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my military history research interests

USArmy_VolunteerRegiments_1899-1902

"Recruiting officers say that the men offering themselves for service in the Philippines are of the very best-that is to say, the rush to enlist is so great that it is possible to select first class material. Many veterans of the volunteer regiments are enlisting, and knowledge of the hardships to be endured is now so widespread throughout the country that only men of hardihood and character come forward, as a rule, to take up the burden of a campaign in the tropics." 
- Captain George L. Kilmer - Civil War veteran, US Volunteer and former reporter and special writer on The Brooklyn Daily Eagle - see below Our Army of Occupation, Deseret News, September 16 1899 -

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See Correspondence Relating to the War With Spain Including the Insurrection in the Philippine Islands and the China Relief Expedition, April 15, 1898, to July 30, 1902 (CMH Pub 70-28)

Volume 1. - Volunteer organizations in United States service in war with Spain beginning on page 581

Volume 2 - for Philippine insurrection, February 4, 1899, to July 30, 1902

see also  Infantry, Part I: Regular Army (CMH Pub 60-3-1), pages 35-36 for capsule summary of organizational changes

The Thirty-Third Infantry, United States Volunteers: an American regiment in the Philippine insurrection, 1899-1901, by Brian M. Linn Masters Thesis, The Ohio State University, 1981

Provincial Pacification in the Philippines, 1900-1901: The First District Department of Northern Luzon, by Brian M. Linn, Military Affairs, Vol. 51, No. 2, Apr., 1987, pp. 62-66.

The U.S. Army and Counterinsurgency in the Philippine War, 1899-1902, by Brian M. Linn, Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 1989.

The Philippine War, 1899-1902, by Brian M. Linn, Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2000.

Guardians of Empire: The U.S. Army and the Pacific, 1902-1940, by Brian M. Linn, Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2000.

The idea for and posting came before I accessed these pertinent readings:

The United States Army in the Philippine Insurrection: 1899-1902, by Gerald H. Early, 1975


For a look at the specific experiences of one unit see:
A FEDERAL VOLUNTEER REGIMENT IN THE PHILIPPINE INSURRECTION: THE HISTORY OF THE 32ND INFANTRY (UNITED STATES VOLUNTEERS), 1899 TO 1901, by James R. Craig, 97 pages.

"The federal volunteer regiments that fought in the Philippine insurgency from 1899 to 1901 were the product of intense political infighting, negotiation and compromise at the highest levels of the American government. Oddities among military units, these regiments were neither state militia nor regular army. They were national units filled with state volunteers. The federal volunteer regiments were fleeting organizations. They had no history and no future. Not only did they lack unit legacies to inspire their soldiers; they were disbanded within two years of their creation. Yet, in 1899, 1900 and 1901, the United States Volunteer regiments bore the preponderance of the American national effort in the Philippines. By following one of these federal volunteer regiments from inception, though deployment and employment, to demobilization we can learn about our past as well as find lessons that may apply to the present. The existence and success of volunteer regiments that were federally raised, organized, trained and led points to the efficacy of American democratic processes to create the right kind of forces for difficult conflicts...."- Abstract, p. iii.

The Thirty-Third Infantry, United States Volunteers: an American regiment in the Philippine insurrection, 1899-1901, by Brian M. Linn Masters Thesis, The Ohio State University, 1981 - Abstract only found at Texas State Historical Association - THIRTY-THIRD INFANTRY.

Burden and Honor: The United States Volunteers in the Southern Philippines, 1899-1901,by John Scott Reed, Ph.D. diss., University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1994 


Black Volunteer Troops in the Spanish-Cuban/American War and the Philippine War (1898-1901), by John Scott Reed, in The War of 1898 and the U.S. Interventions, 1898-1934 by B. R. Beede;  

Wallace Cadet Taylor and the Last US Volunteers, by Thomas D Thiessen, Nebraska History, Vol 87, Issue 1, 2006 pp. 28-43
"This is the story of the military career of a little-known Nebraska Officer, who served in both the Spanish-American and Philippine-American wars.  As such, it is a case study in the evolution of the American "citizen soldier."



I might add that Thiessen's (also author of Fighting First Nebraska (The): Nebraska's Imperial Adventure in the Philippines, 1898-1899) article on Taylor is also a carefully woven and highly readable overview of extant literature on the Philippine War and later Insurrection; including critical  governmental and historical records, conclusions from noted authors such as Graham Cosmas, Brian M. Linn, and scholars such as John S. Reed, to wit:




"With the ratification of the treaty between Spain and the United States on April 11, 1899, peace was formally at hand and the Volunteers in the Philippines were entitled to discharge, but with the war against the Filipino nationalists in progress, and because few Regular Army soldiers were
available to replace them, they were kept in service. The Regular Army was still recovering from the devastating effects of combat and disease experienced in the Caribbean theater of the Spanish-American War, and from the discharge of experienced soldiers at the conclusion of that conflict.21 Political pressure from state governors and congressmen for the Volunteers' return home mounted during the winter of 1898 and 1899, and resulted in passage of the Army Bill on March 2.22 A key provision of that law was the creation of a temporary force of 35,000 U.S. Volunteers to replace the state Volunteers then serving in the Philippines. Specifically, the law authorized the  creation of twenty-four new regiments of infantry and one of cavalry for a term not to exceed two years.23  The first of the newly authorized regiments began to organize in June 1899.24 The law also authorized the Regular Army a temporary increase to 65,000 men. While the Regular forces were being augmented and trained, however, the new Volunteer regiments would replace state Volunteers in the Philippines and would constitute the bulk of U.S. military forces there. The federal Volunteer regiments were formed during summer and fall 1899. Unlike the earlier state Volunteer regiments the new Volunteers were responsible to the federal government, not to the state governments. The officers and most of the enlisted men of the new regiments were experienced former soldiers from the Regular Army and the state Volunteer regiments. Most field-grade officers, who commanded the regiments and battalions, had held Regular Army commissions or brevet Volunteer field-grade rank during the Spanish-American War. Ambitious professional officers, many later achieved high rank in the American Expeditionary Force during World War I. Most company-grade officers had previously served as officers or non-commissioned officers in the state Volunteer regiments. An estimated 30 percent or more of the U.S. Volunteers had seen service as state Volunteers, and most new Volunteer companies included some ex-Regular Army men as well.25 Recruits had to be from eighteen to thirty-five years old, be able to speak English, be no less than five feet four inches tall, weigh from 120 to 190 pounds, be of good character, able-bodied, and  free from disease.26  In short, compared to the earlier state Volunteers, many of them federalized en masse from pre-existing National Guard units, the new Volunteer companies were a highly select bodies of men.  The new Volunteer regiments were a temporary expedient while the Regular Army was reorganizing and expanding to a size sufficient to garrison America's new overseas possessions. Scheduled to be disbanded by July 1, 1901, they would exist only for two years or less. No  provision was made to replace combat or disease casualties. A depleted regiment would remain depleted until it was disbanded." (pp. 34-35)...

"The U.S. Volunteers who served in the Philippines in 1899 through early 1901—state and federal Volunteers alike—bore the brunt of the conflict with Filipino nationalists in both conventional and guerilla forms of warfare. The state Volunteer regiments engaged their Filipino adversaries in conventional set-piece battles and were highly successful. The federal Volunteers who replaced them saw the conflict change from conventional warfare between opposing formations of soldiers to guerilla warfare of ambush and intimidation of the civilian population. They effectively adopted counterinsurgency tactics that ultimately led to the pacification of much of the Philippines by mid-1901 when the replacement Volunteer regiments were disbanded and the remaining pacification task fell to a reconstituted and expanded Regular Army, the Philippine Scouts, and the newly formed Philippine Constabulary. John Scott Reed attributes the success of the Volunteers in the Philippines to factors including effective small-unit offensive tactics combined with martial law coercion of civilian populations to discourage support for resistance; quick adaptation to the tropical environment and development of appropriate tactics for the terrain; containment of the effects of the disease threat to American troops; and superior discipline in the face of physical hardships and in their treatment of Filipino civilians. He also cites "aggressive patrolling, good intelligence, organizational flexibility, and sheer physical durability."57....Lt. Col. James Parker, a Regular Army officer who served with both Regular Army and U.S. Volunteer units during the Philippine-American War, judged the Volunteers to be superior soldiers to both their state Volunteer and Regular comrades "These regiments were far superior to the National Guard regiments which preceded them...These men had the individual intelligence and in dependence of citizen soldiers and soon acquired the discipline of regulars. The raising and organization of these regiments was one of the wisest and most successful acts of the Government. These regiments, in my opinion, were in 1900 more efficient than the regular regiments.58" The Volunteers of both 1898 and 1899 were highly motivated and imbued with a strong sense of duty to their country, enthusiasm for an adventurous life, and remarkable personal courage and physical durability.59" Without the high quality of the Volunteer soldiers, Reed maintains, the Philippine-American War would have been fought with "less well trained troops, fewer districts would have been pacified in the winter of 1900-01, and the harsh [punitive] measures [used by the Regulars] of 1902 [in certain places in the Islands] would have been employed on a much wider scale. The war would thus have disrupted more communities and consumed more human lives, both American and Filipino." And it likely would have taken more time to achieve pacification.60" (pp.39-40)

"The Army Bill of March 2, 1899,was the result of much debate over Army reform measures during the fall and winter of 1898 and into 1899."- A central issue of this debate was the expansion of the army to a size needed to pacify and administer America's new island dependencies, primarily the Philippine Islands. Although the bill fell short of the measures long sought by proponents of army reforms, it represented a compromise between the advocates and opponents of reform. The law required that by July 1, 1901, the Volunteer force of 35,000 men would disband and the Regular force of 65,000 men would shrink to about 29,000 officers and men, close to the Army's total pre-Spanish War authorized strength of about 27,000. Reformers continued to push for organizational changes and expansion of the Army's strength that were finally authorized beginning early in 1901. As historian Graham Cosmas has pointed out, the changes made in 1899 presaged modernization of the U.S. Army, and were followed by a series of important legislated reforms in both the Army and the National Guard that began in 1901 and continued to the advent of the First World War.63 (p.40)....

Footnote23-The newly authorized units were the 26th through the 49th U.S. Volunteer Infantry regiments and the 11th U.S. Volunteer Cavalry. The cavalry regiment, the 36th, and the 37th U.S. Volunteer Infantry regiments were raised in the Philippines, the others in the United States. Two regiments, the 48th and 49th, were comprised of African-American enlisted men and company-grade officers (Linn, Philippine War, 125; Reed, "Burden and Honor," 35-36). (p.41)

Footnote29-The Regular Army of 1899 had been decimated by disease and casualties during the Spanish-American War and was seriously under strength. It had to absorb large numbers of new recruits, estimated at 60 to 80 percent of each company, who required training. Many company-grade officers of the Regular Army in 1899and 1900were relatively inexperienced and there was a shortage of officers due to disease, casualties, discharges and resignations. As a result, many Regular regiments were under officered when they were sent to the Philippines (Reed, '"Burden and Honor,"47-49).(p. 41)
 

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