13 September – On this day

The Battle of Pulang Lupa was an engagement fought on this day in 1900, during the Philippine–American War, between the forces of Philippine Colonel Maximo Abad and US Captain Devereux Shields, in which Abad’s men defeated the American force.

On the 11 September, Captain Devereux Shields led a detachment of 54 29th U.S. Volunteer Infantrymen into the mountains of Torrijos to combat the elusive Abad and his guerrillas. They experienced little success, except for the dispersing of 20 guerrillas, in which no casualties were inflicted on either side.

Two days later, Abad (who had very good intelligence on the movement of Shields) positioned his men along a steep ridge overlooking the trail which Shields would soon cross. Both Shields and his men had little combat experience and easily fell into the trap. Abad and his 250 soldiers opened fire on the column, which led to a fire-fight that lasted for several hours. Meanwhile, as the Americans and Philippine riflemen exchanged fire, the large force of Filipino bolomen began maneuvering to surround the Americans.

Shields, seeing that he was almost completely surrounded, ordered a withdrawal, which soon turned into a full-blown retreat, as Abad’s much larger force poured over the ridge after Shields and his men. The Filipino soldiers harassed Shields for nearly 4 miles (6 km) before cornering them in a small rice field; their escape route cut off by the large force of Filipino bolomen. Abad’s men again opened fire, forcing the Americans to take cover behind some paddy dikes. Shields, wounded and recognizing the futility of the situation, raised the white flag in order to surrender. 

After months of hiding, Abad in only a few hours eliminated nearly one third of the American garrison on Marinduque.