Tag Archives: Spanish-American War

Today in Texas History – March 3

From the Annals of the Forgotten War – In 1899, the U.S. Congress authorized the formation of the Thirty-Third Infantry Regiment which came to be known as the “Texas Regiment.”  The 33rd was formed for combat to serve in the Philippine-American War (also known somewhat pejoratively as the “Philippine Insurrection”) – a conflict that is sometimes referred to as “America’s Forgotten War.” The PAW was a conflict between the First Philippine Republic and the U.S. that was essentially a continuation of the war for Philippine independence that had begun in 1896 against Spain.  The U.S. came into possession of the Philippines as a result of the Spanish-American War.  At the conclusion of the SAW, the nascent Philippine republic was dissatisfied with the terms of the Treaty of Paris which officially transferred possession to the U.S. and declared war on the U.S. on June 2, 1899.   The PAW was especially brutal and resulted in the deaths of between 200,000 and 250,000 civilians as well as the disestablishment of the Catholic Church as the state religion and the imposition of English as the official language of government, education and commerce.

The 33rd regiment was organized at Fort Sam Houston.  Approximately one-third of the officers and enlisted men were from Texas.  The 33rd served in the Philippines from October 27, 1899, until March 2, 1901 and was in action at the battles of Magnataram, Tirad Pass, Vigan, and Taguidin Pass.  Some of the soldiers chose to remain in the Philippines to serve with the Philippine Constabulary which continued to fight pockets of resistance until the final defeat at the Battle of Bud Bagsak in June of 1913.

Manila after U.S. shelling.

Today in Texas History – May 16

From the Annals of Jingoism – In 1898, Teddy Roosevelt arrived in San Antonio to recruit and train the First Volunteer Cavalry at the Menger Hotel.  The FVC known to history as the “Rough Riders” was comprised primarily of college athletes, cowboys, ranchers, miners, and other outdoorsmen who could ride and shoot.  Roosevelt recruited men from Texas and Oklahoma and the New Mexico and Arizona Territories thinking that they would be accustomed to the climate and terrain in parts of Cuba.   Although technically a cavalry unit, the RRs were unable to bring transport most of their horses and mule train to Cuba due to a shortage of transport ships.  All of their fighting in Cuba was done on foot. 

The unit is of course most famous for the charge up San Juan Hill initiated and led by Roosevelt.  The battle made TR a national figure and propelled the former Secretary of the Navy to become Governor of New York and ultimately President upon McKinley’s assassination.


One Last Time (Maybe) – Is There Anything Ted Cruz Doesn’t Lie About?

In his classless non-concession speech last night, Sen. Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) was touting the values of the United States – many of which Red agrees with.  But one particular statement caught Red’s attention.  “America does not wage wars of conquest.”  Well, Ted is either ignorant or as usual lying to serve his rhetorical purposes.  Both the Mexican-American War and the Spanish-American War were clearly started as wars of conquest. And while we let go of much of what was conquered during the SAW – we are still holding on to Puerto Rico, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, and of course we kept everything we took from Mexico in the MAW.