Monday, June 13, 2011


Battle of Zapote Bridge (River)
American invaders captured Filipino cannons, 13 June 1899

1899 - The (second)  Battle of Zapote Bridge (River), one of the fiercest battles and actually the largest single battle next to the earlier Battle of Manila during the Philippine-American War (1899-1914) involving 5,000 Filipinos and 3,000 enemy American forces, is won by Gen. Henry Ware Lawton of the invading United States;  the crucial battle began with some 1,000 valiant Filipinos in prepared position stoutly defending the bridge against the invading Companies F and I of the 21st Infantry under Major Boylebut; fighting with much less inferior firepower, the Filipinos under Gen. Artemio Ricarte and Mariano Noriel ultimately yielded to the imperialist American forces; the battle lasted for hours until the much better armed Bald Eagle  soldiers drove the Filipino freedom fighters out of their lines forcing them to withdraw inland as a rear guard held off the imperialists for a time; Lawton, who would later be killed by the men of Gen. Licerio Geronimo later that year, will remark  on the uncanny bravery of the Filipinos shown int he battle as the New York Times will report that the Filipino army is "the largest and best organized body of men which had yet met American troops"; the battle would help make President Emilio F. Aguinaldo decide to reform the regular Philippine Army into guerrilla style units to better engage the enemy Americans and capitalize on the Filipinos' endemic knowledge of the Southeast Asian archipelago's landscape.

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