Battle of Paete

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Battle of Paete
Part of Philippine-American War
Date April 12, 1899
Location Paete, Laguna
Result U.S. victory
Belligerents
United States Philippines
Commanders
Henry W. Lawton  ?
Strength
220 Not exceeding 50
Casualties and losses
5 killed
3 wounded
~15 killed or wounded

The Battle of Paete was a small battle fought between American forces, commanded by General Henry W. Lawton, and Philippine Nationalists on April 12, 1899, during the Philippine-American War.

Contents

Background

Upon capturing Santa Cruz and Pagsanjan, the American forces in Laguna launched another expedition to capture the town of Paete.

The Americans assembled a force of about 220 men to capture the town, and began the march at 2:45 that afternoon. After about a one hour march, the commander of the 1st North Dakota Volunteers, Major Fraine, ordered five men as scouts 100 yards ahead to locate the enemy positions. They soon spotted enemy breast works 150 yards in front of them, manned by 50 or so Filipino fighters. Major Fraine then halted the command and sent a small squad consisting of one corporal and four privates to flank the Filipino positions.

Battle

Some Filipino troops were hidden in thick foliage flanking the road, and they opened fire at close range on the small force, quickly dispatching them. Three of the squad members, including Corporal Isador Driscoll, were killed outright and another fell mortally wounded. Only one man was left after the volley, Private Thomas Sletteland, but he managed to drive back the nearest group of Filipinos, who repeatedly tried to get the rifles of his fallen comrades. He was later awarded the Medal of Honor for his role in this battle.

Lawton then deployed the majority of his men to attack and try and turn the flank of the enemy, which they were unable to do. The Americans attacking the front Filipino entrenchments were also unable to move them from their position. The American artillery battery then fired a few shrapnel rounds into the enemy positions, as the gunboat Laguna de Bay pelted the position with gatling fire, which succeeded in dislodging the Filipinos.

Aftermath

Facing superior numbers and firepower, the Filipinos abandoned their entrenchments and dispered into the mountains. Lawton's force then went on to occupy Paete with no further resistance. This was also the last battle of the campaign, but it proved to be the most costly.

During the entire campaign, the Americans suffered 7 killed and 21 wounded. The Filipinos loss is estimated at 100 killed, 70 wounded, and 60 captured, most of which coming from their defeat at the Battle of Santa Cruz.

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