DELGADO TO AGUINALDO, MARCH 25 1899
[Original in Spanish D. S P. I. R., 117 1 ]
Seal: Liberating Army, Visayas.
ILOILO, March 25, 1899.
The Honorable President of the Philippine Republic and General in Chief of the National Armies, Sr. EMILIO AGUINALDO Y FAMY, Greeting
I have the honor of communicating to you the course of our campaign
in this province of Iloilo, although with great effort, on account of the
difficulty of these General Military Headquarters in communicating.
Since my last letter, it may be said that the campaign here has
been carried on only by us, the enemy has confined himself to a pure
defensive; by day and night we are harrassing him, sometimes along the
entire line and at others in parts only; but we do so only when we believe
we can cause some loss, and we have always caused a loss of five,
ten or even twenty, for example when they are unprotected or when they
leave their positions for causes unknown to us, or when ours are on a
reconnaissance, especially at night; so that the fact is that there is always
some shooting going on in the advanced lines. The enemy is thus
kept in a constant state of uncertainty with announcements of unexpected
attacks, which are not very far from our thoughts, for if we should at
any time see him unprepared, we would attack. This has had such an
effect that on several occasions for no cause the foreigners have become
darmed, to the extent of once going upon their vessels; we extend our
reconnaissances as far as the vicinity of Jaro, which the enemy is gradual.
ly reducing to ashes, and in these expeditions we are in the habit of
firing upon him unexpectedly, causing some loss, and at other times we
reached the center of the town of La Paz, which we do not wish to
occupy as we would then come under the full fire of the men-of.war.
In these operations of ours the only losses we have sustained have been
in wounded, notwithstanding the fact that the enemy used his powerful
cannon, even those of his vessels.
On the first instant, as a salient note in the campaign, an action
took place which resulted in a brilliant victory for our side, which attracted
the attention of the foreigners who watched it from the few
houses which are left on the wharf; this action took place in Balantang
and lasted four hours. We had one officer and five soldiers wounded,
while the enemy retreated.
On the 16th instant we had a still more brilliant action at which the
enemy attacked and endeavored to surround us, and take our positions,
advancing to the number of seven hundred with support of their vessels,
against our entire advanced line. This action began at twelve thirty
p. m. with cannon firing on land and sea, and continued until half past
one, when believing our positions to be clear, they appeared from all sides
in an enveloping movement; after many attempts, at four p. m., they
were successful in taking Our positions which had to be abandoned by our
force on account of a lack of ammunition; but this did not discourage
our force, on the contrary it fired their spirits, as they had not with.
drawn through cowardice, so that notwithstanding the advance of the
enemy who attempted to do so five times and were as often repulsed with
decision, until on the fifth attack they were obliged to withdraw to their
own positions abandoning ours which they had occupied; because our forces
encouraged by the impotency of the enemy, were not satisfied in repulsing
them but pursued them on their retreat crying "Hurrah for the free Philippines,"
the echo of which cry must have resounded in their consciences
causing them more damage than bullets. At 6.30 p. m. our force had
not recovered their positions but were pursuing the enemy who sought
refuge in the town.
Since then we have been noticing an extraordinary movement in the
camp of the enemy, which at first led us to expect a new attack still
more decisive; but we have heard to-day through letters that the activity
of the enemy is due to the fear that we shall make an attack; this shows
that we caused them some damage in the last action, at which, according
to information received, they had a loss of four hundred, while we had
one officer and eleven soldiers killed and seventeen wounded.
The spirits of the troops are very high, all of the more dangerous
positions being stubbornly defended. The town seconds this attitude of
the army by contributing to the extent of its powers provisions, and organizing
associations of women in each town to furnish the soldiers
clothing, cigars, hospital supplies for the emergency hospital, bandages,
We need ammunition and our arsenal has not a sufficient capacity
to supply the daily expenditure of ammunition and only in the event that
we should lack ammunition will our resistance be weakened.
General Fullon has arrived safely on the gunboat "Isabel" landing
on the shore of Antique, and I suppose he will make a report or his
I have read the communication which is being sent you to-day by the
Government and in order to make my own brief, I indorse everything
May God preserve and protect you for our liberty and independence.
General Headquarters of Santa Barbara, March 25, 1899, and first
year of our Republic. - Martin Delgado. - Rubricated.
This is a copy taken from the original by order of the General-in-Chief
of the National Militia of the Visayas, and lS transmitted to the
Honorable President of the Philippine Republic through other channels
for greater safety.
(Signed) MARTIN DELGADO,