Pershing's Lake Lanao Campaigns (continued)
(Photos below from Library of Congress)
27th Infantry taking a break on the trail
27th Infantry skirmish line moving through brush
Infantrymen fording a stream
1st Lt. George C. Shaw (center) at Pitacus
On May 4, 1903, 1st Lt. George C. Shaw led Company C of the 27th Infantry and Troop G of the 15th Cavalry in an attempt to scale the eastern wall of a cotta at the village of Pitacus near the Taraca River, thought to be lightly defended. 1st Lt. W. B. Gracie and a company of the 27th Infantry approached the fort from the opposite side of the river. Shaw and two of his men reached the top of the parapet but were immediately hit by withering fire from within the walls, badly wounding the two soldiers and knocking them off the parapet. Shaw stood alone at the top of a bamboo ladder, coolly and single-handedly shooting back with his .45-caliber revolver. When he ran out of ammunition, Shaw had his men pass him up rifle after rifle. Lt. Gracie, hearing sounds of the battle, immediately crossed the river and led his men in scaling the south wall, pouring in a deadly crossfire as, one by one, soldiers of Company C joined Shaw atop the parapet of the east wall. Ninety Moros were killed, thirteen wounded and twenty-three surrendered. Among the dead were the Sultan of Pitacus and Datu Cabugatan, known to be among those most bitter and vocal against the Americans. Fifty-one rifles, sixteen lantacas, and a cannon were captured, at a cost for the Americans of one man killed and six wounded (one later died). For his marked act of courage, Pershing recommended Shaw for the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Mule pack train carrying supplies and ammunition
Supplies by water
Maranao vintas and boatmen were hired to carry supplies by water between Camp Vicars and the lake shore during the May 1903 expeditions. When a hostile vinta attempted to intercept one of the supply vintas, a perfect shot from a mountain gun on shore blew it out of the water. To the right is a mosque built on the Lake Lanao shore, not an uncommon sight at that time.
Many Moros simply watched and waited to see the outcome before committing