|The U.S. Army's Pacification of Marinduque, Philippine Islands, April
|The Journal of Military History 61 (April 1997)
The U.S. Army's Pacification of Marinduque,
Philippine Islands, April 1900-April 1901
by Andrew J. Birtle
The severity with which the inhabitants have been dealt would not look well
if a complete history of it were written out. 1
So wrote Philippine Commissioner William Howard Taft concerning the U.S. Army's
campaign on the island of Marinduque during the Philippine War of 1899-1902. The
pacification of Marinduque was characterized by extensive devastation and marked one of
the earliest employments of population concentration in the Philippine War, techniques that
would eventually be used on a much larger scale in the two most famous campaigns of the
war, those of Brigadier Generals J. Franklin Bell in Batangas and Jacob H. Smith in Samar.
This article provides the first detailed account of the story that Taft, the future governor of
the Philippines and President of the United States, had felt was best left untold.
The Island and Its People
Marinduque is a nearly circular island situated about eleven miles from the main Island of
Luzon. Its 370 square miles make it the thirteenth largest Island in the Philippine
archipelago. Graced with palm fringed beaches, the island is a roughly hewn gem of
verdant mountains that culminate at the island's southern tip with Mt. Marlanga, a 3,876-foot-
high extinct volcano. The island has two major seasons—the dry season (November
through February) and the rainy season (June through October), with a transitional period
At the time of the Philippine War, Marinduque had approximately 50,000 inhabitants. The
population was Tagalog-speaking, and only a few islanders spoke Spanish. Agriculture was
the population's main pursuit, the island's most important product being hemp, which was of
high quality. Marinduque also exported rice, coconuts, and cattle. Political, social, and
economic power was concentrated in the hands of a relatively small class of large
landowners and wealthy merchants.
Administratively, Marinduque was organized into five towns—Boac (the island's capital),
Santa Cruz, Mogpog, Torrijos, and Gazan (or Gasan)—and ninety-six villages (barrios). A
coastal path connected the five towns. Communications across the island's interior were
more difficult due to the ruggedness of the terrain. The best cross-country route, from
Torrijos to Boac, was an exhausting forty-mile trek over narrow, winding trails.
Nevertheless, the small barrios nestled in the interior valleys played an important role in
Marinduque's economy, for it was there that much of the island's hemp and rice was
collected and stored before being sent down to the coast for export. 2
Martin Lardizabal, a fifty-five-year-old Boac resident, was the insurgent governor of
Marinduque. A wealthy individual, he exercised enormous influence over the island in
general, and Boac society in particular. Prior to the Army's arrival, Lardizabal wielded his
authority through normal governmental channels. After the occupation, the insurgent civil
structure went underground, secretly collecting taxes and providing supplies, information,
and recruits for the forces in the field. This network of agents and sympathizers maintained
insurgent control over the population and linked the people to the guerrillas. For the most
part the insurgents depended upon the population's voluntary cooperation, but at times they
resorted to threats, torture, and even murder to enforce their will. 3
Lardizabal's military counterpart was Lieutenant Colonel Maximo Abad, a mustachioed
school teacher from Luzon's Cavite province. Though not a bold commander, Abad
tenaciously adhered to the cause of Filipino independence. He had two forces at his
disposal. His primary tool was the Marinduque Battalion—250 full-time, uniformed "regulars"
who were fairly well armed. The battalion was subdivided into a headquarters staff and four
regionally based "Guerrillas:" 1st (Gazan), 2d (Boac), 3d (Santa Cruz), and 4th (Torrijos).
Each Guerrilla had several officers and about fifty-five enlisted men. Unless called together
for a special operation, the Guerrillas operated independently in their home regions, moving
between mountain base camps. The typical camp consisted of several
storehouses/barracks (cuartels) surrounded by entrenchments, with outposts and sentry
shacks posted along the routes of approach. Although reasonably well organized and
disciplined, the men of the Marinduque Battalion, like the rest of the Filipino army, were
Supplementing Abad's regulars was a corps of part-time militia. This corps, 1,000 to 2,000
strong, played the role of "amigos," ostensibly peaceful farmers who actively, though often
covertly, assisted the insurgent cause. Armed only with bolos (short machetes), their military
value was minimal. Their real service to Abad was in providing Intelligence, logistical
support, and replacements for the regulars.
The civil and military leadership of the resistance movement on Marinduque was firmly
rooted in the island's middle and upper classes. The insurrection was also in many ways a
family affair. Abad's brother-in-law, Captain Pausto Roque, commanded the 1st Guerrilla.
Both Fausto's father and uncle were important insurgent leaders in the civilian community,
while his cousin, Teofilio Roque, commanded the 2d Guerrilla. Martin Lardizabal also had
family ties with the insurrection. One nephew, Pedro Lardizabal, was a major on Abad's
staff, and another nephew was a Manila merchant who orchestrated the clandestine
transfer of supplies and information between that city and the island. Martin Lardizabal's
brother-in-law, Pedro Madrigal, was a lieutenant and adjutant of the Boac-based 2d
Guerrilla. Two other members of the Madrigal family served as officers, while the influential
Nepomucena and Nieva families each supplied a lieutenant to the cause. Thus American
military authorities faced not only a difficult physical environment, but an opponent that was
Intertwined with the island's socio-economic elite and capable of using the power and
prestige of that class to mobilize support for the insurrection. 4
Enter the Americans, April-September 1900 After the outbreak of the Philippine War in
February 1899, the U.S. Army concentrated its combat power around Manila and the
northern half of Luzon in an effort to crush Emilio Aguinaldo's main army. It was not until
early 1900 that the Army turned its attention to southern Luzon and the islands further
south. The officer in charge of Army operations in southern Luzon was Major General John
G. Bates. As Bates extended U.S. control into southern Luzon he became concerned that
the guerrillas might use neighboring islands like Marinduque as points of refuge and supply.
Moreover, Marinduque was an important source of cattle at a time when there was a
shortage of beef in Manila. These factors led him to secure the island.
On 25 April 1900, two navy gunboats and a transport hove to off Laylay, Boac's maritime
terminus. On board were Colonel Edward E. Hardin and a battalion of the 29th U.S.
Volunteer (USV) Infantry. Hardin landed two companies and proceeded to Boac, where the
few townsfolk who had not fled cautiously received him. After setting up quarters in Boac's
citadel-like church, Hardin sent his men on two reconnaissance marches, both of which
were performed without incident. With the island apparently tranquil, Hardin left one
company (A/29) and a Maxim-Nordenfelt machine gun at Boac and sailed off to occupy
several other islands. 5
With only eighty-eight inexperienced men and a machine gun that no one knew how to
operate, Company A was incapable of securing Marinduque, so a few days later Bates
reinforced the garrison with seventy-two men of Company D, 38th U.S. Volunteer Infantry
under the command of Major Charles H. Muir. A veteran of the Western frontier and the
Cuban campaign, Muir was a dynamic officer who was determined to meet and defeat the
insurgents. On 8 May he took sixty men from each company on a three-and-a-half day,
seventy-five mile hike around the circumference of the island. The enemy was nowhere to
be found—nor were the civilians, most of whom fled before the advancing column.
The Army's first contact with Abad's forces occurred more by accident than design. On 19
May, Muir and Captain John L. Jordan took fifty-seven men of D/38 on a exploratory march
into the mountains. Muir had intended to camp overnight in the bush, but the mosquitoes
were so bad that no one could sleep, and at midnight he broke camp and proceeded
towards Santa Cruz. The night march unintentionally foiled the insurgents' normally keen
warning system, so that the Americans entered Santa Cruz undetected at 7:00 A.M. Sunday
morning. There they found a throng of 1,000 people and several insurgent officers attending
early mass. The crowd stampeded at the sight of the Americans. Too weary to pursue their
quarry, the tired troops had just settled down to a much anticipated rest when they
observed several hundred insurgent soldiers deploying on top of a hill south of town. Muir
advanced under insurgent fire to a position about 1,500 yards away, at which point he
divided the column. Leaving a sergeant and twelve men to maintain a distracting fire, he led
the remainder of the command in a display of what Jordan termed "bush tactics or Indian
style." For several hours the men crawled undetected up the hill until they reached a thicket
300 yards from the enemy's left flank. From here, Muir unleashed a sudden volley followed
by a charge that swept the Filipinos from their trenches, scattering them in every direction.
Left behind were six dead and one prisoner. Muir had won the first battle for Marinduque
without sustaining a casualty.''
Muir followed up his victory with a four-day expedition into the interior, capturing thirty-six
prisoners and a portion of Abad's headquarters train. On the surface the resistance
appeared to be near an end. Abad's forces were scattered, and Martin Lardizabal,
seemingly stunned by Muir's martial prowess, surrendered. Though still cautious, the
citizens of Boac began returning to their homes, displaying an outward friendliness towards
the Americans. For his part, Muir fostered the feeling of comity. In accordance with Army
policy, he paid for all the garrison's needs and imposed strict discipline over his men. He
moved the garrison out of the church, thereby allowing religions services to resume. He also
arranged for concerts and dress balls, in which the officers mingled with Boac's finest
families. During these soirees, Boac's young ladies politely let their dancing partners know
that their hearts were with the cause of Filipino independence. True, the Americans were
gallant and courteous, but one could expect no less from a nation that claimed to be
civilized. Thus American good conduct, while making a good impression, proved Insufficient
to persuade the people to accept American sovereignty. From these encounters, Jordan,
who wrote warmly of the people of Boac in his letters home, recognized that the U.S. would
ultimately have to resort to sterner measures to bring the Filipinos to heel. Though proud of
his Southern heritage, Jordan longed to apply on Marinduque the same policies that the
federal government had imposed during the Civil War. Ultimately, he wrote, Filipinos "only
understand and respect the law of force. If we should go out here and carry on a war as
Sherman did in his march to the sea we would bring every one of them to submission
Jordan was not to get his wish—at least not immediately. In June, Bates recalled Muir,
Jordan, and the rest of the men of the 38th USVs to Luzon, replacing them with Company F,
29th USVs under the command of Captain Devereux Shields. Shields took up station in
Santa Cruz. Then, with the advent of the summer rains, the island descended into a state of
dormancy. Abad, who had assumed full political and military authority after Lardizabal's
resignation, refused to either fight or surrender. Nor did the Americans show much interest
in finding him. First Lieutenant William S. Wells, the commander at Boac, was thoroughly
content to spend the rainy season in the comfort of the town. Shields showed more
initiative, but his unit was tom by his constant quarrelling with his principal subordinate, First
Lieutenant M. H. Wilson. The situation was so bad that Colonel Hardin had decided to order
both men examined for fitness before the issue was overcome by events. 8
In fact, the American hold over Marinduque was quite tenuous. Not only were the two
companies of the 29th USVs poorly led, but with fewer than one hundred men at each
location neither garrison could adequately protect itself and undertake offensive operations
at the same time. Moreover, Bates did not deem the garrison important enough to rate
anything more than sporadic naval support. Without a ship to transport men and relay
messages, the two outposts could not readily support one another. Coordination was further
impeded by Manila's failure to appoint an overall commander for the island.
The precariousness of the American position became evident on 31 July, when Teofilio
Roque's Guerrilla ambushed one of Lieutenant Wells' rare forays into the countryside.
Roque's force wounded two Americans and captured two others before the patrol escaped.
That night the victorious guerrillas set fire to a portion of Boac in an effort to drive the
Americans out. In this they failed, though many of Boac's inhabitants fled, leaving the town
virtually deserted. The episode also succeeded in paralyzing Company A, which retired to
the church, venturing out only twice over the next two months. 9
While the Boac garrison cowered, Shields endeavored to maintain some semblance of
pressure on the guerrillas, making thirteen expeditions during July and August. None of
these operations went more than ten miles from Santa Cruz, which, like Boac, was down to
about twenty-five percent of its pre-occupation population. Protected by the people and the
island's difficult topography, Abad easily avoided Shields. In August, however, Shields made
some headway on the civil front, organizing the election of a pro-American mayor and
arresting twenty-five civilians on charges of aiding the guerrillas. 10
On 11 September, Shields decided to take advantage of a visit by the gunboat U.S.S.
Villalobos. Leaving Lieutenant Wilson and forty-one men to hold Santa Cruz, he loaded fifty-
one enlisted men, a hospital corps-man, and his black servant onto the gunboat and sailed
to Torrijos, disembarking that evening. The next day he had his first contact with insurgent
forces since his company had been on the island, dispersing a band of twenty guerrillas and
destroying their cuartel.
On the thirteenth, Shields led his detachment into the mountains with the intention of
returning to Santa Cruz. Well informed about Shields's movements, Abad had concentrated
nearly his entire force of approximately 250 riflemen and 2,000 bolomen along a steep ridge
overlooking the trail. Shields walked right into the ambush. A fire fight ensued for several
hours before Shields ordered a retreat into a covered ravine. What began as a slow
withdrawal quickly turned into a race down a rocky stream bed, as the Americans scrambled
to escape the pincers that were moving to surround them. After retreating for about three
and a half miles, the beleaguered detachment entered a rice field near the barrio of
Massiquisie. Here renewed enemy fire forced the Americans to take cover behind some
paddy dikes. Shields fell seriously wounded.
After ordering that a message be passed to the senior NCO, Sergeant James A. Gwynne, to
lead the command out of the closing trap, Shields raised a white flag to surrender himself
and the other wounded. The insurgents thought the flag meant that the command was
surrendering. So too did Gwynne, who later claimed never to have received the escape
order, and thus the entire force lay down its arms. All told, the Insurgents killed four
Americans and captured fifty, six of whom, including Shields, were wounded. Shields later
claimed that the Filipinos lost thirty dead, though this number was never confirmed. After
months of hiding, Abad in a few short hours had destroyed nearly a third of the entire
American garrison on Marinduque. 11
News of Shields's surrender reached Lieutenant Wilson the following day. As word of the
battle spread, the mood of the townspeople of Santa Cruz turned ugly. Faced with the
possibility of assault from without and insurrection within, Wilson moved his men and most
of the company's supplies into Santa Cruz's church and convent. This task was almost
completed when, on the evening of 15 September, guerrilla infiltrators set fire to part of the
town, destroying many houses as well as the garrison's former storehouses and their
remaining contents. During the confusion, the guerrillas also assassinated the town's
mayor, Pedro Celistino, and wounded his son. By the following morning, Santa Cruz was
deserted and besieged. Without a government vessel, Wilson was forced to rely on
"friendly" Filipinos to carry his call for help to the outside world. None of these messengers
arrived at their destinations, and it was not until 20 September, a week after Shields's
defeat, that word of the disaster reached Manila via Lieutenant Wells at Boac, who had
heard rumors of the battle from the inhabitants. 12
Lacking official confirmation of the battle, Bates waited several days before ordering
Colonel George S. Anderson, an energetic ex-cavalryman with extensive experience in
Indian warfare, to take 152 men from the 38th USVs (including Captain Jordan and his
Marinduque veterans) to Santa Cruz. Bates instructed Anderson to investigate the situation
and, if necessary, rescue Shields, Anderson arrived on 26 September, finding Wilson's
beleaguered garrison apprehensive but intact, as Abad had been content to surround rather
than assault the church-convent. After shoring up the garrison, he sailed to Torrijos to
search for Shields's party. For several days Anderson crisscrossed the island, capturing
twenty-six bolomen but failing to locate the elusive Abad and his prisoners. Passing one
deserted barrio after another, he became convinced that Marinduque's entire population
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 Bryant, 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
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 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
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.
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 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
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 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 Contreras, another ex-insurgent, Saturnino Trinidad, Boac's energetic padre who
preached peace despite repeated threats of assassination, and Calixto 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 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
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
The Smith Campaign, February-April 1901
On 6 February 1901, Corliss turned command of Marinduque over to Major Frederick A.
Smith. A veteran of several Indian campaigns and the 1898 war, Smith had participated in
Hare's expedition and was therefore familiar with the island. He was determined to capitalize
on Corliss's success and essentially adopted his predecessor's strategy, with two
modifications. First, he halted the destruction of cattle and hemp, the island's two most
valuable commodities. Why he did so is not known. He may have acted in response to
concerns raised in Manila over the loss of such items, or his decision may have been a
concession to the wealthy Filipinos who had shifted their allegiance to the U.S. In either
case, it was a wise decision, as the embargo was already limiting the ability of the
resistance movement to utilize these resources, and there was nothing to be gained by
totally destroying the island's wealth. 31
Smith's second alteration to Corliss's program was the introduction of population
concentration. Concentration was not a novel idea. Spain had used it during the Cuban
insurrection, but it had gained such a distasteful reputation from that war that the U.S. Army
had heretofore refrained from resorting to it in the Philippines. By early 1901, however, it
was one tool that advocates of "hard war" measures suggested be adopted. In fact, at about
the same time Smith imposed concentration on Marinduque, a few commanders were
experimenting with it elsewhere in the Philippines. But Smith's use of concentration for a
population of 50,000 was by far the most significant up to that time.
The concentration concept was simple and, as some officers pointed out, similar to that of
Indian reservations during the North American Indian wars. Such schemes helped identify
friend and foe by separating the "loyal" and peaceful Inhabitants from the "disloyal."
Through concentration, Smith would sever the link between the population and the
guerrillas, thereby denying the insurgents access to recruits, intelligence, and supplies.
Without these, the guerrillas would be extremely vulnerable to Army columns which,
unfettered by the restraint of operating among a civilian population, could pursue the
guerrillas by all
On 7 February 1901, the day after he assumed command, Smith initiated concentration on
Marinduque. He ordered all citizens to move to the American-occupied towns of Boac,
Santa Cruz, Mogpog, Gazan, Torrijos, or Buenavista.
Once inside the zones, no one was to be allowed out without a pass. Unarmed Filipino
guards enforced the order. All who failed to come in or who provided the guerrillas with
information, contributions, or supplies were to be treated as enemies. On the other hand,
Smith directed his subordinates to do everything possible to "gain the confidence of the
people" by treating them "in a very judicious and careful manner." The 2d Infantry band
would entertain them, while officers distributed captured rice to the growing number of
indigent refugees. Nevertheless, the thrust of the measure was to control, and not to uplift,
the civilian population. 32
Over the next few weeks the island's inhabitants came down from the hills and into the
coastal concentration sites in increasing numbers. By the end of the month, for example,
12,000 people were in Santa Cruz and more than 7,000 each were at Mogpog and Gazan.
Thousands of ordinary people either took the oath of allegiance or enrolled in the Federal
Party, both of which were seen as tickets to American protection. In an effort to capitalize on
the population's war weariness, Smith arranged for the leading citizens of Boac to sign a
declaration stating that the insurrection was ruining the island and urging the guerrillas to
In the meantime, military operations continued. In eighteen "hikes" during the month of
February, the 600 men of the 1st and 2d Infantries drove the population toward the
concentration camps and kept the guerrillas on the move, destroying their means of
subsistence in the process. To achieve greater coverage, Smith encouraged his
subordinates to employ somewhat smaller patrols than in the past, move off the trails
whenever possible, and establish temporary base camps in the mountains from which to
investigate remote areas. These methods, together with the extensive use of night
movements, seemed to pay off, with the Americans initiating eight out of the ten contacts
that produced casualties during the month.
The triple press of concentration, devastation, and harassment led Abad on 25 February to
request a truce to negotiate surrender terms. He expressed particular concern over the
possibility of being sent to Manila. Smith, however, insisted on unconditional surrender in
accordance with the Army's general policy at the time. Abad therefore stayed out, but two
days later Lieutenant Antero Madrigal and eleven haggard soldiers surrendered at Boac.
Smith made a point of releasing them after they took
the oath of allegiance, hoping thereby to undo some of the apprehension created by the
January deportations. 34
Having dangled this carrot, Smith promptly wielded the stick once more. On 5 March he
called for the initiation of the most severe and active measures ... to render the sections of
the Island frequented by the insurreotos untenable in every possible way. Food, shelter and
everything which can be used by them, for their maintenance or comfort will be destroyed
and a most vigorous campaign made against them from all points where troops are
Three days later, he Issued guidelines for what was meant to be the final push of the
campaign. He urged his subordinates to employ stratagems "to outwit and surprise" the
guerrillas, and suggested they make maximum use of concealment, forsaking trails in favor
of cross-country movement along ridges and stream beds. By keeping as many men in the
field as possible, he sought to keep the insurgents on the move and apprehensive about
their safety, especially since the concentration program interfered with their warning and
intelligence system. 36
While the doughboys proceeded with their work, news of the Corliss-Smith campaign
reached Washington in the form of a letter written by William H. Taft to the Secretary of War
on 24 February 1901. This letter, which is quoted at the start of the article, seems not to
have aroused any particular interest in Washington, but on 19 March, Army Adjutant
General Henry C. Corbin saw a press dispatch about Smith's concentration policy and
immediately wired MacArthur to verify the story. MacArthur defended Smith, stating that
concentration was "exclusively a military measure carried out without objectionable or
offensive features." 37 This seems to have satisfied Corbin, and Washington made no
In the meantime, on 15 March Taft himself visited Marinduque together with the rest of the
Philippine Commission which was touring the islands to establish civilian provincial
governments. The Commission met with the island's leading citizens to determine whether
Marinduque, which before the war had been subordinated to the province of Mindoro,
should be elevated to the status of a province. The Filipinos strongly supported the idea,
and the Commission promised to institute a civilian provincial government in May when it
planned to return to the island, but only if Marinduque was peaceful. Interestingly, Taft filed
no more reports criticizing the Army's tactics on Marinduque. Instead, he used the Army's
rule as a club, pointing out to the Filipinos that they could expect the severity to continue
until such time as tran-quility had been restored. 38
The Commission's prospective return set a target date for Filipinos and Americans alike.
Smith redoubled his efforts, launching forty-nine hikes during March, more than double the
number carried out in any previous month. He pushed his men so hard that many
operations were hindered by sickness and exhaustion. Abad also came under increased
pressure from the island's elite, especially after it became known that General Mariano
Trias, Abad's superior officer in southern Luzon, had surrendered to American forces on 15
March. Eight days later American forces captured the leader of the Philippine Republic,
Emilio Aguinaldo. These two events, coupled with MacArthur's aggressive action throughout
the archipelago over the previous few months, pushed the entire insurgent movement to the
brink of extinction. Trias dispatched emissaries to his subordinates to encourage them to lay
down their arms, and on 26 March two such messengers arrived at Marinduque. What they
said to Abad has not been recorded, but they likely echoed Trias's view that the military
situation was hopeless and that continued resistance would mean severe social disruption,
hardship, and the ultimate destruction of the propertied classes. The populace was tired of
the war, and given the harsh implications of continued resistance, Trias believed that
acquiescence to American rule offered the best chance to make genuine progress toward
modernization. He therefore counseled an end to resistance.39
Apparently Abad proved hard to convince, for he made no move to surrender. By 6 April,
Smith was losing his patience, and warned Trias's agents that if Abad did not surrender
soon, he would be forced to "take the most stringent and severe measures . . . which
unfortunately may affect many innocent people and sacrifice lives and property." Four more
days passed before Abad submitted his conditions for surrender. Abad requested that he
and his men receive the full honors of war, that they be immediately set free, without
deportation or further punishment except for those against whom specific crimes could be
proven, and that they receive the customary payment of $30 for each rifle turned in. He also
demanded that the Army immediately release the Filipino leaders whom Corliss had shipped
to Manila. Smith refused all these terms, insisting upon unconditional surrender. Abad, who
was in no position to bargain, reluctantly agreed. On 15 April, Abad, Fausto Roque, eight
other officers, eleven insurgent agents, and seventy men of the 1st and 2d Guerrillas
entered Boac's central plaza and laid down their arms in an impressive ceremony witnessed
by the citizenry. Though Smith had refused to negotiate, he acceded to most of Abad's
demands. After Boac's padre administered the oath of allegiance, Smith released Abad and
his men and eventually arranged to pay them a bounty for the fifty-one firearms they had
brought in. Such leniency may seem incongruous given Smith's stern campaign, yet
generosity was undoubtedly the wisest course and reflected the U.S.'s overall policy of
endeavoring to bind the wounds of war as quickly as possible. 40
Over the next two weeks Smith and Abad traveled the island together accepting the
surrender of the 3d and 4th Guerrillas. Stragglers continued to come in over the next three
months, but for all intents and purposes, the battle for Marinduque had ended when Abad
surrendered. On 29 April 1901, Smith officially proclaimed the insurrection on Marinduque
over. He revoked his concentration order, directing all "to return to their homes, to resume
their peaceful avocations, and by earnest work endeavor to recover from the effects of war."
He further expressed the hope "that the misfortunes and desolations of war be soon
forgotten under the new conditions of peace." The pent-up inhabitants streamed out of the
overcrowded camps in a race to rebuild their homes and plant a new crop before the onset
of the rainy season. How quickly they would forget and forgive was unanswerable, but the
populace of Marinduque would never again take up arms against the United States. 41
Marinduque in the Last Year of the Philippine War, May 1901--July 1902
Two days after Smith declared the campaign on Marinduque over, the Philippine
Commissioners returned to Boac. Pleased with the new state of affairs, they elevated
Marinduque to a province and established a civilian government, thereby terminating
military rule over the island. After choosing Ricardo Paras as governor, the commissioners
sailed away, leaving the island to get on with the work of reconstruction.
Major Smith and the six companies of the 1st and 2nd Infantries that had pacified
Marinduque were not far behind. In June, Manila transferred them to more active theaters of
the war, replacing them with a battalion from the 30th U.S. Infantry under the command of
Major W. W. Wotherspoon.
Wotherspoon was convinced that dark forces were at work beneath the island's outwardly
calm veneer. He suspected that "the very marked quiet at present prevailing on this island
may be due to the enemy desiring to use It as a base from which to draw funds and
supplies, as well as a place of refuge when hard pressed on the other islands." He also
clashed frequently with Governor Paras over matters of jurisdiction and troop conduct.
Although drunkenness and misbehavior do appear to have been serious problems in the
30th, Wotherspoon believed the allegations of misconduct represented an attempt by
unreconstructed Filipinos to use the powers of the civil government to persecute their
conquerors and impede military operations. In fact, an Army intelligence document of the
period concluded that Paras was "without doubt in sympathy with the insurgent cause," a
suspicion deepened by Paras's close friendship with Abad, whom he appointed to the post
of court clerk. 42
Tensions escalated In September, when civil authorities established a unit of the para-
military national police force, the Philippine Constabulary, on Marinduque. Marinduque's top
Constabulary officer, Thomas Embry, sided with Paras against the Army over charges of
military drunkenness and misconduct. In October, Wotherspoon briefly disarmed the
Constabulary in response to rumors that they planned to murder their American officers and
revolt. Marinduque's newly established civil court, however, acquitted the plot's alleged
Tensions eased somewhat in December when Benjamin L. Smith took command of the
Constabulary on Marinduque. Smith and Wotherspoon worked well together, especially in
searching for arms that Wotherspoon suspected the guerrillas had hidden before their
surrender. Wotherspoon believed the guerrillas might have had up to 300 weapons,
including the arms taken from Shields's party, yet by mid-1901 the Army had recovered only
186 rifles and 12 revolvers. Abad vehemently denied that he had hidden any arms, and
though Paras pledged his utmost cooperation in uncovering the missing weapons, neither
he nor any of Marinduque's other civil officials did anything to help. Undaunted,
Wotherspoon and Smith stepped up their efforts, and in early 1902 their persistence was
rewarded. In January, they discovered arms and ammunition secreted In caves, a hollow
tree, and several homes. Altogether, American security forces found over fifty rifles and
seven brass cannon. 44 The Constabulary played a leading role in this last campaign on
Marinduque, though its methods were at times questionable. In one instance, Constabulary
soldiers tortured the justice of the peace of Torrijos by forcing him to drink large quantities
of sea water in order to gain information about hidden arms. The discoveries resulted in a
large number of arrests. By the time Wotherspoon and Smith were done, four former
insurgent officers—Maximo Abad, Pedro Lardizabal, Fausto Roque, and Pedro Torres—
three ex-insurgent soldiers, the mayor of Torrijos, and a number of lesser civil officials had
been tried, convicted of sedition, and sentenced to prison terms of from one to ten years.
Another former insurgent officer was convicted of murder, while a sixth fled to Hong Kong.
Governor Paras resigned under a cloud of suspicion, and shortly thereafter American
authorities stripped Marinduque of its autonomy, placing it under Tayabas Province. With
much of the insurgent leadership incarcerated and most of the hidden weapons found, the
Army withdrew the 30th Infantry from Marinduque in June 1902, leaving only the
Constabulary to maintain order. The following month President Theodore Roosevelt
declared the Philippine War to be officially over. Peace, at long last, had come to
The Price of Pacification
Although the Army garrisoned Marinduque for twenty-six months, active operations had
lasted only twelve months, with truly concentrated campaigning occurring in only six of
those (October 1900-March 1901). Operationally, the Army's performance was mixed. The
29th USVs were totally ineffective, due largely to lackluster leadership. On the other hand
Corliss and Smith enjoyed several advantages over the initial garrison, most notably a
centralized command, a core of experienced officers, greater numbers, and dedicated naval
support. Both men maximized these advantages to wage an aggressive campaign that
harassed the guerrillas, disrupted their control over the island's inhabitants and resources,
and imposed a heavy price on the insurrection's supporters.
Altogether, the Army conducted 142 operations between April 1900 and April 1901, during
which the two sides exchanged fire on only 16 occasions. The Army initiated nine of these
actions and the Filipinos seven, a respectable ratio for any counter-guerrilla force. Perhaps
the most revealing statistic is that 88 percent of all engagements initiated by the Americans
occurred as the direct result of a night movement. Clearly, night operations were the Army's
most effective answer to the guerrillas' superior intelligence and warning system.
Because battle was rare and the insurgents were fairly passive, victory came relatively
cheaply for the Army on Marinduque. U.S. losses amounted to eight dead, nineteen
wounded, and forty-five captured, with the Army regaining all of the prisoners in short order.
Shields's defeat accounted for half the dead, a third of the wounded, and all but two of the
prisoners. Filipino loses are harder to calculate. The Army verified the deaths of forty-eight
Filipinos and the wounding of sixteen. It estimated that it killed another fifty-three and
wounded forty-six, but there is no way to gauge the accuracy of these numbers. The Army
took nearly 1,800 Filipino men as prisoners, although most of these individuals quickly
regained their freedom. While Abad's losses were much heavier than his opponent's, they
were not critical. The fact that a total of 235 "regulars" surrendered to U.S. authorities in
1901 indicates that Abad was able to make up his loses by recruiting replacements from the
militia. Of the known Filipino dead, twenty (41 percent) were unarmed males who ran at the
approach of Army troops.
Of course the losses suffered by the people of Marinduque far exceeded the number of
individuals struck by American bullets. It is difficult to measure the full effects of the Army's
incineration campaign. Commanders doubtlessly did not record all their activities, and many
of the numbers given in reports must have been estimated. Moreover, Army reports typically
contain unquantifiable phrases like "many houses and considerable rice destroyed." Still,
based upon a thorough examination of the records, the statistics in Table I on the Army's
activities are available. These numbers reflect property reported destroyed by the Army and
do not include unquantified reports. They therefore should be regarded as the minimum
amount of damage done by the Army.
According to Smith, the Army destroyed almost all of the houses outside the six
concentration zones. Livestock losses were also significant. In the space of just two months,
Corliss's men killed approximately 3 percent of Marinduque's cattle, 4 percent of its carabao,
and 17 percent
of its ponies before suspending the slaughter campaign. Even more telling is the fact that by
mid-1901 Marinduque, which had been a rice exporter prior to the war, had become a rice
importer. The only thing that saved the people from famine was an influx of capital
generated from the sale of the island's high quality hemp after the Army reopened the ports
in May 1901. This money allowed the impoverished islanders to procure rice.
Unfortunately, war was not the only calamity the people faced. Two typhoons in October
1900 destroyed the island's coconut crop, while a scorching sun and a swarm of locusts
damaged much of 1901's rice crop. By 1902 an outbreak of rinderpest had killed many of
the island's remaining cattle and carabao. Finally, between 1901 and 1903 several
thousand people died in successive outbreaks of typhoid, cholera, and malaria. Although
the Army cannot be blamed for the ravages of nature, the stress and dislocation of the war
must have heightened the island's vulnerability to these calamities. The fact that by 1902
the amount of land cultivated on Marinduque had declined by 46.3 percent from prewar
levels is particularly significant. Only three other provinces in the Philippines experienced an
equal or greater decline—Benguet, Batangas, and Capiz. Since the Army waged
destruction campaigns in both Batangas and Capiz, it would appear that such techniques
were largely responsible for the decline of agriculture in those provinces. 47
Marinduque and the Philippine War
It is important to note that Shields's defeat was not the cause of the Army's imposition of
"Shermanesque" policies on Marinduque. True, this event focused MacArthur's wrath on the
island and generated the failed incarceration campaign. Yet Abad's fair treatment and quick
release of his prisoners took much of the sting out of the defeat. Moreover, officers like
Captain Jordan had been calling for the adoption of harsh measures even before the
Shields affair. Rather, the program initiated by Corliss and expanded upon by Smith
represented a calculated attempt to come to grips with an elusive, shadowy foe that had
nothing to do with a thirst for revenge. In the process, Corliss and Smith followed Captain
Wright's recommendation to turn Marinduque into a laboratory in which "to experiment with
the numerous schemes suggested for the pacification of these islands."
Devastation had proven a powerful tool, but one that had to be managed discreetly lest it
spiral out of control. When linked with concentration and other measures designed to
secure and regulate die inhabitants, it produced quick results against a war-weary
population. Marinduque represented the most ambitious of the Army's early ventures into
concentration, and the fact that Smith succeeded in suppressing all overt resistance within
two months of its imposition must have made others take notice.
Of course, by mid-1901 many areas had already been pacified, but the remaining holdouts,
most notably the provinces of Batangas and Samar, underwent concentration/devastation
campaigns on a massive scale. The success of these operations ensured that the
technique would be incorporated into the Army's pacification repertoire. Even Taft seems to
have been impressed by concentration. In 1903, as governor of the Philippines, he signed
into law a provision permitting the use of concentration, and during the four years that
followed, American authorities imposed concentration in nearly a dozen provinces to help
suppress postwar upheavals. Two of these campaigns—those waged in Albay Province in
1903 and Samar in 1907-8—were run by Marinduque veterans Harry H. Bandholtz and
Frederick A. Smith respectively. The success of the Army's "experiment" on Maiinduque
thus had an immediate effect on U.S. pacification operations over the nest decade. 48
Nor was this influence short-lived. As a result of the Philippine experience, the General
Service and Staff College expanded its course on military government to include "guerrilla
warfare" and "concentration," while two influential postwar textbooks written by Army
generals William E. Birkhimer and George B. Davis, endorsed concentration and the "laying
waste [of] a portion of the territory of the enemy." As time passed and memories faded, the
Army began to forget the role that concentration and devastation had played in the
Philippine War. Nevertheless, as late as 1926, curricular materials used at the Infantry
School listed concentration as a viable method of population control, albeit one that needed
to be carefully managed. Thus concentration remained a part of the Army's
counterinsurgency repertoire up to the eve of World War II, when preparations for the global
conflagration to come pushed the study of "Small Wars" to the outermost periphery of Army
The Marinduque campaign also sheds light on the nature of the Philippine War. "It is
evident," wrote Secretary of War Elihu Root about the war as a whole, "that the insurrection
has been brought to an end both by making a war distressing and hopeless on the one
hand and by making peace attractive."50 The campaign on Marinduque illustrates the
Army's dual approach to pacification. As long as the guerrillas remained viable and the
population was not unduly discomforted by the war, the policy of attraction proved
unpersuasive. Once the Army began to make the people feel the hard hand of war,
however, they grasped at the hand of friendship. In fact, coercion dominated the pacification
equation, for during the period of active hostilities the Army did very little in the way of
"attraction" other than trying to restore civil governments and maintain a favorable
relationship between the soldiery and the population. It neither reopened Marinduque's
schools nor undertook any public works projects until after Abad had laid down his arms.
Thus the Army pacified Marinduque not by winning the allegiance of the people, but by
imposing coercive measures to control their behavior and separate them from the
insurgents in the field.
The Marinduque campaign indicates that one must approach with caution interpretations of
the Philippine War that overemphasize the importance of the "policy of attraction."
Ultimately, military and security measures proved to be the sine qua non of Philippine
pacification. Unfortunately, the reluctance of Taft and others to openly discuss the
Philippine experience tended to obscure the degree to which coercion was responsible for
America's victory. This reticence in turn helped give rise later in the century to strategic
theories that unduly emphasized the importance of the political/nation-building aspects of
counterinsurgency at the expense of more practical military measures. As Philippine veteran
Robert Bullard wrote, pacification requires "a judicious mixture of force and persuasion, of
severity and moderation."51 Only by realizing the uneasy, yet symbiotic, relationship
between attraction and compulsion can one shape a viable counter-insurgency program.
1. Philip Jessup, Elihu Root, vol. 1 (New York: Dodd, Mead, & Co., 1938), 341.
2. War Department, Bureau of Insular Affairs, A Pronouncing Gazetteer and Geographical Dictionary of the Philippine Islands
(Washington; War Department, 1902), 643-47; Bureau of (he Census, Census of the Philippine Islands, 4 vols. (Washington: Census
Bureau, 1905), 4: 184, 190-92 (henceforth cited as Census).
3. Lacey to HQ 4th District, Department of Southern Luzon (hereafter as 4D, DSL), January 1901, and "Notes on guerrilla crimes," n.d.,
both in Reoord Group (RG) 395, Entry (E) 3772, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington, D.C.; ''Case of
Nemesio Mabango, Pilot," 12 February 1902, RG 395, E
4. "Information Concerning Insurrectos," attached to Benjamin to Wagner, Adjutant General (AG), DSL, 25 December 1900, RG 395, E
5. War Department, Annual Reports of the War Department for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 1900, vol. 1, pt. 4 (Washington: GPO,
1901), 446 (hereafter as WDAR, followed by the appropriate fiscal year).
6. WDAR, 1900, l(pt. 3): 33; Jordan to mother, 25 May 1900, John L. Jordan Papers, Spanish American War Survey (SPAW S), 38th
Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army Military History Institute (MHI), Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.
7. Jordan to mother, 18 May (quote), 25 May, and 20 June 1900, SPAWS, 38th Infantry.
8. Hardin to AG, Division of the Philippines, 19 September 1900, RG 395, DSL, E2330.
9. Report of Action near Boac, Marinduque, P.I., on July 31st, 1900, RG 395, E 2458.
10. Reports of Operations of the Garrison of Santa Cruz, Marinduque, for July and August, 1900, RO 395, E 2458.
11. WDAR, 1901, l(pt. 5): 455-61.
12. Wilson to AG, DSL, telegrams, 15, I8, and 18 September 1900, RG 395, B 2458; Wilson to Commanding Officer, 4D, DSL, 26
September 1900, RG 395, E 2458.
13. Anderson to HQ DSL, 19 October 1900, RG 395, E 2330; Jordan to mother, 30 September & 6 October 1900, SPAWS, 38th Infantry.
14. HQ, DSL to Hare, 3 October 1900 (1st quote); HQ, DSL to Hare, 4 October 1900 (2d quote); HQ DSL tci Hare, 17 October 1900, all
in RG 395, E 2458.
15. Hare to HQ DSL, 18 October 1900, RG 395, E 5175.
16. Polo Island was also known as, Santa Cruz Island Census 2:312, 366; Hare to Anderson and Harbach, 8 October 1900; Hare to
HQ DSL, 18 October 1900, both in RG 395, E 5175.
17. Ralph L. Bitting to mother, n.d., (quote), SPAWS, 1st Infantry; "A Story About a Soldier," Arthur L. Koch Papers, 27-28, MHI.
18. Wright to HQ DSL, 7 November 1900; Lt Hugh Williams to HQ. DSL, 10 November 1900, both in RG 395, E 2330; Bitting to mother,
n.d., (quote), SPAWS, 1st Infantry.
19. Jordan to mother, 19 October (quote) and 29 October 1900, SPAWS, 38th Infantry; Wright to Bates, 10 December 1900, RG 395, E
20. HQ DSL to Corliss, 21 November 1900 (quote); HQ DSL to Hare, 21 November 1900, telegram, both in RG 395, E 2458; Report of
Operations of the Garrison of Boac for November 1900, RG 395, E 3180.
21. General Orders No. 1, HQ Island of Marinduque, 8 December 1900, RG 395, E 2460.
22. General Orders No. 1, 8 December 1900, RG 395, E 2460; Jordan to mother, 29 October 1900 (quote), SPAWS, 38th Infantry; John
Gates, Schoolboys and Krags: The United States Army in the Philippines, 1898-1902 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1973), 187-
23. HQ DSL to HQ 4D, DSL, 17 October and 22 December 1900; Wright to Bates, 10 December 1900 (2d quote), all of the above in RG
395, F. 245S; HQ DSL to C/O, Boac, 24 December 1900, RG 395, E 3178; Gates, Schoolbooks and Krags, 187-200, 206-7 (1st quote).
24. Corliss to HQ DSL, 31 December 1900, RG 395, E 3178; "Charges and Specifications Preferred Against Martin Lardizubal." ,31
December 1900., RC, .195, E .3180.
25. "Hike Book of Sgt Maj Irving Heaslip," 27, Irving Heaslip folder, SPAWS, 2d Infantry (hereafter cited as "Hike Book").
26. "Hike Book," 36-37, 41, 42, 50-51; Jordan to Adjutant, Boac, 11 January 1901, RG 395, E 5170.
27. Most property destroyed by the Army on Marinduque was civilian. Phrases in reports, like "no sign of Insurgent fortifications or
storehouses “Killed 13 head of cattle, 9 carabao, and 15 ponies and destroyed and burned 800 pounds of palay and 9 houses," and
"burned 63 houses, one of which was Insurrectos" indicate the comprehensiveness of Corliss's orders. "Hike Book," 29, 35, 40.
28. The Katipunan society was a secret organization dedicated to Philippine independence. "Information Concerning Insurrectos,"
attachment to Benham to HQ DSL, 25 December 1900, RG 395, E 2330; Corliss to AG, DSL, 26 January 1901, RG 395 E 3178.
29. "List of Natives who have taken the Oath of Allegiance to the United States, at Boac, Island of Marinduque, P.I., or those whose;
oaths have been on file at Boac," RG 395, E 3180.
30. Lacey to HQ Marinduque, 23 January 1901, with endorsement, 30 January 1901; HQ Marinduque to Commanding Officer, Gasan,
25 and 27 January 1901, all in RG 395, E 2460; Jordan to HQ 4D, DSL, 16 January 1901, RG 395, E 5170; Report of Operations of the
Garrison of Santa Cruz for January 1901, RG 395, E 2458; Jordan to HQ. Marinduque, 30 January 1901, RG 395, E 3178.
31. Bates to Hare, 8 December 1900, RG 395, E 2458; HQ DSL to Corliss, 24 December 1900, RG 395, E 3178; WDAR, 1901, l(pt. 5):
32."Hike Book," 68; G.O. No. 10, HQ. Marladuque, 7 February 1901; HQ. Marinduque to Commanding Officer, Qasan, 8 and 9 February
1901, both in RG 395, E 3772; HQ Marinduque to Commanding Officer, Santa Cruz, 9 February 1901 (quote), RG 395, E 5172.
33. Fremont to HQ Marinduque, 27 February 1901; Cullison to HQ Marinduque, February 1901, both in RG 395, E 317S; HQ
Marinduque to Commanding Officer, Santa Cruz, 10 February 1901, RG 395, E 5172.
34. Smith to HQ DSL, 27 February 1901; Fremont to Smith, 25 February 1901; Smith to Fremont, 26 February 1901; Fremont to Smith,
26 February 1901, all in RG 395, E 3178.
35. "Hike Book," 75.
36. General Orders No. 14, HQ Marinduque, 8 March 1901, RG 395, E 3180.
37. U.S. Senate, Philippine Committee, Hearings Before the Committee on the Philippines, Sen. Doc. No. 331, 57th Cong., 1st
session., 1902, 2443.
38. WDAR, 1901, l(pt. 9): 61- 65.
39. Glenn May, Battle for Batangas (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1991), 183; Philippine Insurgent Records, Reel 52, SD
40. Smith to HQ 4D, DSL, 6 April 1901, with attachment, Smith to Castaneda and Camantigue, 6 April 1901 (quote); Smith to HQ DSL,
16 April 1901, both in RG 395, 2458.
41. Smith to HQ 4D DSL, 27 April 1901, telegram; Smith to HQDSL, 3 May 1901, both in RG 395, E 2458; General Orders No. 15, HQ
Marinduque, 29 April 1901 (quote), RG 395, E 5172; HQ 4D DSL to HQ DSL, 2 August 1901, RG 395, E 2457.
42. Dempsey to HQ DSL, 13 Jol 1901, RO 39S, E 2457; "Descriptive Card of Inhabitants, Ricardo Paras," (intelligence quote) RG 395,
E 2460; Wotherspoon to Smith, 10 December 1901 (Wotherspoon quote) RG 395, E 3180.
43. WDAR, 1901, l(pt. 9): 188-92; Dempsey to Paras, 29 August 1901; Gait to Wotherspoon, 27 November 1901; Wotherspoon to Gait,
28 November 1901, all in RG 395, E 3180; HQ 30th lnf, copy of letter, Embry to lift, 4 November 1901, RG 395, E 3772; HQ30th Infantry
to Commanding Officer, Santa Cruz, 19 October 1901, and Commanding Officer Santa Cruz to AG, 31 May 1902, both in RG 395, E
44. Wotherspoon to Gait, 28 November 1901; Wotherspoon to Smith, 10 Decem ber 1901, both in RG 395, E 3180; Wotherspoon to
Commanding Officer, Gasan, 11 December 1901, RG 395, E 3772; WDAR, 1902, l(pt. 9): 155.
45. "Notes for Gaplain Stogsdall," 25 January 1902; Smith to HQ Philippine Constabulary, 5 March 1902; Report of Operations of the
Garrison of Boac for January 1902, all in RG 395, E. 3178; Bandholtz to HQ4D, DSL, 14 July 1901, RG 395, E 2458; Wotherspoon to
Smith, 27 January & 22 April 1902; Smith to Wotherspoon, 7,17, and 19 February 1902 and 11 March 1902; Smith to HQ Philippine
Constabulary, 18 March 1902; Wotherspoon to Linebarger, 11 March 1902; Smith to Trant, 17 March 1902, all of the above in RG 395 E
3180; WDAR, 1902, l (pt, 9): 268; WDAR, 1902, l (pt, 10): 203; Commanding Officer Gazan to HQ30th Infantry, 19 January 1902, RG
395, E 3769.
46. Data compiled from WDARs, RG 395, and the "Hike Book."
47. The amount of land in production throughout the Philippines as a whole declined by 18.7 percent during the war, far less than that
experienced by Marinduque. Census, 3: 83,139,494; and 4:199-200,384-94; Senate Document No. 331, 1485-93, 2444; WDAR, 1901, l
(pt. 9): 385; WDAR, 1902, l(pt. 9): 272; WDAR, 1903, l(pt. 6): 123.
48. James Blount, The American Occupation of the Philippines, 1899-1912 (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1912), 417.
49. WDAR, 1903,1: 104; Annual Report of the Genenal Service and Staff College, 1903-4, 132; Annual Report qf the Army Service
Schools, 1909, 67; William Birkhimer, Military Government and Martial Law (Kansas City, Mo.: Franklin Hudson, 1904), 124; George
Davis, The Elements of International Law (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1903), 304 ("laying waste" quote); Infantry School, "Minor
Warfare," 50. Instructional Material, 1923-24, vol. 1, Special Operations; Infantry School, "Small Wars and Punitive Expeditions,"
Instructional Matter, 1925-26, vol. 2, Tactics.
50. W. Cameron Forbes, The Philippine Islands, vol. 1 (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1928), 107.
51. Robert Bollard, "Military Pacification," Journal of the Military Service Institution of the United States 46 (January-February 1910): 4-5.