The Taking of a Moro "Cotta"


August 13, 1908

 

The Taking of a Moro "Cotta"

By 1st Battalion 18th Infantry, Co's A, B, C, and D.

 

There was mystery over Keithley

Cavalry was seen come in;

Something doing pretty pronto,

That could easily be seen.

 

Secret orders had been issued,

Each one in its envelope.

To the Mayjors [sic] and the Captains,

With instructions when to ope.

 

When they opened them and read them

Each one to his company went

Called the men in ranks and told them

What those secret orders meant.

 

Take a famous Moro "Stronghold"

That had stood 'gainst many attack.

Party after party tried it

Empty handed all came back.

 

But our gallant first battalion,

Officers with men of loar [sic],

Colonel Davis, Major Kirby,

Captain Evans, Burtt, Taylor.

 

Adj'dant [sic] Pike, Lieutenant Lemley,

Dillingham and Cummins too,

Back by soldiers tried and worthy,

Something's doing, I'll bet you.

 

Caradores came in that evening,

To be ready for the morn,

And the companies answered roll-call,

E're the breaking of the dawn.

 

Then the Captain as is usual,

Said if any faint of heart

Did not care to face the battle,

They should "fall out" ere they start.

 

But in all that whole battalion

Was not one who left his place;

On the face of each brave fellow,

Determination you could trace.

 

Soon they started for Marahui,

From which landing boat to take;

Which the Spaniards thought they'd hidden,

When they sank them in the lake.

 

But no eighty feet of water,

Can our engineers dismay;

Quickly they raised them up and cleaned them,

And we're using them to-day.

 

Boat and launch were quickly boarded,

At the first peep of the sun,

Then they steamed across to Vicars,

When the "fun" at once begun.

 

Through the mud waist deep they struggled,

Splashing, plodding, growling some,

More because they saw few Moros,

Then't the stuff through which they'd come.

 

Now behold, the Moros see them,

And sneak out with Intent good,

But alas, for them they knew not,

Of the brave Lieutenant Wood.

 

Who's detail, Scouts, Constabulary,

With days of marching hard to bear,

Made a detour gained position,

In the unsuspected rear.

 

While our soldiers kept the Moros

Almost rooted to the spot,

Wood and his men climed [sic] the mountain

And the Moros knew it not.

 

When the front for them got to [sic] hot,

And they started to retreat,

Why, the surprise that they met with,

Surely knocked some off their feet.

 

We had them between two fires

And they knowing well that they

Could not cope with "yankee" cunning

Surrendering gave to us the day.

 

Dynamite then put in its work,

Long before the fall of night.

Now you ought to see that stronghold

For it surely is a sight.

 

Prisoners of course were taken,

Some were put beneath the ground,

But the Dafo, you may name him,

Yes, we've got him safe and sound.

 

But alas this glorious victory

Was not gained without some loss.

Two of the Constabulary

Gave their lives to pay the cost.

 

Of "B" Company, one was wounded,

By a bolo fiercely plunged.

But his quickness with the rifle,

Broke the force of that fierce lunge.

 

He is wounded in the shoulder,

Nice his wound is healing o'er

And the Moro felt the bayenet [sic]

And swings bolos now no more.

 

All the troops have now returned,

Buried are the heroes dead

Prayers and music, taps and volleys,

Have resounded o'er their heads.

 

All again is smoothly gliding

In the usual quiet way

And with one accord we're waiting

To be ordered homeward way.

 

B. E. WOODY
Sergeant Co., "D" 18 Infantry.

 

Source:  Crittenden Record=Press. (Marion, Ky.) 1907-1909, August 13, 1908, Image 7 - Chronicling America - The Library of Congress.

 

[My comments are in brackets.]