THE TAKING OF ILOILO
Lieutenant Albert P. Niblack led the landing party of 50 men of U.S.S. Boston in the Capture of Iloilo on February 11, 1899
THE TAKING OF ILOILO
by Lieutenant Albert P. Niblack, USN
With all the hundreds of islands and the numerous mixed and indigenous people in the Philippine and Sulu archipelagoes, the whole question, political, commercial, geographical, and strategical, may be simplified by regarding the Philippines as divided into three groups or districts, and the Sulu archipelago as constituting a fourth. These four groups are, roughly:—
1, Luzon and Mindoro Islands, in the North, with an area equal to Ohio, and a population of 3,500,000.
2, The Bisayan district, between Luzon and Mindanao, a belt of islands from Palauan on the West to Samar on the East, inclusive, and also Calamian, Panay, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Masbate, and Leyte with an area equal to Kentucky and a population of 2,500,000.
3, The Island of Mindanao with an area equal to Indiana and a population of 500,000.
4, The Sulu archipelago with an area less than Rhode Island and a population of 100,000.
The primitive people of the islands are generally supposed to have been the Negritos and numbering about 10,000. They are found now only in the islands of Luzon, Panay, Negros, and Mindanao, and resemble the Papuans of New Guinea. They are known also as the " hill-tribes," having been driven into the interior by the Malayan invaders. Their principal weapon is the bow and arrow, and, as they are rapidly disappearing, they are not a political factor.
Fully eleven-twelfths of the native population of the archipelago is of Malayan blood and the number of dialects or separate Malayan languages spoken is about fifty.
The Tagalas of central and southern Luzon are comparatively a pure Malayan type and have been the real instigators of the insurrection; the Bisayas are more industrious, more gentle, and more adaptable. The sentiment between them and the Tagalas is not friendly.
The principal tribes of Mindanao and the Sulus are of the Mohammedan faith, and are known as Moros. They are of mixed Semitic and Malayan stock and evidently invaded the islands from Borneo. Between them and all other tribes there has been continued warfare, as they are a treacherous, indolent, fanatical race, given to robbery and violence.
The island of Mindoro, which should not be confounded with Mindanao, is really a part of Luzon in the sense that its population is of the same stock and all its trade is with Manila and ports on Luzon adjacent to its own shores.
The northern part of the island of Luzon, cut off as it is from the central by high ranges of mountains, is peopled by numerous tribes of mixed races varying in different proportions of Malay, Chinese, Japanese, and Negrito. They are not all friendly, by any means, either with one another or with the Tagalas. The point which it is endeavored here to bring out is that the insurrection was initiated by the Tagalas. Hostility to us in other parts has been largely due to their emissaries and their intrigues. The talk of a "Filipino Republic" is a Tagala dream. How they are to dominate the hundreds of islands without a large navy, and how representation could be effected and harmony brought in a legislative assembly where from twenty to thirty languages must be spoken, has not as yet been made clear.
Spain has held the islands for three hundred years, and why the Tagalas should dominate since they too are invaders of an earlier period has also not been made clear as an ethical proposition. Sentimental sympathy for the struggling but designing Tagalas should be largely confined to their own ranks.
Ilo Ilo is the capital of Panay, possesses a fine harbor, and is the principal port in the Bisayan group, being commercially next in importance to Manila, and also the headquarters of the sugar trade.
Cebu, the capital of the island of the same name, was the first town occupied by Magellan, in the name of Spain, in 1521, and is now third in importance commercially, being the center of the hemp trade.
Not much is known of the island of Mindanao except by hearsay, as Spain pursued the singular policy of prohibiting exploration and forbidding publication of accounts of the island. Enough is known to stimulate enterprise and attract adventure. Unfortunately, the Moros are a fanatical, fierce, lazy, uncertain, unsociable, and unscrupulous race, and they must first be dealt with. There are two large placer gold-mining districts in the north; the island is remarkable for its timber; it is said that it has everything which grows or is found on the other islands, and, besides, nutmegs, cinnamon, pepper, and other spices which thrive as nowhere else. If this is true, then Mindanao must be rich indeed, since the Philippines in general can boast of sugar, hemp, cotton, rice, tobacco, coffee, wax, timber, sapan wood, indigo, copra, spices, pigs, chickens, cattle, hides, sulphur, iron, coal, marble, kaolin, lead, mercury, copper, silver, gold, platinum, pearls, mats, textiles, hats, cordage, etc., etc., as natural and industrial products.
As for the Sulu group, the Spanish have never been able to collect any revenues and their occupation has only been effective in the last few years. They had military garrisons in three principal islands, Tawai-Tawai, Sulu, and Basilan, the last-named being a naval station. From this naval station across Basilan Straits to the Spanish garrison town of Zamboanga on the island of Mindanao is only fourteen miles. Spain has now withdrawn all her garrisons in Mindanao to Zamboanga, and we shall have to make a fresh conquest of the whole island. As to the Sulu archipelago in particular we shall be obliged to police the islands by means of gunboats. The Dutch have a talent for handling these East Indian people and besides have native troops and native police. We shall never be able to make anything out of the Sulus and they will prove a veritable white elephant. If we could exchange them with Holland for the island of Curaqoa in the Caribbean Sea, for a consideration, we should be fortunate and it would also secure us a good neighbor in the Philippines.
Practically the five centers of interest in these islands are Manila, Ilo Ilo, Cebu, Zamboanga, and Sulu, the latter being the garrison town on the island of the same name, and former residence of the Sultan of Sulu who was practically deposed by the Spaniards.
The First Expedition To Ilo Ilo.
The first expedition to Ilo Ilo from Manila sailed from the latter port on Tuesday, December 27th, 1898. With the fall of Manila and the signing of the Peace Protocol in the previous August, the United States was under the moral obligation to make no further change in the status quo in the Philippines. It appears, however, that the continued activity of the insurgent troops against the Spanish garrison of Ilo Ilo, now cut off from direct reenforcement and succor, had led the Spanish Commander, General Rios, about the middle of December, to declare his intention of evacuating the city and withdrawing his troops to Zamboanga in Mindanao. The merchants of that city, none of whom were Americans, petitioned General Otis to send an expedition to relieve the Spanish garrison. At the same time the insurgents made a similar request. Had a prompt answer been given General Otis from Washington, Ilo Ilo might have been occupied with the consent of the people. It was eight days before instructions were received and it is said that the orders were "to take Ilo Ilo, but do nothing which would bring on a conflict with the natives."
The expedition which started, as stated, on December 27th, consisted of the transports Newport, Arizona, and Pennsylvania, on which were embarked respectively a battalion of the Sixth U. S. Artillery, the Eighteenth U. S. Infantry, and a regiment of Iowa Volunteers, which latter had left San Francisco some months previously and had never been disembarked. The expedition was commanded by Brigadier General Marcus P. Miller, U. S. Volunteers, but holding a commission as Colonel in the regular army, a popular officer of ripe age and experience. The expedition was in every sense an Army affair, although the U. S. S. Baltimore acted as convoy. The Admiral opposed the proposition to send the expedition when it was originally contemplated; and after orders came to send it, he predicted its failure for the very reason that it did afterwards fail. To take a place without hurting anybody's feelings, particularly in the Capitol at Washington, is not an easy matter, and General Miller's position was not an enviable one.
On December 21st General Rios had called a meeting of the foreign consuls at Ilo Ilo and told them that he had a telegram
from Spain saying the islands had been acquired by the United States and that he did not feel justified in sacrificing Spanish soldiers in nightly encounters with the insurgents. He therefore announced his intention of withdrawing his forces and turning the town over to the Spanish alcalde, requesting the foreign consuls to protect foreign property. He entered into negotiations with the insurgents to capitulate, with the understanding that he should be allowed to carry away all the government property he could.
On Saturday, December 24th, the Spanish troops left Ilo Ilo for Mindanao. The German cruiser Irene took over the protection of foreign interests, but the universal testimony is that the insurgents in entering the town behaved in the most exemplary manner. The Spanish alcalde turned over the city to them and is credited with the remark that he hoped they would "be able to defend it against all invaders."
Many people are inclined to think the Spaniards acted in bad faith in the matter, but the position they were in was really thankless. Had we sent an adequate force at once when requested we could have assumed peaceful possession. The delay was responsible. However, the action of the Spanish General raises a nice point in international law as will be seen later.
The expedition sailing from Manila met at sea the regular mail-steamer from Ilo Ilo, and, on communicating, learned of the situation there. On the arrival of the Newport and Baltimore, the other two ships remaining outside, a delegation of insurgents came on board to ascertain the intentions of General Miller and the purposes of the expedition; also what recognition was going to be given them. General Miller promised to write them a letter next day explaining his position.
Mr. F. J. Bass, who was special correspondent of " Harper's Weekly," and who was, with permission, on board the headquarter's transport, the Newport, says in his account of the expedition printed in the issue of March 18th, 1899, page 268, speaking of the day of arrival:—
"I went on shore and found only a few soldiers in the town. The old fort was unoccupied. Certainly, had we landed then and asked permission afterwards, our explanations would have received more serious consideration than they did. Nearly all of the insurgent troops were two miles distant, across the river, at
Jaro. The insurgent flag was down, and the insurgents evidently expected us to land. I am persuaded that we made a mistake in not landing then and there. . . . When I landed at Ilo Ilo, I think a dozen men might have raised the United States flag without much difficulty. I staid in the city five days. At first I was treated with respect and allowed to go wherever I pleased. Little by little a change came about. With every communication we sent, with every evidence of hesitation we showed, the insurgents gained confidence, until, at last, I was obliged to leave the town on account of their hostile attitude; . . . gradually they took heart and began to fortify the town. They took possession of the old fort, and threw up earthworks along the strip of beach. . . . When I left Ilo Ilo for the Newport there were two thousand armed men in town, who patrolled the place constantly. The streets were being barricaded."
The letter which General Miller had sent on shore was in conformity with his instructions. He stated that his expedition had come expecting to take the town from the Spanish, and he did not wish to have any trouble with the insurgents. It ended by stating that he had come on an errand of peace, and wanted to know what the insurgents would do if he landed. Messages and visits were exchanged, the insurgents first requesting and then demanding time to send to Manila to consult Aguinaldo. The fact is the emissaries of Aguinaldo were then at Ilo Ilo stirring up all the trouble.
Mr. Bass says:—
"General Miller, an old Indian-fighter, who had chafed under his restricting orders, now openly declared that he had come to take Ilo Ilo, and was bound to do it; that he wished to avoid bloodshed, but as the insurgents were not open to advances, they must take the consequences." ..." The guns of the Sixth Artillery were lowered into boats, the Eighteenth United States Infantry was in marching order ready to land; the Iowa Volunteers prepared to follow."
The landing did not take place, for the merchants of Ilo Ilo, learning that the insurgents intended to burn the town, petitioned the General not to land. The proclamation of the President and the special version given by General Otis were brought down by a foreign man-of-war. Then the insurgents determined to fight. All this happened in the three days following the arrival of the expedition.
General Miller then sent Col. Potter to Manila for orders. Admiral Dewey at once sent the gunboat Petrel to Ilo Ilo with instructions for the Baltimore. Her arrival was signalized by the insurgents sinking four large iron dredging scows, loaded with stone, in the mouth of the river, to block any attempt she might make to enter. Meanwhile all non-combatants had left the town; taking with them all their household goods. The merchants had loaded as much of their property as they could on lighters, and towed them out of danger across the bay. They themselves took up quarters on the various steamers in the bay, and it looked like war.
Meanwhile a regiment of California Volunteers was embarked on five chartered steamers at Manila as a reenforcement for Ilo Ilo and the Concord detailed as convoy. After some twelve days' delay they were disembarked and a few days later their baggage and stores were sent on shore. The expedition was then definitely abandoned.
On January 31st the transport Pennsylvania returned to Manila and landed the Iowa regiment which had been on board nearly four months. The status quo as to ships and transports remained the same at Ilo Ilo for six weeks, while the ratification of the Treaty of Peace was pending in the Senate.
The Second Expedition To Ilo Ilo.
There was in a certain sense no "second expedition" to Ilo Ilo. The Boston replaced the Baltimore and the St. Paul brought down the Tennessee Volunteers. This happened as follows:—
The sending of the Commissioners to the Philippines and the necessity for sending a suitable man-of-war to Hong Kong to meet them led to the relieving of the Baltimore at Ilo Ilo by the Boston in order that the former might perform this duty. It was my good fortune to be transferred at this juncture to the Boston as Acting Navigator during the illness of another officer. She sailed from Manila the day after the breaking out of the insurrection at Manila early in February with a full knowledge that orders would follow later to take Ilo Ilo. Arriving on February 8th she relieved the Baltimore which sailed immediately. On February 10th the Army dispatch-boat Butuan arrived at Ilo Ilo bringing Col. Potter with news of the ratification of the treaty
and orders to take the place. By direction of General Miller a conference was held on the Newport at 1:00 P. M. of that day. It was announced that the transport St . Paul would arrive in the evening with the Tennessee Volunteers. It was decided that the insurgents should be given till sunset of the 11th to evacuate and to be notified also that if in the meantime they threw up intrenchments, reenforced their defenses, or put further obstructions in the river, the men-of-war and transports would open fire at once. It was also agreed that the Army should use two of their own steam-launches and a third small steamer, expected that night, to tow their boats for landing. Captain G. F. F. Wilde, U. S. Navy, commanding the Boston, and Commander C. C. Cornwell, U. S. Navy, commanding the Petrel, stood out for only twelve hours' notice or till daylight, but General Miller overruled and decided for sunset next day as the hour to be named. Notification was accordingly sent ashore to the insurgent forces at 4.00 P. M. of the 10th and the Boston and Petrel cleared ship for action and moved over near the fort in such position that each could drop shells into the flank of the trenches facing the other ship (see diagram) without firing in the direction of the town. The Petrel was 500 yards and the Boston 900 yards from the center of the fort.
At daylight next morning a reconnaissance by the Boston's steam-launch close in shore showed everything quiet, but the Petrel reported a movement of troops in the fort, apparently an attempt to relieve the garrison. At 8.20 A. M. she signaled "Troops are throwing up intrenchments on the beach." At 9.00 o'clock she fired two warning 3-pounder shell at the new trenches killing several people. This of course precipitated matters. Troops poured into all the trenches as reenforcements and a field piece came into line while several generals rode back and forth on ponies busily giving orders. It will be noted that the insurgents violated the order in intrenching themselves and reenforcing their trenches. Captain Wilde took full responsibility for the Petrel's action by signals which were almost continuously exchanged.
At 9.35 A. M. the insurgents began firing on the Petrel at close range, and she opened fire followed by the Boston. It was not long before the fort and trenches were untenable and by two's and three's they slipped away, setting fire to the town and looting
as they went. Then two riderless ponies appeared coming out of the fort and several generals crawled behind sand-bags and crossed the zone of fire to join their fugitive troops. A masked battery on the other side of the river, consisting of a few antiquated cannon, opened fire on the Newport early in the action and in replying some of her shell evidently fell into the business part of the city. This is mentioned, because, in retaliation for setting fire to the town, the Boston commenced from the first to drop an occasional eight-inch shell over the city into Jaro and Molo, two native towns near Ilo Ilo, and kept this up till after two in the afternoon. It was said that some of her 8-inch shells must have exploded in the air. As the shells complained of were afterwards found to be a caliber of about three inches, they came from neither the Boston nor Petrel, and did correspond with the Newport's battery. Soon after the original firing began, Captain Wilde had signaled General Miller that the insurgents were throwing up intrenchments and firing on the Petrel. At 10.20 General Miller signaled "Do you desire landing party now?" and when replied to in the affirmative signaled "If you desire landing party send steam-launch and three boats to Arizona for towing and landing." As the Arizona and Newport were anchored fully a mile and a quarter from the fort with a strong flood-tide against them, as Captain Wilde had strongly advised moving closer, and as it was distinctly agreed that the Army should tow its own boats, Captain Wilde saw that the city was in danger and acted promptly. A section of infantry under Ensign Everhart and a gatling section under Ensign Hough, with Asst. Surgeon Blakeman and a couple of signalmen, were prepared for landing. Just then the Army launch Samar came alongside with General Miller and all his staff on board and General Miller asked Captain Wilde if he thought the troops should be landed. Captain Wilde's reply was not particularly soothing in its character but was strongly affirmative. He ordered the men from the Boston to be landed at once and signaled the Petrel to land a squad in support. Being permitted to command the Boston's landing party of some fifty all told, not counting two or three who sneaked in at the last moment, it is a great pleasure to state that we landed according to the drill-book, we deployed according to tactics, and we shinned up the wall of the fort with the best man first, and found the fort deserted, except by one of the
ponies of the numerous generals. We hauled down the insurgent flag and hoisted the Stars and Stripes in the Bisayas, let us hope never to come down again. The Petrel's men had meanwhile occupied the trenches, where we then joined them. On comparing notes with Lieutenant Plunkett, who commanded the Petrel's section, I found he had orders to skirmish along the beach and stop sharpshooters who were annoying the Petrel, principally however, by nearly hitting two British gunboats which were lying near. We were cautioned by several foreigners whom we saw that the insurgents would fire at us from the houses if we went up town; but having received discretionary orders from Capt. Wilde, it seemed our duty to push on. The Boston's party was formed for street riot, and, following the usual custom in such cases, as senior officer present I confiscated the general's pony which one of my juniors was riding and rode at the head of the column. We conceived it to be our business to protect lives and property; to put out fires; to arrest looters; to chase out insurgents; and to cover the landing of the Army. This we did. The very first move was to detail a patrol for the warehouse district which had so far escaped the fire and to station a guard at the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank against which three attempts had already been made We did what we could in saving property from burning houses, and we saved many cans of kerosene which had not yet become ignited as originally intended. By 12.30 we reached the custom-house and could get very little further as we were hemmed in either by fire or the river. We settled down to trying to save a large warehouse adjoining the custom-house, well knowing if it went up that the latter would be lost. It was filled with alcohol, wine and other inflammables, and while one section of our party was exchanging shots with some of the insurgents across the river, the rest of us were working in the warehouse, and also in trying to persuade a few fire-crazy ponies to leave their burning stalls. In the skirmish one of our men was shot in the foot but was further disabled by opening the surgeon's canteen while that officer was stooping over examining his injured member. He, however, added realism to the situation by being loaded on the gatling carriage in a limp condition. The Army began to appear on the scene a little before one P. M. and our career came to an end.
It appears that some time after our party had disappeared up the beach, Captain Wilde signaled General Miller "Why don't
you bring your ships close up to the beach so you can land your troops?" The St. Paul with the Tennessee Volunteers on board had arrived the night before, and, when given permission to land, promptly put their ship close up to the beach and landed. The first troops ashore struck the beach at noon. They saw the Petrel's party returning to their ship and they supposed it was the entire naval force. It was not until three quarters of an hour later, when they arrived as far as they could go that they discovered that they had not taken the city.
General Miller and staff arrived a few moments later and, after some little delay in getting ponies to suit everybody, I was able to negotiate for the return of myself and party on board ship, having successfully covered the landing of the Army as is the part of the Navy in joint operations. I tried to emphasize the request that the guard at the bank should be regularly relieved, and that the work of saving the custom-house should go on; but a fire does not appeal to a soldier as it does to a bluejacket, and we returned on board taking the guard away from the bank. We reached the ship about 1.45 P. M., wishing we could have gone earlier and staid later.
A little afterwards, wishing to communicate with General Miller, Captain Wilde permitted me to take the steam-launch with a one-pounder and a gatling, and ten picked men, and with Paymaster Martin as a volunteer, we went up the Ilo Ilo river to the Jaro bridge, firing at various nests of insurgents on the left bank who were annoying the Army's sentries on the right. We hoisted the steam-launch's flag (having no other) on the governor's house, and placed a guard; saw General Miller; interviewed many business men in town; saw all of the foreign consuls; made a rough note of all the houses burned in the European quarter, and reached the ship about dark, passing at the entrance of the river the last of the total Army contingent of 2300 men being towed up to town to be landed, and noting that the fire near the custom-house had doomed that building.
I am convinced that it was most fortunate that the fight came off prematurely, and before they had time to arrange to burn the whole city. Had it commenced at sunset as planned there would doubtless have been much loss of life and a general conflagration. As it turned out, the entire native and Chinese quarters were destroyed, and the entire street of small shops was looted and burned. The British, German, and American consulates (our
representative was British), a German apothecary shop, the large warehouse, the Club, the Custom-House, the Captain of the Port's office, and three or four private residences (all Swiss) were burned.
There is a nice point in international law involved in this destruction of foreign property in Ilo Ilo. General Rios knew the islands would be ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Peace and that an Army expedition was coming to Ilo Ilo. The transfer of sovereignty to us could only take place when we gained possession. Either the consuls should not have acquiesced in the evacuation and assumed any responsibility, or else Spain has not escaped the responsibility. The United States is certainly clear in the matter.
Within forty-eight hours after landing, the Army had spread out over the arc of a circle, including Jaro and Molo, and then settled down to an occupation of these lines waiting for reenforcements.
The Petrel carried the news to Manila of the taking of Ilo Ilo, and on February 14th it was known in Washington. General Miller's nomination as a Brigadier General in the Regular Army was sent in, and was confirmed on the following day, in recognition of the success of the expedition. As he retired at the age of sixty-four some six weeks later, the taking of Ilo Ilo was most opportune.
Immediately after the fall of Ilo Ilo Captain Wilde nominated Ensign Lay H. Everhart, U. S. Navy, as Captain of the Port of Ilo Ilo. That officer entered upon the discharge of his duties with such zeal and judgment that in a short time the commerce of the place was restored and the office thoroughly reorganized. The position of Captain of the Port, following the Spanish custom, is most important. This officer is charged with all matters relating to shipping, pilotage, clearances, discharging and loading ballast and cargoes, harbor-regulations, water-police, docks, public works, harbor-improvements, buoys and lights, immigration, admiralty cases, etc., and is second in importance to the alcalde of the port, being answerable directly to the governor of the province. Owing to the pressure for officers, Everhart was relieved from the duties on April 1st, but his services there will not soon be forgotten.
In connection with the opening up of the commerce of Ilo Ilo the writer spent two weeks in charge of the wreck-raising operations in the mouth of the river, which were successful. These little services of the Navy are mentioned here, since news filters very uncertainly from these parts, and the Navy's work in the interest of commerce should not be overlooked.
On the return of the Petrel from Manila, Captain Wilde detailed her to go to Cebu to try diplomacy with the natives there. She arrived February 20th and Commander Cornwell by his cleverness and judgment succeeded in peacefully occupying the fort and defenses on February 22nd, the natives contenting themselves with a formal written protest. Lieut. J. P. Parker, U. S. Navy, was appointed Collector of Customs. Lieutenant Plunket became Captain of the Port, and Commander Cornwell took over the office of Governor of the island. On hearing the news, as brought to Ilo Ilo by steamer, Captain Wilde sent a detachment of fifty bluejackets under Ensign De Witt Blamer from the Boston to assist in garrisoning the town.
Later all were relieved of their duties on shore by details from the Army from Manila, but the Petrel remained as guard-ship, and their relations with the people of Cebu were at all times most cordial and satisfactory.
A few days later the people of the island of Negros sent a delegation to Ilo Ilo and thence to Manila to negotiate, and shortly afterwards the Army took over the management of affairs there.
Personally it has been my good fortune since January 1st to cruise from the Sulus on the South to the North end of Luzon, and I have become impressed by the beauty of the islands and their undreamed-of possibilities. Manila is not the Philippines but every one seems to want the world to believe it. This is particularly true of a few Tagala sea-lawyers with a gift for writing clever proclamations and with diplomatic ability enough to throw dust in the eyes of the world. They are after the custom-house, and they want to run all the islands. They really represent themselves and a small following in the suburbs of Manila. Their troops are misguided and deceived by them. The Philippines are more than worth almost any sacrifice, although just now many look upon them as a white elephant. We have, however, fallen overboard and must learn to swim, and we don't need any one's help in the matter either. There is one thing, however, we must
get rid of and that is our artificial, narrow, and senseless prejudice against the Chinese, who, of all the Asiatics, are individually the only trustworthy, commercially the only honest, and as employees the only faithful people who are at hand as the true instruments to use in making these islands a veritable treasure trove. To restrict them in any way will be a political blunder and commercial suicide.
A final word as to the taking of Ilo Ilo. In Army circles there is a feeling that the Navy took a rather unfair advantage of the Army in landing first. This cannot be easily dispelled.
Any ship in the Navy can land its battalion on ten minutes notice. The knowledge that a landing party would be required at Ilo Ilo was not a secret. There was not a moment after 10.20 A. M. that should have been lost. Waiting half an hour as we did was sufficiently trying, and then to find that the Army was still doubtful as to the necessity and still hesitating, it was simply the plain duty of the Navy to land.
When the Army did land, the men were without the two days' cooked rations which are regarded as essential. It is difficult to feel sufficiently apologetic. The unfairness will always occur where one well organized body meets one not so well organized. It is all but impossible for the Army and Navy of the United States to cooperate; but the importance of their cooperation has never been brought home to the country by the national disaster thereby invited, and neither branch has ever had the licking each needs to make it try harder. Still it is less the Navy's fault than appears on the surface. The Army has charge of the seacoast fortifications, harbor defenses, and transport service, which are really naval duties. Congress gives us Army pay less 15 per cent. No wonder that in joint operations we are regarded simply as a convenient accessory. It only remains now for the Army to get a Navy of its own to dispense with us entirely. Judging by present Army ideas no previous training would be a necessary requisite to be an officer in their Navy, and this is not a mere pleasantry either.
The country has in the Navy and Marine Corps a harmonious, homogeneous, well organized, economically administered military service perfectly adapted to colonial purposes. In a lucid interval the country may see the economy and efficiency of such an arrangement and use it for what it is worth.