Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

May 14, 2014

Pat Smith: The death of John W. Shaw, honest and faithful

Exactly 114 years ago today, May 14, 1900, a young Decatur County man died while in the service of this country during the Philippine Insurrection.

At the time of his death, the government owed him $9.57 for clothing not picked up. His character was excellent, his service honest and faithful. He was buried in Cagayan Cemetery in grave No. 8.

John W. Shaw was in Co. I, 40th Volunteer Indiana. He was a student, but had enlisted Aug. 21, 1899 in Indianapolis.

He was single, his address was Alert, Indiana. He was 25 years and 11 months old, 5-foot-9, and had brown hair and brown eyes. He weighed 128 pounds stripped, no rheumatism, varicose veins, cough, hernia or varicocele. His heart was normal, teeth were good, hearing was okay, eyes were okay, and feet were sound. His chest measured 33 inches on expiration and 36 and a half inches inspiration. Within a month, he was diagnosed with defective eyesight and fitted with glasses. He had malarial fever in January 1900.

He was killed in action while on firing line by insurgents in Augean, Mindanao, Philippines about 1:30 p.m. May 14, 1900 during a charge up a hill. A bullet entered the right side of his neck two inches below his ear which opened his right carotid artery, and passing downward, backward and to the left emerged (in the back) through the left scapula. He went into shock due to hemorrhaging and died. Records show that he was buried the next day in Cagayan, Mindanao, Philippines.

His father N. T. Shaw of Alert, Indiana was not notified until May 21, when a cablegram was sent from McArthur, commanding officer.

On June 24, 1900 the Council of Administration convened for the purpose of disposing of the effects of Corporal James O’Neil and Private John W. Shaw, both deceased, formerly of Co. I, 40th Infantry. The effects of Private Shaw was as listed: 2 blankets, 1 Fatigue coat, 3 pr. Khaki trousers, 1 blue blouse, 1 suit underwear, 2 pr drawers, 1 chambray shirt, 1 poncho, 1 pr calf shoes, 1 barrack shoes, 1 book, 15 shell buttons, 25 books and pamphlets, bundle of private letters, 1 pr spectacles, 2 mirrors, 1 brush and comb, one towel, 1 handkerchief, 1 belt, 1 pr shoe laces, 1 campaign hat. Total - $7.35. In addition, 2 razors, 1 razor strop, 1 handy case, 1 memo book, 5 Shakespeare.

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