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Their captivity and the torturous expedition sent to recover them, recalled today as one of the greatest marches in US Army history, features a tightly hewn cast of characters--including a frail yet determined teenaged sailor and his hardened seafaring mates; battle-tested veterans of the Civil War and the Indian Wars; and a fiery revolutionary commander who gave orders to bury wounded Americans alive. A sweeping military epic drawing on international primary sources, "The Devil's Causeway" tells their extraordinary story in its entirety for the first time.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-06-25
- Reviewer: Staff
Westfall, a filmmaker with extensive experience in the Philippines, recreates in exacting detail the plight of American sailors captured by Filipino insurgents in April 1899. Westfall’s painstakingly researched book opens with the Navy men under the command of Lt. James C. Gillmore and how his incompetence led to their capture. Westfall then traces the slow and arduous march of the rescue expedition mounted by the U.S. Army. While the rescue was successfully executed in December, the army expedition, numbering over 200 men with their wounded and sick, still had to march 90 miles through dense jungle, mountains, and fast rivers without food, before reaching the coast where the Navy waited. Finally, Westfall discusses the fate of the survivors, the efforts to recover the bodies of the fallen, and the trials and eventual imprisonment for war crimes of the most brutal Filipino leaders. Westfall gives a thrilling and fast-paced adventure story that brilliantly illuminates an untold aspect of one of America’s first overseas wars, as well as the beginning of the complex relationship between America and the Philippines (Sept.)