Monday, October 26, 2009

Remembering a brave man

From the Grant County Herald, Lancaster, WI June 8, 1910

Ambushed by Hidden Natives in
the. Philippines.
Received Charge of Buckshot in Right
Arm and Had Narrow Escape
From Death.

Eugene Whitmore yesterday received from his son Major Eugene Whitmore, copy of the Manila (P. L) Times dated April 27, which contains an account of a fight in which Lieutenant "Ted" Lowry of the U. S. Constabulary was slightly wounded and two privates killed. Lieutenant Lowry whose headquarters are on the Island of Bongao, was instructed to go to Cagayan de. Jolo and arrest a murderer Moro Nuca by name. After an unsuccessful attempt to take him diplomatically he found that the man and certain of his followers were looking for a fight and on the morning of the 11th he left camp with 10 men to investigate conditions.

Because of the treachery of a Moro guide they suddenly ran into a band of Moros who rose from the thick cogon grass and catnip brush," about fifteen paces to the front. The Moros were ordered to put down their arms but instead they drew their bolos. The account in the Manila Times which was written by Lieut. Lowry reads in part from this point as fol-lows:

"Being in front of my detachment, I fired with my revolver receiving at the instant of firing a load of buckshot in my upper right arm from my gun bearer behind who immediately fled. The leading Moro at this moment was about twenty feet from me and in the act of throwing his spear at me when Sergeant Lastam sprang suddenly in front of me. receiving the spear in his head, being killed instantly. Sergeant Almano the second man in the line was speared through the back: pulling the spear out himself he commenced firing as quietly (sic) as if on the drill ground.

Note: To recall the bravery of Sergeant Lastam the people of the Episcopal Church in Lancaster erected a monument. That monument now lies in weeds behind the church, and I am attaching a photo of it as it now appears. Perhaps it deserves better treatment.