Buffalo Soldier Regiment: History of the Twenty-Fifth United States Infantry, 1869-1926

By John H. Nankivell | Go to book overview

APPENDIX U

EXPEDITION TO GAZ, MINDANAO, P. I., NOVEMBER, 1908

The following report on an expedition against hostile Moros in the Gas district of Mindanao, P. I., November, 1908, in which Company G, 25th Infantry, under command of Lieutenant E. E. Lewis, 25th Infantry, participated, was received too late to insert in chron’ lological sequence in this history, but because of its interest and historical value to the regiment is appended here:

Malabang, Mind., P. I.,
November 19, 1908.

The Adjutant,

Malabang, Mind., P. I.

Sir:

In compliance with your instructions I have the honor to submit the following report in regard to a practice march from Vicars to Gas made pursuant to orders from your office issued to me through the Commanding Officer of the sub-post of Camp Vicars.

My command consisted of 2nd Lieutenant S. D. Crawford, P. S., detachment of 35 men from Company G, 25th Infantry, detachment of 30 men from the 2nd Company P. S., 1 Hospital Corps man, and 1 packer, with a pack train of 4 pack and 2 saddle mules. The command had three days’ rations and 90 rounds of ammunition per man.

Senor Tomas Torres accompanied the command as guide and it is unnecessary to state that all the way through his service was beyond value and that he fully lived up to his reputation.

We left Vicars at 11:15 a. m. November 11, 1908, took the trail via Ganassi around Lake Dapao, and marched steadily until 3:30 p. m., November 12th. We were then in the interior of the Gaz country.

The march had been one of severe hardship and the men suffered very much from constant cold weather and hard rains. The mud and underbrush had ruined what might have once been a trail and pack mules were only a burden to the command. We were finally forced to abandon the pack train at a point 20 miles from Vicars and leave them tied in the bushes. Relief was sent back to them the next day so they returned with the column to Vicars.

I cannot exaggerate the hard work done by the soldiers in carrying packs, pulling mules up steep hills and in making passage for the trail. The train was unpacked and repacked and the loads borne over bad places by the soldiers almost fifty times. The packer, Mr. John Cowden, proved himself to be a valuable man.

After leaving Lake Dapao a friendly Moro named Amai Kapla accompanied the column and was of much assistance to Tomas Torres.

At a point in the Gas country about 29 miles from Vicars the column was halted and two strong reconnoitering parties were sent out to endeavor to locate Lieutenant Marmon’s command. My orders were to report to him in Gas at daylight that morning.

While these parties were out the main column was fired on from bushes three times but the hostiles escaped and there were probably not more than two that did the firing. The surrounding jungle made it unwise to fritter away the command chasing two men.

No trace of the command from Malabang could be found so we encamped for the night in a high, deserted cotta. As our rations were giving out I decided to spend the next morning looking for the troops from Malabang and the reported cotta, and if neither were found by noon to start the return march as we were a long distance from supplies.

In the morning Datto Amai Kapla stated that he could probably find the cotta and that it was located at a place known to the Moros as “Place of the Devils.”

-211-

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