The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 — Volume 12 of 55 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 307 pages of information about The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 — Volume 12 of 55.

In my previous letters I gave your Majesty a detailed account of the state of affairs in Mindanao and Jolo, and sent a report of the retreat to Pintados of Captain Juan Xuarez Gallinato with your Majesty’s force that was at Dapitan.  The reason of this retreat was the information received that the enemy were preparing a great fleet to attack Pintados, which rendered it desirable to place the force at a point whence it could better be transported to the region where it might be needed.  The result showed the importance of the retreat; for the enemy, being informed of it, dared not go to the said islands of Pintados, but advanced with a squadron of ships against Cuyo and the neighboring islands, distant from Pintados, where they pillaged everything and killed and took captive more than seven hundred persons. [3] This is misery enough; and, as I wrote your Majesty, this unfortunate condition of affairs cannot be remedied except by arming galleys [underlined in original] or large galliots, with which it will be possible to hasten from island to island.  In many regions the mere knowledge of their existence will be sufficient to put a bridle on the audacity of these barbarians; and with them it will be possible to hunt out the enemy at home.  With garrisons no beneficial results can be expected, in view of the great number of the islands; if we put soldiers wherever they are needed, the whole force of these provinces would not suffice—­no, nor many more.  Even if we had the troops, the cost would be enormous and the gain nothing; for the Moros come by sea, seize their booty, and take flight, without waiting to come to close quarters, understanding well how to accomplish their purposes and desires.  Since it is impossible to get to close quarters with them, I am making all possible haste to build the galleys.  For two I have the wood already cut, and for two others the wood will be cut next month.  I am making plans to provide them with a complement of rowers; and I believe I shall be able to put them into such order that we can live with much more quiet than hitherto. [In the margin:  “For the council of war—­there is no answer;” and, lower down:  “Again no answer.”] [4]

It was agreed at a council of war that the fleet under Captain Gallinato should be prepared and put in order, to go on the expedition for the occupation of Mindanao.  It seemed that this was the best means of putting an end to the great harm done by the inhabitants of that island and of Jolo and Terrenate, and their confederates, to your Majesty’s vassals.  While the orders in regard to the preparations necessary to that end were being given, two letters arrived, one from the viceroy of Yndia, and the other from Commander Andres Hurtado de Mendoca.  Copies will be enclosed, from which your Majesty will understand the condition of the fleet made up in Yndia for Maluco, and its need of aid.  Your Majesty will also learn from the report of Captain Antonio Brito Fogaca and of

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The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 — Volume 12 of 55 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.