Martin Danielson Writes of a Philippine Scrap in Which He Takes Part.


Americans Run Out of Ammunition and Are Obliged to Retreat to Their Trenches

-- Private Beahl Shot Through Heart --

One Wounded Man Saves as a Relic a Bullet That Passes Through Head and Mouth.

Jaro. Philippine Islands, March 20. —Here is a correct account of the battle of Jaro river, the 16th of March, fought between the 18th U. S. infantry, 6th U. S. artillery and the 1st Tennessee volunteers against 30,000 insurgents. The natives had been sending bullets into our lines for several days previous. When we had enough to put our blood a boiling, we went after them the 16th of March. After driving them back for seven miles it became dark. We retreated with not a man having more than his magazine full of bullets. The Tennessees' loss was only one man slightly wounded, who had got on the firing line with the 18th U. S. infantry. The 18th's loss was one killed and 22 wounded. Five of these belonged to my company. Private Beahl (killed) was of Company B.


It is now 2 p. m., March 17, and our scrap yesterday is pretty well remembered. The 1st and 2d battalions of the 18th were in it from start to the finish. At 1 p. m. our boys were out in the woods and underbrush looking for the insurgents. Company B was at the left of the Jaro river. Not seeing an enemy but hearing the firing, at 3:30 they crossed to the right of the river. They no more than got foot on the bank after wading the river, and long march, when volley after volley was sent into our lines. Capt. T. W. Griffith gave the command to fire. After six volleys, he advanced his command 100 yards and fired some more volleys into the natives. They were now 250 yards in front of the native trenches, but those people haven't sand enough to stick very long. Company B drove them out and captured a block house full of ammunition, which they soon set on fire. A few minutes later the eight companies were in one long line.

Volleys and Yells.

The line advanced with volleys and yells on the retreating enemy. By 7 o'clock we had driven them out some six or eight miles from their trenches. At this place our boys ran out of ammunition and could not take Santa Barbara, and we retreated to our advanced lines and held them, and have not forced the fight since then. The 18th infantry's loss in this battle is as follows - 22 wounded and one killed. Company B suffered the most and Private Beahl was killed, shot through the heart, and five men wounded. One Tennessee man was wounded by a stray bullet. One of the wounded was shot through the back of his right hand, the ball passing through his arm and neck and coming out of his mouth. He holds the bullet as a relic. The enemy's loss I have been unable to learn, but it must be great. Their trenches in one place, for half a mile, was a pool of blood and niggers piled up six and seven high—another one of their sly tricks. They had a lot of decoys made of wood to represent soldiers. The 6th artillery put a sweet and good end to them all, and a few live ones among them. This makes the loss of the 18th four killed and 26 wounded, including one officer. Several of the late wounded may die.

We captured several cannon of smooth bore. The natives take scrap iron, put it in a can, ram it in the cannon with a lot of powder and touch her off. But they do not come far enough to harm us. I was talking to a wounded native that was brought in. He had a gun, ammunition and a knife a foot long, and, the best of all, nine bullet wounds in his legs, hips and shoulders, and he said: "I fought for my country and now I am willing to die." He is still smoking cigars and chewing his native tobacco.

A priest came into our lines yesterday and told us that the insurgents lost 205 killed. Reinforcements are on their way to help us. Our boys killed a few sharpsooters last night. It's an every day occurrence here now. It is reported that the natives have rebelled at Negros.

Cigars are one cent each, eggs four for one cent. No liquor is allowed to be sold in or around Gen. Miller's command.

Company B, 18th U. S. infantry.


THE ARGUS has another letter from Mr. Danielson of an earlier date than the foregoing, which is of a similar interesting nature. Chris Danielson, 1518 Thirty-second street, father of the Philippine soldier, has a letter from his son dated March 28. Martin states that he is just about to receive his discharge, and as soon as he does, he will make for home, sweet home. He says that he has been offered several lucrative positions, including one in the Spanish bank at Manila and in the post office at Iloilo, but he declined them all, as be is disgusted with the people and the treatment he has received in that country.

Rock Island Argus, May 6, 1899, Page 7