Military operations in northern Luzon 1898-1901
Gilchrist, Malcolm Stanton
Vandiver, Frank E.
Master of Arts
America entered the Spanish-American War totally unprepared. The quick victories achieved by the United States Army and Navy merely covered up the real plight of American military posture. Only after the peace treaty that would conclude the war between the Madrid Cortes and the Washington government had been signed did the "Splendid little war" grow ugly. As the Spaniards departed the Philippines the American Army of Occupation stationed in Manila faced a determined nationalist movement. This thesis described in part America's first major military effort in a distant country -- the Philippines. Because Major General Otis and his immediate subordinates directed their initial efforts against Emilio Aguinaldo's Army in northern Luzon, attention is focused to that region of the archipelago. Shortly after Manila ifeil to the Americans, Aguinaldo shifted his capital from Kawit, Cavite, south of Manila to Malolos, Bulacan, north of the Pasig River. Antonio Luna, the insurgents' senior military commander until June,1899, personally commanded the Filipino army north of Manila. After the fall of Malolos and each subsequent insurgent capital, the insurgent hierarchy retreated further north. And northern Luzon was the first area declared free of organized resistance. An analysis of American tactics, equipment, training and personnel is an integral part of the discussion of the campaigns in northern Luzon. The army gradually gained experience, for each campaign was a testing ground. When the insurgents finally realized that the survival of their cause rested in the use of guerrilla tactics, the Eighth Corps had to adjust to the new type of warfare. What began as a war of generals, brigades and divisions rapidly deteriorated to a war of second lieutenants, platoons and companies. The Americans had to contend with an insurrection in a distant land.