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Battle of Marilao River

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Title: Battle of Marilao River  
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Subject: Capture of Malolos, Second Battle of Caloocan, March 27, 1899
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Battle of Marilao River

Battle of Marilao River
Part of the Philippine–American War
Date March 27, 1899
Location Marilao, Bulacan, Philippines
Result U.S. victory
 United States  First Philippine Republic
Commanders and leaders
Irving Hale Emilio Aguinaldo
Units involved
1st South Dakota Infantry
3rd U.S. Artillery
Unknown 5,000 soldiers
Casualties and losses
14 dead,
65 wounded[1]
90 dead,
30 taken prisoner[1]

The Battle of Marilao River was fought on March 27, 1899, in Marilao, Bulacan, Philippines, during the Philippine–American War.[2] It was one of the most celebrated river crossings of the whole war, wherein American forces crossed the Marilao River,[1] which was 80 yards wide and too deep to ford, while under Filipino fire from the opposite bank.[3][4]


After the failed Filipino counterattack to regain Manila on February 23, General Antonio Luna, the Chief of War Operations of the Philippine Republic, resigned his post on February 28 in protest to the reinstatement of the Kawit Battalion, which Luna had disarmed for insubordination during the earlier fighting around Caloocan. During Luna's absence, Aguinaldo himself took over the military affairs, for the only time in the whole course of the war.[4]

Meanwhile, the Americans, fearing another counteroffensive from the Filipino side, took their time waiting for reinforcements under General Henry Ware Lawton. These arrived between March 10 and 23.[4] By March 25, the Americans under MacArthur renewed their offensive against Caloocan and Polo, up to the ultimate drive to Malolos.[4]


The American force, after the Battle of Malinta, had advanced to Marilao on March 27. It was part of the campaign for the Dagupan with a thousand riflemen)[1] and Colonel Enrique Pacheco.[4] The Americans fought with the Filipinos within the range of around 400 yards. Meanwhile, the Filipinos destroyed bridges to delay American artillery units. The Americans gained superiority in the battle only after severe fighting and the use of gunboats in the river that "made great execution" of Filipino soldiers.[4] The American official account had admitted that Aguinaldo acted with a great sense of military strategy, averting disastrous routs while succeeding to sustain heavy damage on the enemy (that is, the Americans). The losses in the American drive to Malolos, the account also stated, had proved the Filipinos' effective fighting quality.[4]


On the American side, the American official history stated that 14 were killed and 65 more wounded.[1] In the account of Teodoro Agoncillo, the battle resulted to 15 killed and 70 wounded.[5] The Filipino side had sustained 90 dead.[1]

After resting at Guiguinto, Bulacan from March 29 to 30, 1899, the American division under General Arthur MacArthur, Jr. pushed to the suburbs of Malolos by the afternoon of March 30.[4] Malolos fell the next day, on March 31, since the Americans faced only token resistance. The American forces would rest in Malolos until April of 1899, when they would have to shatter the Calumpit-Apalit Line at the Battle of Quingua and Battle of Calumpit.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Dumindin, Arnaldo. "Americans Advance To Malolos, March 24-31, 1899". Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Tucker, Spencer. The Encyclopedia of the Spanish-American and Philippine-American War, Volume 1. 
  3. ^ Linn, Brian McAllister (2000). The Philippine War, 1899-1902. University Press of Kansas. p. 97.  
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Jose, Vicencio. Rise and Fall of Antonio Luna. Solar Publishing Corporation. p. 268. 
  5. ^ Agoncillo, Teodoro (1960). Malolos: Crisis of the Republic. 

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