Secretary Root's Record:"Marked Severities" in Philippine Warfare The Evidence from Statistics as to Killing Wounded Men and Prisoners
After the battle of Caloocan the evidence on this subject from the official records is
overwhelming. Thus the report of Brigadier-general Hughes, commanding Department of
Visayas, gives the figures of the enemy's loss thus: "for August, 1899, killed, 40; for September,
October 1 Captain B. A. Poore "made a second attack on Tabaun Negros. The works were taken
by assault." Enemy's loss: killed, 21; rifles captured, 12; rounds of ammunition captured, 6,000.
The summary for October is: "killed, 59; captured, 26."
The summary for November is: "killed, 95; wounded, 6; captured, 4"; for December: "killed,
88"; for January, 1900: "killed, 42; captured, 10"; for March: "killed, 29; wounded and captured,
5"; for April: "killed, 19; wounded, 5"; for May: "killed, 134; wounded, 21"; for June: "killed,
141; wounded, 1."
Take now the report of Major-general Wheaton, commanding the Department of Northern Luzon
for April, May, June, and July, 1900, -- Northern Luzon, whose people, as Mr. Root said,
"received us with open arms":
The losses by guerilla warfare, from Nov. 1, 1899, to Sept. 1, 1900: Filipinos, 3,227 killed, 694
wounded, 2,864 captured.
In a letter to Mr. Herbert Welsh, of Philadelphia, an official of the War Department says:
The aggregate killed and wounded [Filipinos] reported by commanding officers is 14,643 killed
and 3,297 wounded.... As to the number of Filipinos whose deaths were due to the incidents of
war, sickness, burning of habitations, etc., we have no information.
The comparative figures of killed and wounded -- nearly five killed to one wounded if we take
only the official returns -- are absolutely convincing. When we examine them in detail and find
the returns quoted of many killed and often no wounded, only one conclusion is possible.
In the fiercest battles of the Civil War the proportion was as follows: at Antietam, where we
attacked: killed, 2,010; wounded, 9,416; at Fredericksburg, where we charged again and again
under a withering fire of rifles and cannon: killed, 1,180; wounded, 9,028; at Gettysburg, where
two veteran armies joined in desperate battle: killed, 2,834; wounded, 13,709; at Cold Harbor,
where the carnage was frightful: killed, 1,905; wounded, 10,570.
In the recent Boer War the proportion is the same. At Magersfontein: killed, 171; wounded, 691;
at Colenso: killed, 50; wounded, 847. In all battles from October, 1899, to June, 1900: killed,
2,518; wounded, 11,405.
In no war where the usages of civilized warfare have been respected has the number of killed
approached the number of wounded more nearly than these figures. The rule is generally about
five wounded to one killed.
What shall we say of a war where the proportions are reversed? How are these figures explained
by the officers in command?