American West •  History and Military

Colorado's Volunteer Infantry in the Philippine Wars, 1898-1899

Geoffrey Hunt

The First Colorado Regiment enlisted in 1898 to fight Spaniards in Cuba, but ended up fighting in the Philippines. Before they could join the campaign in Cuba, Commodore George Dewey's United States Navy squadron destroyed the Spanish fleet at Manila in May 1898. Dewey lacked the infantry necessary to seize the city itself, so the Colorado militia was rushed to the Philippines. The Colorado troops led the assault on Manila, seizing Fort San Antonio de Abad and raising the first American flag over the capitol city.

With the Spanish-American War over, the Filipinos expected independence. When it was clear independence would not be granted, tensions between the Filipinos and the Americans mounted until they escalated into battle in February 1899. The Coloradoans fought against the Filipinos in what came to be called the Philippine Insurrection. The war to free Cubans from Spanish rule had become a war to subject Filipinos to American rule.

The First Colorado Infantry represents the expectations and experiences of citizen soldiers in America's quest for empire at the end of the nineteenth century. In his study, Geoffrey Hunt includes charts that document the reorganization of the Colorado National Guard during the late nineteenth century, the U.S. Army command structure in the Philippines, 1898-1899, and the volunteer regiments' members' deaths in the Philippines.


Geoffrey Hunt is professor of history and social sciences chair at the Community College of Aurora, Colorado.


"Professor Hunt's solidly researched book is a fascinating read and a fitting tribute to the Coloradoans who fought in a distant theater of two of America's first overseas wars."


Nebraska History

"Hunt has presented a valuable case study...a solidly researched and very readable portrait of life in a volunteer regiment during the Philippine-American War..."


Journal of Arizona History

"Geoffrey R. Hunt has written an excellent, timely, and highly readable account of the First Colorado Regiment in the Philippine War."


New Mexico Historical Review

6 x 9 in. 312 pages 21 halftones, 5 maps, 3 tables