1st Battalion 22nd Infantry

 

Regimental History of the 22nd Infantry in the Philippines

Introduction

 

Map of the Philippine Islands

The 22nd Infantry saw service on the islands of
Luzon, Mindanao and Jolo.

Period map courtesy of the Fort Benning collection

 

Campaign streamers of
the 22nd Infantry Regiment's
service during the Philippine Insurrection

Philippine Service Medal

Philippine Congressional Medal

 

 

In 1898 America's war with Spain found US forces engaged in battle in Cuba and the Philippine Islands.
The first battle between American and Spanish forces was in the Philippines at Manila Bay where, on May 1, 1898,
Commodore George Dewey, commanding the United States Navy's Asiatic Squadron aboard USS Olympia,
in a matter of hours defeated a Spanish squadron under Admiral Patricio Montojo. By July of that year,
American troops were being landed near Manila and the occupation of those Islands by the US began.

Revolution against Spanish rule in the Philippines had been going on for several years, largely started and carried out
by the Katipunan, a secret society formed to resist the Spanish authorities. After much infighting among various factions,
the leader of that revolution emerged in the personality of Emilio Aguinaldo, who led an armed uprising, which, in 1896,
resulted in an armistice between the opposing forces. The Spanish granted the Filipinos certain liberties, in return for which
Aguinaldo consented to leave the Islands, for exile in Hong Kong.

 

Emilio Aguinaldo y Famy

President and Commanding General
of the First Philippine Republic.

Aguinaldo resisted the US occupation and control
over the Philippines from 1898 until his capture in 1901,
when he then declared loyalty to US rule.

Several of his generals continued the war
for another year after his capture.

     

 

In April of 1898, at around the same time the US declared war on Spain, an American diplomat in Singapore, E. Spencer Pratt,
conceived a plan to return Aguinaldo to the Philippines. Without authorization from the US government, Pratt
promised Aguinaldo that if he returned to the Islands and resumed his war of rebellion against the Spanish,
that a victorious United States would grant independence to the Philippines. In May of 1898 Aguinaldo was conveyed by the US Navy
back to the main Island of Luzon, where he quickly assembled an army and gained support of the population in victories against the Spanish.
Aguinaldo declared the establishment of the First Philippine Republic, and moved swiftly to replace Spanish authority
with an independent government, the first republic in the history of Asia.

However, US foreign policy became ruled by the desire to make the Philippines an American possession, and, as Aguinaldo
prepared to attack Manila, US troops landed in the area, and began the build-up of forces necessary to defeat the Spanish.
With the end of the war in sight, it became apparent the US was not going to grant independence to the Philippines, and the
ever-increasing flow of American Soldiers to the Islands forced Aguinaldo to move his headquarters to Malolos, some twenty-five
miles north of Manila. After the Treaty of Paris officially concluded the war in December of 1898, the US "purchased" the
Philippine Islands from Spain. A little over a month later, on February 4, 1899, hostilities erupted at Manila between the forces
of Aguinaldo and the US troops posted around the captial city.

Thus began a war between the United States and the First Philippine Republic, which lasted officially from 1899 to 1902,
and, at the conclusion of which, another war started between US forces and the Moros, the Muslim segment of population
throughout the southern Islands. Altogether America became embroiled in a war in the Philippines which would last from 1898 until about 1913.

It turned into a brutal conflict, with atrocities committed by both sides. Although the war between Spain and the US had been
carried on in more of a "civilized" fashion, the war against the Filipinos quickly dengerated into an ugly, no rules barred
type of deadly contest, with each side trying to outdo the other in the ways in which they could strike against their enemies.

Until the US involvement in Vietnam, some sixty years later, the Philippine Insurrection was the most unpopular war in American history.
America was divided into pro-expansion and anti-imperialist camps, with the adherents of each dramatically vocal in their opposition.
In recent times the war, especially the first phase carried out against the army of Aguinaldo, has come to be renamed by many
as the Philippine-American War. However, the US Army still calls it the Philippine Insurrection, and the 1st Battalion website
will use the Army's terminology, until such time as the Army should change it.

 

Infantry Uniforms of the Philippine Insurrection

In the foreground on the left is an Infantry 1st Lieutenant.
His sidearm is the .38 caliber service revolver.
He wears leather gaiters preferred by many officers.

In the foreground on the right is an Infantry Sergeant.
He wears the blue colored Mills cartridge belt and a blue
hat band on his campaign hat.

In the background are two Infantry Privates.
They are not wearing their khaki coats.
The Private on the left is shown with his "bedroll",
the standard way for an Infantryman to carry his equipment
prior to the adoption of the M1910 gear.

Illustration from US Army Center Of Military History

The 22nd Infantry Regiment was issued the
khaki service uniform prior to departing for the
Philippines. As can be seen in the illustration
to the left, the M1883 dark blue campaign shirt
was normally worn under the khaki coat.
In the tropical heat of the Philippines
many Soldiers wore only the campaign shirt
as their upper outer garment.

 

 

Model 1898 US Krag-Jørgensen rifle

A Norwegian design, the US model Krag was officially adopted by the US Army in 1892. It began to be issued in 1894,
and all regular Army units received Krags with remarkable speed. The rifle was chambered for a rimmed centerfire cartridge,
officially called the "Cartridge, Caliber .30, U.S. Army", more commonly known as the .30-40 Krag. It was the first
smokeless powder cartridge adopted by the Army. Three models of the long barrelled infantry version of the rifle were produced:
the Model 1892, the Model 1896 and the Model 1898. The 22nd Infantry received their Krags while still at Fort Keogh, Montana,
sometime during the years 1894-1896, carried them into Cuba and the Philippine Islands, and were armed with Krags until 1906,
when the Regiment finally replaced them with the Model 1903 Springfield rifle.

Rifle photo from the J.C. Devine, Inc. website

 

Upon its return from Cuba, the 22nd Infantry spent the months of September 1898 through January of 1899 recuperating
and rebuilding, and sailed for the Philippines on February 1, 1899. With the exception of the year 1902 and most of 1903,
the Regiment would be in the Philippine Islands from the beginning of 1899 until the end of 1905. During its Philippine service,
for the second time in its history, the 22nd Infantry would lose its Commanding Officer to hostile fire.

On March 26, 1899, Colonel Harry Egbert would be killed in action at Malinta, during the Malolos campaign.
This came less than a year after the Regiment lost its previous Commander, Colonel Charles Wikoff, in Cuba, July of 1898.

 

COLONEL Harry Clay Egbert

Commanding Officer of the
22nd Infantry Regiment

Killed in Action
less than a month
after the Regiment
landed in the
Philippine Islands.

Note the 22nd Infantry
crossed rifles insignia
on COL Egbert's collar.

Illustration from a period
magazine, probably "Munsey's"

   

 

 

Soldier's Handbook for Private Frank J. Randall
of Company I of the 22nd Infantry

 

Inscribed on the first page of the Handbook is the owner's name:

Frank J. Randall
Co. "I" 22d U.S. Inf.
Fort - Crook. Neb.

 

The enlistment record of PVT Randall as noted in his Handbook
shows his enlistment beginning on December 14, 1898, and that he enlisted in the city of Cleveland, Ohio.
After the loss of so many Soldiers of the Regiment due to disease encountered as a result of the war in Cuba,
and end of enlistments, Randall would be one of the many newly enlisted and untried recruits of the 22nd Infantry
sent to the grisly combat environment that was the Philippine Islands, in March of 1899.

 

Front and back of a formal studio portrait of a 22nd Infantry Soldier of Company M,
taken at a photographic studio in Manila, ca. 1899-1905

Webmaster's collection

 

The opening pages in this section contain the official history of the 22nd Infantry Regiment during its service in the Philippines.
The pages which present the official history are linked together for continuity. By clicking on the "Next Page" link at the bottom
of each page, the viewer will be taken to each successive part in the series. Return to the HISTORY title page
for additional pages on the 22nd Infantry in the Philippines.

 

 


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