The Thirty-third was commanded by Col. Luther Rector Hare, qv a tough regular army major who had commanded the First Texas Cavalry in 1898. Company officers were selected from a mixture of regulars, state militia, and veteran volunteers of the Spanish-American War. A third of the Thirty-third's officers came from Texas and another third from the Southwest and South, a geographic pattern that was followed by the enlisted men.
The Thirty-third was organized in July and August at Fort Sam Houston and Camp Capron, near San Antonio, where the men were trained in marksmanship, skirmishing, and forced marching. In November and December 1899 the Thirty-third distinguished itself in the battles of Magnatarem, Tirad Pass, Vigan, and Taguidin Pass. From late December 1899 to February 1901, the regiment served as a counterinsurgency constabulary in the First District, Department of Northern Luzon, under the command of Gen. Samuel B. M. Young. The Thirty-third was dispersed into small garrisons throughout Abra and Ilocos Sur, and many officers assumed civil functions in these two provinces. These garrisons served as local strongholds from which American forces could control the countryside by hunting down guerrillas and cutting them off from the native populace.
The regiment also organized a mobile mounted force, known as the "mosquito fleet," which served as an emergency reserve and raiding force. The regiment's garrison service was a major factor in restoring order to Abra and Ilocos Sur and preparing these provinces for American colonial government. Several of the men chose to remain in the Philippines to serve with the Philippine Constabulary, as native scouts, or as members of the colonial civil service. The rest of the regiment was withdrawn from northwestern Luzon in February and March and mustered out of United States service in San Francisco on April 17, 1901.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Ray Meketa, Luther Rector Hare, A Texan with Custer (Mattituck, New York: Carroll, 1983).
Brian M. Linn
Recommended citation: "THIRTY-THIRD INFANTRY." The Handbook of Texas Online. http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/TT/qlt4.html
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