Brigadier General Thomas McArthur Anderson commanded the vanguard of the U.S. expeditionary force (Eighth Army Corps) in the Philippines. His troops left San Francisco on May 25, 1898 and arrived in Cavite on June 1. Once Anderson's troops had arrived, U.S. forces laid seige to Manila, but only when General Arthur MacArthur's forces reached the Philippines in late July did the land war begin. Anderson led a division of 8,500 men against the Spaniards, unaware that Admiral Dewey and General Merritt had made a deal with the Spanish commander of Manila, Fermín Jáudenes y Alvarez to surrender soon after the fighting started. He relinquished the city to U.S. forces, purposely excluding Aguinaldo and Philippine nationalists.
Anderson stayed in the Philippines to fight the insurrectionists until General Henry W. Lawton succeeded him in 1899.