Military History: 1899, The Philippine Revolution

It is very interesting to read an article (in the American magazine Military History) about Colonel Frederick Funston and how, on 26 April 1899, he led the 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment across the Rio Grande in Pampanga to take the town of Calumpit.

On 10 January 1899, Spain ceded the Philippines to America in a dastardly move, and the Filipinos wouldn’t have it, so America was forced to send 21,000 troops to the Philippines to quell the Filipino “uprising.”

The magazine refers to the Filipinos as insurrectionists but Filipinos referred to themselves as revolutionaries. (It must be noted that the Americans possessed far superior firepower to the Filipinos. Among the weapons in the American arsenal: the first magazine-loading rifle, the Krag-Jorgensen)

Anyhoo, the magazine is full of interesting information about the Kansas Volunteers, which is a little disorienting because self’s sole reason for reading the article is to glean information about the Filipino side (who were defeated by, among other things, that high-tech Krag-Jorgensen rifle! As well as by the Americans’ expert use of  “the artillery barrage.” And by the Filipinos’ relative inexperience — most were used to fighting as guerrillas, not as part of a massed assault. The writer of the article maintains that “a third” of the Filipino fighters were without guns or rifles of any kind. They faced the Americans with bolos and wooden spears).

The article is accompanied by many, many detailed illustrations, including this colorized photograph (No photographer cited) of the 20th Kansas lined up on a bank of the Rio Grande:


Colorized Photograph of the 20th Kansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment Lined Up on a Bank of the Rio Grande in Pampanga, the Philippines: April 26, 1899

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


Basho and “The Freeze”

Self is still reading Basho’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

In the poem below, Basho describes entering the province of Kaga:

I walked into the fumes
Of early-ripening rice,
On the right below me
The waters of the Angry Sea.

* * *

The poem suddenly reminds self of her dystopian short story “The Freeze,” which Bluestem Magazine published last year. Sometime while Obama is President, the Russians do something that shuts the whole world down.

Everyone starts dying. A woman decides to walk out of San Francisco and head south. To make sure she doesn’t lose her way, she decides to walk Highway 1, always making sure that the ocean is to her right. She meets a band of teen-agers.

The story begins with the woman chanting the following:

Redwood, Oak, Laurel, Manzanita, Pine.
Redwood, Oak, Laurel, Manzanita, Pine.
Redwood, Oak, Laurel, Manzanita, Pine.

And darn if self hasn’t just decided that the story ended much too soon. She has to continue, if only so she can figure out for herself what happens to the woman and her teen-age companions. She’s thinking: sequel.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


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