Bailey83221 (bailey83221) wrote,
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Part 1
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was aiding the guerrillas, and upon returning to Santa Cruz be sent a gunboat to Luzon to request reinforcements. 13

The Hare Expedition, October-November 1900 Confirmation of Shields's defeat sent shock waves through the American high command. The episode was one of the worst reversals suffered by U.S. forces in the Philippine War. It was especially significant given its proximity to the upcoming election between President William McKinley and his anti-imperialist opponent William Jennings Bryan, the outcome of which many believed would determine the ultimate course of the war. Consequently, the defeat triggered a sharp response.

In early October, Major General Arthur MacArthur, the overall commander of U.S. forces in the Philippines, dispatched Brigadier General Luther R. Hare and two full battalions of the 1st U.S. Infantry to Marinduque with orders to free the prisoners and affect "the complete stamping out of the insurrection on that island." MacArthur gave Hare extraordinarily strict orders

to regard all the male population over fifteen years of age as enemies, and that whenever it is possible to round them up and treat them as prisoners of war it should be done, and they should be thus held until the situation is entirely cleared up. These prisoners, (i.e., the entire adult male population) should be held as hostages until the hostiles are killed or captured, and all arms on the Island are surrendered. Bates added the authorization to arrest and ship to Manila anyone suspected of providing moral or material aid to the insurgents, even if there was no legal proof of their guilt. 14

Arriving off Marinduque on 8 October, Hare divided his men between Boac, Santa Cruz, Gazan, and Torrijos. The campaign was delayed, however, for shortly after his arrival Hare received a letter from Abad offering to release the prisoners. Anderson's relentless search had compelled Abad to make the offer. Abad also stated that he was thinking about surrendering, and requested a week-long truce to confer with his lieutenants. On 14 October, Abad released Shields's command together with the two A/29 soldiers that Roque had captured. When the truce expired and Abad, to no one's surprise, failed to surrender, Hare complied with his orders and initiated a campaign to arrest Marinduque's entire adult male population. 15

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The scheme was easier to devise then to execute. Most people had already fled the coastal towns for the interior, and those remaining in the barrios naturally ran from the approaching troops. Moreover, there remained the problem of how to guard and feed the island's estimated 7,000 to 10,000 males of military age. Hare's solution was to ship his prisoners to Polo Island, 400 yards off the coast of Santa Cruz, turn them loose without guard, and feed them captured rice. Two American ships would watch the island and prevent escape.

With over 1,200 men at his disposal, Hare launched his campaign on 22 October, the day after the armistice terminated. Columns of roughly 100 men radiated out from the occupied towns, while five ships patrolled offshore. Hare instructed the columns to "arrest all male inhabitants between the ages of fifteen and sixty" and to destroy any village or house from which hostile fire emanated. Any male who acted suspiciously or who ran at the Army's approach was to be shot. 16

Over the next three weeks American columns combed the island. In most barrios the soldiers found only a few women and the aged. Hare did not capture a single verified guerrilla, though by month's end he had rounded up over 600 males. In the process the soldiers shot and killed four men who attempted to escape and put to the torch several barrios and rice storehouses. Private Ralph L. Bitting described one such expedition:

(We) captured all the men, rations, and ammo we could get, burned all the houses and villages in sight. We had to shoot several who tried to run away. It was sad to see some old woman turned into the road, her rice (which is their chief food) scattered in the mud and her house burnt down. We left desolation in our trail; talk about American liberty and humanity, it makes me sick.17

After releasing about 140 men due to illness, the Americans transferred the remaining prisoners to Polo Island for internment. Bitting reported the scene:

The friends and familys [sic] of the captured Gugus were allowed to bid them good-by before we loaded them on the boat ... You could not hear your own ears for the women and children crying and groaning. Just before we started them to the boat one woman who had no doubt come dressed for the occasion threw her dress over her husband and sat down on him. The sentry saw it though and so her ruse did not work. Just as we got them to the beach several tried by

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making a sudden rush to get away. Two were shot dead and several wounded right before their familys [sic] eyes. 18

The new American policy received divergent reviews from the troops in the field. Some, like Bitting, were appalled by the campaign. Others, like Captain Jordan, rejoiced, believing that there would be "good results" now that "there will be none of our 'friendly policy' business but some straight shooting." If anything, he feared the Army's actions to be too lenient, and advocated a more liberal use of the torch in order to make the property-owning class who led the resistance feel the pressure of war. Captain William M. Wright, Bates's aide-de-camp and personal observer on Marinduque, agreed. Based upon the "pathetic" scene at Gazan, Wright concluded that the deportation of all suspected guerrillas throughout the Philippines would be extremely beneficial. 19

By early November, however, Hare's campaign began to wind down. Clearly much work remained to be done, especially considering that not a single guerrilla or rifle had been captured. Nevertheless, Shields had been rescued, several hundred men were in custody, and higher-priority theaters required some of Marinduque's 1,200 doughboys. Moreover, Bates had just appointed Hare to a higher command, and Hare was anxious to leave the island to assume his new duties. Consequently, he virtually suspended operations during the month as he shuffled troops to produce a new, leaner garrison of 600 men. Among those leaving the island for good were the men of A/29, who before their departure paid a visit to Payi, the site of the campaign's first ambush. In an act of retaliation they burned the barrio to the ground, destroying forty houses and over two tons of rice.

The 29th Infantry was not the most important element of Hare's force to leave Marinduque. All of the ships that had supported the expedition left as well, including the two that were guarding the detainees on Polo Island, and by mid-month all of the unattended prisoners had made good then- escape. An enraged Bates chastised Hare for blithely undoing all the work of the past few weeks. Disgusted but undeterred, he enjoined Hare's successor, Lieutenant Colonel A.W. Corliss, to arrest all men of military age and to "exercise severity towards these natives, excepting only such measures as may be contrary to the dictates of humanity or in violation of the recognized laws of war." 20

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The Corliss Experiment

A veteran of the Civil and Indian Wars, Corliss was due to retire in a few months and was determined to end his career in a blaze of glory. Since Hare had been unable to either bring the insurgents to battle or arrest all the island's male inhabitants, Corliss decided to do neither. Rather, he would bring the island to its knees through mass devastation. The inhabitants of the five major garrisoned towns and their immediate barrios were not to be disturbed. Everything in the interior that could help sustain the insurrection—especially rice, cattle, water buffalo (carabao), and ponies—was to be destroyed. This policy would make life miserable for both the insurgents and their civilian supporters, sending a clear signal that there would be a price to continuing the cat-and-mouse war. Had Jordan still been on the island, he would have been delighted. The spirit of Sherman had come to Marinduque. 21

Corliss's plan may seem excessive given Abad's relative passivity, but it was very much in the spirit of the times. Initially, the Army had hoped that "benevolent" measures—like a lenient amnesty policy, cash payments for weapons, public works, and school programs, and the establishment of efficient local governments—would persuade Filipinos to abandon their quest for Independence. By the fall of 1900, however, many officers had come to agree with Jordan's view that "this business of fighting and civilizing and educating at the same time doesn't mix very well. Peace is needed first." In the opinion of many officers, only severe measures could obtain such a peace. On 20 December, with McKinley safely re-elected, MacArthur gave his blessing to the "hard war" advocates by authorizing implementation of the more stringent provisions of General Orders No. 100, the 1863 code that governed the conduct of American forces in the field. 22

General Orders No. 100 was a generous document that insisted upon the humane, ethical treatment of populations in occupied areas. However, the code envisioned a reciprocal relationship between the population and the Army. As long as the population did not resist military authority it was to be treated well. Should the inhabitants violate this compact by taking up arms and supporting guerrilla movements, then they were open to sterner measures. Among these were the imposition of fines, the confiscation and/or destruction of property, the imprisonment and/or expulsion of civilians who aided guerrillas, the relocation of

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populations, the taking of hostages, and the possible execution of guerrillas who failed to abide by the laws of war. In practice, the Army would focus its harshest penalties on guerrilla commanders and leading civilian sympathizers, particularly those of the middle and upper classes. Since evidence was usually hard to come by, MacArthur authorized his subordinates to arrest and detain individuals on the basis of "suspicion amounting to moral certainty" rather than proof. Actually, Bates had directed such a policy for Marinduque two months earlier, but Hare had never utilized it. Now, the highest military authority in the islands had given his blessing to this and other stringent measures. Corliss's plan thus reflected the new mood and won the endorsement of Bates's personal observer, Captain Wright, who reported that "Marinduque is an excellent place to experiment with the numerous schemes suggested for the pacification of these islands." 23 In mid-December Corliss launched the experiment.

The Corliss Campaign, December 1400- January 1901 One of the first casualties of the new policy was Martin Lardizabal. Citing MacArthur's proclamation as justification, Corliss arrested Lardizabal on the suspicion of covertly aiding the insurrection—a suspicion that was probably true but for which there was little proof. In January, he also filed charges of "Being a Guerrilla" and "Being a War Rebel" against several captured soldiers, militiamen, and civilian agents. These charges gave notice that the rules of the game were changing. 24

After establishing an intelligence system and apportioning the newly constituted garrison (two companies of the 1st and four companies of the 2d Infantries) among the island's five major towns, Corliss sent more than thirty expeditions into the interior over the next seven weeks. Most expeditions ranged in size from 25 to 125 men and remained in the field less than twenty-four hours, although some stayed in the interior for up to five days, using pack ponies to carry supplies. Corliss coordinated these operations with the aid of the harbor launch Kansas City, which he succeeded in getting permanently assigned to Marinduque. 25

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American operations on Marinduque fell into several categories. Many were blind excursions to search for and destroy insurgent bases and supplies. Others involved raids against guerrilla base camps, the locations of which were reported by friendly Filipinos. The Americans often launched raids at night in order to surprise the cuartels at first light. Faulty intelligence and unreliable guides, most of whom had been pressed into service, frequently foiled these operations, as did Marinduque's rough terrain, which hampered attempts to surround enemy encampments. Encirclements were more successful in the open terrain that adjoined many barrios. There the Army performed "roundups," in which a detachment of soldiers would make a night march in order to surround a barrio at dawn. The troops would search the village for contraband, "round up" the entire male population, and escort them back to the post for questioning. Unlike Hare, Corliss released most prisoners within twenty-four hours, detaining only those suspected of being guerrillas or active sympathizers. Sometimes the Army raided a barrio for the purpose of seizing a specific individual who was reported to be hiding there, but none of these efforts captured the targeted person.

Army officers occasionally experimented with other techniques. Combined land and sea operations patrolled the coast, destroying boats and ship-building facilities to prevent smugglers from evading the blockade the Army had begun in October. Converging columns were sometimes fruitful, but the tactic was hard to execute since the island's trackless terrain made it difficult to approach an objective from other than a single, well-defined (and hence well-watched) trail. Cordon-and-sweep operations were rarely employed because they absorbed more manpower than Corliss could afford. Some officers also attempted to lay nighttime ambushes, none of which succeeded. 26

Commanders enforced strict discipline during expeditions, barring looting and mistreatment of the inhabitants. Although the troops routinely shot at any adult male who ran at their approach, they never fired on any group that included women and children. Nevertheless, Corliss's policies meant that many expeditions took on an apocalyptic quality. For example, over the course of five days in mid-December Captain Francis E. Lacey, Jr., and 127 men destroyed 364 houses, 45 tons of palay, 600 pounds of rice, 30 bushels of corn, 188 bales of hemp, 330 ponies, 100 carabao, 233 cattle, and killed one Filipino who ran at the column's approach. Lacey saw no guerrillas, and none of the destroyed property

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was specifically linked to the insurgents. The column's only casualty was a private gored by a vengeful carabao. 27

During Corliss's two months on Marinduque, Abad stuck to his strategy of avoiding combat. All contacts between American and Filipino forces during this period were initiated by the Americans, including two actions in early January 1901 in which Army columns overran base camps of Teofilio Roque's 2d Guerrilla. The consequences of these actions were not long in coming. The officers of the 2d Guerrilla were tightly linked to the ruling families of Boac and Mogpog whose assets in land, livestock, and trade were literally going up in smoke. The oligarchs undoubtedly conveyed to the officers their dismay over the consequences of continued resistance. Moreover, some of Boac's inhabitants, either from war weariness, opportunism, or because of a genuine belief in the ultimate benefits of American rule, had turned informer. Among them were several leading citizens of Boac, including Tomas del Mundo, the former head of the Katipunan Society on Marinduque, Gasimiro Con-treras, another ex-insurgent, Saturnino Trinidad, Boac's energetic padre who preached peace despite repeated threats of assassination, and Cal-ixto Nieva, a former captain in the revolutionary army and a person of great influence. Sources like these Indicated how successfully Corliss's, campaign had fragmented Marinduquc's elite. Their assistance had made possible both the arrest of Martin Lardizabal and the string of American successes in January. 28

Disturbed by the devastation and demoralized by the knowledge that some of their influential kinsmen had turned against them, Major Pedro Lardizabal, Captain Teofilio Roque, and live other officers surrendered in late January 1901. In the following days a number of citizens and militia officers voluntarily swore oaths of allegiance to the United States. Among them were the cream of Boac-Mogpog society, including members of the influential Roque, Nepomucena, and Nieva families—all of whom had relatives among the officers who surrendered on the twenty-third. These developments severely damaged the insurgent organization at Boac, the heart of the resistance, and dealt Abad a stunning blow. Still, the fact that no rank and file had surrendered, and that no arms had been turned in, raises questions as to the sincerity of some of the oath takers and suggests

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that some of them covertly continued to support the insurrection, just as Martin Lardizabal had done in May 1900 when he had ostensibly surrendered to Major Muir. 29

If the surrender was a ruse to fool Corliss into reducing the pressure, it failed. Not only did he not relent, but much to the consternation of the citizens of Boac, he refused to release the officers as the Army typically did when individuals voluntarily surrendered. Instead, he sent them, together with Martin Lardizabal and the other insurgents who had been captured in January, to Manila on charges of being "guerrillas" and "war rebels." These were the first prisoners dispatched to Manila from Marinduque and the action, while demonstrating toughness, may well have deterred others from surrendering.

With the Army making the interior of the island increasingly inhospitable, people began to return to the coastal towns. At Santa Cruz, for example, the town's population leapt from a mere 100 individuals at the start of the year to 8,000 by the end of January. As the people returned, Corliss, who had made the population feel the heavy hand of war, extended the hand of peace. He reestablished civil governments and Filipino police forces in the five major towns, all of which had collapsed after the mass flight that had occurred during the summer of 1900. Initially he appointed the new officials, but quickly shifted to elections because the appointees believed that they would be more secure against retaliation if their collaborationist roles were sanctified by a public vote. He also encouraged the development of the Federal Party, a Filipino organization dedicated to converting the people to the American cause.

Although Corliss was gratified by the growing number of people in the towns, difficulties did arise. The closing of the ports and the Army's destruction campaign created a food shortage. Illness too was a problem. Recognizing that it would "be greatly to our advantage" for the U.S. to provide some humanitarian assistance, Corliss requested that the Army send medicines. Finally, in late January Corliss tempered his destruction order, stating that "all supplies, Insurrecto storehouses and cuartels will be destroyed, but houses of private persons not containing supplies will not be destroyed." Still, conditions were destined to get worse before they got better.30

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