Pueblo County, Colorado
The "Freedom" Newspaper
Contributed by Lee Zion
The "Freedom" newspaper appears to be the Spanish American War's version of
World War II's "Yank" magazine. We found several issues in a great uncles
collection. He served with Company B of the 1st Colorado but was
hospitalized after being wounded in February 1899 and never returned to the
The great Uncle was: Corporal Orton T. Weaver, Company B, 1st Colorado Volunteer Infantry, Sp.
Am War, 8/17/1878-5/11/1951.
After being discharged in 1900, Orton operated a hotel and pool hall in the
town of Vernon (Yuma Co) for years. He is buried in the Glendale Cemetery,
Freedom "The Giant of the Orient," Manila, Island of Luzon, Tuesday April
Eighth Army Corps
The Eighth Army Corps is rapidly making history. Through all time it will
be known as the army that planted the stars and stripes in the Orient; it is
the pioneer that led the way for liberty and civilization in the far east,
or west as it may be.
At present the organizations comprising this Corps are as follows:
Second Oregon Regiment - 12 companies
First Montana (ditto)
First Tennessee (ditto)
Twentieth Kansas (ditto)
First California (ditto)
First Nebraska (ditto)
First Washington (ditto)
First Colorado (ditto)
Thirteenth Minnesota (ditto)
Fifty-First Iowa (ditto)
South Dakota (ditto)
Tenth Pennsylvania (ditto)
First Idaho (ditto)
North Dakota (ditto)
First Wyoming Regiment - 4 companies
Utah Light Artillery - 2 batteries
California Heavy Arty - 2 batteries
Wyoming Arty - 1 battery
Nebraska Cavalry Reg. - 1 troop
Regular Army -
1st, 18th and 19th Signal Companies
Hospital Corps detachment
3rd, 4th, 12th, 14th, 17th, 18th, 20th, 22nd, and 23rd Infantry Regiments
(still enroute - 6th, 9th, 13th, 16th and 21st Infantry)
3rd US Artillery - 4 batteries
6th US Artillery - 2 batteries
Separate Mountain Battery
(still enroute - 3 Light Arty batteries)
4th US Cavalry Regiment - 6 troops
Company A, US Army Engineers
Freedom, Manila, Island of Luzon, Tuesday March 28, 1899
(Front Page - 1 inch headlines)
Malabon Has Fallen
Old Glory Again Triumphant
Now on to Malolos!
(In an eight page story we find on page 5)
Colorado and Minnesota [Regiments]
At 5 o'clock Saturday morning the 1st battalion, 13th Minnesota advanced
from the Mariquina road to the hills north of it. Here the insurgents were
strongly entrenched along the hedges and on the hilltops. In twenty
minutes, the battalion lead by Major Diggies was hotly engaged and the
firing was very heavy.
After half an hour's work, Maj. Diggies found he was threatened on the right
flank by some strongly entrenched companies of Filipinos who had served in
the Spanish army. Word was sent to General Hall in command of the 3rd
Brigade for reinforcements on that flank. Col McCoy being ordered to send
two companies, A and M of the 1st Colorados. These two companies marched
down the Mariquina road towards Mariquina for about 3/4 of a mile, and then
took a course due north through the sugar cane fields, hedges and paddy
fields. Having advanced half a mile, in Skirmish order under the command of
Lt. Col. Moses, they began the action on the right with three volleys. Then
for a mile across, this rough country companies A and M advanced by rushes
following the volleys with rapid firing from 50 Krag Jorgeusens and 100
The insurgents were falling back but poured in a galling fire, mostly from
Mausers. But these two companies advanced with a well directed fire never
stopping except to pour in a volley at every 100 yards.
The advance was now up the hill towards the heights north of Mariquina.
Company and battalion commanders were leading the charge. The natives
remained in the trenches holding on stubbornly to their position at the top
of a hill studded with large rocks, hedges and bamboo clumps. At about 75
yards from the Filipino trenches there is a hedge parallel with them. Capt.
Steward leading Co. A giving clear distinct commands broke through this
hedge closely followed by the company. The fire was hottest at this point,
volley following volley from the hard fighting natives. It was at this time
that Capt. Steward fell, while giving a command, with a bullet in his
abdomen, the men around him quickly ran to his help though the steady
advance was continued, and the captain was covey to the rear behind some
rocks. It was of no avail, the captain, hardy uttering a word, lost
consciousness and in about 15 minutes was dead.
Before the company commander was dead the two companies had taken the
trenches, driving the natives in every direction killing and wounding a
great many. In the charge up the hill Charles Brill and M.H. Maccoe of M
Co. and Edwin Pitts of A Co. were wounded, all quite seriously.
Col. Morris gave the command to fall back for about 200 yards after the
trenches were taken and the men were given breathing space. Ammunition
being brought up by the F. Co men, belts and haversacks were replenished.
After a time the command was given to left face and the skirmish line moved
off to the left flank to close up the gap between the Minnesota battalion,
going in a north-westerly direction. This move was completed by 11 o'clock
and the whole line was allowed to rest. None of the troops had eaten as
yet, for the advance had been made when breakfast was being served. Towards
4 o'clock two mules carrying 24 hours rations were brought up and the first
meal of the day was eaten.
At this point the natives began a desultory fire from the opposite hills.
The 50 Krag Jorgensen rifles that are in the two companies were ordered to
throw in a few volleys, which quickly silenced the natives, killing and
For the night the Minnesota battalion were stationed on a plateau, abut a
mile and a half north of the Mariquina road. The two Colorado companies
were taken half a mile to the right to occupy a mesa, oblong is shape, abut
100 paces in width and 300 paces in length. Here, with nothing but straw
for bed or blanket, the two companies went to sleep, throwing out around the
hill six outposts of three men and a corporal each.
At 12 o'clock the natives, quite strong in numbers, made a determined
attack, driving in the outposts and firing hourly at the summit of the hill.
All was bustle in a minute but the discipline was exact. Every man took his
post coolly, and a withering, rapid fire was soon poured in. After 10
minutes the order "cease firing" was given. This seemed to give the
Filipinos courage, for the set up an unearthly howl. Among the Spanish and
Tagalog commands for an advance could be heard distinctly, commands given in
English. The Filipino officers could be heard ordering a charge but the
native soldiers refused to advance. Into this babel of shouting and
shooting a number of well directed and well timed volleys for 100 rifles
were thrown from the hill and the courage of the enemy seemed to flag, and
as a result, the whistling of bullets over the hill crest grew less.
Meanwhile the Minnesota had made a quick movement to succor the beleaguered
companies and the clear distinct command given by the Minnesota commander of
"Forward Guide Center" was a welcome sound to the boys laying flat on the
little hill top. Soon after the coming of this help, the natives retreated
and the rest of the night was quiet. Sunday morning water was secured and
coffee made. Corned beef, hardtack and coffee were served and the boys were
ready for another advance. Instead of an advance an order to withdraw came
and forming a skirmish line, the Colorado boys reached camp to eat the first
square meal in 48 hours.
The Colorado companies that charged the trench on Mariquina heights did not
know of any fortifications at that point until they jumped over into the
trench. It was ascertained from the Filipino prisoners that the men who
held these trenches were a detachment of two companies of 80 men each. They
were part of what is called the Cavite battalion which is made up of men who
deserted the Spanish army with their Mauser rifles during the insurrection
against the Spanish. They held out sullenly till the two companies were
within 100 yards and then they ran like sheep. The death of Capt. Steward
is an irreparable loss to the regiment and to the 8th Army Corps. As an
officer his men had boundless confidence in his powers and would follow him
anywhere. Captain John Stewart was at all times in the lead, shouting
commands and encouragements to his men. No man could have died in a nobler
way. At home his interests were large and his sole impulse and aim was to
serve those wonderful stars and stripes, the balm for every wound and the
reward for every deed, no matter how costly. Captn. John Steward was a
native of Louisiana. His home for some time has been Pueblo, Colo., where
he was a partner in the firm of Wales and Steward. It is a sad loss to the
Colorado regiment, to his home city and to his country. 1st Lt. Obertenbach
is in temporary command of A Co.
Burial of Capt John Stewart
At 10 a.m. yesterday all of Co A, 1st Colorado that could be spared off the
line on the Mariquina road escorted the body of Capt John Stewart to Paco
Cemetery for burial. The 1st Colorado band led the procession playing
"Sweet Comforter" to dirge time. Chaplain Fleming officiated. Six brother
officers of the regiment acted as pall bearers while Co A was guard. Lt.
Obertemback was in command of Co A. The procession left the division
hospital at 10:15 a.m. marching to the funereal music for Paco cemetery.
The service was short, military, and very impressive. Three volleys were
then fired by Co A. Taps was blown and the body of Capt John Stewart,
Commander of Co A, Senior Captain of the 1st Colorado regiment of infantry,
U.S.V. was consigned to its last resting place.
to the Pueblo County Index Page.
Please e-mail comments and suggestions to
|© Karen Mitchell |