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1899 US Army Corps of Engineers in Philippines, photo album

Started by bunkerhillburning , Dec 14 2012 08:55 AM

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#1 bunkerhillburning

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:55 AM

Picked up a massive photo album compiled by an officer with the US Army Corps of Engineers while in the Philippines. An amazing piece of history and will post select photos from it once scanning is completed. But for now, here are two good shots.

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#2 bunkerhillburning

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:59 AM

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#3 bunkerhillburning

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:59 AM

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#4 bunkerhillburning

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:01 AM

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#5 manayunkman

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:04 AM

Can't wait to see more.

This is beyond cool to me.

#6 bunkerhillburning

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:55 AM

Its going to take a good long time to get the album scanned but I've started and really pleased about sharing it. The officer had a keen eye and there is a great balance of city views, military and natives deep in the bush. Here is one more for now. The caption on the back states ' note the trees we have felled '. Clearing this must have been brutal work. One location written on the back is ' Corduroy '

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#7 bunkerhillburning

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:55 AM

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#8 Dom Pastore Jr.

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:24 AM

Posted Today, 08:24 AM

WOW, How I would really love to have found that !! You usually don't find a great deal of reference to the early, pre-1900 era U.S. Army Engineers, so your photo book is a real find. I done some preliminary research on the Engineer's activities in the Philippines, circa 1898 - 1900, relative to one of my medal groups. While your 'e looking through the photos, PLEASE see if you come across a PVT. FRANCIS E. CUMMINGS, of COMPANY A, 1st U.S. Engineer Battalion. Pvt. Cummings was from Maine, & after having served stateside with the 1st Maine Infantry during the SAW, he enlisted in the Regular Army on 01-25-1899 & volunteered for duty in the P.I. He served in the Philippines with the Co. A / 1st Eng. ( Under command of 2nd Lieut. William D. O'Connor ) until he was returned home to CONUS due to sickness, & was honorably discharged on 08-01-1900. He re-enlisted in the Maine NG, serving many more years. He finally retired as a Major in the MNG! after having served in France as C.O. of a Coast Artillery unit. There's much more to Cumming's story, but I really have't been able to research his year or so overseas with the Engineers. So, if you would PLEASE let me know if you come across ANY mention of Pvt. Cummings, and or Company A in general, I would be most deeply appreciative. Congratulation again on your very unique find !! THANK YOU

Best, Dom Pastore ( dpast32@ aol.com )

Edited by Dom Pastore Jr., 15 December 2012 - 08:29 AM.


#9 bunkerhillburning

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:49 AM

Hello, Dom!

Rest assured I will let you know if I find anything on Pvt. Cummings. I should have added that the caption on the back of the photo depicting the engineers building the bridge states ' Company E '. Any chance you have a good web site where I could do some research on US Army Engineers during this time period? When I go to sell the album I should have a good write up.

#10 manayunkman

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:24 PM

Look at the size of those trees.

They are huge.

That one still standing across the trail.

Edited by manayunkman, 15 December 2012 - 05:26 PM.


#11 MPage

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:48 PM

Picked up a massive photo album compiled by an officer with the US Army Corps of Engineers while in the Philippines. An amazing piece of history and will post select photos from it once scanning is completed. But for now, here are two good shots.


Are any of the photos post-1899 do you think?

#12 bunkerhillburning

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:16 PM

I don't think so, Mpage but I will need to examine the photos and their content as I scan. But it is possible as I have not really studied the album. Most of the photos are platinum type photos rather than the usual silver types.

The wagons look like toys in that landscape.

#13 bunkerhillburning

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:18 PM

A view of the soldiers progress along a road. 13.jpg

#14 bunkerhillburning

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:21 PM

Written in period script on the back ' Corduroy '. This small group of photos all have captions on the back and were never attached to the album. The album's photos are not captioned but I would bet the backs all have captions too.

detail from above photo.

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#15 MPage

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:20 PM

I don't think so, Mpage but I will need to examine the photos and their content as I scan. But it is possible as I have not really studied the album. Most of the photos are platinum type photos rather than the usual silver types.


This is really a long shot, an I'm very likely wrong here, but in post #2, the chap on the far left of the photo resembles MacArthur in a way. He also appears to be holding a cigarette in the manner MacArhur did back then. MacA was in fact in the 3rd Engineer Battalion in the Philippines, but in 1903.

#16 bunkerhillburning

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 06:39 PM

I see the resemblance but the fellow looks a little old for MacArthur, don't you think?

#17 ludwigh1980

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 12:30 AM

Just came across this. Wow, The picture of the wagon train after the jungle clearing is awesome! Shows what a nightmare the terrain and environment gave to the U.S. Army and Marines during the Philippine Insurrection and hostile inhabitants on top of it. Wonder what they used, a lot of GIANT powder perhaps? (black powder) It is amazing that a an Army that had operated in the frontier west and then to go into a jungle environment like that, pretty impressive. Wonderful album!

#18 MPage

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:24 PM

Speaking of which - Jungle Patrol, the Story of the Philippine Constabulary (1901-1936) at long last is back in print; although not about engineers, excerpts I saw gave a sobering look at the jungle war there.

#19 Dirk

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 03:43 PM

Corduroy is the type of road they are building vice a specific location. This type of road was made from felled trees laid one after another. A very good road surface for muddy or soft terrain. Love this album! A great pick up!

Edited by Dirk, 28 January 2013 - 03:44 PM.


#20 bunkerhillburning

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 07:46 PM

Well, I got sidetracked with other tasks but have scanned 65 pages so far. Another 10 or 15 to go but I thought I would post a few of the interesting shots for everyone to enjoy. I might upload every last scan to my Yahoo Flickr account so you can see the entire album. Once its sold, its gone and I have resigned myself to that fact. I've a lot into the album and on more than one occasion need to remind myself I am first a dealer - then a collector. Far too many dealer / collectors miss out on great material because all their resources are tied up in their collection. But, here are some views to enjoy. There are some good shots up high ranking officers as well. Will try to get those up too. The nice thing about the album is there is so much material on both subjects: the Philippines and the US Army Engineers. The photographer had a genuine interest in the country and its people. I suspect there are not too many surviving albums or photos of this groups work through the Philippine jungle. Certainly documents one tough group of men.


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