DIOCNO LETTER, OCTOBER 28, 1899
[Original in Spanish. Contemporary copy. P.I.R., 881.1.]
SANTA BARBARA, October 28, 1899.
(Seal) Expeditionary Brigade, General Headquarters.
The Commanding General-in-Chief of the Forces of this Island sent
on this date, the following communication to Roque Lopez Commander-in-Chief
of the Zone of Pavia, and Pedro Darroca, Chief of Camp San
"Whereas it is probable that the enemy will shortly make a decided
forward move; and to the end of avoiding disagreeable events and making
up the deficiencies that naturally result from the present unorganized
condition of all our forces, as immediate General-Superior Chief of the
Brigade I order the following:
1. The Zone of Pavia is hereby divided into two Camps, to wit:
Sambag and Balantang. Camp Sambag is sub-divided into four posts;
Sambag shall be the principal post: the others, Jibaon, Ungra and Tacas.
Camp Balantang is sub-divided, also, into four posts, to wit: Balantang
is the principal post; the others are Ticod, Bitoon and Balagon.
2. Agustin Solis is hereby appointed Commanding Chief of the first
Camp, and Quintin Salas Commanding Chief of the second Camp; and
these officers shall appoint their post commanders, who also shall be
3. The Chiefs of Camps shall report to you any news or incident
that may occur during engagements, and you in your turn shall report
the same to me, my Headquarters being established for this purpose in
the Military Plaza of Santa Barbara.
4. Post Commanders and Camp Commanders are henceforward absolutely
prohibited from leaving their respective posts even for a moment,
and any violation of this rule shall be punished as treachery, and
punishment shall be inflicted without having recourse to proceedings in
5. Every Post Commander shall daily make an early morning inspection
of his ammunition, and he will also make a similar inspection before
entering into battle; and any noncommissoned officer or enlisted man
who loses his ammunition shall be held responsible therefor and punished
in accordance with Article 1 of the Decree of the Captain General dated
March 12th last; and therefore capital punishment shall be imposed
when proofs of guilt have been obtained as above mentioned. For the
better and necessary compliance with this rule you will immediately send
these Headquarters an exact report of the troops in each post for its defense,
and the amount of ammunition for each man. Every man should
be given the same amount of ammunition.
6. The foregoing article shall be understood to include the loss of
blank cartridges, and the same punishment shall be applied.
7. Shooting should rather be low than high as provided in Article
2 of General Order of the Army of the 19th of March last.
8. If the onslaught of the enemy can not be resisted, an orderly
and honorable retreat will be made if possible; and for the proper execution
of this delicate military maneuver the following rules will be observed:
1st. The forces of Sambag will retire to the ground between the
main road and the Pavia river: those of Ungra will join the forces of
Sambag; and the Jibaoan detachment will retreat by Jose and Buyo if
attacked on the left flank, and by way of Pandac to Pavia if attacked on
the right flank. The Tacas detachment will retreat to the "Arguelles"
All the forces of these four posts composing the Camp commanded by
Sr. Solfs will rally at Pavia where they will take possession, and there
they will make a general defense under orders of the Commanding General
of Pavia. In case this town can not be held, all the forces will retire to
Santa Barbara by way of Cabugao between the main road and the river.
2nd. The forces at Balantang, Ticao, Bitoon and Balagon from Sr. Salas'
Camp will retire to Leganes, Zarraga, Lucena and Pototan; the object of
this manoreuvre is to prevent the enemy from surrounding us in case they
disembark troops at Banate and Dumangas. Upon making this manoreuvre
the troops will try to gradually take possession of one town after another
of those indicated, and effort will be made to communicate [to me] any
news or incident of importance with regard to the attitude of the enemy.
3rd. It would be well for the Chiefs of Camps to provide themselves with
guides familiar with these localities where operations are being had to
assist in retreats as well as numerous other matters that might arise during
so delicate a manoreuvre.
9. Ammunition should be economized, and no soldier should discharge
his piece until sure of his mark, and by direction of the commander of the
force; and efforts shall be made to haye each soldier carry with him one
third of the total amount of ammunition issued him at the beginning of an
engagement and in this way avoid possible calamity in case of a retreat.
10. Chiefs of Camps shall endeavor to provide each post with two or
more stretchers and the necessary personnel for the operating of the same.
11. As the Militia forces are auxiliary to the Army, Chiefs of Camps
or Post Commanders may dispose of them as such in whatever manner the
requirements of the campaign may demand.
12. It is recommended that the Corps of Military Sanitation and Administration
pay more attention to their duties so that the troops want for
nothing when in campaign; and to this end the Chiefs of Camps may,
through the Commanding General of the Zone, make suggestions to these
Headquarters as to the improvement of said services.
The foregoing is communicated to you that you have the same faithfully
complied with, and you shall acknowledge receipt of the same to these
Headquarters, and forward these instructions to the Chiefs of Camps.
I transcribe you the foregoing for your information and guidance.
May God guard you many years.
(Signed) ANANIAS DIOCNO,
General Superior Chief of Brigade.