MCKINLEY, William A collection of eight draft telegrams betw...
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MCKINLEY, William. A collection of eight draft telegrams between military officials in Washington and Manila at the onset of the Filipino uprising, including two with holograph additions by McKinley, 7 February to 20 March 1899. Together 9 pages, 4to, on War Department and Adjutant General's Office stationery. McKinley's holograph additions in pencil .
MCKINLEY, William. A collection of eight draft telegrams between military officials in Washington and Manila at the onset of the Filipino uprising, including two with holograph additions by McKinley, 7 February to 20 March 1899. Together 9 pages, 4to, on War Department and Adjutant General's Office stationery. McKinley's holograph additions in pencil . THE PHILLIPPINES QUAGMIRE: BRUTAL FIGHTING IN MANILA AND ROTTEN BEEF FOR THE TROOPS A graphic and unsettling collection of cables and letters, showing the confusion and even incompetence of the American war effort in the Philippines. The first cable from General Otis in Manila spells trouble: "Positive insurgent attack not ordered by insurgent government, which has shown inability to control Army concentrated around Manila." After fighting alongside the Americans to oust the Spanish, some Filipino "insurgents" turned against the Americans, whom they viewed as occupiers. The fighting would be savage: "Have buried some five hundred of their dead," Otis continues, "and hold five hundred prisoners. Their loss killed, wounded and prisoners probably four thousand..." Otis's 18 February report is more alarming: "Most barbarous order given inhabitants by insurgent government to rise en mass on night of fifteenth, the scheme defeated by activity of provost marshal...Can hold ground but not extend operations very much with present forces." That same day, McKinley takes up another crisis: tainted beef given the troops. The 18 February letter from the Adjutant General to Gen. Wade says: "The President...directs that special investigation be made to determine if the beef furnished the army was wholesome and of good quality and sufficient quantity, and to inquire with care into the allegation that it was treated with acids or chemicals by the contractors or others..." McKinley adds a warning, in his own hand, that heads will roll: "If there was bad meat the responsibility for it must be fixed with a view to further action." The following day, 19 February, McKinley cables back to Otis about the deadly insurgent activity, urges him to await reinforcements, and adds (in holograph): "Health of men also a most important element to consider." It took two years of especially bloody fighting to put down the insurgency led by Filipino nationalist Emilio Aguinaldo. Secretary of War Alger did not hold out as long: the beef scandal forced McKinley to fire him and put the far more effective Elihu Root in his place. (8)
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|Titel:||The Forbes Collection of American Historical Documents, Part Six|
22 May 2007, New York, Rockefeller Center
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