Thursday, December 1, 2011

Combate del Tirad (1899)

December 2. At dawn we saw the enemy climbing the slope and moments later the firing began in the first entrenchment, which was under Lieutenant Braullo. At around nine in the morning two Igorots climbed to the peak and told the general that the Americans had suffered losses at the first entrenchment and could not advance. Heartened by the news, the general decide that were to descend in his company and take part in the combat.

This we did and an hour later found ourselves where nine soldiers were defending the left flank of the mountain in the second entrenchment. Hardly had we got there when we saw the Americans climbing up, only fifteen meters away, whereupon the soldiers started firing again.

The general could not see the enemy because of the cogon grass and he ordered a halt to the firing. At that moment I was handing him a carbine and warning him that the Americans were directing their fire at him and that he should crouch down because his life was in danger --- and at that moment he was hit by a bullet in the neck that caused instant death.

I myself was also hit by a bullet in the hat that caused me no damage. On seeing that the general was dead, the soldiers jumped up as if to flee but I aimed the carbine at them saying I would blow the brains off the skull of the first to run whereupon they resumed firing while the body of the general was being removed to the next trench.

The Military Journal of Telésforo Carrasco y Pérez
December 2, 1899
Translated by Nick Joaquin

Link to Spanish Version