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Philippine-American War, 1899-1902

This discussion is about "Philippine-American War, 1899-1902" in the "General Discussions" forums.
On May 1, the squadron destroyed the antiquated Spanish fleet commanded by Admiral Patricio Montojo in Manila Bay; sunk were 8 vessels: the cruisers Reina ...

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    On May 1, the squadron destroyed the antiquated Spanish fleet commanded by Admiral Patricio Montojo in Manila Bay; sunk were 8 vessels: the cruisers Reina Cristina and Castilla, gunboats Don Antonio de Ulloa, Don Juan de Austria, Isla de Luzon, Isla de Cuba, Velasco, and Argos.

    Chart (LEFT) shows Dewey's battle track during the Battle of Manila Bay, with X's depicting the positions of the Spanish vessels.

    Contemporary satellite photo of the Cavite Peninsula. Cavite City is the current name of Cavite Nuevo. The city proper is divided into five districts: Dalahican, Santa Cruz, Caridad, San Antonio and San Roque. The Sangley Point Naval Base is part of the city and occupies the northernmost portion of the peninsula. The historic island of Corregidor and the adjacent islands and detached rocks of Caballo, Carabao, El Fraile and La Monja found at the mouth of Manila Bay are part of the city's territorial jurisdiction.

    A Japanese woodblock print of the Battle of Manila Bay. Print courtesy of the MIT Museum.

    Commodore George Dewey (second from right) on the bridge of USS Olympia during the battle of Manila Bay. Others present are (left to right): Samuel Ferguson (apprentice signal boy), John A. McDougall (Marine orderly) and Merrick W. Creagh (Chief Yeoman).

    The Olympia's men cheering the Baltimore during the battle of Manila Bay

    Sunken Spanish flagship Reina Cristina
    One hundred sixty-one Spanish sailors died and 210 were wounded, eight Americans were wounded and there was one non-combat related fatality (heart attack).

    Admiral Montojo
    Admiral Montojo (TOP) escaped to Manila in a small boat.

    Montojo was summoned to Madrid in order to explain his defeat in Cavite before the Supreme Court-Martial. He left Manila in October and arrived in Madrid on Nov. 11, 1898.

    By judicial decree of the Spanish Supreme Court-Martial, (March 1899), Montojo was imprisoned. Later, he was absolved by the Court-Martial but was discharged. In an odd change of events, one of those who defended Admiral Montojo was his former adversary at Cavite, Admiral George Dewey. Montojo died in Madrid, Spain, on Sept. 30, 1917 (Dewey died earlier in the same year, on January 16).

    The Cavite arsenal and navy yard. PHOTOS were taken in 1898 or 1899.

    Fort Guadalupe, Cavite Navy Yard (photo taken in 1900)
    The victory gave to the US fleet the complete control of Manila Bay and the naval facilities at Cavite and Sangley Point..

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    When the news of the victory reached the U.S., Americans cheered ecstatically. Dewey became an instant national hero. Stores soon filled with merchandise bearing his image. Few Americans knew what and where the Philippines were, but the press assured them that the islands were a welcome possession.

    President McKinley told his confidant, H.H. Kohlsaat, Editor of the Chicago-Times Herald: "When we received the cable from Admiral Dewey telling of the taking of the Philippines I looked up their location on the globe. I could not have told where those darned islands were within 2,000 miles!" [Some months later he said: "If old Dewey had just sailed away when he smashed that Spanish fleet, what a lot of trouble he would have saved us."]

    On the morning of May 2nd, Dewey notified the Spanish Governor-General that since the underwater Manila-Hong Kong telegraph cable was Manila's only link to the outside world, it should be considered neutral so that he could use it as well. When the Governor-General refused, Dewey dredged up and cut the cable, ending the direct flow of information out of the Philippines. The cable was operated by the British-owned Eastern Extension Australasia China Telegraph Company. [On May 23, Dewey also cut the company's Manila-Capiz cable, severing the electronic connection between Manila and the central Philippine islands of Panay, Cebu, and Negros].

    May 3, 1898: 1Lt. Dion Williams, US Marine Corps, and the marine detachment which ran up the first American flag to fly over the Philippines, render military courtesies to Commodore George Dewey on his first visit ashore.

    Spanish flags captured by Dewey hanging from the ceiling in the Lyceum at the US Naval Academy at Annapolis

    Four American soldiers at a captured Spanish outpost in Cavite Province. Photo was taken in 1898.
    The Spanish Governor-General and military commander, General Basilio de Agustin y Davila (BOTTOM), through the British consul, Edward H. Rawson-Walker, intimated to Dewey his willingness to surrender to the American squadron.

    General Basilio de Agustin y Davila
    But Dewey could not entertain the proposition because he had no force with which to occupy Manila.

    He said, "...I would not for a moment consider the possibility of turning it over to the undisciplined insurgents, who, I feared, might wreak their vengeance upon the Spaniards and indulge in a carnival of loot."

    Spanish Captain-General Basilio de Agustin y Davila clothed in the functions of a viceroy surrounded by his staff with a group of the principal officers under his command in Manila.
    The Spanish army garrisoned in Manila consisted of about 13,332 soldiers (8,382 Spanish, 4,950 Filipino).

    Gun practice on the Baltimore during the blockade of Manila Bay
    With no ground troops to attack the city, Dewey blockaded the harbor. He also soon became aware of the dual risks of a Spanish relief expedition and intervention by another power. He cabled Washington and asked for reinforcements.

    1st California Volunteer Infantry Regiment heading to the Presidio, May 7, 1898.
    The US Army started to marshall a force at the Presidio, San Francisco, California, that became the 8th Army Corps, dubbed the Philippine Expeditionary Force, under Maj. Gen. Wesley Merritt.

    Rear Admiral George Dewey with staff and ship's officers, on board USS Olympia, 1898.
    On May 11, 1898, Dewey was promoted to Rear Admiral.

    The few major warships left in the eastern Pacific were also ordered to reinforce Dewey. The cruiser Charleston accompanied the first Army expedition, bringing with her a much-needed ammunition resupply. To provide the Asiatic Squadron with heavy firepower, the monitors Monterey and Monadnock left California in June. These slow ships were nearly two months in passage. Monterey was ready in time to help with Manila's capture, while Monadnock arrived a few days after the Spanish surrender.

    he Record-Union, Sacramento, California, May 12 1898 Page 1

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    May 19, 1898: Emilio Aguinaldo Returns

    Filipino exiles in Hong Kong, photo taken in early 1898: Emilio Aguinaldo (sitting, 2nd from right) led 36 other revolutionary leaders into exile in the British colony. They were: Pedro Aguinaldo, Tomas Aguinaldo, Joaquin Alejandrino, Celestino Aragon, Jose Aragon, Primitivo Artacho, Vito Belarmino, Agapito Bonzon, Antonio Carlos, Eugenio de la Cruz, Agustin de la Rosa, Gregorio H. del Pilar, Valentin Diaz, Salvador Estrella, Vitaliano Famular, Dr. Anastacio Francisco, Pedro Francisco, Francisco Frani, Maximo Kabigting, Vicente Kagton, Silvestre Legazpi, Teodoro Legazpi, Mariano Llanera, Doroteo Lopez, Vicente Lukban, Lazaro Makapagal, Miguel Malvar, Tomas Mascardo, Antonio Montenegro, Benito Natividad, Carlos Ronquillo, Manuel Tinio, Miguel Valenzuela, Wenceslao Viniegra, Escolastico Viola and Lino Viola.
    In the run up to the Spanish-American War, several American Consuls - in Hong Kong, Singapore and Manila - sought Emilio Aguinaldo's support. None of them spoke Tagalog, Aguinaldo's own language, and Aguinaldo himself spoke poor Spanish. A British businessman who spoke Tagalog, Howard W. Bray, agreed to act as interpreter. Aguinaldo and Bray maintained later that the Philippines had been promised independence in return for helping the U.S. defeat the Spanish.

    Some of the Filipino exiles and Spanish officers in charge of their deportation to Hong Kong. Emilio Aguinaldo is the central figure in the second row; to his right is Lt. Col. Miguel Primo de Rivera, nephew of the Spanish Governor-General. PHOTO was taken in Hong Kong in early 1898.

    Hong Kong: Some of the exiles at a park with British acquaintances. Photo taken in 1898.
    In Hong Kong, Aguinaldo was told by U.S. consul Rounsenville Wildman that Dewey wanted him to return to the Philippines to resume the Filipino resistance.

    The San Francisco Call, May 18, 1898
    Arriving in Manila with thirteen of his staff on May 19 aboard the American revenue cutter McCulloch, Aguinaldo reassumed command of Filipino rebel forces. Although he and Dewey spoke, no one knows the substance of the discussions– Dewey only spoke Spanish, Aguinaldo spoke it poorly and there was no intermediary.

    [url=]Emilio Aguinaldo[url]
    [Years later, Aguinaldo recalled a meeting with Dewey: "I asked whether it was true that he had sent all the telegrams to the Consul at Singapore, Mr. Pratt, which that gentleman had told me he received in regard to myself. The Admiral replied in the affirmative, adding that the United States had come to the Philippines to protect the natives and free them from the yoke of Spain. He said, moreover, that America is exceedingly well off as regards territory, revenue, and resources and therefore needs no colonies, assuring me finally that there was no occasion for me to entertain any doubts whatever about the recognition of the Independence of the Philippines by the United States."]

    [Aguinaldo, in his book, "A Second Look At America," admitted he naively believed that Dewey "acted in good faith" on behalf of the Filipinos.]

    Cavite Province: A medic attends to a wounded Filipino soldier. Photo taken in May or June 1898.

    Cavite Province: The same wounded Filipino soldier shown in preceding photo is loaded onto a cart. Photo taken in May or June 1898.

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    Five days after his arrival, on May 24, Aguinaldo temporarily established a dictatorial government, but plans were afoot to proclaim the independence of the country. A democratic government would then be set up.

    In late May, Dewey was ordered by the U.S. Department of the Navy to distance himself from Aguinaldo lest he make untoward commitments to the Philippine forces.

    The official directive was not necessary; Dewey had already made up his mind beforehand: "From my observation of Aguinaldo and his advisers I decided that it would be unwise to co-operate with him or his adherents in an official manner... In short, my policy was to avoid any entangling alliance with the insurgents, while I appreciated that, pending the arrival of our troops, they might be of service."

    [TOP, Aguinaldo's headquarters inside the Cavite navy yard, May 1898].

    Dewey referred to the Filipinos as "the Indians" and promised Washington, D.C. that he would "enter the city [Manila] and keep the Indians out."

    Issue of May 31, 1898

    Issue of June 7, 1898
    By early June, with no arms supplied by Dewey, Aguinaldo's forces had overwhelmed Spanish garrisons in Cavite and around Manila, surrounded the capital with 14 miles of trenches, captured the Manila waterworks and shut off access or escape by the Pasig River. Links were established with other movements throughout the country.

    With the exception of Muslim areas on Mindanao and nearby islands, the Filipinos had taken effective control of the rest of the Philippines.

    Aguinaldo's 12,000 troops kept the Spanish soldiers bottled up inside Manila until American troop reinforcements could arrive.

    Philippine army soldiers are seen here guarding 3 Filipino judicial prisoners in the stocks. PHOTO was taken in 1898.
    Aguinaldo was concerned, however, that the Americans would not commit to paper a statement of support for Philippine independence.

    [John Foreman, American historian of the early Philippine-American War period stated that, "Aguinaldo and his inexperienced followers were so completely carried away by the humanitarian avowels of the greatest republic the world had seen that they willingly consented to cooperate with the Americans on mere verbal promises, instead of a written agreement which could be held binding on the U.S. Government."]

    Spanish mestizas. LEFT photo was taken at Manila's Teatro Zorilla in January 1894; RIGHT photo was taken in Cavite in 1898.

    Photo taken in 1898 in Manila

    Upper-class native Filipino women. Photos taken in the late 1890's.

    Native Filipino women. Photo taken in the late 1890's.

    Assembly room (LEFT) and library (RIGHT) of the private Universidad de Santo Tomas, at Intramuros district, Manila, in 1887. It was founded on April 28, 1611 by Dominican friars and until 1927 did not accept women (The same year that it moved to Sampaloc district). During the Spanish era, only affluent native Filipinos could afford to send their sons to the school. Now known as the University of Santo Tomas (UST), it has the oldest extant university charter in the Philippines. The UST produced four Philippine presidents and many revolutionary heroes, including Jose Rizal, the national hero.

    The Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Intramuros district, Manila, and students, in 1887. The private Roman Catholic institution, founded in 1620, was and still is, owned by priests of the Dominican Order. It catered to the sons of wealthy native Filipinos and did not accept women until the 1970's. It produced four Philippine presidents and many revolutionary heroes; it is the only Philippine school that has graduated a Catholic Saint that actually lived and studied inside its original campus (Vietnamese Saint Vicente Liem de la Paz). Letran is the only Spanish-era school that still stands on its original site in Intramuros.

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    Scenes at the secondary school Ateneo Municipal de Manila, Intramuros district, Manila, in 1887. Now known as the Ateneo de Manila University, a private coed institution run by the Jesuits, it began on Oct. 1, 1859 when the latter took over the Escuela Municipal, then a small private primary school maintained for the children of Spanish residents. In 1865, it became the Ateneo Municipal de Manila when it converted to a secondary school for boys, and began admitting native Filipinos who invariably came from well-to-do families. The Ateneo attained college status in 1908. It moved to Ermita district, Manila, in 1932. The campus was devastated in 1945 during World War II. In 1952, most of the Ateneo units relocated to Loyola Heights, Quezon City. It became a university in 1959. It admitted women for the first time in 1973. The Ateneo produced many revolutionary heroes, including the national hero, Jose Rizal.

    Manila: Native Filipino schoolboys of the public Escuela Municipal de Instrucción Primaria de Quiapo. Photo taken in 1887.

    Montalban, *****g Province: A little village school for girls under a big mango tree. Photo, taken in mid-May 1894, includes 3 American businessmen.

    Chinese merchants in Manila. Photos taken in the late 1890's

    Chinese merchants: a chocolate-maker (LEFT) and a textile fabric manufacturer (RIGHT). Photos taken at Manila in the late 1890's.

    Filipino fighters and some American soldiers. Photo taken in 1898.

    June 3, 1898: Spanish battery of two 8-centimeter caliber guns firing at Filipinos at the Zapote River bridge, Cavite Province. The Spaniards kept up a continuous fire with their field guns and Mauser rifles before charging the bridge.

    June 3, 1898: Spanish soldiers on Zapote Bridge. It was a temporary occupation; the Filipinos, numbering about 500, counterattacked and sent the Spanish force of 3,500 reeling back.

    Filipinos moving captured Spanish cannon

    Filipinos with captured Spanish field-piece

    Filipino soldiers with their artillery in front of Fort San Felipe Neri, Cavite Province. Photo taken in 1898.

    Filipino soldiers assemble in front of the San Nicolas de Tolentino Church in Parañaque, a few miles south of Manila. The Filipino army converted the church and convent into a storehouse and magazine. PHOTO was taken in 1898.

    Spanish troops in Cebu Island

    The USS Olympia
    While awaiting the arrival of ground troops, Dewey welcomed aboard his flagship USS Olympia members of the media who clamored for interviews. Numerous vessels of other foreign nations, most conspicuously those of Britain, Germany, France, and Japan, arrived almost daily in Manila Bay. These came under the pretext of guarding the safety of their own citizens in Manila, but their crews kept a watchful eye on the methods and activities of the American Naval commander.

    Vice Admiral Otto von Diederichs
    The German fleet of five ships, commanded by Vice Admiral Otto von Diederichs (RIGHT, in 189 and ostensibly in Philippine waters to protect German interests (a single import firm), acted provocatively—cutting in front of US ships, refusing to salute the US flag (according to customs of naval courtesy), taking soundings of the harbor, and landing supplies for the besieged Spanish. Germany was eager to take advantage of whatever opportunities the conflict in the Philippines might afford. Dewey called the bluff of the German vice admiral, threatening a fight if his aggressive activities continued, and the Germans backed down.

    In recognition of George Dewey's leadership during the Battle of Manila Bay, a special medal known as the Dewey Medal was presented to the officers and sailors under Commodore Dewey's command. Dewey was later honored with promotion to the special rank of Admiral of the Navy; a rank that no one has held before or since in the US Navy.

    Years later in U.S. Senate hearings, Admiral Dewey testified, "I never treated him (Aguinaldo) as an ally, except to assist me in my operations against the Spaniards."

    Dewey was born on Dec. 26, 1837 in Montpelier, Vermont. He graduated from the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland on June 18, 1858. During the American Civil War he served with Admiral David Farragut during the Battle of New Orleans and as part of the Atlantic blockade.
    He was commissioned as a Commodore on Feb. 28, 1896.

    On Nov. 30, 1897 he was named commander of the Asiatic Squadron, thanks to the help of strong political allies, including Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Theodore Roosevelt.

    He held the rank of Admiral of the Navy until his death in Washington, DC, on Jan. 16, 1917.

    General Emilio Aguinaldo

    Aguinaldo was the first and youngest President of the Philippines. He was born on March 22, 1869 in Cavite El Viejo (now Kawit), Cavite province. He was slender and stood at five feet and three inches. He studied at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran. He quit his studies at age 17 when his father died so that he could take care of the family farm and engage in business.

    He joined freemasonry and was made a master mason on Jan. 1, 1895 at Pilar Lodge No. 203 (now Pilar Lodge No. 15) at Imus, Cavite and was founder of Magdalo Lodge No. 3.

    On March 14, 1896, he joined the Katipunan and for his name in the secret revolutionary society, he chose Magdalo, after the patron saint of Cavite El Viejo, Mary Magdalene. He was initiated in the house of Katipunan Supremo Andres Bonifacio on Cervantes St. (now Rizal Ave.), Manila.

    Aguinaldo married his first wife, Hilaria del Rosario of Imus, Cavite in 1896. From that marriage five children (Miguel, Carmen, Emilio, Jr., Maria and Cristina) were born.

    When the revolution against Spain broke out on Aug. 30, 1896, he was the capitan municipal (mayor) of Cavite el Viejo.

    Aguinaldo defeated the best of the Spanish generals: Ernesto de Aguirre in the Battle of Imus, Sept. 3, 1896; Ramon Blanco in the Battle of Binakayan, Nov. 9-11, 1896; and Antonio Zaballa in the Battle of Anabu, February 1897).

    He assumed total control of the Filipino revolutionary forces after executing Andres Bonifacio on May 10, 1897.

    He was captured by the Americans led by Brig. Gen. Frederick Funston on March 23, 1901 in remote Palanan, Isabela Province. On April 1, 1901, he pledged allegiance to the United States. (His son, Emilio Jr., graduated from West Point in 1927, in the same class as Gen. Funston's son.)

    On March 6, 1921, his first wife, Hilaria, died.

    On July 14, 1930, at age 61, Aguinaldo married Maria Agoncillo, 49-year-old niece of Felipe Agoncillo, the pioneer Filipino diplomat.

    On Feb. 6, 1964, less than a year after the death of his second wife, Aguinaldo died of coronary thrombosis, at the age of 95, at the Veterans Memorial Hospital in Quezon City.

    His remains are buried at the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite Province.

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    US Infantry to MANILA

    US Infantry, Naval Reinforcements, Embark For Manila, May 25 - June 29, 1898

    The US Army forces that invaded the Philippines in the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars assembled at the Presidio (ABOVE, in 189 on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, California.

    Camps of the 51st Iowa and 1st New York Volunteers at the Presidio, 1898. The Iowans went but the New Yorkers did not proceed to the Philippines.
    The Presidio was originally a Spanish Fort built by Jose Joaquin Moraga in 1776. It was seized by the U.S. Military in 1846, officially opened in 1848, and became home to several Army headquarters and units. During its long history, the Presidio was involved in most of America's military engagements in the Pacific. It was the center for defense of the Western U.S. during World War II. The infamous order to inter Japanese-Americans, including citizens, during World War II was signed at the Presidio. Until its closure in 1995, the Presidio was the longest continuously operated military base in the United States.

    Brig. Gen. Arthur C. MacArthur, Jr., at the Presidio, 1898
    The lack of transport accommodation, which was corrected by sending vessels from the Atlantic coast of the United States, coupled with the imperative necessity for dispatching troops immediately to the Philippines, resulted in the movement of the 8th Army Corps by 7 installments, extending over a period from May to October.
    Only 3 of these expeditions [470 officers and 10,464 men] reached Manila in time to take part in the assault and capture of that city on August 13.

    They were:

    First Expedition, 115 officers and 2,386 men, commanded by Brig. Gen. Thomas M. Anderson:

    1st California Volunteer Infantry Regiment; 2nd Oregon Volunteer Infantry Regiment; 14th United States Infantry Regiment (5 companies); California Volunteer Artillery (detachment).

    Steamships: City of Sidney, Australia, and City of Peking [TOP, Harper's Weekly, June 11, 1898 issue].
    Sailed May 25, arrived Manila June 30.

    Second Expedition, 158 officers and 3,428 men, commanded by Brig. Gen. Felix V. Greene:

    1st Colorado Volunteer Infantry Regiment; 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry Regiment; 10th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment; 18th United States Infantry Regiment (4 companies); 23rd United States Infantry Regiment (4 companies); Utah Volunteer Artillery (2 batteries); United States Engineers (detachment).

    Steamships: China, Colon, and Zealandia.

    Sailed June 15, arrived Manila July 17.

    Men of Company D, 1st Idaho Volunteers, who sailed with the Third Expedition to the Philippines in June 1898. Photo was taken in May 1898.

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    Third Expedition, 197 officers, 4,650 men, commanded by Brig. Gen. Arthur C. MacArthur, Jr., Maj. Gen. Wesley Merritt accompanying:

    18th United States Infantry Regiment (4 companies); 23rd United States Infantry Regiment (4 companies); 3rd United States Artillery acting as Infantry (4 batteries); United States Engineers Battalion (1 company); 1st Idaho Volunteer Infantry Regiment; 1st Wyoming Volunteer Infantry Regiment; 13th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment; 1st North Dakota Volunteer Infantry Regiment; Astor Volunteer Artillery; Hospital and Signal Corps (detachments).

    Steamships: Senator, Morgan City, City of Para, Indiana, Ohio, Valencia, and Newport.

    Sailed June 27 and 29, arrived Manila July 25 and 31.

    Farewells at Camp Merritt, just outside the Presidio, San Francisco. The camp was established on May 29, 1898 but abandoned on August 27 of the same year due to problems with disease, mostly measles and typhoid. The remaining troops bound for the Philippines were moved to Camps Merriam and Miller a bit north at the Presidio.

    Company F, 1st Colorado Volunteer Infantry Regiment, at Camp Merritt, 1898

    Dinner at the San Francisco armory to 1st California Volunteers, May 1898.

    1st Nebraska Volunteers from Nebraska State University, 1898

    The Lombard Gate of the Presidio, built in 1896, where most US troops en route to the Philippines passed through to meet awaiting ships.

    The troops marched down Lombard Street to Van Ness, then to Market Street to the docks.

    The Lombard Gate, the main entrance to the Presidio, as it looks in contemporary times.

    Original caption: "Soldiers and their Sweethearts, on the Eve of Departure for Manila." Photo taken in 1898 in San Francisco.

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    1st California Volunteers boarding the City of Peking, San Francisco Bay, May 25, 1898

    City of Peking leaving San Francisco Bay with the 1st California Volunteer Infantry Regiment aboard, First Expedition, May 25, 1898

    The First Expedition stopped over at Honolulu, Hawaii, on June 1-4. Photo shows Brig. Gen. Thomas M. Anderson visiting the USS Charleston at Honolulu Bay. The cruiser convoyed the expedition to Manila.

    USS Charleston, at Hong Kong Harbor, 1898. The protected cruiser convoyed the First Expedition from Hawaii to Manila, June 4-30, 1898. In 1899, during the Philippine-American War, she bombarded Filipino positions to aid Army forces advancing ashore, and took part in the capture of Subic Bay in September 1899. Charleston grounded and was wrecked beyond salvage near Camiguin Island north of Luzon on Nov. 2, 1899.

    The USS Monterey is seen off Mare Island Naval Yard, Vallejo, California, 23 miles (37 km) northeast of San Francisco. The monitor sailed for Manila Bay on June 11 and arrived there on August 13. Photo was taken in June 1898.

    1st Nebraska Volunteers embarking for Manila with the Second Expedition, June 15, 1898

    10th Pennsylvania Volunteers bound for Manila, June 15, 1898

    The Second Expedition leaves San Francisco for the Philippines, June 15, 1898.

    The transport China leaving for Manila as part of the Second Expedition. On board were the 18th US Infantry Regiment (Companies A and G); 1st Colorado Volunteer Infantry Regiment; Utah Volunteer Light Artillery (Battery B, Sections 3,4,5); and US Volunteer Engineers (Company A), June 15,1898.

    USS Monadnock enroute to Manila from San Francisco Bay, June 23 - Aug. 16, 1898

    USS Valencia leaving San Francisco with the Third Expedition aboard, June 27, 1898. The transport carried the 1st North Dakota Volunteer Infantry Regiment; 1st Washington Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Companies F, G, I, and L); and the California Heavy Artillery (Batteries A and D).

    The USS Indiana leaving San Francisco for the Philippines, Third Expedition, June 27, 1898. On board were the 18th US Infantry Regiment (Companies D and H); 23rd US Infantry Regiment (Companies B, C, G, and L); US Engineers Battalion (Company A); and 1st North Dakota Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Company H).

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    Philippine Independence

    June 12, 1898: Declaration of Philippine Independence

    Brig. Gen. Robert P. Hughes told the US Congress that Filipinos who wanted freedom had "no more idea of its meaning than a shepherd dog." An early statement of American policy declared that “only through American occupation” was “the idea of a free, self-governing and united Filipino commonwealth at all conceivable.”

    A tattered flag of the First Philippine Republic, one of many used during the struggle for independence. The flag believed by heirs of Emilio Aguinaldo to be that unfurled by the general in Kawit, Cavite, in 1898 is encased in glass at the Aguinaldo Museum on Happy Glen Loop in Baguio City; however, the National Historical Institute has yet to authenticate this flag despite years of probing. In his letter to Capt. Emmanuel Baja dated June 11, 1925, Aguinaldo mentioned that in their Northward retreat during the Filipino-American War, the original flag was lost somewhere in Tayug, Pangasinan Province; the Americans captured the town on Nov. 11, 1899.

    The Aguinaldo Mansion as it looked in 1914

    The Aguinaldo mansion in Kawit, Cavite, site of the historic Proclamation of Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898 was declared a national shrine in June 1964. General Emilio Aguinaldo died on Feb. 6, 1964. The balcony did not exist in the 19th century; likewise, although he unfurled it, it wasn't Aguinaldo who waved the Philippine flag from the central window; Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista did.
    On June 12, 1898, Emilio Aguinaldo declared the independence of the Filipinos and the birth of the Philippine Republic “under the protection of the mighty and humane North American Union.”

    This momentous event took place in Cavite el Viejo ("Old Cavite", now Kawit), Cavite Province. Admiral Dewey had been invited but did not attend. The Filipino national flag was officially unfurled for the first time at 4:20 PM. The same flag was actually unfurled, albeit unofficially, on May 28, 1898 at the Teatro Caviteño in Cavite Nuevo---now Cavite City---right after the battle of Alapan, Imus, Cavite, and again three days later over the Spanish barracks at Binakayan, Cavite, after the Filipinos scored another victory.

    Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista

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    War Counsellor and Special Delegate, solemnly read the Acta de la Proclamacion de la Independencia del Pueblo Filipino. The declaration was signed by 97 Filipinos and one retired American artillery officer, Colonel L.M. Johnson

    Colonel L.M. Johnson
    Contrary to common belief, it was Bautista, and not Aguinaldo, who waved the Philippine flag before the jubilant crowd.

    He was born on Dec. 7, 1830, in Biñan, Laguna Province. He graduated from the Universidad de Santo Tomas with a Bachelor of Laws degree. He was known as “Don Bosyong” to peasants and laborers who availed themselves of his free legal services.

    When the Philippine-American War ended, Bautista was appointed as judge of the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan Province. He died of a fatal fall from a horse-drawn carriage on Dec. 4, 1903, at the age of 73.

    The June 12 proclamation was later modified by another proclamation done at Malolos, Bulacan, upon the insistence of Apolinario Mabini, chief adviser for General Aguinaldo, who objected to the original proclamation, which essentially placed the Philippines under the protection of the United States.

    Apolinario Mabini
    Apolinario Mabini (TOP), also known as the "Sublime Paralytic", was a lawyer, statesman, political philosopher, and teacher who served in the Aguinaldo cabinet as President of the Council of Secretaries (Prime Minister) and as Secretary of Foreign Affairs. He wrote most of Aguinaldo's decrees to the Filipino people. An important document he produced was the "Programa Constitucional de la Republica Filipina," a proposed constitution for the Philippine Republic. An introduction to the draft of this constitution was the "El Verdadero Decalogo" written to arouse the patriotic spirit of the Filipinos.

    Mabini was born on July 23, 1864 in Talaga, Tanauan, Batangas Province. He studied at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran where he received his Bachelor of Arts and at the Universidad de Santo Tomas where he received his law degree in 1894.

    Early in 1896, he contracted an illness that led to the paralysis of his lower limbs. He was a member of Jose Rizal's La Liga Filipina and worked secretly for the introduction of reforms in the administration of government.

    When the revolution broke out on Aug. 30, 1896, the Spanish authorities arrested him. His physical infirmity, however, made the Spaniards believe that they had made a mistake.

    The San Juan de Dios Hospital on Calle Real, Intramuros district, Manila. Photo taken between 1898 and 1902
    On July 5, 1897 Mabini was released from prison and sent to the San Juan de Dios Hospital.

    In June 1898, while vacationing in Los Baños, Laguna Province, Aguinaldo sent for him. He also headed the revolutionary congress and Aguinaldo's cabinet until he was replaced by Pedro Paterno on May 7, 1899.

    Marcella Agoncillo and family in Hong Kong. They rented a house at 535 Morrison Hill Road, which became the sanctuary and meeting place of the other Filipino revolutionary exiles.
    The Philippine flag was sewn in Hong Kong by Marcela Mariño Agoncillo; she was assisted by her 7-year-old daughter, Lorenza, and Delfina Rizal Herbosa Natividad. The generals of the eight provinces which revolted against Spain had replicas and copies made of the original flag.

    Marcela Mariño
    Marcela Mariño (TOP) was born in Taal, Batangas Province on June 24, 1860. Tall and stately, she was reputedly the prettiest woman in Batangas in her younger years. She finished her education in the Dominican convent of the Colegio de Santa Catalina in the walled district of Intramuros, Manila. She learned Spanish, music, the feminine crafts and social graces. She was also a noted singer and occasionally appeared in zarzuelas in Batangas. [zarzuelas are plays that alternate between spoken and sung scenes].

    She married Felipe Agoncillo, a Filipino lawyer who became the leading diplomat of the First Philippine Republic. They had five children, namely: Lorenza, Gregoria, Eugenia, Marcela, Adela and Maria.

    On May 30, 1946, Marcela Agoncillo passed away quietly at the age of 86.

    Professor Julian Felipe
    The Philippine National Anthem, then known as "Marcha Nacional Filipina", was played by the band of San Francisco de Malabon during the declaration of independence. It was composed by Professor Julian Felipe (TOP) but it had no lyrics yet. The composition had similarities with the Spanish "Himno Nacional Español." Felipe admitted that he purposely put into his composition some melodic reminiscences of the Spanish National Anthem "in order to preserve the memory of Spain."

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