Col HIRAM IDDINGS BEARSS
battle at the junction of the
Cadacan and Sohoton Rivers,
Samar, Philippine Islands
19 January 1901
While serving as second in command after the landing units combined on the shore of the Sohoton River region, Col. Bearss (then Capt.), conducted a surprise attack on a heavily fortified enemy embedded in the cliffs. The Capt. And his men routed the enemy, capturing and destroying their powder magazine, 40 lantacas (guns), rice, food, and cuartels and killing 30 enemy soldiers.
The Captain’s expedition of courage, intelligence, discrimination, and zeal, gave his men the courage to follow as he successfully led them over 200-feet up the cliffs using only bamboo ladders.
The soft stone cliffs were composed of volcanic pumice, honeycombed with caves. The enemy suspended tons of stone and rock on platforms on the cliffs to be dropped on any aggressor. Trails were laced with poison spears, pits, snares, and their deadly booby-traps.
Once the cliffs and plateau were taken Capt. Bearss he led his men across the river, scaled a second set of cliffs on the opposite side, and destroyed enemy emplacements and gun positions.
Col. Bearss and his men hurdled obstacles moving forward destroying positions which, according to reports from old prisoners, been impregnable over 3 years, and were never before penetrated by American troops.
Medal. Citation: For extraordinary heroism and eminent and conspicuous conduct in, 17 November 1901. Col. Bearss also rendered distinguished public service in the presence of the enemy at Quinapundan River, Samar, Philippine Islands, on 19 January 1902
Col. Bearss was killed in an automobile accident in his home town of Peru, Indiana on Aug 26, 1938 he was 63 yrs old.