OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
Cavite, also, the infuriated natives cut off the head of the the statue of Columbus, because he had discovered a country that could produce so treacherous a race as the Americans. It is, indeed, to be regretted that the supposed necessities of politics should have placed our peoplea the most generous and noble-hearted in the world, as well as the bravest and most chivalrousa in such a false light before a nation that ought to have had no reason to do otherwise than honor and love us.
a This order,a says General Wheeler, referring to the one quoted above, a directing the burning of the towns, rendered the inhabitants homeless, and the allusion to Americans as slaughtering men, women and children, was one of the many methods used by the insurgent leaders to alarm the people and make it easy for them to be driven in advance of the retreating Filipino army.a
And he thus pathetically describes the deplorable results:
a As our troops advanced northward these unfortunate natives were compelled to continue their retreat, each movement separating them farther and farther from the beloved spot where they had enjoyed the comforts and pleasures of home. This hardship was very great, because the love of family, home and its surroundings is one of the strongest features in the Filipino character.
a Sometimes the most fortunate of these exiles succeeded in securing shelter in houses. Some possessed caraboa carts, with a rounded cover made of a kind of matting, under which entire families would crowd together during the night. The others could procure nothing better than temporary arbors, and many had to be contented with the meager shelter afforded them by the foliage ,of the trees, which, while shielding them from the heat of the sun, afforded no protection from the rains and heavy dews.
a Many thousands had been living in this way for months, retreating before the backward movement of the insurgents. Privation, suffering, sickness and frequently death had been their portion.a
GENERAL WHEATON ON SCOUTING DUTY IN THE PHILIPPINES.
The General is mounted on a native pony, which is hardly large enough to give him the usual dignified presence
of an American army officer.
It is unfortunate that the horrors of war do not fall upon those who are guilty of the crime of producing it; but in this instance, as usual, the hardships and the anguish fell to the lot of the innocent and helpless. These people, says General Wheeler, had been made to believe that a Americans were brutal, inhuman robbers, who had come to oppress them, but they found instead kind and generous protectors, full of sympathy for them and ready and anxious to do all possible to relieve their suffering.a
a We met thousands of these poor, suffering people,a continues General Wheeler. a They seemed to travel in parties of all sizes from five or six up to seventy or eighty. They were generally badly clothed, and the women, especially the elder ones, appeared to be weak and emaciated. Many members of the same party carried bamboo poles with a white flag attached, and frequently a little child was sent in advance with a white handkerchief waving from the top of a pole very much like the reeds used for fishing poles in America.
a The difficulties encountered by these people in working their way homeward were very great. A typical
picture of this character is one I recall as I was traveling from Panique, on the railroad, to the pueblo of San Ignacio, in the foothills of the mountains, about seventeen miles to the west. We had met several small parties during the day; it was nearly sundown; we were passing through a stretch of country densely wooded, with high trees and undergrowth on each side of the road, so thick that even a person on foot could with difficulty penetrate it. The foliage was so dense as to always obscure the sun. The road was so wet and boggy that a horse would sink deep into the mire at every step. It was in the middle of a stretch of three miles of this kind of jungle
HOME OF A TAGALOG FAMILY IN THE INTERIOR OF THE ISLAND OF LUZON.
These people are greatly attached to their children, of whom there are sometimes as many as eighteen or twenty in a single family.
There are eleven in this group, besides the mother.