and Distinctive Unit Insignia of the 22nd Infantry.

 

Illustration from a period book showing the 22nd Infantry at Pasig.
The black & white photo has been color tinted, and the artist has incorrectly
given the Soldiers blue uniforms.

Photo from:

A Wonderful Reproduction of LIVING SCENES In Natural Color Photos fo America's New Posssessions.

F. Tennyson Neely. New York, Chicago, London: 1899

 

Section of the same photo as above, but in the original black & white.
The tan or khaki color of their uniforms can be plainly seen;
had the uniforms been blue, (as the artist in the preceding photo has portrayed them)
then in the black & white photo the uniforms would be darker than the men's campaign hats.

 

The Pasig Expedition

Brigadier-General Loyd Wheaton, commanding.
Troops Engaged:
Provisional Brigade consisting of:
20th Infantry; 22nd Infantry; two battalions 1st Washington Volunteer Infantry; seven companies 2nd Oregon Volunteer Infantry;
one platoon 6th Artillery, and three troops 4th Cavalry.

The Pasig expedition was the first organized campaign against the insurgents, General Wheaton's instructions being
to drive the enemy beyond the Pasig, "striking him wherever found".
The night of March 12 the brigade was formed and bivouacked in line in rear of entrenchments
extending from San Pedro Macati toward the bay. The 22nd Infantry formed the right of the infantry line;
on the extreme right was a squadron of the 4th Cavalry.

Soldiers of the 2nd Oregon Volunteers prepare to fire a volley during the fight at Pasig.
They are armed with the 45-70 caliber "trapdoor" Springfield rifles. The 2nd Oregon
was part of BG Wheaton's Provisional Brigade alongside the 22nd Infantry.

 

Captain Jacob Kreps, in command of Company M, 22nd Infantry, wrote of the night of March 12 :

"Rain started to fall before we reached our destination. Company M Passed a sister regiment—
the men standing on one foot, then the other, attempting to keep dry—while, at the same time,
trying to keep a fire going and fry bacon.

After trudging across several muddy rice fields, we took our position a few hundred yards
to the rear of the trenches. A short distance beyond, was a church occupied by an Oregon detachment.

The rain kept up, more or less, all during the night. Everyone was miserable—
especially the new recruits who were getting their first taste of field service. Many of the men were without cover.
Very few took the trouble to put up their shelter tents—preferring to have the canvas between themselves and the ground—
rather than between their bodies and the sky. However, I can't blame them.
In a Philippine rainstorm, a shelter tent gives about as much protection as an equal size piece of wire netting."
* 1

At six o'clock on the morning of March 13 the brigade moved forward by echelon from the right,
the 22nd Infantry and the 4th Cavalry moving first. In front of the regiment's position, the country was rough and broken;
trees and stumps of bamboo prevented extended vision; a series of low ridges afforded the insurgents many superior positions.
From these hidden positions the enemy at once opened with long range fire, to which it was impossible to reply;
for a time the regiment advanced under fire and in absolute ignorance of the whereabouts of the insurgent strongholds.

"The rookies of Company M heard a whistling noise and glanced curiously at each other—
wondering if it was the sound of a lizard or some other animal. Then another whistle—and the men quickly realized
that they were hearing their first hostile bullets. Heads dodged—soldiers darted for the nearest cover and hugged the ground.

They later discovered, that if a bullet had time to sing a solo, it would be distant—too far away to do any harm.
However, if it passed with a zip—a tree, mudbank, or stone wall were handy bulwarks to have around.
The vicious pellets were never alone—they always had companions following them."
* 2

Shortly after the beginning of the engagement the squadron of the 4th Cavalry was detached from the line
and ordered to make a wide detour toward the Pasig River, to intercept the insurgents' possible retreat in that direction ;
afterward Companies I and A of the regiment were sent to assist the cavalry. Meanwhile the brigade had forced the enemy
from a strongly-intrenched and fortified position on Guadalupe ridge. As the advance continued, the insurgents fell back,
fighting stubbornly until they reached the river, which they crossed in disorder, receiving severe losses.

"We came upon seven Filipinos on the riverbank. They all surrendered exept one plucky fellow.
He threw his gun in the river and plunged in himself. Although the water around him was churned by bullets,
I believe he succeeded in escaping."
* 3

Meeting no further opposition at this point, the brigade occupied the Pasig road, moved eastward
and encountered heavy fire from the Pasig intrenchments. Captain Kreps was given command of D Company
in addition to M Company and ordered to clear the road:

"We crept forward, slowly and carefully—rifles at the ready. A grove of trees and banana plants soon obstructed our view—
but also hid us from the rebels. The trail suddenly curved sharply, and for about a hundred yards the roadway was cut through
a hill of solid rock. The stone walls rose thirty feet on both sides of the path. At the far end of the gorge, the curve straightened out
and came into full view of the opposite bank.

I decided to take a few men and investigate. We sneaked through the cut until I noticed the enemy positions
across the river. The Insurgent trenches controlled this part of the road—and we soon discovered that they were manned by sharpshooters.
My troops were spotted, and several straw hats popped into view above the enemy earthworks.
Each hat represented a puff of smoke—a bang—then the splatter of a bullet on the rock wall.

We quickly ran for cover—out of sight from the enemy riflemen. That is, all except Private William Reinhardt.
Several times the youngster stepped out into the middle of the road—deliberately knelt, aimed, and fired—
then dashed back to the tunnel to reload. He tried this once too often and was shot in the foot."
* 4

The regiment moved farther to the east and occupied high ground opposite the town.
From this position a destructive fire was opened on the insurgent trenches. The armored gunboat Laguna de Bay was sent up the river
to aid in the attack on the trenches. When the fire from these trenches had been partly silenced,
the brigade charged the town, routing the enemy and inflicting great losses upon them.
During this part of the engagement, Companies A and I, a mile east of the main body, became seriously engaged
with a large body of retreating insurgents. Companies D, E, G and M advanced to assist the two companies
and drove the enemy beyond Pateros, in the direction of Taguig. Later in the day a number of insurgent sharpshooters returned to Pateros,
and until long after dark kept up an annoying fire on the six companies, whose position upon the river bank was entirely exposed.

Ed., Killed in action on March 13 were:

Private George E. Stewart, Company B,
-Private Wesley J. Hennessy, Company D,
--Corporal Wynne P. Munson, Company K.

Wounded in Action on March 13 were:

Private Daniel W. Carroll, Company A--
Private John Mulvahill, Company D
-----
Private William M. Harmon, Company D
Private William S. O'Brien, Company D
-
Private Joseph Hoffman, Company E
----
Private Joseph B. Cox, Company E
-----
Private Theodore Misner, Company F
---
Private John Blazek, Company I
---------
Corporal James Comerford, Company M
Private William M. Reinhart, Company M

 

Laguna de Bay on the Pasig river.
A wooden vessel, her sides and bridge were protected by iron plates.
This gunboat was instrumental in driving the insurgents from the trenches around the town of Pasig.

Photo from:

A Wonderful Reproduction of LIVING SCENES In Natural Color Photos fo America's New Posssessions.
F. Tennyson Neely. New York, Chicago, London: 1899

 

On the morning of the 14th the remainder of the regiment was placed in position opposite Pateros.
Here it remained on outpost until March 18. During this period, the hardships of Philippine campaigning were first felt.
Heavy rains fell nightly during the week; shelter halves gave little protection; toward morning officers and men,
drenched and shivering, were compelled to rise from their muddy beds on the ground and sit around camp fires
until the sun finally appeared and dried the clothes on their backs.

March 18 a force of the enemy appeared near Taguig and Companies D, E, G and M were sent out to locate them.
At about 3 o'clock in the afternoon the four companies found the insurgents, 800 strong, occupying ridges west of Taguig,
and at once engaged them in one of the most spirited combats of the war. The insurgents, from superior positions
and greatly outnumbering the battalion of the 22nd, fought until darkness ended the engagement. During the battle
a Company of Washington Volunteers was pinned down by the insurgents established on one of the ridges. Captain Kreps wrote:

"About three o'clock, our depleted battalion was placed under the command of Captain Frank Jones.
We were ordered to move out and attempt to rescue the besieged company. However, our directive stated for us to proceed
down to the river and move forward along the bank. I protested and asked permission to advance across the high ground.
General Wheaton denied my request. I considered his order irresponsible. It would have been much safer advancing along the ridge.
As it was, we could—and did—head into a trap.

Companies D, E, and G formed the front line of the battalion with Company M in reserve. After marching two miles, firing was heard.
We could make out the Washington outfit delivering volleys—but there was no sign of the enemy.
Scouts suddenly brought word that there were about eight hundred Insurgents to our front. I hoped that the size of the rebel force
was exaggerated—if correct, we were outnumbered four to one.

As we pushed on ahead, the terrain became rough and rockstrewn— then cliffs emerged on our right and left flanks.
Within a few minutes we found ourselves cornered in a horseshoe shaped depression. High ground surrounded us on all sides—
except at the narrow entrance to the shoe. The lead companies had proceeded about five hundred yards when the 'music' began.
A hailstorm of Mauser bullets rained down on the troops. Further progress was impossible. The men dashed for cover
and commenced firing back at the enemy. But our front line was suffering heavy casualties and ammunition was beginning to run short.

Captain Jones shouted orders for the battalion to retreat from the trap, and directed Company M to protect the withdrawal.
However, the sudden wild, disorganized rush of men descended upon my troops so rapidly that our company became intermingled
with the returning firing line. There was a great deal of confusion as the retiring soldiers crowded through the narrow opening
of the horseshoe—while, at the same time, we were trying to move past them to the front. During the melee, Jones was shot
and I assumed command of the battalion.

It was a madhouse of frustration. We were afraid to fire at the Filipinos for fear of hitting our own troops
as they attempted to flee the trap. Meanwhile, Insurgent bullets pelted down on us in a pitiless shower. Three of my men were shot,
including Henry Johnson. I was finally able to reform Company M as a line of skirmishers, and began a rapid fire assault
on the enemy positions. By the time that the rest of the battalion was clear of the horseshoe, the Filipinos began to retreat.
In a little over an hour, our battalion had lost twenty men— killed or wounded.
* 5

Ed., In Combat Diary A.B. Feuer sets the scene next, as Jacob Kreps writes down his feelings after a hard day of fighting:

"It was nearly dark when the soldiers of Company M returned to their tents. The sun had set, and a full moon looked down
upon the litter bearers hauling the dead and wounded from the battlefield. The long line of stretchers—stopping every few minutes
to change carriers— dragged its slow course back to camp. Jacob Kreps was tired, bitter, and depressed after the furious battle,
and he eloquently expressed his feelings in the pages of his notebook:

'I searched the hospital tents until I located Johnson. An enemy bullet had entered just over the left eye and passed completely
through his head. The youngster never regained consciousness. Johnson's brief service in the Army of the United States was over—
but his dedication will not be soon forgotten.

The history of a soldier in the regular army, or any soldier for that matter, is the story of his organization while he is affiliated with it.

The hero is usually of newspaper manufacture—and remains a hero for possibly three editions. The soldier who falls in combat
needs no such notoriety. If his company or regiment never disgraces its flag— but only adds to the brightness of its colors—
this honor is shared with his comrades.

However, what good is honor to Johnson now? His body lies on the island of Luzon—sacrificed to a policy
not to be criticized by the soldier, but which has as its objective the subjugation of a people fighting for their liberty.

Henry Johnson died—not in defense of his country—but rather because duty summoned him to that rugged,
rocky spot near Laguna de Bay where the messenger of death was waiting. No sentiment nor feelings motivated his actions—
only the stern obligation to flag and country, ready to meet any foe, domestic or foreign. Ready to obey the legal orders of his superiors.
This is, and always will be, the function of the 'regular soldier.'"
* 6

The battalion lost nineteen men killed and wounded; among the wounded Captain Frank B. Jones, the battalion commander.
At daylight on the following day the brigade was deployed facing toward the south, the regiment occupying the right of the line.
Wheeling on the left as a pivot, the brigade struck the insurgents south of Taguig, routed them, and drove them down the lake.
The regiment marched twelve miles in extended order during the swinging movement. The heat was intense;
on the return march the command suffered severely; men dropped from exhaustion and were brought in by comrades
whose condition was but little better. Near Taguig was seen ghastly evidence of the previous day's engagements—
many corpses in insurgent uniforms. Considering the extreme care exercised by the Filipinos in removing their dead,
the number thus left upon the field showed the great losses Captain Jones' battalion had inflicted.

March 20, orders were received from Manila disbanding the provisional brigade and ordering the troops to return to Manila.
The object of the expedition had been thoroughly accomplished. In the week's campaign, every position occupied by the enemy
in the territory assigned to the brigade had been attacked and captured; the insurgent forces had been dispersed and demoralized.
General Wheaton reported Aguinaldo's loss in killed, wounded and captured as 2,500.

 

Ed., Killed in Action on March 18 were:

Private John Smith, Company E
------------Private Charles W. Fredericks, Company E
---------Private Henry W. Johnson, Company M

Wounded in Action on March 18 were:

Captain Frank B. Jones, -------
------Private Berry H. Young, Company D
----Private Nels Arvidson, Company D
--Private Frank Yount, Company D
-Private William Ellis, Company E
----Private Leander Mings, Company E
-----Private Carl Crumpholz, Company E
-------Private Charles E. Palmer, Company E
-Private Robert Rice, Company E
---Private Merritt Porter, Company E
------Private Raleigh T. White, Company E
-------Private George Schneider, Company E
--Private Frank Rurfer, Company G
-------Private Charles E. Halley, Company G
---Private Earl Edwards, Company K
----------Corporal Edward F. Wilson, Company M

Wounded in Action on March 19 was:

------Private August Schmidt, Company K

 

 

Photo of 22nd Infantry Soldiers during the fight at Pasig.
This photo originally appeared in the 1904 Regimental history.

 

 

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

 

 

The above narrative is taken from the Regimental Histories of 1904 and 1922, except:

* From the book: Combat Diary EPISODES FROM THE HISTORY OF THE
TWENTY-SECOND REGIMENT, 1866-1905
by A. B. Feuer

Praeger Publishers, New York, N.Y.

 

* 1 Combat Diary, pp 87-89
*
2 Combat Diary, pp 89-90
*
3 Combat Diary, p 90-----
*
4 Combat Diary, p 91-----
*
5 Combat Diary, pp 93-94
*
6 Combat Diary, p 94-----

 

Additional comments by the website editor.

 

 


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