HISTORY OF THE OPERATIONS
Tenth Pennsylvania Infantry
CAMPAIGN IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
UNDER THE PERSONAL SUPERVISION
OF THE LATE I,AMENTED
COLONEL ALEXANDER 1. HAWKINS
OFFICIAL RECORDS OF THE REGIMENT
(p. 2: picture of Col. Alexander L. Hawkins (here) taken at his headquarters in the field shortly before the advance on Malolos.)
TENTH PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY
IT HAS been the fortune of the Tenth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry to accomplish more in the recent military activity of the United States than any other Keystone State troops. Its service was in the Philippine Islands, 12,000 miles from the State that gave it to the nation, and its field of operations, extending through two wars, lasted about sixteen months. The history of this regiment, therefore, and the account of its work in the volunteer service--its hardships, privations, battles and victories--makes a brilliant record of brave deeds and heroic actions that will live long in the memory of those who were enrolled under its banner.
Like most other volunteer troops, the Tenth Regiment was taken from the National Guard organization, being mustered into the United States service on May 11 and 12, 1898, at Mount Gretna, Pa., the place of mobilization of all the State troops. Its militia organization dates from the summer of 1873, but as a regiment it was not mustered into the State's service until December of the same year. John A. Black of Greensburg, Pa., was the first colonel of the regiment. In November of 1878 he resigned his office and was succeeded by Alexander L. Hawkins, who was commissioned colonel on February 27, 1879, at that time being captain of Company H of Washington, Pa. He was in continuous command of the regiment until May 11, 1898, when he was mustered into the volunteer service with the same rank and was given his former command.
In its National Guard organization the Tenth Regiment participated in annual State encampments of the National Guard, and was an important factor in quelling the labor disorders in Western Pennsylvania during the years of 1877, 1891 and 1892. Its military district and geographical position comprise the counties of Washiniton, Westmoreland, Fayette, Beaver, and Greene of southwestern Pennsylvania, the respective company headq'uarters being at Washington, Greensburg, Connellsville, Uniontown, Waynesburg, Mount Pleasant, Monongahela and Beaver Falls.
Shortly after President McKinley's call for volunteer troops, following the declaration of war by the United States against the Kingdom of Spain, General Daniel H. Hastings, then Governor of Pennsylvania, notified the different brigade commanders that the National Guard of the State would, in a very short time, be ordered into camp for mobilization, looking to the mustering of these State troops into the service of the United States for the war. In compliance with an order from the brigade commander, the several companies of the Tenth Regiment, on the morning of April 27, 1898, concentrated at Pittsburg and Greensburg, and with the entire field and staff, arrived at Mount Gretna on the morning of April 28th. By evening of the same day they were properly quartered under their own canvas. The companies were at once recruited from the peace footing of sixty members to seventy-five each, and by May 12th the regiment in its entirety was mustered in as United States volunteers.
On May 17, 1898, a telegram from the Adjutant-General of the Army dIrected the movement of the Tenth Regiment into camp at Chickamauga Park, Georgia. While preparations were in progress for carrying out this order, a second telegram from the Adjutant-General changed the destination of the regiment to the Philippine Islands as part of the command of General Wesley Merritt.
TRIP ACROSS THE CONTINENT
Starting across the continent on the evening of May 18th, the Pennsylvanians left Mount Gretna, and a short time later the first section of the regimental train puhed into the Harrisburg station. There the soldiers were surrounded by thousands of admiring friends, who gathered to bid them god-speed. The rest of the command soon arrived, and during the stop at Harrisburg the men were fed through the kindness of Mrs. Hastings, while Governor Hastings and his wife shook hands with each soldier, and honored the departure for foreign lands by their presence. Early on the morning of May 19th, the regiment arrived at Pittsburg, and there, as at Harrisburg, the Union station was crowded with patriotic citizens--men, women and children, who warmly greeted the volunteers, and made their brief stop in the Smoky City as pleasant as possible. From the borders of Pennsylvania, throughout the westward course, the regiment was frequently given ovations of welcome, and upon its arrival at San Francisco, May 25th, the hospitable people of California seemed to specially exert themselves in their kind favors toward the men from the Keystone State. The regiment went into camp in the Richmond District at Camp Merritt. There it was fully equipped and drilled. On the afternoon of June 14th, the Tenth Regiment went aboard the steamship Zealandia, and the next day passed out of the Golden Gate on its voyage to Manila.
ON TO MANILA
It formed part of the second expedition to the Philippines, under command of Brigadier-General Francis V. Greene, U. S. V., which was composed of the following troops: First Colorado Infantry, one battalion of the Twenty-third U. S. Infantry, one battalion of the Eighteenth U. S. Infantry, Batteries A and B Utah Light Artillery, First Nebraska Infantry, a detachment of U. S. Engineers, and the Tenth Pennsylvania Infantry. The fleet was composed of the steamships China, Colon, Senator, and Zealandia. These four transports constituted the second expedition leaving San Francisco for the Philippines.
No incident out of the ordinary routine happened during the first nine days at sea. On June 23rd the China signaled that she would go ahead to Honolulu and coal, so as to allow the other ships to get into the docks on their arrival. About nine o'clock of this date, by putting the China at full speed, she was soon lost to sight. Sometime in the afternoon of June 24th the Zealandia sighted land, which proved to be the Hawaiian Islands, and just after dark the transports entered the bay at Honolulu, being enthusiastically greeted by the then almost American citizens of Honolulu.
The next day, June 25th, the Tenth Regiment, together with the other troops of the expedition, were invited to lunch at the Palace grounds. The regiment was marched to the Royal Gardens, and there, amid the palms and other foliage of the tropics, to the sound of music by the Royal Hawaiian Band, and waited upon by fair women, who did everything in their power to make the day pleasant, the men from Pennsylvania sat down to tables well laden with provisions. The afternoon was spent in sight-seeing, letter writing and athletic sports. Here was where the First Nebraska surrendered the baseball championship to the Tenth Pennsylvania to the sig-nficant score of 16 to O. On June 26th the Zealandia left the dock and was soon on the way again to Manila. On the morning of July 4th land was sighted, which proved to be Wake Island, and here the first conquest was made. General Greene and party landed from the China and there planted the Stars and Stripes. On board the Zealandia that day the Pennsylvania soldiers had a jolly Fourth of July celebration. Patriotic speeches and games were indulged in by officers and enlisted men alike. Guam Island was sighted on Saturday, July 10th, and on Sunday morning, July 17th, to the sound of Admiral Dewey's guns, the Zealandia entered Manila Bay.
The long journey was ended, and the Pennsylvania volunteers waded ashore on the morning of July 21, to the mainland near the town of Paranaque, about two hundred yards from the beach on the east side of the bay and four miles south of Malate. Here was located the famous Camp Dewey where the United States troops were under canvas. It was an agreeable change after the long trip across the Pacific, and members of the regiment found themselves with surroundings such as few if any had experienced before. Officers and men established themselves as rapidly as possible in their temporary quarters.
THE REGIMENT RECRUITED
Before the Pennsylvania soldiers left San Francisco, a recruiting party under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Barnett returned east to enlist. recruits for the regiment to make up the quota of 106 men to a company, then provided by the new army regulations. In the party besides Lieutenant-Colonel Barnett were Second Lieutenant and Battalion-Adjutant Charles C. Crowell and one enlisted man from each company. The required number of recruits was 248, and no difficulty was experienced in enlisting them. A great many more candidates. applied for admission to the regiment than could be taken, making it necessary to enroll only the best men, physically and morally, and to confine the enlistment to the military district of the Tenth Regiment. The battalion of recruits mobilized at Washington, Pa., on June 24, 1898, being mustered into the volunteer service the next day. They went into camp at the Washington county fair grounds (Camp Hawkins) for nearly ten days, and in that time were uniformed and drilled in the preparatory school of the soldier.
On July 4th, the recruits left Washington for San Francisco, crossing the continent on a special train, without incident, arriving there six days later. They were stationed at Camp Merritt until August 20th, when they embarked on the United States transport Arizona for Manila. The transport arrived at Honolulu on.August 27th, and there the Tenth's recruits were sumptuously dined as the regiment had been before them. With the Pennsylvanians on the Arizona were recruits for the First Nebraska and the First Colorado volunteers, and a battalion of the Eighteenth U. S. Infantry. The troops of this expedition were under command of Brigadier-General Charles King, an able officer.
At Honolulu, the entire detachment of troops was delayed and the soldiers went into camp in the Waikiki district of Honolulu, naming the camp after Major-General Otis. Here, after many disappointments regarding their farther progress toward Manila, the recruits for the Tenth Pennsylvania embarked again on the Arizona, leaving Honolulu on November 10, 1898. After a voyage of varied weather, the transport steamed into Manila Bay on November 25th. A week later, on December 2nd, the recruits joined the regiment and were at once assigned to their respective companies, all united under one name. Some time after the arrival of the recruits at Honolulu, Lieutenant-Colonel Barnett was ordered to join his regiment, and he left the battalion in command of Second Lieutenant and Battalion-Adjutant C. C. Crowell, arriving at Manila, September 28, 1898.
ENGAGEMENT WITH THE SPANIARDS
The troops which had composed the second expedition, having established themselves at Camp Dewey, immediately established outposts and pickets and guarded the main lines of travel for their own protection. The entrenched lines of the insurgents were several in number, the most northern of which was probably 1200 yards south of the Spanish fortifications at Malate. Soon after the Tenth's arrival, a new entrenched line was laid out by orders of General Greene, and the building of the same begun. This line was about 200 yards nearer Malate than any part of the partially entrenched line started or built by the insurgents. The left of this line rested on the beach at the bay, and extended in an easterly direction. It was well built, with four openings for artillery, and by the morning of July 31st was in such a state of completeness as to furnish excellent protection against the fire of both artillery and infantry. The main road from Cavite to Manila was immediately east of the regimental encampment, being on the edge of the dry land, and was a well-built macadamized road. The Tenth's entrenched line extended east just to this road, in extent between 250 and 300 yards. Immediately in front of this entrenched line the ground was open, with but little timber, and in plain view of the enemy, which was probably 600 yards in front of the line of American soldiers. The several commands, in regular order, were detailed daily for outpost duty and prosecuting the work on the entrenched line above referred to.
On the morning of July 31st, it fell to the lot of the Tenth Pennsylvania Infantry to be detailed for outpost duty for the next twenty-four hours. Colonel Hawkins' entire command was at or near this advance line, except Company B, which was posted on guard on a road near the village of Pasai, nearly two miles to the right rear of the line occupied by the rest of the regiment. Major H. C. Cuthbertson, in command during the day, placed the second battalion, composed of companies A, C, H and Major Everhart Bierer commanding, and the Utah Light Artillery, in the entrenchment, and companies E and D of the first battalIon, in reserve about 200 yards in the rear of the center of the advance line. Company K's position was about the same distance in the rear of the right of the line east of the Manila road, and it furnished outposts and pickets from a point seventy-five yards east of this position and in a curved line to the north and west.
During the day there was no movement or firing of any account, and most of the time the Keystone State soldiers were busy strengthening their earthworks. That night about eleven o'clock the Spanish forces opened a heavy fire of shell from four pieces of artillery at. Fort Malate, which continued for a half hour, the Pennsylvania regiment being the first American troops to be fired upon in the Philippines. The attack caused no material damage to the regiment's works nor casualties to its members. The enemy then advanced a heavy line of infantry, firing by squads, until within about four hundred yards of our line, when, halting, he formed a line and delivered many volleys, this lasting for about three hours. When this volley firing had continued nearly a half hour, the enemy evidently relieved a part of his line from the extreme right at the beach, and again opened fire from two pieces of artillery with shell and shrapnel. The casualties of the regiment behind the entrenched line during the entire engagement were one man killed and four wounded.
About 11:30 P. M. the enemy advanced a line of infantry toward a point east of the entire prolongation of the Tenth's entrenched line, with the evident intention of turning the regiment's right flank. Seeing this danger, Major Cuthbertson withdrew the pickets and outposts, advancing the reserve line under command of Major Bierer, who made disposition as follows: Company K, (Captain Thomas S. Cargo) about sixty feet to the right of the road (the eastern end of the entrenched line) the left resting on a dense thicket of heavy timber, the line extending east of the entrenched line and about thirty feet in advance of same, the right resting about five degrees north of the entrenched line. Companies E, (Captain James A. Loar) and D, (Captain Frank B. Hawkins) prolonged this line to the right in the order mentioned.
When this new line had been placed in position, the enemy, firing volleys, had advanced to within two hundred yards of the same. The three companies of the Tenth Pennsylvania Infantry which were deployed on the right of the Calle Real road numbered about two hundred men, and there met the assault, at the lowest estimate, of 1000 of the enemy. The Pennsylvanians met this advance with continuous volley firing, and the enemy continued his movemet until within about one hundred yards from the Tenth's front.
Colonel Hawkins, being indisposed and confined to his quarters, was not present with his command until the heavy firing warned him that the regiment was engaged in battle. He then went to the front with twenty-eight men of the regimental guard. About a half hour after his arrival on the battle line, Battery K of the Third U. S. Artillery arrived and was posted near the center of the Tenth's line. Company I then formed a double line on the extreme right of the entrenchments, and thus the battle waged without much abatement until about 1:30 A. M., when the enemy retired from the extreme right. About this time a battalion of the First California Infantry, sent by General Greene as reinforcements, arrived. One of the companies was posted on the left of the line at the beach, the other three with a detachment of Battery H, Third U. S. Artillery, relieving companies D, E and K of Colonel Hawkins' command on the right. About 2 o'clock, A. M., the enemy again opened fire with artillery and occasional volleys from the infantry in the Tenth's direct front until three o'clock, but when the Pennsylvania soldiers returned the fire volley for volley the Spanish troops retired, and the firing ceased.
In this engagement it is estimated that not less than 100,000 rounds of ammunition were expended by the enemy, and about 60,000 by the Americans, the Tenth Pennsylvania alone expending about 39,000 rounds. The casualties behind the entrenched line were small, while in the three unprotected companies about one in five were killed or wounded.
During that memorable night of battle a terrible typhoon was raging. The rain fell in torrents, the night was very dark and actual sight of the enemy in his advance was only secured by the continued flashes of lightning. The men were thoroughly deluged with water, many rifles became clogged and parts failed to work by being covered with sand from the rifle-pit. In many instances men were seen immersing the rifle bodily in water, thus cleaning out the sand, and then proceeded with their firing. Throughout this desperate engagement of about four hours the regiment was cheered and encouraged by the presence of Col. Hawkins, who, already in failing health, left his sick bed to be with his command on the firing line. It was his conduct and bearing upon such occasions which renders his memory so dear to his regiment.
COL. HAWKINS' OFFICIAL REPORT OF BATTLE OF JULY 31st AND AUGUST 13th
From August 1st to the morning of the 13th the Tenth Pennsylvania performed its share of outpost duty and entrenching, as detailed at various times, without any incident worthy of mention. Being on such duty for the twenty-four hours ending on the morning of August 1st, it was relieved at the entrenched line by the First Colorado and the Eighteenth U. S. Infantry, receiving orders to return to camp for two days' cooked rations, two hundred rounds of ammunition per man, and take post in reserve at the crossing of the Manila and Pasai roads. Notice was given that an advance of the army on Manila was ordered, and the position of the Tenth Pennsylvania was in the rear of the First Nebraska. The following is. taken from Colonel Hawkins' official report to the Adjutant-General of Pennsylvania:
"As commander of the Tenth Pennsylvania Infantry I now desire to make public, that it may become a matter of record in the archives of Pennsylvania, that the next day after the battle before Malate, the following commendatory order was issued and published by Brigadier-General Francis V. Greene, commandmg the brigade to which this regiment was attached:
HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE,
U. S. EXPEDITIONARY FORCES,
Camp Dewey, near Manila, August 1, 1898.
General Orders, 1. The Brigadier-General Commanding desires to thank the troops engaged last night for the No. 10. gallantry and skill displayed by them in repelling such a vigorous attack by largely superior forces of the Spaniards. Not an inch of ground was yielded by the Tenth Regiment Pennsylvania Infantry and Batteries "A" and "B" Utah Light Artillery, stationed in the trenches; the Battalion Third U. S. Artillery and First Regiment California Infantry moved forward to their support through a galling fire with the utmost intrepidity. The courage and steadiness shown by all in their first engagement are worthy of the highest commendation.
The dead will be buried with proper honors under the supervision of Regimental and Battalion Commanders at three o'clock to-day in the yard of the convent near Maricabon. By command of
BRIGADIER-GENERAL GREENE. W. G. BATES, Assistant Adjutant-General.
"And further, that he said to the regimental commander: 'The conduct of your troops has been so gallant that when the final advance is made on Manila, your regiment shall have the position of honor.' I now assert in all solemnity that until the Tenth Pennsylvania was relieved on the morning of August 13, 1898, and had arrived on their march back to camp at a point near the crossing of the Manila and Pasai road, I had received no intimation, nor was I furnished with any order indicating the advance of our army on Manila on that day. A copy of the order for my command, directing the advance, was sent to Camp Dewey on the early afternoon of August 12th and remianed on my field desk until brought forward on the morning of the 13th by an orderly. The troops of the command, however, acted with so much celerity and promptness that they returned to camp, secured the necessary rations and ammunition, as ordered, and were back to the reserve line at the beginning of the bombardment of the Spanish forts and positions by Admiral Dewey's fleet.
"When the bombardment ceased, and the advance of the army was ordered, the Tenth Pennsylvania, regardless of her position in reserve, was pushed directly to the front, and although the reserve was posted about a mile in rear of the advance line, this command passed several of the advance organizations, when they were halted near Fort Malate and marched directly through the towns of Malate and Ermite. On our arrival on the Luneta, immediately opposite the walled city, distant about two hundred and fifty yards from the same, in which most of the enemy had retired, the white fiag of surrender was floating from the city, and we knew that our objective point had been reached, and that Manila was ours.
"At the opening of the first street entering the walled city from the Luneta, and while immediately opposite the barracks of the Seventy-third Spanish Infantry, we were halted by orders of General Greene, delivered through an aide who came up from the rear. At this time the First California Infantry was immediately in our front and was halted just beyond the street entering the walled city just referred to. The First Nebraska had now arrived and was on a line with this command on the same street. General MacArthur's brigade was on the right of our line, and having met some resistance from the enemy at the block house, was not yet up to the front. In probably a half hour, however, Brigadier-General T. M. Anderson, in command of the division, came up and took quarters near our position. Negotiations between the commissioners of the two nations to fix the terms of the surrender were at this time going on in the walled city, and during this interval thousands of the Spanish troops stood or walked around on top of the outer wall of the city, and a number of Spanish officers came out of the city and mingled with our troops.
"After waiting at this point about two and one-half hours, the First Colorado Infantry, which this command had passed at Fort Malate, with band playing and colors to the breeze, passed our position, moved into the walled city, and was given the honor of the First United States troops to fling to the breeze the flag of our conquering country in this famed city of the Spanish nation."
About 4:30 P. M. that day, Colonel Hawkins was ordered to move his command into the new city. Crossing the Bridge of Spain, the regiment was halted on the Plaza Calderon de la Baria, immediately in front of the Hotel de Oriente, where General Greene had decided to establish his headquarters. Here the regiment remained awaiting orders, until about 9 o'clock P. M., when Colonel Hawkins was assigned to command of the District of Santa Cruz, with the direction that he would have to find the location of that district through his own efforts, and should make his men as comfortable as possible.
The regiment was in a pitiable condition at this time. During the whole day of August 12th, they were busily engaged in completing their entrenchments and were forced to carry bags of sand from one hundred to one hundred and fifty yards through water and mud, varying in depth from a few inches to over two feet. When relieved on the morning of the 13th, the clothing of every man was wet and covered with mud, and without any change of clothing the movement on Manila was prosecuted and ended.
Upon making considerable inquiry through an interpreter the location of the Santa Cruz district was learned, and the Pennsylvania troops marched direct to the Plaza de Santa Cruz, surrounding the church of that name. Here they were met by the representative of the padre, who informed them that the church and the convent adjoining were at their disposal for the night. Thither the command dragged its weary way and the men were happy to rest their bodies, wearied with the excessive service of the past forty-eight hours.
On the morning of August 14th the Tenth Regiment's headquarters and six companies, drum corps and hospitals were established at a public building belonging to the Spanish government, known as Bomberos de Santa Cruz, and used as a fire department, two companies relieving the Spanish guard in charge of the public Bilibid Prison, which is located in this district, where over two thousand military, religious and political prisoners were incarcerated. In a short time other barracks were secured at different points in the distict for the remaining six companies, and all were comfortably housed.
The ration issued from this time on was abundant and of excellent quality--a first-class article of Australian beef or mutton being issued to the troops seven days in ten; the city water was piped to the several barracks and excellent bathing facilities were furnished the entire command; new clothing and quartermaster stores were issued, and the regiment made thoroughly comfortable; drills and parades were again taken up and a great many improvements in the appearance and soldierly qualities of the men soon became apparent. The duties were not excessive, and for quite a while the command enjoyed the comforts of a much-needed rest. Until after the establishment of a provost system in complete working order, Colonel Hawkins had the settlement of all questions appertaining to the changed conditions among the inhabitants of this district. He was forced to settle the question of the rights and civil possession of property, the question of payment of rentals, the natural differences and race troubles arising among peoples of several nationalities, notably that between the natives and Chinese, and protection of the persons and property of Spanish citizens, assumed important proportions and became at once a perplexing and vexed question. The natives, recognizing them and regarding them as natural enemies for centuries, felt that they were the natural heirs to their property, and that all classes, regardless of former responsibility, should be eliminated from future reckoning by wholesale assassination. The headquarters of the Tenth Regiment daily assumed the appearance of a general provost court, and as judge and jury the commanding officer settled many questions that would be considered of paramount importance by the Supreme Court of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. But after a few weeks the establishment of law and order came out of choas, and an excellent system of provost supervision was established. A health and sanitary department was established, and the city soon became quiet, clean and orderly.
From the time the Tenth Regiment left the United States until after the fall of Manila, two youthful mascots shared the fortunes of the Pennsylvania men. The elder of the two, Robert McDermott, or "Boots," as he was better known, was picked up at Pittsburg. He wanted to accompany the regiment and attached himself to Company B of Beaver Falls. The other, William Doran, or "Searchlight," as he was properly named on account of his bright golden hair, was a waif from Portland, Oregon. He fell in with the regiment at San Francisco and was adopted by Company D of Connellsville. Both lads were bright and entertaining, and when the soldiers landed at Manila, the mascots made themselves useful in numerous ways, sharing the hardships and privations of the first part of the campaign equally with the members of the regiment. "Searchlight" Doran died of typhoid fever on September 30, 1898, and his death was mourned as though he had been an enlisted man, for he had endeared himself to the whole regiment. His funeral was attended with full military honors, and his remains were interred in the Government cemetery at Manila. "Boots" McDermott was sent home in November on account of his health. Both boys had interviewed Admiral Dewey and had gone to Hongkong with him on his flagship, the Olympia, and this seemed to both of them a marked event in their young lives.
After entering Manila, the department commander, having refused entrance into the city of Aguinaldo's army of insurgents, thus depriving them of the fruits of a victory claimed by them as their due as equal participants with the American Army, the feeling of friendship and amity so cordial heretofore was greatly changed, and discontent, dissatisfaction, and general distrust were manifested, not only by their leaders, but by the rank and file against the victorious American troops.
It was soon found that their army was occupying the Spanish forts, blockhouses and outposts, and gradually a complete line extending in a semi-circle, from the bay north to the bay south of Manila, was continuously occupied by them, and the army in Manila was practically besieged by their late friends and allies. For awhile American officers and troops were permitted to pass through the insurgent lines by special permission from their commanding officers, but gradually this was so restricted until a pass approved by Aguinaldo himself was the requirement for permission to pass their advance line. During all this time, however, and up to the evening of February 4, 1899, insurgent officers and soldiers by the hundreds were daily permitted to enter the city unarmed through the American lines that for two or three months were established and occupied before any actual outbreak occurred.
About the middle of January the insurgent paper, the Independencia, together with many of the insurgent leaders and their families, moved from the city and it became apparent even to the rank and file that a conflict was inevitable. The pickets of the two lines were so close together that daily intercourse to a certain extent was had between them, and the increased insolence and disrespect shown the American troops was of such a character as to thoroughly aggravate and humiliate the officers and wen. Orders were imperative that under no circumstances should hostile demonstration be made toward the now recognized enemy. As an instance of their hostility, the pickets occupying either end of the San Juan bridge near the outpost held by the First Nebraska regiment, were roused almost to desperation by the spectacle of two insurgents flourishing a rag baby, naming it "Americano," and deliberately cutting it into pieces with their machetes.
On December 2, 1898, companies A and B, of the Tenth Regiment, in command of Major H. C. Cuthbertson, were detached from the command and were sent to Corregidor Island, at the mouth of Manila Bay as a guard to a convalescent hospital established at that point, where they remained continuously until May 14, 1899. For weeks prior to February 4th, the troops in and around the city had been under emergency orders and the air was full of rumors of a general attack on the American lines and a simultaneous uprising in and burning of the city. Every needed precaution was taken and disposition of troops made by the department commander to render abortive any aggressive movement of the enemy. About nine o'clock, at night, on February 4th, the long-dreaded, but by many of the troops, hoped for attack on the American lines occurred.
Starting with a few desultory shots directed at the outpost of the Nebraskans, near the San Juan River, it was immediately taken up by the entire insurgent army in front from the bay north to that south of the city, covering a distance of nearly eighteen miles. Every command of the American army had previously been notified of the position they were to occupy. The troops to be left in the city had been furnished specific instructions as to their positions and duties and at the first notification by telephone or telegraph the several commands which were to occupy the firing lines were, in a very few minutes, on the march to the front.
The outposts had all been recently doubled, and were in such force that they were able to hold the enemy in check until the arrival of the main part of their respective .commands, and at no point on the entire line was the enemy able to make any advancement toward the city. Many fires were lighted that night in Manila and a great amount of property was burned, but the disposition of the troops and their prompt action prevented any general uprising or any extensive conflagration. Many natives were killed on sight attempting arson and other depredations, and hundreds of prisoners were captured, so that when the morning sun of February 5th appeared to dispel the darkness of the ever memorable night just passed, quiet and order was re-established.
The position of the Tenth Pennsylvania Regiment was to the right of the Bulumbayan road running north from the city, with the First South Dakota Regiment on the right and the First Montana on the left. When the regiment, under command of Colonel Hawkins, reinforced the outpost of sixty men, it was learned that the little body of soldiers had bravely sustained a heavy oblique fire from a block-house and from a rather large force of insurgents stationed at the Chinese Hospital used as barracks immediately in front. The enemy had made no decided advance and the rice dykes that are common in the Philippines afforded fairly good protection for the Keystone State Regiment. Fortunately, no casualties resulted from the enemy's fire the first night, although the insurgents kept up their heavy firing, and three attempts were made to force the Tenth's position, but a strong line of advance skirmishers was easily able to check them. The main body of the regiment did not fire a shot throughout the entire night. Shortly after daylight, on the morning of February 5th, the Utah Light Artillery shelled the stronghold of the Filipinos in the Tenth's front for a half hour, when a charge on the place was ordered. Cheering and yelling, the Pennsylvania soldiers advanced rapidly, the enemy replying with heavy volley firing, until the men of the Tenth Regiment were within three hundred yards of the hostile position. Then the insurgents broke and made a precipitate retreat. This charge resulted in the first victory of the day, and from that time .the insurgents fought only as a retreating enemy. Their fire had been high and wild and the regiment's casualties were one man shot through the right lung and one slightly wounded in the right hand.
After gaining possession of the Chinese Hospital and the Sangleyes road, Colonel Hawkins ordered all the native shacks burned on each flank, and the advance was again ordered. This time the course of the regiment was up a long hill, the "San Juan" of the Philippines, and on the crest was De la Loma Church a large and well-fortified place. From there and from outlying buildings and old Spanish
fortifications on the hillside the insurgents poured down upon the advancing lines of Pennsylvania soldiers a galling fire. Without a waver, however, the regiment continued advancIng and firing and fighting with a remarkable constancy and bravery. Major Everhart Bierer, in command of the left wing, was here wounded and forced to retire. Major J. F. Bell, of the Engineer Corps, reported to Colonel Hawkins and was assigned to Major Bierer's battalion. While the fighting was at its hottest and amid the confusion of bursting shells and whistling bullets, Lieutenant-Colonel James E. Barnett, with Companies E and H, was sent to extend the right of the regiment's line, which had become unprotected. Two pieces of artillery were soon moved into position and opened fire on the insurgents with telling effect.
The enemy in strong force held this position until the infantry forces were within three hundred yards of the coveted goal, when the insurgents retreated rapidly to the north by way of a stone block-house beyond the church. The Pennsylvanians were in close pursuit, and, leaping over the breastworks of the Filipinos, they drove everything before them. The center of the Tenth Regiment's line reached the wall enclosing the church and advanced inside suffidently far to discover that no troops were lodged in the building. The force was then divided and the stone block-house was charged and captured. By this time there were few insurgents within range, but their dead and dying were scattered all over the recent battlefield. While firing at the retreating enemy, Colonel Hawkins was ordered to halt and no further advance was made. Major General MacArthur, commanding the second division, indicated a line to be occupied by the troops of the Tenth Regiment connecting with other organizations on each side. The second night of the campaign was passed in expectation of attack, but no engagement occurred, and the next morning showed that the Tenth Regiment had been gloriously victorious in its operations of the previous day.
In the fighting of February 5th, the casualties of the regiment were one man killed, one officer and five enlisted men wounded. On February 6th a detail from the regiment buried forty-two of the enemy's dead found in front of the Tenth's line, including one field officer, one captain and one first lieutenant. In addition, three insurgents were captured and taken to the rear, where they received the attention and care of the surgeons, and one unwounded insurgent was turned over to the military authorities as a prisoner.
On the indicated line the Tenth Regiment built strong breastworks, trenches and rifle-pits, and continued to occupy this line of trenches extending from De la Loma Church in a southeasterly direction until March 25, 1899. On March 17th, the insurgents advanced a line directly in front of the Tenth's trenches and opened an annoying fire, which lasted for about two hours and which was finally checked by a few shots from the batteries of the Utah Light Artillery and a line of skirmishers thrown out by the regiment. In this engagement one second lieutenant and three enlisted men were wounded. From March 17th to March 25th the attitude of the insurgents in front of the Pennsylvanians was comparatively quiet.
On March 24th, word was passed along the line that an advance would be made the next day.
Accordingly, preparations for the movement were made on rather an extensive scale, and the next morning the soldiers had breakfast at three o'clock. Every man was on tip-toe of excitement, as the plans included an aggressive and rapid campaign on Malolos, the capital of Aguinaldo's republic. By order of General MacArthur the Tenth Pennsylvania was assigned to a position on the extreme left of the second brigade, with their right resting on a sunken road. At 5 :30 that morning, the hour fixed for the advance, and just as the dawn of day was dispelling the darkness, the skirmishers from each organization moved out from the trenches and the advance was on.
The regiment, deployed in line of skirmishers, soon followed. After proceeding for about four hundred yards, the insurgents opened a heavy fire from their trenches along a line of woods. Firing in return, the Tenth continued its advance and drove the enemy from this position. From that time on the insurgents kept up a running fight, and only on two or three occasions did they make any real, determined resistance. The insurgent loss for the first hour of the day in front of the Tenth was eleven killed and twelve taken prisoners. The day was very hot, but nothing seemed to daunt the sons of Father Penn, and on and on they marched and fought, capturing one position after another. In a northeasterly direction the regiment pursued the enemy until nearly dark, when it was ordered to camp at Tuliahan river, having gone over about ten miles of the enemy's country, through dense jungles, fording rivers, and marching across rocky hills and valleys. The Pennsylvania casualties this day were one killed and four wounded.
On the morning of March 26th the division was ordered to advance to a position on the Tuliahan-Melinta road, south of and nearly parallel to the Bemon and Novaliches road. The Filipinos offered no resistance to the Tenth's movements all that morning. After a delay of two hours at the road mentioned, the whole division, including the Tenth Regiment, was moved by the left flank along the road and formed a line facing the west. The second day, like the first, was very hot and the long road along which the various organizations marched was heavy with dust, so that many men fell out of rank prostrated by the tropical heat. When the lines of the division were re-established the Tenth Regiment was halted. The enemy formed a long line along the edge of a strip of woods, behind strong entrenchments about a thousand yards in front, and opened a heavy fire. The artillery of General MacArthur's division replied and shortly afterwards the lines of infantry began to advance. The Tenth Regiment drove the insurgents from their positions in its front and pursued them through the village of Obando and the large town of South Meycauayan, capturing both places. The insurgents occupying Obando fled in such a hurry that they left their flags floating on a church tower. These were captured and turned over to Colonel Hawkins. That night four companies of the regiment camped at Obando, and the rest of the regiment and the Colonel's headquarters at South Meycauayan. One man of the regiment was killed and six wounded in the fighting of that day.
When the advance was resumed on March 27th, the Tenth Regiment was assigned to a position in reserve. After marching about a mile to the north, the regiment was halted by the division commander and Company I, under command of its own officers, and led by Major J. F. Bell, of the Engineer Corps, was ordered to the assistance of a detachment of the Third U. S. Artillery, which was engaged with a large body of insurgents and was in a dangerous position. After a spirited engagement, the entire force of Filipinos surrendered with their arms, having suffered a loss of twenty-five killed. Two men of Company I were wounded in this engagement. At dark the regiment was placed on the advance line with its left resting on the railroad and its right connecting with the First South Dakota, a few hundred yards north of Marilao station, where a halt was ordered until morning. In this position in the line the Pennsylvania regiment fought its way to Malolos. No advance was made next day, and the wagon train bearing ammunition and subsistance supplies was hurried to the front.
After resting on their arms for a day, the troops started onward again early the next morning, engaging the enemy almost at once. The insurgents were easily routed, however, and from early morning until nearly dark the regiment met with no resistance. All day under a burning sun the soldiers jogged along, marking off mile after mile, and fording streams where the insurgents had burned the bridges. About five o'clock that afternoon the advance line of skirmishers from the Tenth came upon an unfordable river near Guiguinto, about five miles south of Malolos. The regiment was compelled to move by the left flank and cross the river over an iron railroad bridge. The column, marching by file, had passed over the bridge only a short distance, and was being followed by the First Nebraska Regiment, when, like a peal of thunder from a clear sky, the insurgents opened fire from in front and on both sides in a crescent shaped line, centering their fire on the bridge and railroad with the evident purpose of checking the advance. It took only a few minutes for Colonel Hawkins to get his entire command over the bridge and into line. It was a well laid trap for the American soldiers, and having walked fearlessly into it there was nothing to do but fight their way out, and this they did in a highly creditable manner. After about one hour's fighting by the regiment and firing from the artillery, the enemy's fire was checked and the "Boys in Brown" were masters of the situation. It was one of the fiercest and hardest fought engagements of the campaign, resulting in three men killed and sixteen wounded of the regiment. Colonel Hawkins was here hit by a stray bullet, but not seriously hurt.
A new line was established on the recent battlefield and the troops camped for the night. In his official report to the Assistant Adjutant-General, Colonel Hawkins said of the Guiguinto affair:
"Just as our new line was formed an aide of General Hale notified me that the Kansas Regiment would take position west of the railroad connecting with our left, but for some reason unknown to me this was not done, and the Tenth Pennsylvania was left the entire night with its left in the air and no support on that flank nearer than a thousand yards in our left rear. The enemy at this point were in stronger force than we met at any time since the advance began, and the entire force of their assault fell on this command. Their fire was well directed from right, left and front."
About noon on March 30th, in a blinding rain storm, the advance was again taken up, the insurgents resisting at once. They were unable to hold their ground, however, and after a brief engagement, in which one man of the Tenth was killed and two wounded, the regiment moved forward with the rest of the line until nearly evening. Then the entire second division was halted at a point about two miles southwest of Malolos. The enemy could be seen beyond the dense jungle growth heavily entrenched and in strong force. The position was extremely delicate, as it was known that General MacArthur's troops were almost upon the outer defenses of Malolos. Extreme caution was insisted upon in every command, and in whispers the soldiers of Pennsylvania's fighting regiment discussed the probabilities of the next day. From the commanding officer down to the lowest private, all felt that a great battle was imminent, and the men slept but little that night on account of the conflicting emotions which moved all.
Plans were once again begun for either defense or advance. Under cover of darkness the guns of the Utah Light Artillery were planted in a position that commanded a view of the insurgent earthworks, and each regiment was given specific instructions regarding the movement that was planned for the next day. Accordingly, shortly after the gray of dawn, the batteries of the Utah Artillery opened fire and this cannonading lasted twenty minutes, bursting shells and solid shot making havoc with the fortifications of the enemy. When the bombardment ceased the infantry forces began to move forward, the Tenth Pennsylvania moving out at 6:30. Fleeing natives were seen on every hand, but to the great surprise of officers and men, the insurgent army offered no resistance, aside from a few scattering volleys, and at noon the Pennsylvania soliders were at Malolos. The goverment buildings had been fired by the natives, and, with the exception of the Chinese inhabitants, no Filipinos were found in the whilom capital of Aguinaldo's threatened and now tottering republic.
Having arrived at the coveted goal the troops looked forward to a season of rest. The week that had just passed had been a trying one, with more or less fighting every day. It was also necessary to stop the advance long enough to get the wagon trains through to the various organizations. As far as the transportation facilities of the Tenth Regiment were concerned, while not extensive, they were found to be fairly satisfactory. Two four-mule teams sufficed to carry the reserve ammunition, amounting to two hundred rounds per man, each soldier carrying one hundred and fifty rounds in his belt and on his person. Eleven caribou carts and a few pony carts, carrying three days' subsistence, the necessary cooking utensils for the companies and a small amount of extra baggage were also furnished. Each company of the Hospital Corps was provided with a litter carried by two Chinese and in charge of a soldier detailed for that purpose. They were kept directly with the regiment every day, and in this manner the killed and wounded received medical attention at once, and were then carried to the rear. These litter-bearers were courageous and did excellent service, and in the Tenth Regiment the system worked admirably. Thus, the regiment reached Malolos, and, after the occupation of the town, it was decided to give the troops a muchneeded rest and to hurry forward the wagon trains and fresh supplies. Accordingly, the division was halted and, with other regiments, the Tenth remained in the neighborhood of Malolos from April 1st until April 14th, when the Pennsylvania Regiment was relieved from duty on the advance line, where it had been continuously since February 4th, and returned to Manila. There, orders were received to proceed to Cavite to relieve the Fifty-first Iowa Volunteers as garrison at that place, and by night the Pennsylvania boys were in their new quarters with but little prospects of further fighting.
Colonel Hawkins was appointed Commander of the Military District of Cavite, having under his control two Batteries of the First Califbrnia Heavy Artillery, one Battery of Wyoming Light Artillery, one troop of Nevada Cavalry, and the Tenth Regiment. Lieutenant-Colonel Barnett, who was given command of the regiment at that time, later also assumed command of the district of Cavite on account of the sickness of Colonel Hawkins, retaining it to the time of the departure of the regiment for the United States. The other officers of the Tenth Regiment holding district offices were the following: First Lieutenant and Adjutant Oliver S. Scott, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General; Major and Surgeon George W. Neff, District Surgeon; First Lieutenant and Quartermaster John F. Wentling, Jr., Depot Quartermaster; Second Lieutenant Clarence Rehn, Depot Commissary; Second Lieutenant Richard Coulter, Jr., Provost Marshal; Captain Thomas S. Crago, Judge of the Inferior Provost Court and District Summary Court Officer; First Lieutenant Charles H. Howard, in charge of Native Prison; Captain Hustead A. Crow, in charge of Post Bakery.
The main body of the troops at Cavite were in entrenched positions at the extremity of the peninsula opening north from the mainland to the bay of Manila, on which is situated the city of Cavite of about five thousand population. Subsequently the limits of the district were extended to include Corregidor Island, bn which a convalescent hospital had been erected with about three hundred offi'cers and men as patients. Thus, after a separation of two companies from the regiment for about five months, the entire organization was united under one control, although, by reason of the separation, not in a compact body. On May 14, 1899, Companies A and B were relieved at Corregidor Island by Companies E and H, and returned to Cavite for duty with the regiment.
The regiment continued in garrison at Cavite until June 30, 1899, when it was relieved from duty in the Department of the Pacific and Eighth Army Corps to embark on the United States Transport Senator for San Francisco, California, for muster-out. During the tour of garrison duty at Cavite, part of the regiment was called into active field service again to aid in the movements of General Lawton on the line south of Manila. The insurgents were being hemmed in around the province of Cavite, and a provisional battalion for scouting purposes was organized by Lieutenant J. E. Barnett from the Tenth Regiment and the First California Heavy Artillery. Aside from the occupation of Bacoor and Novaleta, and a scouting tour of about ten miles around Cavite, no further duty of this nature was done and no engagements of the Pennsylvania troops took place.
The order to return to the United States was issued to the Tenth Regiment three weeks prior to the date of sailing, and from that time until the Senator left Manila bay every regimental department was busy closing up its accounts preparatory to departure. Companies E and H were returned to the regiment, final returns were made, and on the stated day the Pennsylvania soldiers left the scenes of their past operations and turned their faces homeward. The long-anticipated return to America and loved ones was about to be realized. Cheer after cheer was given by the men on board the transport, the vessel gave three farewell blasts of its whistle and it was on its way.
Included in the voyage was a trip through the Inland sea of Japan, with stops at Nagasaki and Yokohama, where the regiment was given full shore leave and well treated by the people of the Flowery Kingdom. The scenery along the route through the Inland sea was a pleasant diversion after the long ocean voyage. After leaving Yokohama on July 16th, rough seas were encountered most of the way to San Francisco, and the weather became quite cold, being felt all the more by the long exposure in the tropical climate of the Philippines.
It was during the latter part of the homeward trip, on the night of July 18th, that the death of Colonel Hawkins by illness occurred. This sad event cast a gloom over the entire command, as he had always been the warm friend of every enlisted man, ever having the welfare and comfort of his regiment in mind. On the afternoon of July 19th each company viewed the remains of its late colonel, and as they looked upon his placid face and the flag for which he fought wrapped around his inanimate body, every soldier of the regiment was filled with renewed respect and admiration for the man and for the brave leader that he was. From the time of his death until the remains were taken ashore at San Francisco, the ship's flag was carried at half-mast, and this was the mute signal that conveyed to waiting friends the sad news the vessel brought into the Golden Gate.
As the Senator steamed slowly into the bay at San Francisco, on August 1st, the western sun was sinking for the day as though in sympathy with the returning soldiers and the burden of sorrow they brought back with them. It took only a short time for the health authorities at San Francisco to examine the vessel and her precious freight and to issue a clean bill of health. The customs officers then took charge of the transport, and on the next morning the Senator tied up to the government pier. Crowds of eager friends, relatives and loved ones hastened to welcome the Pennsylvania warriors. Excited greetings were ex'changed, and the joy of returning to native soil could not be restrained.
The first duty was the removal ashore of the remains of' Colonel Hawkins. His funeral took place from the Masonic Temple in San Francisco on August 5th. The combined military and Masonic honors made a very impressive cortege, and as the remains of the lamented colonel passed along the street carried on a draped caisson, thousands of heads were bared. In the eyes of many of the sorrowing regiments tears welled forth and hearts were made heavy. That evening the hody was started East in charge of Chaplain Joseph L. Hunter to be interred at Washington, Pennsylvania, where the home of Colonel Hawkins was.
On the morning of August 3d, the regiment left the transport and marched to the Presidio Reservation, where they went into camp, being reviewed en route by Major General Shafter. All along the course of parade the streets were thronged, the houses decorated with flags and bunting, whistles blew loud and long and cannons boomed-all in glorious welcome to the home-coming of the Tenth. In many places throughout the city large portraits of Colonel Hawkins were draped in mourning, showing the respect and admiration which the citizens of California had for the departed soldier.
Under command of Lieutenant-Colonel James E. Barnett, the regiment went into camp, and preparations were at once started for the final muster-out. A few days after the Tenth became settled in camp, a citizens' committee from Pittsburg and the military district of the regiment arrived in San Francisco. Its object was to escort the regiment back to Pemlsylvania, where at Pittsburg a royal welcome awaited the soldiers. On August 22d, the Tenth Pennsylvania Volunteers were mustered out of the United States service. It was a simple ceremony, but a marked event in the life of every member of the regiment. The fighting uniforms of the soldiers were formally laid aside for the every-day dress of the more peaceful pursuits of civil life. Leaving San Francisco on the evening of August 22d, on three sections of a special train, what was previously the Tenth Regiment, started homeward in a body. The escort committee arranged the trans-continental trip, furnishing free transportation, and providing for the best welfare of the discharged soldiers. A pleasant stop was made at the Omaha Exposition, and a week after leaving San Francisco, the long train crossed the borders of Pennsylvania. At Pittsburg the organization was warmly welcomed. Various military bodies met the returned soldiers and escorted them through the city streets. Then after a parade which extended to Schenley Park, the regiment became disorganized, the various companies going to their respective home towns where special demonstrations were made in their honor and to celebrate their return.
Thus it was, after sixteen months in the volunteer service of the United States, the gallant Tenth was disbanded. It may be reorganized in the National Guard of Pennsylvania, but the men who fought side by side in the far-away Philippine Islands will never again be brought together under the same conditions.
ROLL OF HONOR
The Tenth Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry was very fortunate in the number of its deaths by disease and in the various battles of the two campaigns in the Philippines as compared with other organizations serving in the Department of the Pacific. Some unseen Providence seemed to attend the regiment throughout all its operations, for in facing dangers of the greatest moment fewer of its members fell than could have been reasonably expected. The rank and file of the Tenth Regiment are sturdily built and well qualified physically to withstand the insidious diseases of the tropics, and this virtue is doubtless a prominent factor in the low death rate of sixteen months' army service.
Before the American troops entered Manila on August 13, 1898, it was difficult to establish a suitable cemetery, and for long after the surrender of the Spanish army there were several burying plots between Malate and the site of Camp Dewey, sacred to the memory of fallen heroes, Later, a government cemetery was officially established at Maricabon, and still later the Convent Cemetery of Paco was the place of interment for the dead of the Eighth Army Corps. All the Pennsylvania dead of 1899 were buried at the "National" Cemetery, near Maricabon and adjacent to the native town of Tambo. Thereafter all interments were made at Battery Knoll, the present government cemetery.
All the graves of the Pennsylvania dead were properly marked, and prior to the regiment's departure from Manila arrangements were made for the return to the United States of the remains of the dead Pennsylvania men when the military authorities should deem it proper.
(photo named: After the Battle of Malate)
Photo of Cover
Photo of Col Alexander Hawkins
Contributed by Carol Eddleman
Return to Westmoreland County Home Page
(c) Westmoreland County Pennsylvania Genealogy Project