Battle of the Malalag River

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Battle of the Malalag River
DateOctober 1905
Result American victory
First Philippine Republic First Philippine Republic  United States
Commanders and leaders
Datu Ali Frank Ross McCoy
78 soldiers[1]:137
Casualties and losses
12 killed
50 captured[1]:137
1 killed[1]:137

The Battle of the Malalag River was a battle fought between the Philippines and the United States during the Philippine-American War which resulted in the death of Datu Ali, who had eluded the Americans longer than any other Moro leader.[1]:132–138


Datu Ali was the cousin of Datu Uto, ruler of Mindanao in the 1880s, and the son-in-law of Datu Piang.[1]:132 Ali controlled the export of rice, beeswax, coffee, and products extracted from Almaciga and Gutta-percha trees.[1]:132 Ali held a grudge against the Americans when they refused to let him travel to the US.[1]:133 Ali retreated deep into the Cotabato Valley.[1]:135


General James Buchanan's force started to march inland as a decoy from the west, while the main American effort under McCoy moved inland from the east.[1]:136 McCoy, and Lt. Johnston, led 100 men from the 22nd Infantry, 10 Philippine Scouts, and 140 Filipino bearers.[1]:136 Buchanan departed on 13 Oct. 1905, while McCoy reached the Malala River on 22 Oct., having left behind his scouts, bearers and 13 soldiers on the way from Digos.[1]:137

Surrounding Ali's residence beside Malala River, McCoy's men overpowered four guards, each armed with a Bolo knife.[1]:137 Ali fired a Mauser rifle which killed an American private, but Lt. Philip Remington's pistol shot wounded Ali, who fled inside his house and out the rear where an American squad put fifteen more shots into Ali, killing him.[1]:137


The merchants of Zamboanga City gave a public celebration, and McCoy received praise from Leonard Wood and President Theodore Roosevelt.[1]:138


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Arnold, J.R., 2011, The Moro War, New York: Bloomsbury Press, ISBN 9781608190249