On February 23, General Antonio Luna needed Malvar and his unit to participate in a Filipino counterattack planned to regain ground lost earlier by Filipinos and capture Manila. However, the Filipino offensive collapsed.
In mid-March, an expeditionary force under Brig. Gen. Loyd Wheaton moved eastward, clearing Filipino troops from the vicinity of the Pasig River, assuring the Americans of riverine access to Laguna de Bay. About a month later, Major Gen. Henry Lawton led an expedition to Santa Cruz on the eastern shore of Laguna de Bay, where the Filipinos had a large concentration of troops. Lawton’s force engaged the enemy several times, occupied Santa Cruz briefly, reconnoitered the area, and then returned to Manila. The foray by Lawton caused great concern to the Filipino high command, for it seemed to presage the onset of a major American campaign in southern Luzon.
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