History Spanish-American War Part 4 Eyewitness Accounts

About an Eyewitness account of the Spanish-American War between the United States and the Philippines.


The Spanish-American War As Seen by the Filipinos

Eyewitness Accounts: A transcript was made of a meeting between Adm. George Dewey and Filipino general Jose Alejandrino in April of 1898, aboard the cruiser U.S.S. Olympia in Hong Kong harbor. Herewith is an excerpt.

Dewey: "The American people, champion of liberty, will undertake this war with the humanitarian purpose of liberating from the Spanish yoke the people which are under it and to give them independence and liberty, as we have already proclaimed before the whole world."

Alejandrino: "We are very thankful for this generous manifestation of the American people, and having come from the mouth of an admiral of her squadron, we give it more value than a written contract and, consequently, we place ourselves at your entire disposal. ... We are ready to fight on your side for the independence of the Philippines."

Dewey: "America is rich under all concepts; it has territories scarcely populated, aside from the fact that our Constitution does not permit us to expand territorially outside of America. For these reasons, the Filipinos can be sure of their independence and of the fact that they will not be despoiled of any piece of their territory."

The following are excerpts from letters mailed home from U.S. soldiers fighting in the Philippines.

"We bombarded a place called Malabon, and then we went in and killed every native we met, men, women, and children."--Anthony Michea, Third Artillery

"Caloocan was supposed to contain 17,000 inhabitants. The 20th Kansas swept through it, and now Caloocan contains not one living native. Of the buildings, the battered walls of the great church and dismal prison alone remain."--Captain Elliot, Kansas Regiment

"I have seen a shell from our artillery strike a bunch of Filipinos, and then they would go scattering through the air, legs, arms, heads, all disconnected. And such sights actually make our boys laugh and yell, `That shot was a peach.'"--Charles Weyland, Washington Volunteers, C Company

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