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About Charles D. Rhodes

About the author: Charles Dudley Rhodes (February 10, 1865 — January 24, 1948). Major General in the U.S. Army. A graduate of the U.S. Military academy, served in the Sioux Indian Campaign and in Cuba during the Spanish-American War and then in the China Relief Expedition. Made Captain, 6th Cavalry, February 2, 1901. His University of Chicago Class of 1889 profile summarizes his period of duty in the Philippines as follows:

In Philippines, Nov. 21, 1900, April 4, 1903, viz.: Commanding post of Binan and sub‑district, Jan. 22, March 13, 1902; engagement of himself and two orderlies against Felisardo’s band of ladrones, near San Nicola, Cavite Province, Dec. 31, 1901, for which he was commended in G. O. No. 100, Division of the Philippines, dated Oct. 21, 1903, for “fearlessness and prompt action;” received surrender of insurgent battalion of Tiradores, at Binan, Feb. 18, 1902; continuous scouting with his troop, participating in General Bell’s campaigns and concentration measures against Generals Gonzales and Malvar, 1901‑1902

About the diary: Typescript (“Copy No. 1 of five”), 1901-1903, Diary of the Philippine Insurrection, Charles D. Rhodes, Major-General, U.S. Army, Retired (Typed from the original notes, 1940).


What more ideal for a young and enthusiastic cavalryman, — athletic, energetic, ambitious, filled with the love of adventure, than to be transported by his government thousands of miles across the wide PACIFIC, and with his troop of equally eager young Americans, to be set down In the centre of a hot-bed of insurrection against the American regime covering three large provinces, given unlimited freedom and independence, and merely told to go to it ” !

And this is what happened to the writer of these notes of the Philippines Insurrection, covering the years 1901 and 1902.

Almost the entire area of SOUTHERN LUZON were his limits, Just so that he did not interfere with other troop movements; with plenty of rations and forage, as well as a remarkable efficient pack-train of American mules, — his constant and sudden peregrinations at all hours of the day and night, were neither stopped or seriously hindered by precipitous mountain nor torrid plain, rocky trails that tore the shoes from both horses and mules or by seemingly impassable canons, by the pouring rains of the rainy season or by the flooding streams and rivers.

Filipino insurgents and their active sympathizers,– all attired in the clothing of the peasant-farmer or small-town store-keeper, were everywhere, masking as friends of the army of occupation. With Mauser or Remington rifles and stores of ammunition hidden In mountain-jungle, it required but a hand-signal from their leaders, to bring about a prompt night-assembly of these guerrillas, for murderous ambuscades or assaults upon isolated American detachments. In the mean time, individual officers and soldiers were never without their side-arms : life was uncertain even in market-place or cock-pit. Filipino informers were punished with swift death by these terrorists who ruled every community.

So that only unceasing vigilance as well as Indefatigable troop movement ( over 2200 recorded miles of patrolling during the first eight months of the year 1901 ), — controlled by a paid secret-service, finally broke down this well-nigh impossible situation In Southern Luzon. And this was greatly aided by wide concentrations of natives, and prompt conviction of hostiles before provost-courts. And withal, there was steady attrition of captured guns and ammunition, as well as destruction of hidden caches of enemy food-supplies, which finally caused collapse of the Insurrection.

For the young cavalryman It was all A GREAT ADVENTURE, In which he daily risked his life by an unseen enemy’s bullet, by the desperate charge of fanatical bolomen, by drowning In crossing mountain torrents, and always with disease luting behind every corner, to render him helpless or even to bring death. Verily, It was a GREAT LIFE !