Battle of Bud Bagsak

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Battle of Bud Bagsak
BudBagsak.jpg
Date June 11-June 15,1913
Location Philippines
Result US victory
Belligerents
Late 19th Century Flag of Sulu.svg Moro rebels  USA
Commanders and leaders
Datu Amil
Datu Sahipa
John "Black Jack" Pershing
Strength
500 Moros 1200, 8th Infantry, 8th Cavalry, 40th Mountain Artillery Battery and Philippine Scouts [1]
Casualties and losses
200-500 including women and children[2]:240 14 killed
25 wounded[2]:240

The Battle of Bud Bagsak was a battle during the Moro Rebellion phase of the Philippine–American War fought between June 11 and June 15, 1913. The defending Moro resistance fighters were fortified at the top of Mount Bagsak. The attacking Americans were led by General John 'Black Jack' Pershing. The Moros were entirely annihilated, including their leader, Datu Amil.[2]:228-240

Background[edit]

In March 1913, Datu Amil and 1500 warriors negotiated with the Sultan of Sulu and other Moros allied with the Americans, pledging to surrender their weapons.[2]:229 Two months later, having retreated to Bud Bagsak with his entire population of 6,000-10,000 in the Lati Ward, he told the Americans to "come on and fight".[2]:229

Noticing the Moros only fled to Bud Bagsak when provoked by government troops, General John J. Pershing, devised a policy of keeping the troops in their island garrisons in the hopes the women and children would come down from the mountain cottas.[2]:230 At the same time, Pershing secretly landed his force on the coastal town of Bun Bun, three and a half miles from ud Bagsak.[2]:231 Pershing's force consisted of the 51st and 52nd Companies of Moro Scouts from Basilan and Siasi, besides the Philippine Scouts from Jolo and fifty troopers from the 8th Cavalry Regiment.[2]:231

The horseshoe-shaped volcanic crater, open on the northwest at a knoll called Languasan, was protected by five cottas, Bunga, Bagsak, Puhagan, Matunkup and Puyacabao, ranging from 1,440 to 1,900 feet in elevation.[2]:231

In many other battles in the Morolands, the U.S. Army Colt .45 caliber pistol was tested and perfected as an effective "man stopper" against the Moro fighters, who often fought with berserker tendencies.

Battle[edit]

Pershing made Languasan his first objective as a place for his artillery and to block any escape, sending Major George C. Shaw with Company M of the 8th Infantry and the 40th Company of Philippine Scouts.[2]:232 Pershing also sent Capt. George Charlton and his 51st Moros to attack Matunkup while Capt. Taylor Nichols' Philippine Scouts attacked Puyacabao.[2]:233 By 12:20 PM, Matunkup was in American hands, and earned 2nd Lt. Louis Mosher a Medal of Honor.[2]:234 Puyacabao fell by 12:30 PM.[2]:235 That ended the first day of fighting, 11 June.[2]:235

Early on the morning of 12 June, the American artillery fired on Puhagan while marksmen fired on its interior, killing Datu Amil.[2]:235-236 Pershing then ordered Capt. Patrick Moylan to attack Bunga with the 24th and 31st Scouts, taking it by 1:30 PM.[2]:236-237 Pershing, James Lawton Collins, and a ten man escort scouted Bagsak, which convinced Pershing to bring up his artillery on 14 June and attack from the south.[2]:237

The attack began in Sunday morning fog, 15 June, with mountain howitzers and Charlton's Moros advancing at 9 AM.[2]:238 When the assault stalled, Pershing joined other American officers in the forefront of danger, helping stop a Moro counterattack.[2]:239 The final assault on the cotta occurred at 5 PM and Bagsak was captured after three and a half hours.[2]:239

Aftermath[edit]

General Pershing in a letter to his wife, he wrote: "The fighting was the fiercest I have ever seen... They are absolutely fearless, and once committed to combat they count death as a mere incident."

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ward, Gary. "46 Bud Bagsak, 1913: ‘No Fiercer Battle’". 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Arnold, J.R., 2011, The Moro War, New York: Bloomsbury Press, ISBN 9781608190249

See also[edit]

External links[edit]