SGT CHARLES W. RAY
Company 1, 22d U.S. Infantry.
San Isidro, Luzon, Philippine Islands
19 October 1899
Autumn of 1899 saw intense fighting between American and Pilipino rebels. Being a Scout meant that more often than not, you were the first one to see the enemy, the one who got ambushed or targeted by a sniper. In short it was a perilous endeavor.
Sgt Charles Ray thrived and excelled in his position a Scout for Co. I, 22nd infantry. On Oct. 19, 1899, Sgt Ray was leading a 12-man team on a reconnaissance mission.
The team came across approx. 200 enemy soldiers at the Rio Grande de la Pampanga on the island of Luzon. The river crossing needed to be secured and the makeshift bridge protected so American troops could cross a few hours later. .
When Filipino soldiers began to dismantle the narrow bridge in order to slow any American advance, Roy realized he couldn’t wait for orders.
He sent a runner back to the main body with a situation report then his team of “11” attacked the 200+ man enemy position.
The after action report states “Ray led his scouts in a mad dash for the bridge.”
The scouts valiantly held the bridge for more than an hour before the main force arrived to drive away the insurgents. The bridge was saved from demolition and I Company was able to proceed safely to San Isidro.
For the day’s actions both Sgt Ray and one of his men Pvt Pierce were awarded the Medal of Honor.
Sgt Ray contracted malaria and shortly after recovering and rejoining his unit, he was captured by rebels who beat him and stabbed him and left him for dead. He lost an arm as a result of the attack
He retired from the Army in December 1900, received his Medal of Honor in the mail 2 years later. Sgt. Charles Ray and his wife, Myrtle, had eight children. Ray died at the age of 87 on March 23, 1959, in Grandfield, Okla.