Civil War Echoes: Philippine Scouts

As many of you know, I’ve been working on a book about Bataan and Corregidor (it went to the publisher today). I’ve blogged and spoken about several Civil War connections to those battles and their participants. Here’s one I just found a few days ago, and was not aware of previously.

Part of the backbone of Bataan’s defense was the Philippine Scouts. These were units of Filipinos led by Filipino and American officers, although the senior officers were all Americans. The Scouts were created in 1901 and modeled after the USCT and Indian Scout units of the 19th Century. By 1941 the Scouts contained many support, Coast Artillery, cavalry, and infantry units in the Philippine Department and Philippine Division. The two infantry regiments, 45th and 57th, are what I want to discuss here.

Unlike most Filipino troops on Bataan who came from the Philippine Army, the Philippine Scouts were U.S. Army soldiers and their units were part of the Regular Army. The 45th and 57th Infantry Regiments were created in 1921 using cadres from the 10th and 19th Infantry Regiments, respectively. These two unit crests show up in the crests of the Philippine Scout regiments. (See below for pictures of the crests.)

The 10th (the X with torch) was in the Army of the Potomac, and saw action in virtually all major battles of the Eastern Theater. The 19th carries the nickname “Rock of Chickamauga” for its desperate stand at Kelly Field during the Battle of Chickamauga. It’s rock-shaped crest is visible on the 57th’s crest.

These two regiments, the 45th and 57th, played key roles in the battles on Bataan. Each one had a member earn the Medal of Honor for leadership under fire on Bataan. Both regiments surrendered with Luzon Force on April 9, 1942.

The Philippine Scouts went out of existence after Philippine independence in 1946. Many members took U.S. citizenship and settled in the United States. Yet through their connections to the 10th and 19th Infantry Regiments, their existence and actions are directly connected to the Civil War.

Below: unit crests of the 45th (left) and 57th (right) Infantry Regiments, Philippine Scouts.

100px-45_Inf_Rgt_DUI                150px-57_Inf_Rgt_DUI


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