Battle of Paye

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Battle of Paye
Part of the Philippine-American War
Death of Lawton
Date December 19, 1899
Location Paye near San Mateo, Morong (now Rizal), Philippines
Result American victory
 First Philippine Republic  United States
Commanders and leaders
First Philippine Republic Pio del Pilar
First Philippine RepublicLicerio Gerónimo
United States Henry Ware Lawton
Casualties and losses
40 killed
125 wounded[1]
11 killed
13 wounded

The Battle of Paye was a battle during the Philippine-American War between the United States and the Philippines. It was fought on December 19, 1899, near San Mateo in Morong (now Rizal) between the forces of General Henry Ware Lawton, and General Licerio Gerónimo's Tiradores de la Muerte.[2] Lawton was killed in the battle, making him the highest-ranking American commander to die in the Philippine conflict.[3]

On 18 Dec., Lawton and his men were en route to San Mateo along the Marikina River in a punitive expedition against Brig. Gen. Pio del Pilar's 1,000 force, which threatened the Marikina waterworks and the Manila wagon road to the north.[4]:160 Lawton's force included Col. James R. Lockett's squadron of the 11th Volunteer Cavary and Lt. Col. H.H. Sargent's 29th Battalion.[4]:160 A monsoon flooded the river and muddied the trail.[4]:160


On 19 Dec., the 11th captured Montalban, while Sargent's squadron made for San Mateo, approaching the Filipinos in rain and mist[4]:161. The Filipinos forced Lawton's troops to take cover in the rice fields.[4]:161

Lawton walked up and down the line in a white rain coat and pith helmet,[5] rallying his men even after his aide was hit.[4]:161 Lawton was killed after he took a bullet to the chest.[4]:161

Sargent located a ford allowing his men to cross the river and drove the defenders from San Mateo.[4]:161


The death of their commander was a terrible blow to Lawton's men and the American public.[4]:161[6] Lawton's body was taken to Paco Park[7] before his final burial at Arlington National Cemetery.[8]