Diary of Lieutenant X (Aime Ernest Motsch)

Monday, August 1, 1898

This is the situation on the 1st of August.

Admiral Dewey can no longer delay taking action against Manila. Yesterday, the third expedition of American troops arrived in the bay on five transport ships: Indiana (with Brigadier General MacArthur on board), Ohio, Morgan City, City of Peru and Valencia. Granting that this convoy that arrived carried 5,000 men, the American troops present would total 11,000. Of the warships in the bay, 26 are American, four English, two French and one Japanese. Day by day, both the wind and the sea get increasingly worse. The only means of communicating with the mainland is by sending a dinghy across.

The Union’s troops occupy four different points on the battle front: in the north beyond Caloocan, in the northeast from LaLoma to San Juan del Monte, and in the south between Malabon and Fort San Antonio. The commandant of the Kaiser estimated that the American forces have 12,000 men. He confirms that the commander-in-chief, General Merritt, who arrived on a separate ship on the 25th, hastened his trip, thinking that Camara’s squadron would be diverted towards Manila. The unnecessary installation of this squadron in the Suez Canal, costing Spain over one million francs, is a deplorable example of indecisive naval strategy.

The battle fought last night lasted 11 hours, and took place in Malate, southeast of Manila. This first serious encounter between the Spaniards and the Americans must have been a bloody one. The Spaniards attempted an attack against the front and the right flank of the 10th regiment of the Pennsylvania volunteers positioned in trenches in Malate. The battle continued until dawn and took place in the midst of torrential rain and high winds. Now it is certain that the Spaniards have lost. They allegedly lost 300 men, while the Americans lost only seven. It is a fact that the Americans put the insurgents in the line of fire as human shields to protect themselves. How long will the Filipinos accept this demeaning role?

At 10 o’clock tonight, gunfire was resumed near San Antonio when the insurgents armed with rifles forced Spanish troops to retreat.

According to the Americans, their fighting force here will number 20,000 at the end of the month.