Diary of John Henry Asendorf

Friday, August 12th, 1898

It still raigns as we are marching from Camp at 8 am to occupy the trenches The Colerado Regts under Colonel Hale occupied the trenches between the Monastery and the Beach to their Right the first Battalion of the 10th Penn Vol. and the Second still further to Right. 12 men of us under Sergt Seamans and Cap Collins where sent on the Outpost a distance of 300 Yards from the Firing Line the Rest of the Company where Buisy all day streghtening the Breast work during the day Mayor Bierer & Captain Bierer made 3 Visit to our Post wich was in a verry dangerous position for some reason wich I am unable to tell we had Orders not to fire unless the Enemy fired first we realised our dangerous position as we could see the Spaniards working on ther Breastworks all day and was allmost in speaking distance from their Outpost everythink was allright during the day and at Night we plased ourselfs so that we could overlook the Field and the Road in Front of this Outpost was also occupied by 14 Natives at about Midnight I first discovered 2 Spaniards about 20 Yards in Front of us the Moon shown quiet bright at times Jno Baird was with me and at first we where at lost what to do but Jno hearing the Whisper of some more taught it best to quietly retreat to the post where the Rest of us where stationed we still occupied a position where we could watchour Enemy up until 3 o clock am everythink was quiet the Natives Soldier had all gone to sleep presently I seen 2 Spaniards passing along the smal Stream only 5 or 6 Feet wide with Bambo Trees on both Sides I called Johns Attention and Cap Collins by that time more than a dozen had passed and more following we realised that we where now handicapped and the all quietly retreated on a Run up the Road. John and I being the last ones to leave as we came to the Breastwork all where sleeping but the Captain I could tell on his face that he didnt liked the Idea for us to retreat and told us to take our post again at day light wich is 430am at promptly 430 we started back on our post and could plainly see that the Spaniards had being there for some had left the Salmon & Hardtacks there but the Hungry creature had taken them with some Ammunition of course we didnt tell the Captain about 5 am our Captain paid us a Visit we showed him the Traces of the Spaniards and he seemed to be convinced that we had done the proper thing he then took a position right on top of our Breatwork to overlook the Field in Front of us just then the firing comencing Heavy and we where ordered in on the sick List are Christopher Shanaberger and W E Collins

It is still raining as we are marching from camp at 8:00 a.m. to occupy the trenches. The Colorado Regiments under Colonel Hale occupied the trenches between the monastery and the beach. To their right, the First Battalion of the 10th Pennsylvania Volunteers and the Second still further to the right. Twelve men of us, under Sergeant [Walter] Semans and Corporal [Charles] Collins, were sent on outpost a distance of 300 yards from the firing line. The rest of the company were busy all day strengthening the breastworks. During the day, Major Bierer and Captain Bierer made three visits to our post which was in a very dangerous position. For some reason, which I am unable to tell, we had orders not to fire unless the enemy fired first. We realized our dangerous position as we could see the Spaniards working on their breastworks all day and we were almost speaking distance from their outpost. Everything was alright during the day and night. We placed ourselves so that we could overlook the field. The road in front of this outpost was also occupied by fourteen natives. At about midnight I first discovered two Spaniards about 20 yards in front of us. The moon shown quite bright at times. John Baird was with me and at first we were lost as what to dol but, John hearing the whisper of some more thought it best to quietly retreat to the post where the rest of us were stationed. We still occupied a position where we could watch over our enemy. Up until 3 o’clock a.m. everything was quiet and the native soldiers had all gone to sleep. Presently I saw two Spaniards passing along the small stream only five or six feet wide with bamboo trees on both sides. I called John’s attention and Corporal [Charles] Collins. By that time more than a dozen had passed and more were following. We realized that we were now handicapped and they all quietly retreated on a run up the road. John and I being the last ones to leave. As we came to the breastworks al were sleeping except the Captain. I could tell by the look on his face that he didn’t like the idea of us retreating and told us to take our post again at daylight which is 4:30 a.m. At promptly 4:30 we started back to our post and could plainly see that the Spaniards had been there because some had left the salmon and hardtack there but the hungry creatures had taken them with some ammunition we, of course, didn’t tell the Captain about. About 5:00 a.m. our Captain paid us a visit. We showed him the traces of the Spaniards and he seemed to be convinced that we had done the proper thing. He then took a position right on top of our breastworks to overlook the field in front of us. Just then, firing commenced heavily and we were ordered in. On the sick list are [Frank] Christopher, [Frank] Shanaberger and [Walter] E. Collins.