1st Battalion 22nd Infantry
The Taraca Expedition April 1904
Campaign Streamer awarded to the 22nd Infantry for its service in Mindanao 1904-1905
22nd Infantry and 14th Cavalry crossing the Taraca River
From the Parker Hitt photograph collection, University
This photo also appeared in the 1904 Regimental History
THE TARACA EXPEDITION
Major General Leonard Wood, commanding.
2nd and 3rd battalions 22nd infantry;
four troops 14th cavalry;
four companies 17th infantry;
six companies 23rd infantry;
and one platoon 17th field artillery
The object of this campaign was to subdue the
Maciu Moros. Two columns participated in the movement.
The plan was for the larger column, under General Wood, to march from Camp Vicars around the southeast corner of the lake (Lanao)
and unite with the smaller column from Marahui at a point one mile south of the Taraca river, the latter column to force a landing
that could be used as a supply point for the entire command.
The third battalion of the regiment embarked at
Marahui at two o'clock on the morning of April 2, and proceeded
in double column of boats manned by soldiers. A heavy fog hung over the lake; only by calling from boat to boat was the command kept together.
At half past six in the morning, after rowing for four hours and a half, the boats stood off about five hundred yards from the mouth of the Taraca river.
The fog had lifted, and many excited natives were seen running toward the cottas. When within the cottas, they at once opened fire on the passing boats,
accompanying the fire with jeers and insolent shouts. This continued for about half an hour, when the boats were out of range.
The native guides in the boats seemed to have
little knowledge of the shore line on the eastern coast. The lake
apparently merged into a huge marsh,
with tall swamp grass everywhere. Field glasses could discover no solid ground suitable for a landing and supply point. As the boats skirted the shore
in search of the ordered haven, armed natives were seen stealthily following the boats' course.
A mile south of the Taraca river, the column
rounded a point. A break of a hundred yards in the marsh grass
disclosed a diminutive bay;
behind it, solid ground.
Shutting off the bay from the lake was a line
of bamboo piles surmounted by horizontal bamboo. Commanding the
bay, fifty feet from the shore line,
was a pretentious cotta.
Toward this landing the column pulled its way.
Fifty yards from the water's edge, Colonel Maus stopped the
leading boat and explained,
through the interpreter, to the Moros congregated at the entrance to the cotta that he wished to land and to camp there, promising them
that they should not be molested if they were friendly. To this the head man replied angrily and insolently, ordering the command away
and saying that he should not permit the troops to land.
In accordance with orders, Colonel Maus
expostulated with the head Moro; but all to no avail. The datto,
for such he proved to be,
said that he had many women there. He was answered that if he was friendly and allowed the command to land, neither his women
nor any of his belongings should be molested.
As the parley continued, the Moros became more
insolent. It was evident that their reinforcements were fast
Several times the interpreters gave warning that the Moros were getting ready to fire.
Meanwhile the boats had been ranged on the arc
of a circle, broadsides toward the cotta. Suddenly swamp and
cotta blazed with fire.
Bullets and slugs whistled through the air, struck boats, and splashed in the water. Lantacas, service rifles, Mausers, Remingtons,
and flintlocks delivered an almost perfect volley.
Company and boat commanders at once returned
the shots; a Gatling and a Vickers-Maxim, mounted in boats,
answered without a second's delay.
A strong converging fire was poured into the cotta and into the beach grasses north and south where gun-flashes were seen.
Two men were wounded in the early stage of the fight;* afterward American volleys prevented carefulness of aim on the part of the Moros,
and although boats were struck and many slugs from lantacas splashed in the water, there were no further casualties. And realizing that eventually
they should be driven from their stronghold, the Moros made their cotta a pandemonium of frenzied, demoniacal shrieks.
High above the sounds of musketry rose the shrill cries of baffled Moslem rage.
* Privates William H. Reed and John C. De Ginther, company M.
At the end of half an hour, the order was given
to land and to charge the cotta. Shots were still coming from the
but eager arms raced the boats into the little bay. As the keels grounded, men sprang into the water, and silently, in good order, charged the cotta.
But the disheartened Moros had fled; the battalion was in possession of its first captured cotta.
At once it was seen that the fort from which
had been delivered the main defense, the one visible from the
lake, was only one
of twenty-four distinct cottas, all well built and admirably suited for defense. The remainder were not, however, so well defended,
and the Moros were quickly driven from them and out into the open, where severe losses were inflicted upon them.
The command buried sixty-five of the enemy's dead in the immediate vicinity of Pitud.
Strict orders forbade an advance, and although
native strongholds could be seen in all directions, the battalion
was compelled to camp
and await General Wood's column. As the command was not strong enough to guard the entire group of cottas, the one first captured was selected,
as commanding the landing; in it were camped the four companies.
On the morning of April 3, the command was
increased by the second battalion of the regiment and by two
troops of the 14th cavalry.
Many allegedly friendly natives presented themselves; some came bearing white flags, others carried American flags of Chinese make
curious, thirteen-starred affairs that they claimed had been given them by former commanding officers at Marahui.
They came from parts of the lake that previously and afterward were openly hostile, but in the face of a victorious force they were loud
in their protestations of friendship. One battalion of the regiment had planted the American flag on hitherto unconquered Taraca's soil
and had sounded the death-knell to Maciu's power.
April 4, the larger column, under General Wood, completed its march around the southeastern part of the lake and went into camp on Taraca river.
April 5, the two battalions of the regiment
captured and destroyed without resistance Lalabuan, an important
group of twenty-two cottas.
Moros were encountered in these cottas; but under orders, the troops refrained from firing upon them despite the intense enmity
that had been engendered by many acts of treachery on the part of the Moros.
April 8, the battalions marched northward and
camped at Delama. During the day, two Filipinos that had been in
Moro slavery came in
under a flag of truce. On the following day, camp was made near the mouth of the Ramaien river.*
* Private Anton M. Andersen, company E, accidentally drowned, April 9, while working on the boats at the mouth of the Ramaien river.
These two marches were through swamps and
unbridged streams. Camps were not reached until late in the
many halts were necessary in order to investigate nearby cottas. On the morning of the 9th, a detachment was sent back to Patoan,
a cotta reported by the liberated slaves as containing arms and hostile to the United States. Although unoccupied the previous day,
the small detachment was fired upon when approaching the cotta; the fort was at once taken by assault, the occupants killed,
and a number of rifles and lantacas captured.
At Delama, the sultan of Ramaien endeavored to
propitiate the second advance of Americans toward his territory,
by sending in a Moro purporting to be one of the men who had attacked the Pantar sentinel on the night of February 27, 1904.
This peace offering was a crippled slave, of no value as Moro property. Before bringing him in, his alleged captors had cut open one cheek with a kris.
GENERAL ORDERS, No. 4.
HEADQUARTERS 22ND U. S. INFANTRY.
CAMP MARAHUI, MINDANAO, P. I.
April 11th, 1904.
It becomes the sad duty
of the Regimental Commander to announce the death of 2nd
Lieutenant Harry Parshall, 22nd infantry,
at this post on the 8th instant.
He was born at Fairfield, Wisconsin, October 31, 1877. Enlisting in the 20th infantry, November 15, 1898,
he served as private and noncommissioned officer of that regiment to October 14, 1901, when he was promoted 2nd lieutenant
and assigned to this regiment, serving with it until the date of his death.
Although suffering from ill-health with a disease which would prove fatal, he still remained with his regiment
to bear his share of its hardships and dangers in a foreign clime. His service has been characterized by loyalty, zeal, and efficiency
an example of a faithful soldier's life which may well be emulated.
The usual badge of mourning will be worn by the officers of the regiment for thirty days.
BY ORDER OF LIEUTENANT
J. L. DONOVAN, Captain 22nd Infantry, Acting Adjutant.
Marion P. Maus
Graduated from West Point in
1874, served with the 1st Infantry in the Indian Wars
Appointed Lt. Colonel of the
22nd Infantry on June 28, 1902,
Though promoted to Colonel of
the 20th Infantry on January 24, 1904,
Photo from the George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)
Except at Patoan, the marches of April 8 and 9,
although through hitherto hostile country, were entirely without
The lesson at Pitud had been well taught; deputations of flag-bearing Moros continually met the command, making loud protestations
of their firm allegiance to the United States. One procession was headed with a transport flag, obtained, undoubtedly,
by ways and means not to be inquired into. Colonel Maus, as commanding officer, was offered many presents of fruit, eggs, and chickens.
Mud was knee-deep, but the marches were triumphal processions, resplendent with flags and fancifully attired "friendlies."
On April 10, the battalions returned to Camp
Marahui. To the regiment had fallen the honor of being the first
troops, American or Spanish,
to penetrate Taraca's stronghold.
Companies F and G had been ordered to Sapungan, near the mouth of the Taraca river, on April 5. On the 9th, while making a reconnoissance
to the west of Pitud, these companies were fired upon from a cotta belonging to Datto Gadapuan. In the face of heavy fire,
the companies charged the cotta and took it by assault.*
* Wounded in action:
Sergeant Claude M. Toney, company F;
Sergeant Theodore Huber and Corporal Samuel Treadway,company G.
Corporal Treadway closed with the Moro that wounded him, wrested away the kampilan, and killed the native with the latter's own weapon.
The bottom edge is sharpened all the way from the crossguard to the tip.
The scabbard is two-piece, usually lashed together with rattan or flimsy bamboo strips, and thrown away when going into battle.
When the sword needs to be used immediately, the sword bearer will simply strike with the sheathed sword
and the blade will cut through the lashings, thereby effecting a tactical strike without the need to unsheathe the sword.
Primarily a two-handed sword, this example measures 41 inches long
The spikelet at the top of the blade caused maximum damage when thrusting.
Note also the holes drilled into the blade, some of which are filled with brass inlay.
Ed., By April 11th, 1904 all units of Wood's
expedition had either returned to their previous stations, or
were in the process of doing so,
with the exception of Companies F and G of the 22nd Infantry, who were garrisoned at Sapungan, at the mouth of the Taraca River.
The Taraca expedition was considered officially over.
The following is the official After
Action Report filed by Major General Leonard Wood,
of the Taraca Expedition of 1904
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF MINDANAO
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Zamboanga, P.I. --------------April 15, 1904
The Adjutant General,
--------------------The Philippine Division,
---------------------------------Manila, P. I.
I have the honor to submit the following report relative to the recent expedition to Taraca:
CAUSES WHICH RENDERED THE EXPEDITION
The people of Taraca Valley have never submitted to the authority of the United States or Spain. On the contrary, they have always openly defied
our authority and have attacked each and every body of troops entering into or approaching their territory. Their conduct has been utterly lawless.
They have organized various expeditions to murder soldiers, which have been only too successful,
have captured a considerable number of rifles, and have refused to surrender either the perpetrators of the murders
and attempted murders or to return the stolen property, or even to come to conferences with the authorities. They have continued their traffic in slaves
and have refused to surrender a number of captured Christian Filipinos whom they have held in captivity for a considerable period of time.
In short, their entire attitude has been one of open defiance, supported by armed resistance, and their conduct has been entirely incompatible with a just
and humane conduct of affairs. The conditions existing in that section of the country had become absolutely intolerable from every standpoint of decency,
humanity and good government; to have allowed this condition to have longer continued would have been to have sanctioned the open and vigorous pursuit
of slave dealing and to have tolerated a condition of defiance of authority, crime and disorder highly discreditable to our Government.
The territory of these people has never been occupied by white troops since the settlement of the Islands. One American expedition has passed through it,
but in so doing has affected only a small portion of it and this portion soon returned to its former condition.
PURPOSES OF THE EXPEDITION.
The purposes of the recent expedition to Taraca were to bring to an end the condition of armed resistance and open defiance of our authority
therein existing, to compel the surrender of certain Christian Filipinos held in slavery, to establish a garrison at the mouth of the Taraca
which should exercise supervision and control over that section, to recapture as many of the stolen arms as possible, and to occupy and destroy
all hostile cottas.
The expedition was rendered necessary by the
failure of all peaceful measures. I invited the Sultan of Taraca
to a meeting at Camp Vicars,
assuring him personal safety, etc., for the purpose of adjusting Taraca affairs by peaceful means if possible. All this has already been reported
to your office in previous correspondence. The letter to the Sultan of Taraca, or Maciu as he is really known among the Moros, was duly delivered
a week prior to the date fixed for the interview, which was the 31st of March, 1904.
I arrived at Camp Vicars on this date and
learned that the Sultan had not come in and probably would not
come in but that on the contrary
he was making extensive preparations for hostilities. I delayed at Vicars until the morning of the 2nd of April, on which date,
the troops having assembled at Vicars, Mataling Falls and Marahui, the advance was commenced.
The orders directed that Lieutenant Colonel M.
P. Maus, 22nd Infantry, with two battalions of that regiment and
two dismounted troops
of the 14th Cavalry under Major F. H. Hardie, 14th Cavalry, should proceed by boat to a point on the Lake shore about one half mile
south of the mouth of the Taraca river, where there is good ground for camping, and there make a landing, peaceful if possible, and establish his camp.
The column from Camp Vicars, consisting of the
Department Commander, a number of staff officers, one Battalion
of the 23rd Infantry
under Major C. M. Truitt, 23rd Infantry, two dismounted troops of the 14th Cavalry under Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Garrard, 14th Cavalry,
and a platoon of the 17th Battery Field Artillery (Gatley's) under 1st Lieutenant W. I. Westervelt, left Vicars at 7:00 a.m., uniting at a point
about six miles from Vicars with a battalion of the 17th Infantry under Major J. A. Maney, 17th Infantry, and a battalion of two companies
of the 23rd Infantry under Captain W.H. Allaire, 23rd Infantry, which had camped the night before at Mataling Falls, and proceeded to camp at Sauir,
which was reached at about 3:30 p.m. April 2nd. Lt. Col.G.K.McGunnegle commanded the infantry of the main column. During the march heavy firing,
evidently a Vickers-Maxim Pom-Pom gun, was heard at the mouth of the Taraca river, also considerable volley firing and what appeared to be
lantanka reports. Subsequent events proved this to have been the case and that Colonel Maus with one of his battalions of the 22nd Infantry
was vigorously resisted in making his landing.
Sauir is separated from the territory of Maciu
by a narrow arm of Lake Lanao. The camp was fired into all night
of the 2nd by Moros from Sauir
who were concealed in the marshes and in cottas distant from one half to three quarters of a mile. This fire was scattering and irregular.
Two men were wounded, Artificer N. Harned, 23rd Infantry, seriously, and Corporal S. Wooten, 17th Infantry, lightly.
The fire at the Moros from our outposts, combined with a few shots from one of the mountain guns, prevented the enemy's fire becoming serious.
The trail from Camp Vicars to Sauir is a good one all the way; no bad places, generally hard, and runs through a rolling country.
On the morning of April 3rd Captain D. B.
Devore's Company 23rd Infantry was sent ahead at six o'clock to
corduroy the trail.
The main command left camp at 7:00 a.m. and camped at Ragayan river about 4 p.m. During the march, the troops were attacked
by a small party of Moros and the rear guard was fired on on several occasions. At 10:50 a.m. the artillery was brought into action
to shell a number of cottas from which shots had been fired.
On reaching the territory of the Sultan of
Ragayan the Sultan's brother, the Cabugatan of Ragayan, presented
He was instructed to inform his brother, the Sultan, that the Stolen arms and amnunition in his possession must be surrendered
or his cotta would be taken and destroyed. He replied that the Sultan was absent and denied that he possessed any stolen arms and ammunition,
a statement which from abundant evidence in our possession was known to be untrue. Whereupon he was told that the Sultan must meet the command
on its return from Taraca and either return the arms and ammunition or give a satisfactory account of them, or his cotta would be destroyed,
as it was definitely known that he had them in his possession. Upon this underetarding the cotta was not molested, the Cabugatan having promised
to bring his brother in as directed.
While in camp at Ragayan Corporal Reagin, 17th
Infantry, was slightly wounded by Moros whom he encountered in
what was supposed to be
an abandoned cotta. The wound was slight and was of no particular consequence. Two Moros were killed.
The trail from Sauir to the Malaig river runs
through a narrow strip of rather boggy timber land between the
Lake shore and the high hills
and is in no sense difficult. There are some bad places which require corduroying and bridging, but these are not either numerous, or extensive.
The crossing of the Malaig river is very good; the banks are low, bottom hard and gravelly, water about knee deep, current rather swift.
The trail from the Malaig river to Ragayan runs mostly through low rice paddy country and is in places soft and boggy
and requires stiffening with grass and brush.
The Moro Priest Noscalim (or Nuzca),
accompanied by the Sultan of Gata, met the command on the trail
and accompanied it to near camp.
Noscalim was for a long time the principal Priest on the east shore of the Lake, but lost a good deal of his influence by advising his people
to establish friendly relations with the Americans. In addition to maintaining his own following, which is still quite large, in a friendly attitude,
he brought in the Sultan of Gata and a number of his people. None of Noscalim's or the Gata people made any hostile demonstrations during the expedition.
On the morning of the 4th Captain Allaire'e
battalion 23rd Infantry was sent out at 6:10 a.m. as advance
guard and pioneers.
The main command left camp at 7:30. Early in the morning the command was again met by the old Priest Noscalim and a number of his people.
At 9:30 the command crossed the Ragayan river
just east and north of the settlements of Noscalim and the Sultan
and immediately attacked the cotta of Ami-Binaning, a man of great influence and bitterly hostile. This man, and the Sultan of Maciu, or Taraca,
have been the principal factors in starting up and maintaining trouble in the Taraca Valley. The cotta was shelled and then taken
by Captain Allaire's battalion and destroyed, which was accomplished about 11:00 a.m.
In the meantime reports had been brought in
that a cargador had been attacked while crossing the Ragayan
river by men from a cotta
which had not been molested by the column. The hostile Moros evidently thought that he was the last man in the column. Fortunately he was in front
of the rear guard and enabled to escape. The Datto from whose cotta the attack was made was given ten minutes to surrender the offenders;
this he refused to do. The cotta was then shelled and taken by Major Truitt's battalion, the Datto and a number of his men being killed.
The command moved forward at one o'clock and
arrived at a point about half a mile distant from the cotta of
Ampaun-Aguas about 2:15.
This cotta was prepared for fighting and had been rebuilt since its capture by Captain Pershing.
The cotta was vigorously shelled and afterward taken by Captain Allaire's battalion. The Moros, however, had deserted the cotta
before the infantry assault. The cotta was destroyed as far as possible.
The command camped at Ampaun-Aguas on the banks
of the Taraca river just east of the cotta. There was some firing
into camp during the night,
but of no consequence. A message was received from Colonel Maus, who was ordered to report in person on the following morning.
The trail from the Ragayan river to the camp on the Taraca river runs entirely through a flat country which has in the past been devoted to rice culture.
There are a number of small streams and soft places to cross which require a certain amount of stiffening with grass. A small amount of work on this trail
will make it passable at all seasons of the year.
On the morning of the 5th Colonel Maus reported
with two companies of the 22nd Infantry and two dismounted troops
of the 14th Cavalry
under Major F. H. Hardie, 14th Cavalry. The Cavalry was directed to report to Lieutenant Colonel Garrard and operated with the main column
until the conclusion of active operations. The companies of the 22nd Infantry returned with Colonel Maus to his camp as his escort.
Colonel Maus reported that he had encountered
very determined resistance to his landing on April 2nd; that he
had made every effort to land peacefully,
had parleyed with the people at a distance and assured them that he desired to land without any hostilities, etc. The Moros, however, were hostile
and opened fire on him at a considerate distance from shore. His battalion was landed and captured the cotta of Pehtad. The Moro loss was over seventy.
Lieutenant H. L. Harris, 22nd Infantry, was slightly wounded by fragments of an exploding cartridge in a Gatling gun and Privates Deginther and Reed,
22nd Infantry, both severely wounded.
Colonel Maus was directed to return to camp and take the cotta of Lalabuan, which he did, capturing and destroying it without loss.
22nd Infantry and 14th Cavalry crossing the Taraca River
From the Parker Hitt photograph collection, University of Michigan
At 8 o'clock the entire command moved down the
Taraca river, the cavalry squadron on the north bank, the two
battalions 23rd Infantry
and the battery on the south bank, and Major Maney's battalion 17th Infantry on a line with the river about one mile to the south.
The orders were to occupy and destroy all hostile cottas down to the Lake front and to exercise particular care not to molest
or unnecessarily destroy those cottas where the people remained and were friendly.
A large number of cottas were found on both
sides of the river fully prepared for defense. These were
occupied and destroyed.
All effects of value belonging to the inhabitants had been removed. One cotta was found where the people had remained and professed to be friendly.
This cotta was found to be filled with goods evidently brought from hostile cottas: neither it nor its contents, however, were destroyed.
The Moros withdrew at our approach, evidently demoralized by the large column which had come in behind them while they were engaged
in opposing Colonel Maus' command. The cottas were very numerous and exceedingly strong and all of them thoroughly prepared for defense.
Major Maney's command, as above stated, moved
toward the Lake on a line more or less parallel to the river and
about one mile south of it.
He occupied and destroyed a considerable number of hostile cottas, all of which had been recently prepared for defense.
During these operations Private Chester A. Newcomb, 17th Infantry, was killed and Sergeant Thompson F. Lewis, Hospital Corps,
severely wounded by a campilan. Seventeen Moros were killed in taking these cottas. It is not known whether or not this was their entire loss.
While the Cavalry squadron, the 23rd Infantry
and the 17th Infantry were engaged in taking the hostile cottas
on both sides of the river
and south of it Colonel Maus' column was engaged in the capture of Lalabuan.
Upon our approach the Moros abandoned the two
large and strongly fortified cottas at the mouth of the river and
in a north-easterly direction. Colonel Maus was directed to immediately garrison Sapungan, the better of these two cottas,
with two companies of the 22nd Infantry and to take the necessary steps to maintain them there for a number of months.
The entire Taraca river and valley was found to
be a nest of strong and well fortified cottas and extensive
preparations for hostilities
were everywhere in evidence. Large supplies of rice had been stored in each cotta with supplies sufficient to maintain the garrison for some time.
A considerable number of lantakas was found and a number of old iron guns. Where these could not be destroyed or removed
they were thrown into the river. A number of rifles were also captured. 1st Lieutenant H. S. Howland, 23rd Infantry captured eight
and some other old type muzzle loading guns were captured and destroyed.
The column returned to camp at Ampaun-Aguas
about one p.m., the cavalry squadron camping on the north side of
Heavy outposts were posted. The camp was fired into about sunset. Reports from Colonel Maus were received in the evening
that he had captured the cotta of Lalabuan without loss.
On the morning of the 6th the Squadron of
cavalry was sent to the northward and eastward to search the
settlement of Molundu,
where it was reported a large amount of arms and ammunition had been cached. The Moros of this settlement were peacefully disposed,
or at least pretended to be and permitted a thorough search of the settlement to be made. A number of guns were discovered and taken,
but the people were not molested. Molundu is a bunch of about nine cottas. From Molundu the cavalry marched through and searched the cottas
of Laguba and Sambuluan. Both cottas were very friendly and were not molested. The cavalry then returned to camp,
arriving there in a blinding rainstorm about 4 p.m.
The Department Commander with the two
battalions 23rd Infantry, accompanied by one section of the Field
Battery, proceeded to the eastward
toward the headwaters of the Taraca river, the artillery and Major Truitt's battalion on the south bank and parallel to the river
and Captain Allaire's battalion on the north bank. This force proceeded to the eastward and northward about six miles, taking and destroying
a number of fortified hostile cottas, the Moros withdrawing on our approach.
Major Maney's battalion of the 17th Infantry was left in camp as camp guard.
After proceeding to the eastward on the Taraca
river about six miles numerous heavy More trails were discovered
leading toward the mountains
and it was decided to establish camp and bring up the balance of the command. Accordingly orders were sent to Major Maney
to direct Colonel Garrard on arrival to join the Department Commander with the balance of the command, which was done,
all troops reporting that evening with the exception of the cavalry squadron which bivouacked on the trail. This squadron was fired into considerably
during the night and killed one Moro attempting to come into camp.
During the afternoon two companies of Major
Truitt's battalion were sent to the eastward to make a thorough
reconnaissance of the country
between camp and the head of the caņon. This reconnaissance showed many heavy Moro trails disappearing in the timber
and every evidence of very recent use.
Major Charles M. Truitt commanded a
battalion of the 23rd Infantry on the Taraca expedition.
Truitt is seen in the photo above, third from the right, with troops of the 23rd.
Truitt would be promoted to Colonel in 1914, and would command the 22nd Infantry
along the Mexican border from 1914-1916.
Photo from the website:
The History of Uncle Sam and the Moros
The trail up and down the Taraca river on both
sides is good from a point about six hundred yards from the Lake
to a point
about seven miles up the river. Here the caņon contracts very rapidly and the bottom becomes boggy and continues so for about two miles,
where the forest begins and the land commences to rise, and travelling is very good except for irregularities due to a mountainous country heavily timbered.
On the morning of the 7th Major Maney's
battalion 17th Infantry was sent to the eastward to follow the
Moro trails up into the mountains,
with instructions to overcome any resistance offered. Two troops of the cavalry squadron, under Captain Alonzo Gray, 14th Cavalry,
were sent to the northward to capture certain hostile cottas believed to located in the timber on that side of the valley. Major Maney's battalion
occupied and destroyed two fortified hostile cottas, which the Moros abandoned as our troops approached. Captain Gray's squadron
also occupied and destroyed two hostile cottas on the north side of the valley.
During the 6th and 7th Colonel Maus' command remained at Pehtad with instructions to thoroughly reconnoiter the country in all directions.
On the 8th Colonel Maus moved camp to a point
north of the Taraca river and distant about a mile from the cotta
and was there joined by Major Hardie with the two troops of dismounted cavalry from Camp Overton.
The Department Commander with the rest of the
command marched to Ragayan, camping near the previous camp.
The country was quiet and the command was not fired on.
On April 9th Major Maney's battalion 17th
Infantry left camp at six o'clock with orders to scout to the
westward and then swing south
toward Bansayan and attack and destroy any hostile cottas. Lieutenants Carr and Foulois were attacked by two juramentados, who were killed.
The cotta of the Sultan of Ragayan, to whom
reference has been made, was found to be stripped of everything
and abandoned by his people. Ample evidence was found of their having had possession of Krag rifles and ammunition.
This evidence was in the shape of a chest containing empty .30 caliber government pasteboard cartridge cases. The cotta was destroyed.
Neither the Cabugatan or his brother the Sultan presented themselves. Natives reported that they had left that section of the country.
The old Priest Noscalim, who joined the command during the day, stated that he knew of his own knowledge
that the Sultan had two Krag rifles and ammunition.
On reaching the Malaig river troops were sent
down the north and south banks, from which the troops had been
fired on on the march to Taraca.
A number of hostile cottas were destroyed, with the loss of Corporal R. Wampler, killed, and Private Stridham wounded, both of the 23rd Infantry.
The artillery was used in shelling a number of cottas preparatory to their capture by the infantry.
On the march to Sauir the Filipino guide and
interpreter stationed at Camp Vicars, Tomae Torres, while looking
for concealed vintas
on the Lake front was attacked by a party of twelve Moros. Fortunately the troops of the advance guard were near enough to save him.
Nine of the Moros were killed.
On the same day, April 9th, Colonel Maus took
the cottas of Dalamakm-Dalama, who was sheltering a man who
attacked a sentinel at Pantar
and who was holding and refused to give up two Christian Filipinos who were captured by Moros near Misamis last fall and whom he was holding as slaves.
The Sultan and Cabugatan were killed, the Filipinos rescued and the man who attacked the sentinel at Pantar was captured.
On the same day Captain D. P, Wheeler, 22nd
Infantry, who had been left in command of the two companies
garrisoning Sapungan cotta
at the mouth of the Taraca river, was attacked while making a reconnaissance near there. Three of his men were wounded -
Sergeant Theodore Huber, Sergeant Claude M. Toney and Corporal Samuel Treadway, all of the 22nd Infantry.
Years after the event,
Corporal Samuel Treadway
The citation for that award is below:
On April 10th the Department Commander with two
companies of the 23rd Infantry, the 17th Field Battery and the
pack trains returned to Camp Vicars.
The remaining companies of the 23rd Infantry, the battalion 17th Infantry and the two dismounted troops of the 14th Cavalry
under Lieutenant Colonel Garrard returned to Mataling Falls and from there proceeded on the 11th to Malabang.
Companies "I" and "L", 23rd
Infantry, Lieutenant Howland and Captain Kerth, were directed to
remain at Vicars temporarily
in order to maintain a sufficient garrison during the absence of Major Bullard, the Civil Governor of the Lanao District,
who was ordered to proceed on the 11thto the towns of Bacolod and Canayan and demand the surrender of the Sultan of Maciu
and Ami-Binaning, who were reported to have taken refuge there, and to search these settlements for stolen arms and ammunition
which it was reported the Taraca Moros had sent there for safe keeping.
The Department Commander and staff left Vicars
6:30 a.m. April 11th for Malabang, arriving there at 1 p.m.,
and embarked at 4:30 p.m. for Zamboanga.
The companies of the 23rd Infantry, with the
exception of those left at Vicars, were immediately returned to
the Parang companies being sent by launch on the afternoon of the 11th. The two companies of the 17th Infantry from Zamboanga
sailed at 4:30 on the chartered transport "Sabah" and the Coast Guard boat "Ranger". The companies of the17th Infantry from Jolo
were directed sent to Jolo on the chartered transport "Borneo", due to have sailed from Malabang on or about the 15th.
On arrival at Zamboanga a telegraphic report
was received from Colonel Maus to the effect that he had reached
without further casualties with the exception of the loss of one man, Private Anton E. Andersen, 22nd Infantry, accidentally drowned in Lake Lanao
near the mouth of the Ramaien river on the 9th instant.
The results of the expedition were the thorough
occupation of the entire Taraca Valley from the head of Taraca
caņon to the Lake,
the capture and destruction of all fortified hostile cottas in that area and in the country flanking it to the north and south.
Every effort was made not to disturb in any way Moros who were friendly. A garrison of two companies (Ed., 22nd Infantry) was established
in the cotta Sapungan at the mouth of the Taraca river, with orders to inspect all vintas entering or leaving the Taraca river
and to seize all firearms unless covered by a permit. This garrison is distant only about six miles by water from Marahui
and can be readily supplied by boat. A steam launch is now on the Lake and will be in running order by the 20th of this month.
The Taraca expedition proper was concluded with
the arrival of the main command at Camp Vicars and Colonel Maus
The orders for subsequent operations were for operations of a police character and are covered by the instructions given to Major Bullard,
Civil Governor of the Lanao District, to proceed with a sufficient force to Bacolod and Canayan and arrest the Sultan of Maciu and Ami-Binaning,
search for stolen arms and ammunition, etc. Major Bullard was especially instructed to use every effort to accomplish this work peacefully
and to only use force as a last resort.
The Lake situation as it stands at present is
favorable. There will, in my opinion, be no further organized
resistance, certainly none of importance.
There will be minor irregularities requiring work of a police or disciplinary character for a considerable period of time.
To have longer delayed this expedition would
have been a fatal mistake and to have failed to make it
would have been to encourage crime,slavery and rebellion.
There is only one way to deal with these
people, and that is to be absolutely just and absolutely firm.
When a crime is committed
the offender must be surrendered or the punishment must be promptly applied. The Moros of this section are as a class a treacherous unreliable lot
of slave hunters and land pirates. Our conciliatory and good-natured policy with them resulted in the establishment among them
of the firm conviction that we were both cowardly and weak and out of this conviction grew an absolute contempt for our authority.
Firmness and the prompt application of disciplinary measures will maintain order, prevent loss of life and property and permit good government
and prosperity among these people. Dilatory tactics, indecision and lack of firmness will result in a carnival of crime
and an absolute contempt for our authority in this region.
The military spirit of these people is now
pretty thoroughly broken and all that is needed to maintain order
and steadily push forward the establishment of better conditions is vigilance, promptness and firmness in dealing with them.
The statements with reference to the Lake Moros
apply with equal force to the Moros of the Cottabato Valley
and in the Sulu group. In all of these localities conditions are now favorable.
Killed: Enlisted men.. ............... .......Two ( 2)
Drowned: Enlisted men........................One ( 1)
Wounded: Officers (very slight)..............One ( 1)
"----Enlisted men.... .................. ..Ten (10)
(four very slight)
The work of all staff officers during the expedition was excellent. Supplies of all descriptions were ample and promptly delivered.
The health of the command was excellent. Out of
nearly eight hundred men composing the main column only 3 men
were sent in on sick report
during eight days of hard work. Boiled water, plenty of good food and thorough preparation of the men are responsible for this excellent result
which discredits, as has every other expedition in this Department, the general impression as to the effect of the climate upon troops in the field
in this portion of the Philippines.
The map showing movement of troops, trails, etc., will be prepared and forwarded as soon as possible.
All officers in command of troops performed
their duties in a thoroughly satisfactory and efficient manner
and to single out any for special commendation would be unjust.
The services of Captain George T. Langhome,
11th Cavalry, A.D.C., Chief of Staff, were admirably and
His report is hereto attached and marked Exhibit "A", and embodies the roster of the command, orders of the expedition, etc.
Major General, U. S. Army,
Moros at Taraca
From the Parker Hitt photograph collection, University of Michigan
After Action Report of Leonard Wood courtesy of Robert Fulton, author of
The History of Uncle Sam and the Moros
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