Lansdale, Philip Van Horne, LT

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Last Rank
Primary Unit
1898-1899, USS PHILADELPHIA (C-4)
Service Years
1879 - 1899
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Plank Owner

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Home State
District Of Columbia
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Kent Weekly (SS/DSV) (DBF), EMCS to remember Lansdale, Philip Van Horne, LT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Washington, DC
Last Address
USS Philadelphia (C-4)

Casualty Date
Apr 01, 1899
Hostile, Died
Gun, Small Arms Fire
Civil War
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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Spanish American War Fallen
  1898, Spanish American War Fallen

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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)US NavyUnder Secretary of the Navy (UNSECNAV), Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV)Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)
USS Alert (AS-4)
  1873-1879, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1877-1877, USS Plymouth (1867)
  1878-1878, USS Constellation (1854) Sloop of War
  1879-1879, USS Powhatan (1861)
  1879-1881, USS Swatara (screw sloop)
  1881-1882, USS Swatara (screw sloop)
  1882-1882, Washington Naval Shipyard
  1883-1883, Naval Torpedo Station, Newport RI
  1883-1883, USS Galena (1862) Screw Steamer
  1884-1887, USS Ossipee (1862) Screw sloop
  1887-1888, Steel Inspecting Board, Under Secretary of the Navy (UNSECNAV)
  1888-1890, Steel Inspecting Board, Under Secretary of the Navy (UNSECNAV)
  1890-1893, USS PHILADELPHIA (C-4)
  1893-1893, USS PHILADELPHIA (C-4)
  1893-1896, Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)
  1896-1897, USS Massachusetts (BB-2)
  1897-1898, USS Alert (AS-4)
  1898-1899, USS PHILADELPHIA (C-4)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1898-1898 Spanish-American War
  1899-1899 Second Samoan Civil War3
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1873-1877, United States Naval Academy
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

The Philadelphia was ordered to proceed thither with all dispatch. Reaching Apia early in March, it was found that the situation was an acute one, the two rival chieftains, Malietoa and Mataafa, contending for supremacy. The three signatories to the Berlin agreement, respecting Samoa, the United States, England and Germany, were all represented by warships in the harbor. The decision of the American and English commanders made Malietoa king, and Mataafa was ordered to disperse his forces but defied the injunction and continued hostilities. Troops were accordingly landed from American and English ships, and on the 15th of March a bombardment was begun which lasted intermittently for two weeks, but had only slight effect, the enemy retiring into the bush.

On the 1st of April a concerted movement was made by the allied land forces, Lieutenant Lansdale of the Philadelphia commanding the American party with which Ensign Monaghan had been serving since it had been put ashore. The march was through a densely wooded country, where Mataafa'a men were in ambush in large numbers. The following account of this encounter has been given:

"Under a deadly fire which could not be replied to with advantage, especially as the only piece of artillery (a Colt automatic gun) brought by the marines had become disabled, a retreat was sounded. While this was in progress Lansdale received a wound in the leg, shattering the bone. In the confusion of the retreat he had been left in the rear, with only Monaghan and three or four privates. He was carried some distance, when one of the privates was shot to death, and soon afterward the others fled, leaving Monaghan alone with him. Although urged repeatedly by Lansdale to save himself (as testified by the last of the men to leave), he steadily refused and stood his ground, awaiting assistance. Presently others who had been in the rear came up and in their turn departed. The next day the bodies of Lansdale and Monaghan were found lying together in the jungle.

Captain White of the Philadelphia in his official report wrote: 'It is in evidence most clear that when Ensign Monaghan discovered that Lieutenant Lansdale was wounded he used his best endeavors to convey him to the rear and seizing a rifle from a disabled man made a brave defense; but undoubtedly he fell very shortly after joining Lansdale, and the hostiles, flushed with success, bore down on our men in this vicinity. The men were not in sufficient numbers to hold out any longer and they were forced along by a fire which it was impossible to withstand.

Was killed April 1, 1899 in Apia, Samoa during a native ambush along with:

Monaghan, John Robert, ENS

Edsall, Norman Eckley, SN

Butler, James (Coxswain), SN
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