The Philippines Campaign
The Philippines Campaign
War was formally declared against Spain on April 25th, 1898. On May 25th, Companies "A", "C", "D", "E" and "F" left San Francisco by transport under the command of Capt. John Murphy. They were on their way to the Philippines. Companies "B" and "H" were still in Alaska and Company "G" was left at Vancouver Barracks to collect new recruits and organize four companies for an additional battalion. The five advance companies landed on the island of Luzon June 30th and took up garrison duty at Cavite Arsenal. On August 3rd, the 14th moved to Camp Dewey, Manila and assisted in the capture of the city. The newly organized 3rd Battalion accompanied by Company "G" soon reached Manila and the regiment, with exception of the two companies in Alaska, was again reunited, this time in a foreign land.
Aguinaldo, a leader in the Philippine insurrection against Spain, had announced himself as the provisional head of the Filipino Government and had begun active preparations to drive the Americans out. One night in February 1899, the Filipino insurrection started and lasted nearly three years. The 14th, with a strength of 16 officers and 707 men took its part in the opening skirmishes. It assisted in the capture of blockhouse No. 14 on February 5, 1899. Most of the fighting that followed was similar to that which the personnel had engaged in during the Indian wars in the 1880's and 90's. Tropic heat, torrential rain, deep mud and jungle fever were the allies of the insurrectionist with his bob. Actual battles were rare and except for the major engagements at Manila, Laguna de Bay, Zapote, and Cavite, minor skirmishes, ambushes, long marches and reconnaissance’s occupied the Fourteenth Infantry of 1899.
During this time, Capt. Bogardus Eldridge was killed, Bacoor, P.I. (Philippines), Oct 2, 1899. Late in October 1899 the field service of the 14th Infantry was brought to a close. The regiment took up its residence in Manila and did provost and supply duty. Companies "B" and "H" joined the other organizations on December 30th, 1899. In April 1900, the 1st Battalion was ordered to stations at Forts Brady and Wayne, Michigan.
One of the Regiment’s most famous "alumni", the distinguished author, Peter B. Kyne, was then a member of Company "L" and his experiences while a Fourteenth Infantryman afforded him an excellent opportunity to gather material for future stories. His entertaining and humorous tales of the hard-boiled company of "Right o’ the Liners," commanded by a captain affectionately known to the men as "Auld cut-the-Daisies," have their origin and basis in the stern facts of the Fourteenth’s service in the Philippine Insurrection.
The 14th received orders to proceed to China, from Manila, on July 8th, 1900. On August 4th, the regiment, as part of allied forces landed at Taku, China. After participating in battles at Tientsin and Peking, the regiment did two months of provost duty in Peking and then left China for Manila. Eight months of guarding warehouses, furnishing prison details, doing patrol duty and other routine duty followed. Welcome orders for the States came in June 1901, and on the night of August 18, it was a joyful outfit that made camp at the Presidio of San Francisco, California. The organizations went East to their new homes at Fort Snelling, Fort Porter and Fort Niagara.
On February 28, 1903, for the second time, the regiment again set sail for the Philippines. This time the island of Samar was the home of the 14th. The 1st Battalion debarked at Camp Hartshorne, Samar, while the remainder of the regiment proceeded to Camp Connell on the West Coast of Samar. This brief and uneventful stay in the Islands was terminated in 1905 when orders assigned the Regiment to its old home at Vancouver Barracks.
In February 1908, a third tour began in the Philippines. The usual two-year tour of duty was done on the island of Leyte and the island of Cebu. This short stay in the Philippines also proved uneventful and in 1910 the Regiment was back in the States. When the regiment returned home it was ordered to station at Ft. Harrison, Mont.; Fort Missouri, Mont.; and Fort Lincoln, North Dakota.