Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Spanish & Philippine American War Letter

Spanish & Philippine American War letter Item number: 160176735028

Bayambang, PI Company I, 17th Infantry April 19th, 1900

Mrs. E. C. Bates,
My dear sister,
Mr. Bates letter came a few days ago. I was glad to hear from you all. Glad to hear that you were improving and hope you will get completely well again. We thought we would get to come home this summer but the way things look now, we will be here at least another year. We’re having more men killed on this island now at the present this than any time since. We have been here ?? to your face is mucho mego. That means “your friend” and where they get behind your back. They would cut your throat. They captured three men on the 29th just not long ago. Then they tied them to a stake and burned them alive and then drug them through the town and then cut their head off with bolows and such things is that are happening every day.

Looking up and the ?? has formed small bands of 25-50 bolow men and they rob all the natives and kill all the soldiers they catch away from their command. So you see you can’t ??? at all. We thought after we broke up all the large bands of ?? that the army would be reduced and some of the troops would get to go to the states. But I don’t think many of them would be sent back before another year. Our ball of the 14th infantry has gone back to the states. The ball of the 18th and 20th infantry will go home in May. We have been one year and one month, nine days and I think we will be another year. While I can’t stand it if it’s like the rainy season that was the course of all the cause of men’s death. Five companies of us of some regiment had quite a scrap in the 8th of this month on Sunday. We left here at 1pm on the 5th of this month and marched all night that night without any supper and went to camp at 6 o’clock and stayed like that til night and started out on the 7th and went to camp that eve at 5 o’clock. Got up the next morn at 3 o’clock to march to the mountains about four miles where we stayed at night and got our position by daylight. And I wished you and Mr. Bates could have seen the mountains. We have had the fight. General McAbolous was on that mountain with a squadron men well entrenched. Against us, took out mountain in tenn. ?? Is not in it well over our company was to attract the enemy and I trust Bradford gave me orders to take my squad of 7 men and take in and over guard in front of the hill where the enemy was are the rest of the company went out as flankes on both sides. A company was sent out on the left flank. Me and L company was sent out under command of Lt. Col. Rober. On the extreme right to get in the rear of the enemy. They had to march (8) mile over the mountain to come behind the enemy. While company D and the scouts come up the ravine on the right flank and we had the front where company A got all on the mountains on the left flank. The ladrous went up, then A company captured our post and burned the stalk ?? thin into the main body. When company A got around all the main body, we opened up from the front. The scouts got in from the rear they didn’t know what to do. But they retreated as far as they could. If A company had waited 30 minutes longer before they flanked them, and the scouts to get behind them, we would have demolished all of them. We kill about 20, wounded a good many and captured about 18 prisoners. Nothing will ever go down in records as driving General McAbolous and General Antoinio Montenegro out of there positions and if we had there positions, all the troops on the island couldn’t have driven us out but they didn’t have the nerve to stand. We had our officeIf they had stayed in their position, they would have killed all of us very freely. The reason they left their position, they thought we had them surrounded.Our officer wounded through both thighs; 1st Lt. Morrow of company D. He is getting along very well. I will send you a map of the hill in this letter.

General Montenegro surrendered to me and my squad on our port on the 9th day after the fight. I will send you this paper when get it. I have the paper now that the piece about the infantry but it can’t come and want to send it. I will wait until get the right one. Will jaru is better really now than those. Health now is poor for some time. Weight 180 lbs. yesterday. Please tell Mr. Bates to tell Mr. Clay that I haven’t been able to hear from Dr. Lester in Manilla at the 3rd hospital yet. I wrote to him but haven’t received any answer. He will be your back to the states. He is only a contract doctor and as you hear from him, I will answer his letter. And tell Mr. Bates to give the members of company H to give best wishes and kindest regards. And tell them the regiment will never be forgotten by the troops in the Philippine Islands and we would all like them to return again in the near future. Well we’ll close for this time. Write soon. I hope when this letter reaches you it will find enjoying good health. As it leaves me well that by the time this letter reaches you it find Mr. Bates enjoying good health. Mr. Bates said time ago thank him to please send me some chewing tobacco. Has he gotten better this time. Well good bye for this time you Bates write to your brother Corporal H. ???

You will all you will see in this sketch of the battleground, you can’t see any infantry but A company on the left flank over the mountain. And the advance guard below, that is my squad that is shooting up straight at the enemy. The paper wasn’t large enough to give all the companies. You will see where General McAbolous went straight up and jumped through the hole on the other side. You will see him making his escape down the mountain and you will look at the picture I sent you of Aguinaldo Cabirsh. And you will see the mau that surrender to me last Wednesday a week ago (General Montenegro). We have been after him for a year and just got him to speak good English. He was in New York 3 years. All the grass marks X are the mountains kept the where we had to charge up. The mountains in the search. There aught to be a back trail but you can’t get per it. In the sketch I will put a checkmark where the trail is to the other mountain. Well I want to write our mom and will send you a paper that gave a letter about the scrap. I will send you another paper in a few days. Well goodbye for this time. Write soon to your brother. Show this picture to some of the home troops and you could give it to the rancher. I would think they should be glad to get it. We burned all his headquarters. If you don’t give it to the people, send it to Billy. I will send you some of things I captured from McAbolous after the fight.

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