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A Brief History of the 23rd U.S. Infantry

Contributed by George Morris, with assistance from Sharon Rowe
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Below is an account based on the movements of Company G. Additional information has been added to try to create a history of the regiment.

The  Brief History:

Comapny G of the 23rd U.S. Infantry departed from Fort Ringgold, Texas, for New Orleans, Louisiana on April 18, 1898, prior to the declaration of war. The company marched 80 miles across sandy prairies to Hebbronville, Texas, arriving on April 21, at 10:00 a.m. Here the company boarded a train for New Orleans, arriving at New Orleans on April 23, at 5:30 a.m.  From here, the company departed for San Francisco, California on May 24. In San Francisco, the troops were placed into camp at Camp Merritt when they arrived on May 29.

The 23rd U.S. Infantry was sent to the Philippines by battalions. The first four companies - D, E, F and M - was sent as part of the Second Philippine Expedition on June 1898, being placed aboard the transport COLON. Apparently, at the end of the same month, four additional companies - B, C, G and L - departed on the transport INDIANA as part of Maj. General Merritt's Third Philippine Expedition, which arrived in the Philippines near the end of July. The headquarters staff and regimental band also departed as part of these two expeditions. A third battalion consisting of companies A, I K and M departed as part of the 5th Philippine Expedition aboard the transport SENATOR.

The battalions apparently landed at Cavite and were then moved to Camp Dewey. The troops present - the members who arrived in the First and Second expeditions - took part in the final action against Manila on August 13, in which the city as taken by U.S. forces by agreement after the Spanish forces made a face-saving show of force. The regiment was under the command of Col. Samuel Ovenshine, and was part of the First Brigade of Brig. Gen. Arthur MacArthur's Second Division, Eighth Army Corps. By the end of September, Col. Ovenshine was promoted to Brig. Gen. and the 23rd was placed under Brig. Gen. Robert Hughes to serve as the Provost Guard for the Second Division, a position it would occupy for the remainder of the war.

From August 20, 1898 to March 19, 1899, the regiment (or at least Company D) was stationed at Fort Santiago. The Spanish American War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898.  With the outbreak of the Philippine-American War on February 4, 1899, the 23rd found itself involved, participating in the skirmish in Tondoon February 23, 1899.  It patrolled in the area of Binondo from March 19 to May 16.  It left  Binondo for Jolo on May 16, arriving May 20. Here it relieved the Spanish garrison, raised the American flag, and took possession of the Jolo Archipelago on May 22.  The regiment left Jolo for Zamboanga, Mindanao on November 22, returning to Jolo on December 9, 1899. The regiment departed Jolo for service in Bongao on March 20, 1900.


Correspondence relating to the War with Spain And Conditions Growing Out of the Same Including the Insurrection in the Philippine Island and the China Relief Expedition. Vol. 1 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1902) 556-559.

Memorial Roster of 23rd U.S. Infantry, Co. D

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