Battle of Makahambus Hill
|Battle of Makahambus Hill|
|Part of Philippine-American War|
|First Philippine Republic||United States|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Col. Pablo Tecson
Col. Apolinar Velez
|Major Albert Laws
Captain Thomas Millar
|Casualties and losses|
|20 Killed or Wounded
The Battle of Makahambus Hill was one of the few victories won by the Filipinos over the Americans during the Philippine-American War. It was fought on June 4, 1900 in Cagayan de Misamis (now Cagayan de Oro City). The Filipinos were under the command of Colonel Apolinar Velez of the Maguindanao Battalion. Most of them were volunteers apart from some Filipino army men who joined.
Col. Pablo Tecson's Bulacan guerrillas, which included his brothers Alipio and Simon, had constructed a number of fortresses in the mountains.:271 On 25 May, they ambushed Capt. Charles D. Roberts' 6 man patrol, killing 3, and taking the rest prisoner, including Capt. Roberts.:271 However, in a humanitarian act, Tecson released the two wounded prisoners, but kept Capt. Roberts captive.:271 The Americans organized a campaign in an attempt to secure Roberts' release.
The fort at Makahambus was located on a high and steep hill. The Americans seeing how formidable the fort was tried to negotiate a Filipino surrender. The answer was a volley of cannon and rifle fire that drove the Americans back down the hill. Many were killed not by rifle fire, but by booby-trapped pits bristling with sharpened bamboo spears under a camouflage of foliage. The Americans launched repeated counterattacks, only to be driven back by rifle fire from the defenders.
On 4 June, Company E of the 35th was ambushed, followed by Maj. Albert Laws' battalion encountering the fortified hill.:271 Lt. Grover Flint tried to flank the hill but was also ambushed, wounding him and two others.:271 A relief force encountered another concealed trench line, and the Americans realized the fort was impossible to flank, being protected on both sides by gorges.:271 The battalion was pinned down until the Filipinos withdrew.:271
The American campaign was able to destroy some supply dumps in the search for Roberts, but failed to recapture him.:271
American losses totaled as many as 20 dead and wounded. There was also one American prisoner of war. The Filipinos, however, suffered only 1 killed and 3 wounded, making this battle a one-sided victory for the Filipinos during the war.
- Linn, B.M., 2000, The Philippine War, 1899-1902, Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, ISBN 0700612254