Battle of Perez Dasmariñas 1897
History books call it the Battle of Perez Dasmariñas, however, a better name would be the Battle of Dasmariñas as it was many battles spread out over Dasmariñas that went on from March the 7th through to the 24th of March.
One of the key points in the battle of Dasmariñas was the Battle of Pasong Santol in which Marcela Marcelo, the Woman General of the revolution died.
With fresh conscripts that had arrived from Spain, Camillo de Polavieja the Spanish governor-general gave the order to reclaim Cavite and to crush the revolution.
The offensive started at Pamplona, Cavite and Bayungyungan, Batangas on the 15th of February, on the 19th the Spanish recaptured Silang, Cavite despite heavy losses inflicted on them by the Filipinos. The resistance retreated and reformed at Perez Dasmariñas.
Aguinaldo’s revolutionary government was based at Imus, Cavite and this was Spaniard’s main target, but they needed to take Perez Dasmariñas before taking Imus.
Katipuneros desperately mobilized all the Filipinos they could muster ready for the battle.
While the Spanish were having some success so were the Filipinos, on the 17th of February Aguinaldo won the Battle of Zapote Bridge (a Bridge that connected Bacoor and Las Piñas). With this success, Aguinaldo was determined to recapture the rest of Cavite.
On the 27th of February, the Spanish troops start the march to Perez Dasmariñas but the Filipinos intercepted the Spanish troops at Pasong Santol.
A stalemate occurred with many battles in the area with no major gains for any side between 7th March and the 24th, in one of these skirmishes at Salitran, Cavite Crispulo Aguinaldo got into hand to hand combat with Spanish General Antonio Zabala which lead to General Antonio Zabala being killed.
The Filipinos refused to give ground but the Spanish did manage to advance steadily but it took them 17 days to cover the remaining 8 miles to reach Perez Dasmariñas, some say it was down to the tactical superiority of the Spanish, but it was probably down to the fact they were massacring Filipinos.
On the 24th March, Crispulo Aguinaldo was wounded but carried on fighting only later to get killed.
With the death of Crispulo Aguinaldo, the Filipinos broke off engaging the Spanish and reorganized inside the town of Perez.
Despite having no leader the Katipuneros still prepared to meet the Spanish head-on inside the town, what happened next was bloody urban combat in which the Filipinos were crushed the surviving Filipinos retreated and some of them managed to get back to Imus to Emilio Aguinaldo’s base.
It was a disaster for the Filipino revolutionaries, and it was not long before the Spanish recaptured the whole of Cavite province.
Commanders Crispulo Aguinaldo, Flaviano Yengko, and others were killed in the skirmishes
An estimated 10,000 Filipino soldiers and twenty thousand Filipino civilians were killed by the Spaniards.
Around 3,000 Spanish were killed.