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The Records of Events provide a brief history of the unit and are usually found in the first or last box of the regimental papers.


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In some cases, Spanish-American War volunteers such as Arthur Plante stayed in the Philippines past their enlistments. He stayed with his unit in the Philippines after the Spanish-American War ended and was promoted to the rank of corporal in December By staying in the Philippines past his enlistment, Plante became eligible for the Philippine Congressional Medal described later in this article under "Medals".

Plante was awarded a Philippine Congressional Medal, serial number , on June 15, Many Regular Army infantry, cavalry, and artillery units were sent to fight in the Philippines during the war. These included four units of African American soldiers who served in the Ninth U. Cavalry, Tenth U. Cavalry, Twenty-fourth U. Infantry, and Twenty-fifth U. The most complete record on enlisted men is the Enlistment Papers, RG 94, entry This series is arranged alphabetically by name and generally shows the soldier's name, place of enlistment, date, by whom enlisted, age, occupation, personal description, regimental assignment, and certification of the examining surgeon and recruiting officer.

Enlistment papers for individuals who served two or more enlistments are sometimes consolidated. Researchers can also consult the Register of Enlistments in the U. The register of enlistments is arranged chronologically and thereunder alphabetically by first letter of surname and usually shows the individual's name, military organization, physical description, age at time of enlistment, place of birth, enlistment information, discharge information, and remarks. Carded medical records RG 94, entry for Regular Army personnel admitted to hospitals for treatment may include information such as name, rank, organization, age, race, birthplace, date entered service, cause of admission, date of admission, hospital to which admitted, and disposition of the case.

Using both the enlistment paper and the register of enlistments, researchers can gain valuable information about a soldier. For example, according to his enlistment paper, Louis E. Plante, a tobacco worker from Illinois, enlisted for three years in the U. Army on September 10, Plante served in Company M, Thirteenth U. Infantry, in the Philippine Islands. Plante's enlistment paper also provides a physical description of him at the time of his enlistment.

The Philippines: Past and Present (Volume 2 of 2) by Dean C. Worcester

He is listed as five feet, six inches tall with blue eyes, brown hair, fair complexion, and a number of scars. We learn the name of Louis's father, for Charles L. Plante gave permission for his son, aged twenty, to join the army by signing the "Consent in Case of Minor" section of the enlistment paper. According to the register of enlistments, Plante was discharged from the army at Fort Mason, California, on September 9, Since Louis Plante enlisted in the army twice, he has two enlistment papers and appears in the register of enlistments in both and When researching army officers, researchers should consult Francis B.

Volume 1 contains a register of army officers that provides a brief history of service.

Volume 2 contains a "chronological list of battles, actions, etc. Also of interest to researchers may be records related to posts and Regular Army units. Military Posts, Returns generally show units stationed at the post and their strength, the names and duties of officers, the number of officers present and absent, and a record of events. These monthly returns of military organizations report stations of companies and names of company commanders; unit strength, including men present, absent, sick, on extra duty or daily duty, in arrest, or confinement; and significant remarks.

First consult the name and subject index RG , entry There is a separate heading for "contract surgeons. There may also be material related to doctors found in the personal papers of medical officers and physicians RG 94, entry and military service cards of Regular Army officers of the Medical Corps RG , entry There are several series related to women who served as contract nurses in the Philippines and later in the Nurse Corps.

Prior to , nurses in the Philippines worked under contract with the U. The personal data cards include information such as full name, address, education, hospital experience, age, date, and place of birth, and marital status. The files also include a brief history of service with the army and in many cases cross-references to files found in the SGO Doc File.

Other records related to nurses in the Army Nurse Corps during the Philippine Insurrection can be found in Record Group , entries and , case files of candidates seeking appointments as army nurses and the register of military service of members of the Army Nurse Corps, Mary Clare Deasy is a good example of a nurse who served during the Philippine Insurrection.

Personal data cards show Deasy's service and duty stations as a contract nurse and nurse in the Nurse Corps. There are also two files in the SGO Doc File concerning her service, including oaths and contracts with the army. Based on these records, we learn that Deasy began her service as a contract nurse in San Francisco, California, on February 13, She worked under two contracts until July 31, The next day, Deasy signed a new contract for duty in the Philippines and left California for Manila the same day.

Deasy was later appointed a nurse in the Nurse Corps on February 2, , while on duty at the military hospital in Lucena, Tayabas, Philippine Islands. She was later discharged on January 7, , in San Francisco. During the Philippine Insurrection, the U. Army enlisted Filipinos as scouts.

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Information related to Filipinos who served as scouts for the U. Army, M Microfilm roll number 72 contains the register of individuals who served in the Philippine Scouts from October to Medical information can be found in the carded medical records RG 94, entry described earlier in this article under Regular Army. Records related to proceedings of U. The name index entry 17 and case files entry 15B include the Philippine Insurrection and are now located at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. The Philippine Campaign Medal Army was authorized in and was awarded for army service in the Philippine Insurrection covering service up to Army who volunteered to remain in the Philippines beyond their discharge date.

Individuals who remained in the Philippines and served between February 4, , and July 4, , were eligible. This series is a name index to several series in RG 92 related to the issuance of medals. The Medal of Honor was awarded to sixty-nine men of the U. Army for service in the Philippine Insurrection. Cornelius J. Leahy, Company A, Thirty-sixth U. Volunteers, was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in the Philippines. As often happens with the AGO Doc File, the file is not in the box, but instead there is a cross-reference card to another file.

Often a file is consolidated with one or more files in the AGO Doc File or in a document file of a subordinate office in the Adjutant General's office. The article begins with an assessment of the origins of Spanish soldiers in the levies for the Philippines in New Spain.

Far from the image of adventuring, fortune-seeking professional soldiers of pure Spanish ethnicity, the companies of soldiers stationed across the Pacific consisted of half-starved, under-clothed and unpaid recruits, many of whom were in fact convicts, and were more likely to be Mexican mestizos than pure-blood Spaniards. The archetype of the quixotic conquistador is thus broken down not merely because most ordinary soldiers served in the Philippines involuntarily, but also because few were ever really rewarded for their service.

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From this basis we examine the conditions that soldiers experienced once they reached the Philippines, which often led them towards disloyalty in the form of desertion and mutiny. The final sections consider the impact these factors had on the success of Spanish aims in the Pacific in the seventeenth century, concluding that ultimately both a chronic shortage in voluntary recruits and a lack of loyalty among those who did serve undermined ambitions to expand the project of empire in the Spanish Pacific.

Unfortunately, his ship was seized by Dutch corsairs and he was taken prisoner and held captive for three and a half years before finally escaping on board a tiny boat. As he sailed across the Celebes Sea towards the Philippines, his ship was attacked by Moro raiders and his arm was broken during the ensuing skirmish. He was left floating at sea for the next eight days. His time spent in the Philippines formed just one part of a much longer career that criss-crossed four continents. The careers of the military officers in the Philippines link almost every corner of the empire and beyond.

Particularly in the first half of the century, many had fought in European theatres of war such as Flanders and Italy, while others had participated in military incursions into Africa or sailed on board the famed silver fleets of New Spain.

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Nevertheless, we need to pause and question how accurately this story reflects the common experience of ordinary soldiers serving in the Philippines. Although numerical data across the century is patchy, the data that does exist suggests that Spanish soldiers numbered between fifteen hundred and two thousand across all Philippine presidios during the course of the century. An audit of the military needs of the Philippines in indicated that the archipelago needed to maintain a military presence equalling at least 2, soldiers in order to be able to maintain its defences.

Although dispersed and fragmentary, the yearly accounts of the socorros sent to the Philippines during the seventeenth century indicate that the number of soldiers sent from Acapulco to Manila averaged just per year. By contrast, governors of the Philippines regularly requested that the viceroys send up to three hundred soldiers annually, while the king on a number of occasions commanded the viceroys to organize dispatches in the order of four or five hundred soldiers.

Mexico City, , i, 89, ; Antonio de Robles, Diario de sucesos notables, — , 2nd edn, 2 vols.

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Mexico City, , i, , ; ii, 62, 83—4, —8. These records also suggest that ordinary soldiers outnumbered officers by anywhere up to nine times. Instead, the archives portray ordinary soldiers as a mostly amorphous grouping. Questions regarding the origins and motivations of soldiers serving in the Philippines and their overall loyalty to the Spanish empire therefore need to be approached in a different way, beginning with the records relating to the military levies for the Philippines. The vast majority of soldiers serving in the Philippines were recruited from levies conducted in New Spain.

Banners were raised across the major urban centres of New Spain in the months leading up to the arrival of the galleons from Manila in March or April each year. Deterred by the lengthy voyage across the Pacific and the limited prospects for returning from what was known to be a volatile and dangerous frontier, few soldiers ever really enlisted voluntarily. Some soldiers were even known to have paid officials in the port of Acapulco to be exempted from the levy before they embarked on the galleons bound for Manila, while others deserted while en route to Acapulco.

Viceregal officials responded to the chronic shortage of voluntary recruits in two ways. Firstly, military officers in the Philippines came to rely much more heavily on the recruitment of indigenous Filipino soldiers a complex subject that I have dealt with in much greater detail elsewhere. Only a hefty bribe to the recruiting officers would secure them their liberty.

Criminals were taken off the rural highways and urban streets and out of the gaols of New Spain and sentenced to serve as convicts in the military of the Philippines under what was known as the forzado system. Roughly a quarter of all soldiers sent to the Philippines were forzados ; 50 however, once we take into account the full range of coercive recruitment methods used in the levies, it seems safe to assume that the number of soldiers serving in the Philippines against their will was very high, if not an outright majority.

Significantly, this had an impact on the type of soldier who travelled to the Philippines. Since the Philippine levies relied so heavily on involuntary methods of recruitment, the majority of ordinary soldiers were drawn from the plebe of New Spain, rather than from the ranks of career soldiers. The plebe of New Spain was a multi-ethnic underclass of criminals, idlers, vagabonds, fugitives and runaway soldiers and sailors who transgressed the social norms of genteel Spanish society. Unsurprisingly, a variety of criminal justice measures were designed to transform the unruly plebe of New Spain into productive members of society through forced labour schemes.

This was certainly the intention behind the forzado system, if not the majority of other coercive recruitment methods used during the Philippine levies. Far from being loyal servants to the Crown, the same culture of disobedience that led to their expulsion from New Spain accompanied them to the Philippines on board the galleons that crossed the Pacific each year.

In addition to the recruitment of criminals, the Philippine levies also targeted another specific plebeian grouping: illegal migrants arriving in New Spain on board the Indies fleets.


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