Academic journal article Military Review

The Devil's Causeway: The True Story of America's First Prisoners of War in the Philippines, and the Heroic Expedition Sent to Their Rescue

Academic journal article Military Review

The Devil's Causeway: The True Story of America's First Prisoners of War in the Philippines, and the Heroic Expedition Sent to Their Rescue

Article excerpt

THE DEVIL'S

CAUSEWAY: The True

Story of America's

First Prisoners of War

in the Philippines, and

the Heroic Expedition

Sent to Their Rescue,

Matthew Westfall, Lyons

Press, Guilford, CT,

2012, 402 pages, $26.95

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

AS THE STUDY of insurgent-centric conflicts expands, scholars and military professionals have expressed a renewed interest in the U.S. experience in the Philippines at the turn of the 20th century. Often the discussions focus on tactics, the psychology of resistance, or the underlying motives of U.S. involvement in the Far East. Too often the human stories behind the events remain forgotten. Matthew Westfall's The Devil's Causeway helps to close the gap by resurrecting the fascinating story of how Spanish, Filipino, and American forces participated in one of the most widely celebrated prisoner rescue sagas of the time.

At the close of hostilities between Spain and the United States, a small Spanish garrison in the seaside town of Baler in the Philippines continued to hold out against a siege led by Filipino irregulars. Word of the conflict reached U.S. authorities, who dispatched the USS Yorktown to relieve the garrison. Met by hostility from the Filipinos, the Americans sent out a reconnaissance party to plan a route for a relief expedition. The commander of the scout boat and shore party, Lieutenant James Gillmore, moved further upriver and inland than he had been ordered. Surprised and outgunned by the guerrillas, Gillmore and his surviving crew surrendered.

Thus began an epic journey for both the prisoners and their captors--a tale of the hunter and the hunted. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.