Diary of Lieutenant X (Aime Ernest Motsch)

Thursday, August 4, 1898

This morning, the American monitor, Monterey, arrived in Cavite, escorted by a commercial steamer. Crossing the Pacific on this monitor weighing 4,000 tons must have been a remarkable exercise for the sailors. The Yankees’ prowess at sea is sure evidence that they have English blood in their veins.

Now that Camara’s squadron and the Pelayo have retired to Europe, what does Dewey need this monitor for? I am certain that the Monterey will not return to America, proving once again that they do covet this exceptional colony. They have come and intend to remain here. The insurgents are not blind and must have drawn their own conclusions at the sight of the Monterey with its 30cm cannons and the two 22cm guns in their turrets. Not even Spain has ever threatened Manila with cannons of this caliber. The Spaniards have certainly come up against a formidable negotiator. The Monterey, anchored in this bay, is an absolute fortress of steel.

Saturday’s fighting lasted three hours. It was a terrible night. General Greene had pushed the retrenchment forward at Camp Dewey with an impudence which could have cost him dearly if he were confronted with a better armed and more skilled enemy instead of the Spaniards who, with merely 3,000 men, advanced behind the bamboo and mangrove bushes extending along the right-hand side of the enemy lines, taking the Yankees completely by surprise. These Americans do not really understand the tactics of war. Their strength is based on an arrogance which will be their undoing the day that they pit themselves against an organized enemy. A division of Yankees could easily be overthrown by a German brigade.