Diary of Lieutenant X (Aime Ernest Motsch)

Friday, 13 May, 1898

Captured

Yesterday morning, the Americans towed the Spanish gunboat, Callao, which they had captured as it was entering the port, totally oblivious of the American fleet blocking the bay. It was arriving from the Caroline Islands and was unaware that a war between Spain and the United States had broken out. The government in Manila did not think of advising neighboring colonies of this insignificant matter.

According to some, the commander of the Callao is free. Others state that he was brought before a court martial for having surrendered his gunboat without a fight and that he was shot. With each passing day, the rumors are increasingly vague and uncertain. We can believe only what we see. I would not be surprised if Manila is already a prey to those waves of violence witnessed in towns under siege. The natives are agitated everywhere and are carrying out the preliminaries of the siege which, I think, have already begun.