Maj. John J. Pershing in Cagayan de Misamis!

By : Mindanao Today/05:55:50am 01/06/2022


By RAI Bollozos Sanchez

LOCAL Kagay-anon history immortalized the three famous battles during the Philippine-American War.

The battle of Cagayan de Misamis was on April 7, 1900, the battle of Agusan Hill on May 14, 1900, and the battle of Macahambus Gorge on June 4, 1900.

However, local Kagay-anon history has remained at a standstill.

With technology at reach, primary sources now surfacing online would instigate the progress of local historical writing.

For example, the famous General John “Black Jack” J. Pershing then a major was assigned as an Assistant Adjutant General to Brig. Gen. William Augustus Kobbe from November 27, 1900, to March 1, 1901.

In this case, Pershings's participation in Cagayan, Misamis Oriental was not the same as his notoriety in the Battle of Bud Bagsak.

As assistant adjutant general, his job was primarily handling the internal affairs of the U.S. army.

Though a part of his job was to join Capt. Thomas Millar, of the “H” Company, 40th Regiment in pursuing General Nicolas Capistrano, after the Battle of Macahambus on June 4.

The hounding persisted until December 1900, but it was the primary mission of Captain Millar.

With the instruction of Brig. Gen. William A. Kobbe, Maj. Pershing's role during the armistice from February 2 to 6, 1901 between them and Gen. Capistrano, was to give instructions to the 40th Regiment not to instigate any aggression from their end and keep the safe passage of Gen. Capistrano during the peace talks that happened from February 4 to 6 in Barrio Gusa.

The peace talks during the truce were represented by Maj. James F. Case of the 40th Regiment, Gen. Nicolas Capistrano, Maj. P. Mercado, Capt. F. del Prado, Lt. Uldarico Akut, Lt. F. Bacarrisas, with Don Manuel Corrales as mediator between parties.

Pershing was not a significant part of it if there were any bloodshed during the Philippine-American War in Cagayan de Misamis.

He was not yet assigned here when Cagayan, Agusan, and Macahambus happened.

He was assigned here from November 1900 to March 1901, and his job was purely internal.

Second, the significant amount of lives lost in Cagayan happened during the battles of Cagayan and Agusan, while the 40th Regiment suffered meager losses during the Battle of Macahambus Gorge.

If any lives were lost from the revolutionaries between June to December, it could be less than expected.

Lastly, the peace talks during the armistice from February 2 to 6 were not successful; but it may have contributed to General Capistrano's surrender to the 40th Regiment on April 7, 1901, at Sumilao, Bukidnon.

Overall, the situation in the Poblacion proper was relatively at peace after the Battle of Cagayan.

With the Kagay-anon, locals gradually assimilated with the Americans from thereon.

Well, these sources I got online posted more questions rather than answers. Why did the Americans establish a Department of Mindanao and Jolo headquarters in Cagayan de Misamis from November 1900 to March 1901?

And why did they transfer the headquarters in Zamboanga from March 1901 until the establishment of the Moro Province in 1903?

Maybe, the Americans sensed local cooperation and surrender. Hmmm… Quite historically intriguing.

Such historical discoveries are new to local Kagay-anon historiography, but why does local history still remain at bay? This is how I do understand the current situation.

1. Mostly, the higher education institutions of Cagayan de Oro City wish to promote local history but will not fund academic historical research unless it is their regular faculty.

2. There is a lack of disciplined and vertically articulated historians (by degree of studies or academic training). Further, most history teachers never involved themselves in historical research but took or finished post-graduate historical studies for promotion and stability.

3. Local historical organizations are confined to specific individuals (except to some who are academically inclined) and not even keen on the promotion of historical researches. If they do, they will keep it within their circle.

4. The local government lacks or has no funds for historical researches. They find it expensive or irrelevant. In return, residents are unaware of local history with no sense of local pride.

Local history should be introduced in academic curriculums. Making students of history grounded in the histories of their communities, their region, before they learn “national” history. As a result, local history should serve an illustrative purpose and provide a realistic estimate by providing specific manifestations of broad events.

History is the story of the people, for the people, and to the people. It is their story that needs to be told, it is our story that needs to be known, and it is our story that makes us ONE.

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