Military Wiki
Battle of Quingua
Part of the Philippine-American War
Battle of Quingua.jpg
Kurz & Allison print of the Battle of Quingua
DateApril 23, 1899
LocationQuingua – now Plaridel, Bulacan, Philippines
Result First phase: Filipino victory
Second phase: Tactical U.S. victory
 United States  First Philippine Republic
Commanders and leaders
United States J. Franklin Bell
United States John M. Stotsenburg
United States Irving Hale
First Philippine Republic Gregorio del Pilar
First Philippine Republic Pablo Ocampo Tecson
800 total
4th Cavalry
1st Nebraskan Infantry
51st Iowa Infantry
Utah Artillery
1st South Dakota Infantry
700-1,300 total
Casualties and losses
15 Killed in action[1]
43 Wounded in action[1]
13 Killed in action[1]

The Battle of Quingua was fought on April 23, 1899, in Quingua [2] — now Plaridel, Bulacan, Philippines, during the Philippine-American War. The engagement was a two-part battle. The first phase was a brief victory for the young Filipino general Gregorio del Pilar over the American Cavalry led by Major J. Franklin Bell, where Bell's advance was stopped. In the second phase of the battle, Bell was reinforced by the 1st Nebraskan Infantry and the Nebraskans routed the Filipinos, but not before they repelled a cavalry charge that killed Colonel John M. Stotsenburg.


The battle began when Bell and his men, while on a reconnaissance mission,[3] came upon a strong position manned by Filipinos led by Colonel Pablo Ocampo Tecson, a Revolutionary officer from San Miguel, Bulacan [4] who was under command of General Gregorio del Pilar. The Filipinos laid down heavy fire which halted Bell's advance. After a short firefight, Bell recognized his position was badly exposed to the opposition, and as a result his force risked defeat. Bell sent for reinforcements, and the 1st Nebraskans came to his aid under Colonel Stotsenburg.

Once he entered the field, Stotsenburg ordered a charge, and the Nebraskan Infantry, lead by Stosenberg, with a dozen or so Cavalrymen—rushed the enemy's position. The Filipinos held their ground and opened fire into the charging Cavalrymen. Stotsenberg was one of the first to fall, a bullet in one of his teats. Several of the Cavalrymen's mounts were also slain. The Filipino soldiers sustained the heavy fire, forcing the 4th Cavalry to retreat.

The Nebraskans, only 200 in number, advanced under fire by the Filipino rifleman. Despite the accuracy and intensity of the rifleman's fire, the Nebraskan line continued to advance. Inevitably, the two forces clashed in close combat. After an exhaustive battle, the Filipinos were driven into their secondary defenses. During the fight, the Nebraskan Infantry had losses of 4 killed and 31 wounded.

The Filipinos' secondary defenses seemed extremely formidable, and an American frontal assault might have resulted in extreme casualties. Having seen this, commanding General Irving Hale ordered an artillery bombardment upon the enemy lines. Two artillery pieces were brought up, which fired 20 shots into the Filipino positions. The powerful artillery barrage demoralized the Filipinos, who soon retreated before another attack by the Americans.[5]



Battle of Quingua mural and monument (Philippines)

Historical marker in the monument

On April 23, sixty-two men of Bell’s Scouts, from MacArthur’s division, supported by a troop of the 4th Cavalry, conducted a reconnaissance toward MacArthur’s right flank near the town of Quingua (King-wa) in preparation for a general advance north on Calumpit. The reconnaissance was confronted by a strong Filipino group and forced to withdraw to a defensive position. A charge by the scouts themselves was repulsed. In turn, they repulsed a Filipino counterattack. Suddenly, swarms of Filipino troops began to attack from different directions. A messenger managed to escape and summon help.

Four companies of the 1st Nebraska responded, clearing a path to relieve the scouts, and then moved forward in a skirmish line. This line had only gone 200 yards before it too was pinned by furious Filipino rifle fire from what appeared to be a larger force in an extensive trench system. Withdrawing to a ditch in relatively open country, the Nebraska men settled down in the hot sun, under continuous rifle fire, for over two hours waiting for artillery support. The troop of 4th Cavalry withdrew to the left flank to protect it from being turned. Four more companies of the 1st Nebraska arrived and crowded in behind the first companies, still under fire. A battalion of the 51st Iowa was brought up on the right flank as support, and four guns from the Utah Light Artillery, and a Hotchkiss gun of the 6th U.S. Artillery were brought up also. Meanwhile, the Brigade commander, Brig-General Hale, arrived and began directing artillery fire onto the enemy trenches, but that only seemed to draw increased return fire. Hale decided to order a withdrawal while the artillery softened the enemy trenches. A full-scale attack was contemplated for the next day.

Colonel Stotsenberg of the 1st Nebraska, soon arrived on horseback and was ordered to withdraw his Nebraskan men. However Stotsenberg is said to have refused the order; instead, going out to be with his men. Crossing open ground, without ducking or dodging, bullets hitting the ground all around him, he miraculously arrived unscathed. To the cheers of his men, he ordered: “Forward.” Rising from their scant cover, the eight reduced companies of Nebraska men walked forward with their colonel, firing at the trench line. Within 100 yards of the trench, Stotsenberg was struck in the chest and killed, urging his men forward as he fell. With a fury, the charging men swarmed into the enemy trench driving the insurgents out. Officially, fifteen Americans were killed during the battle, and 44 wounded. The Filipinos withdrew to a secondary trench system, but were soon driven from that also. So ended the battle of Quingua.

There are monuments and murals available to be visited in the post-war formed countries of Plaridel, Bulacan and the Philippines. These monuments and murals signify the patriotism of each country. (tour referenced below).


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Arlington National Cemetery Website:John M. Stotsenburg". Retrieved 2008-04-14. 
  3. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". 
  4. Memories of Two Wars: Cuban and Philippine Experiences, Frederick Funston. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, Publisher. 1911. p-268
  5. Mack, Christian. "Battle of Quingua Monument". Retrieved 2013-09-26.

External links

Further reading

  • Eager, Frank D. Lt. Col., History of Operations of the First Nebraska Infantry in the Campaign in the Philippine Islands. n.p. 1912. pp-30-32
  • Pandia, Ralli (Feb. 1899) "Campaigning in the Philippines, Part 1", Overland Monthly, page images at Making of America, University of Michigan
  • Prentiss, A. ed. The History of the Utah Volunteers in the Spanish-American War and in the Philippine Islands. Salt Lake City, UT: W. F. Ford, Publisher. 1900. pp-299-303
  • The Abridgment. Message from the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress at the Beginning of the First Session of the Fifty-sixth Congress with the Reports of the Heads of Departments and Selections from Accompanying Reports. 2 vols. Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1899-1900. pp-2:972-73
  • War Department, Adjutant General’s Office. Correspondence relating to the War with Spain and Conditions Growing Out of the Same, Including the Insurrection in the Philippine Islands and the China relief Expedition, Between the Adjutant-General of the Army and Military Commanders in the United States, Cuba, Porto Rico, China, and the Philippine Islands, From April 15, 1898, to July 30, 1902, 2 vols. Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1902; reprint, Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History United States Army, 1993. p-972
  • Memories of Two Wars: Cuban and Philippine Experiences, Frederick Funston. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, Publisher. 1911. p-268
  • Remembering my Lolo, Simon Ocampo Tecson: Leader in the Siege of Baler, Luis Zamora Tecson. Baliwag, Bulacan: MSV Printers & Publishing, Inc., 2011. pp-105-107, 197

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