OUR ISLANDS AND THEIR PEOPLE.
When cornered or hemmed in so they could not escape, they have been known to fight with a desperation that would have done credit to the best troops in the world; and frequently, after fleeing like rabbits before our men, they would return as soon as the charge was over and renew the battle as coolly as if no stampede had taken place.
One of our soldiers who fought them for nearly two years, supplies us with the following incidents illustrative of their fighting qualities:
a Many persons have asked me if the Filipinos are brave. I have never been able to settle this question in my own mind, yet no one who has fought them can say they are cowards.
a It is true that they have run from the best of fortifications, such as Americans would have held against overwhelming numbers. But it must be remembered that they are poor shots, shooting much too high at close range, and though they empty the magazines of their Mausers again and again at the rapidly advancing foe,
they see but little effect of their shooting; the foe comes right on in but little diminished numbers, and the American being much larger bodily, the little Filipino feels he has but small chance hand to hand with these giants, who charge with that terrifying yell.
a In many cases they are forced to give up fine fortifications because they have been outmaneuvered. Moreover, the old saying: a He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day/ never had more value than with them; to stand their ground and get killed when they have the whole island, nearly as large as Illinois, to run over, would be poor tactics for a people who have no hope of expelling their invader, but who trust to the climate and nature of the country to wear their enemy out and bring them victory which they cannot achieve in open battle.a
The same soldier relates the following incidents connected with the fighting near Paco:
a During a lull in the firing a Filipino stepped out onto the front porch, turned and faced us and started to shoot. He drew
such a heavy fire on himself that he ran behind the corner of the house, from which he would attempt to shoot, but was deterred by the heavy fire his every motion drew upon him. When, finally, the house was surrendered, there were only four unhurt men left: every officer had been killed, and over twenty of the men had been killed or wounded.
a When they were brought across the river, the first unwounded man to land was put with his back against the wall. A man who was to guard the prisoners stepped forth, putting a cartridge in his gun. The Filipino evidently thought he was going to be shot. He stepped away from the wall and shook his head, with a manner which seemed to mean that if he was going to be shot he would not be shot in that way, but he seemed to have no fear at all.
a Near this place was a long, oval mound, with a double trench around the top, which had been occupied by the Filipinos. In places in these trenches the Filipinos were piled up like stacks of grain. When I first saw them I thought they had been
carried there and piled up. What braver stand could you ask? Their fortitude in enduring pain cannot be excelled. My company had seventeen badly wounded Filipinos with it for two days and nights. They lay within a few yards of us at night, yet not one made enough noise to disturb anybody.a
Many other instances of personal bravery on the part of these people will be recorded during the progress of this work.
It is said that the term a Filipinoa originally meant a person of pure Spanish blood born in the Philippine Islands, but this meaning has so radically changed that it no longer embraces Spaniards, and is applied exclusively to the natives. In its general application it means the Tagalogs and other tribes and portions of tribes that have united in the war against the United States. These tribes designate themselves as Filipinos, and we use the term in that sense in this work. The Spaniards refer to all the natives as a Indians,a without distinction as to race or tribe. All natives of mixed blood are now called a Mestizos,a but this term originally
VEGETABLE market AT CAVITE.
This market is on the shore of the bay at Cavite, and is a popular resort for our soldiers stationed there, who are attracted as much by the curious
people as by the singular products which they offer for sale.