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Record 105/160
Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum
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Admin/Biog History Edward W. Apel was from Oshkosh, Wisconsin and served during the Spanish American War in Company E, 3rd United States Infantry in the Philippines.
Collection Spanish American War Small Collections
Dates of Accumulation September 10, 1899
Abstract Letter to Arthur Apel from his brother Edward W. Apel, Company E, 3rd United States Infantry, written in Santa Rita, Philippines. He discusses campaigning in the mountains against the Insurrectos: ox teams; capturing oxen and carts; cavalry; artillery; a skirmish; native packers; capturing military supplies; confiscating chickens; and sleeping on bamboo bunks. He frequently uses a racial slur when referring to the native Filipinos.

Santa Rita
December 11, 1899
Mr. Arthur Apel
Dear Brother
I received your letter last night and was glad to hear from you. I am still well and hope these few lines will find you the same. I must tell you about the march we had on Sunday Dec. 3, we left Santa Rita for the mountains. Each company started, ours with 3 bull carts and 3 bulls. I was with the bull train to take care of the kitchen stuff. By noon of the first day I had captured 2 bulls and a nice bronco pony. I rode the horse till 9 o'clock that night and I tell you I was pretty sore. I captured another bull that afternoon. The next day we got another cart and hitched up all the bulls. One troop of cavalry, and 6 guns from the 3rd artillery, and part of the 32[nd] Infantry went with us in from this town. They all belonged to Gen. Grant's brigade. The four companies of the 3rd [Infantry] had left us the day before and went around another way to capture a town. On Monday morning they went in and took the town. The niggers were so surprised that they did not have time to take anything with them. They only fired a few shots and then run. We went after them like a dog after a rabbit and killed a Major and 6 men. There was lots of money found in this town. One of my chums found 80 dollars, I had my haversack full of pennies. I got 15 dollars out of it all together.
On Tuesday we marched all day and till 3 that night. The boys killed a few more niggers this day by this time we had 5 carts and 9 bulls.
Wednesday we were now so close to the mountains that we could not use the bulls so we hired niggers. 8 niggers were hired for each company to carry the rations. But it was hard work and they soon got tired so we packed up all the niggers we could find on the road. By 8 o'clock the boys had taken another town. There was only 1 shot fired here. 3 guns, a lot of ammunition, and uniforms were captured here. We found everything you could think of here. We didn't eat nothing but chickens the trip. Then we started back and got back [to the] town we were [at] the night before.
Thursday, we went back to the town where the first fight was. Here we stayed over night. Here preparations were made to cross the mountains. The bull train was to be sent home from here with 25 men from each company. The rest of the boys went across the mountains and we started for home. We got back Saturday night after being 7 days. There were about 25 men left behind to guard the town when we started out on Sunday.
We were all glad to get back and get a chance to sleep on our old bamboo bunks again. I hear we are coming home in 3 months.
Well I think that is enough for this time so I will close hoping to hear from you soon.

Your Brother
E. W. Apel
Co. 3rd. U.S.Inf.
Zramba [?] P.
Event Spanish American War
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Legal Status Oshkosh Public Museum
Object ID SC411.7.5.2
Object Name Letter
People Apel, Edward W.
Subjects Spanish American War
United States Army
Philippine Insurrection
Ox teams
Artillery (Troops)
Artillery (Weaponry)
Military scouts
Capture & imprisonment
Campaigns & battles
Title Letter
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009