Memories of Two Wars: Cuban and Philippine Experiences
Though America did not join rebellious Cuban forces against the Spanish empire until 1898, Frederick Funston (1865–1917) was so moved by a speech by Gen. Daniel Sickles in 1896 that he went to Cuba as a filibuster in the battle for Cuban independence. When the United States finally went to war against Spain, he took command of a regiment, was sent to the Philippine-American War, and received the Medal of Honor for his daring and skill in crossing a river to turn the flank of the Philippine army at the Battle of Calumpit. Two years later, in 1901, he became a national hero for capturing Philippine president and lead insurgent Emilio Aguinaldo. In such roles, Funston was integral to the successful implementation of U.S. policy.
Memories of Two Wars is Funston’s firsthand account of his adventures in the Cuban Revolution and the Philippine-American war. Conversational yet informative, Funston’s memoir relates his experience with the vigor and joviality of a friend sharing war stories over a drink and a cigar. He describes the guerrilla-style combat necessitated by the lack of weapons, the exotic scenery and vegetation of the islands, and the myriad characters—Cuban, American, Spanish, and Philippine—with whom he worked and fought.