Philippine Insurrection, 1899 to 1902

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During the Philippine Insurrection, more than 125,000 American soldiers were sent to the Philippines, and over 4,000 deaths occurred during this conflict. This was also known as the Philippine-American War and the War of Philippine Independence.

Gen Aguinaldo, Philippines.jpg

History[edit | edit source]

After the Spanish-American War (1898), the Philippines were given to the US. President McKinley felt Germany would take over the Philippines if the US did not. Many Filipinos wanted independence, and fighting began in 1899 and continued until 1902.

The following have information about the Philippine Insurrection:

Timeline of Major Events[edit | edit source]

Date Event
1898 Throughout the Spanish-American War, the Filipinos and the Americans worked as allies. There were various communications between Filipino insurgents, led by Emilio Aguinaldo, and American leaders. Aguinaldo was led to believe by the American military officers that the Philippine Islands would be given independence at the end of the Spanish-American War. No written agreements were made.
1 May 1898 Commodore George Dewey defeated the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay, Philippines.
May-Jun 1898 U.S. forces continued to maintain possession of the city of Manila. Filipino troops withdrew from the city in August.
12 Jun 1898 Philippine Declaration of Independence (Pagpapahayag ng Kasarinlan ng Pilipinas) proclaimed.
10 Dec 1898 The Treaty of Paris ends the Spanish-American War. At the treaty meeting, the United States purchased the Philippine Islands from Spain for $20 million.
21 Dec 1898 United States President, William McKinley, published the "Benevolent Assimilation" Proclamation which stated that the purpose of the U.S. presence in the Islands was to "assert its sovereignty."
21 January 1899 The Malolos Constitution is promulgated creating the First Philippine Republic.
4 Feb 1899 Armed hostilities began between the Americans and the Filipinos. There were very few major military battles during the conflict. Guerrilla fighting was common.
24 Nov 1899 U.S. troops secured control of central Luzon, the major island of the Philippines.
21 June 1900 General MacArthur announced an amnesty plan which pledged “complete immunity for the past and liberty for the future” to Filipinos who surrendered. Most Filipino insurgents did not accept.
23 March 1901 Aguinaldo captured by Philippine Scouts led by General Frederick Funston.
19 April 1901 Aguinaldo pledges allegiance to the United States of America, ending the Philippine Insurrection.
4 July 1902 President Theodore Roosevelt issues unilateral amnesty formally ending the war. Guerrilla warfare between the insurgents and the Americans continued on and off for several years.

Service Records[edit | edit source]


An index to service records for the Philippine Insurrection is listed below:

The service records have not been filmed and are only available at the National Archives.

  • State volunteers came from California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
  • State Volunteer Regiments: First California; California Artillery Batteries A & D; First Colorado; First Idaho; Fifty-First Iowa; Twentieth Kansas; Thirteenth Minnesota; First Montana; First Nebraska; First Nevada Cavalry; First North Dakota; Second Oregon; Tenth Pennsylvania; First South Dakota, First Tennessee; Utah Artillery Batteries A & B; First Washington; First Wyoming; Wyoming Battery.


A list of volunteer officers is in Vol.2 pages 185–272 of the following:

Regular Army

Enlisted Men

The "Register of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914" (NARA M233) consists of U.S. Army registers that recorded the name and other information on soldiers that enlisted between 1798 and 1914. The collection includes enlistees from the time period of the Philippine Insurrection, however, it does not specify whether they served in the war or not. See United States Army.


Pension Records[edit | edit source]


Pensions were first granted in 1922 to veterans of the Philippine Insurrection. The General Index to Pension Files and the Organization Index to Pension Files are the two indexes to the pension files this war. The actual pension files have not been filmed and are available at the National Archives.

You will need to send form 85 to the National Archives to obtain copies of the pension file. The National Archives will mail you copies of the form if you will write to them or send them an e-mail request to:

National Archives and Records Administration
700 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, DC 20408-0001
Tel. 202-501-5400

See Military Records: Pre-WWI Pension Applications (16 minute online video) FamilySearch Research Classes Online, 2010.

Casualty Records[edit | edit source]

Regular Army Officers

Census Records[edit | edit source]

1900 U.S. Federal Census

The 1900 Federal Census (NARA T623) enumerated military personnel stationed overseas in places such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. The census gives the soldier’s name, rank, place of residence in the United States, birth date and place, company, regiment, and branch of service.

1930 U.S. Federal Census

The 1930 Federal Censusasked if a person was "A veteran of the U.S. military or naval forces mobilized for any war or expedition" and "What war or expedition" they served in.

1940 U.S. Federal Census

The 1940 Federal Census asked "Is this person a veteran of the United States military forces or the wife, widow, or under 18-year-old child of a veteran?" and "If child, is veteran-father dead?" and "War or Military" served in. These were only asked of persons which were recorded on 2 of the 40 lines per page, which would have covered about five percent of the population.

Prisoner of War Records[edit | edit source]

Regular Army Officers

National Archives Collections Relating to the War with Spain and the Philippine Insurrection[edit | edit source]

Bibliography of Historical Sources[edit | edit source]

  • Bain, David Howard. Sitting in Darkness: Americans in the Philippines. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1984.
  • Constantino, Renato. A History of the Philippines: From the Spanish Colonization to the Second World War. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1975.
  • Hahn, Emily. The Islands, America’s Imperial Adventure in the Philippines. New York: Coward, McCann and Geoghegan, 1981.
  • LeRoy, James A. The Americans in the Philippines: a History of the Conquest and First Years of Occupation. New York: AMS Press, 1970.
  • Miller, Stuart C. Benevolent Assimilation: the American Conquest of the Philippines, 1899-1903. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982.
  • Onorato, Michael P., ed. Philippine Bibliography, 1899-1946. Santa Barbara, California: American Bibliographical Center, 1969.
  • Sexton, William T. Soldiers in the Sun: an Adventure in Imperialism. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: The Military Service Publishing Co., 1939.
  • Stanley, Peter W. A Nation in the Making: the Philippines and the United States, 1899-1921. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1974.
  • Welch, Richard B. Response to Imperialism: the United States and the Philippine-American War, 1899-1902. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979.
  • Wolff, Leon.Little Brown Brother: America’s Forgotten Bid for Empire Which Cost 250,000 Lives. London: Longmans, 1961.
  • Zaide, Gregorio F. The Philippine Revolution. Manila, Philippines: Modern Book, 1954.

Society Records[edit | edit source]

The United Spanish War Veterans was established in 1899. Its membership includes veterans with service in the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection to 4 July 1902. The following sources contain information on their members who were veterans of the two wars.




  • United Spanish War Veterans, Department of Utah. Muster Rolls of Members, 1929–1957. (FHL film 1666085) Lists the veteran’s name, age, residence, final discharge date, and unit. Some entries may contain additional data.

State Records of the Philippine Insurrection
[edit | edit source]

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming