Battle of Tirad Pass

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Battle of Tirad Pass
Part of the Philippine-American War
Date December 2, 1899
Location Philippines
Result Successful Filipino delaying action; ultimately American Victory.
United States Philippines
Major P.C. March General Gregorio del Pilar
500 60
Casualties and losses
2 dead and 9 wounded 52 dead and wounded

The Battle of Tirad Pass is the battle between the 60-man Filipino, commanded by Brigadier General Gregorio del Pilar, and the 500 Americans of the 33rd Infantry pursuing Emilio Aguinaldo on December 2, 1899, at Tirad Pass, a passageway to Cordillera Mountains.



In November of 1899, American troops gathered on the city of Pozorrubio in northern Luzon to pursue Emilio Aguinaldo. Aguinaldo was able to escape and went to the mountains. Gregorio Del Pilar saw the potentials of the oppressive Tirad Pass being a good shield from the coming americans, volunteered to be left behind to defend the pass and delay the americans. With him were 60 Filipinos.


American troops, 1899.

On December 2, 1899, Americans have reached the trail near where Gregorio and his men were. Del Pilar's team were able to fire and caused some American casualties. To prevent having more casualties, the Americans used their sharpshooters and fired at the Filipinos. Moreover, a Filipino traitor, Januario Galut, showed another group of Americans a trail by which they could emerge to the rear of the Filipinos.

The battle lasted five hours and left 52 dead Filipino soldiers, among them was the brave Gregorio. The Americans may have won the battle but the Filipinos held them long enough for Aguinaldo to escape them.


The Battle of Tirad Pass and the death of General Del Pilar was commemorated through the creation of the Tirad Pass Medal during the World War II. The design of the front of the medal included a bust of General Del Pilar and a view of Tirad Pass while at the back includes the date 1944. This medal was the only military medal or decoration issued by the Laurel government during the Japanese occupation<ref name="test1">Basso, Aldo P., Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines 1728-1974, 2nd edition, Bookman Printing House, Quezon City, the Philippines, 1975.</ref>.

See Also


<references />

  • National Historical Institute. Historical Markers: Regions I-IV and CAR. Manila: National Historical Institute, 1993.



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