Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Friday, Oct. 21st, 1898

Manila, Luzon Island –Entry made in parlor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, Tondo.

After cooking breakfast of fried bacon, corn meal mush & coffee & washing dishes, got the Filipino family to mend a pair of pants for me. Did this for nothing. I then called at the post office & visited several book stores. Bought a pamphlet re the Filipinos. I am trying to purchase as much literature as possible bearing on this Archipelago. Purchased copies of “The Manila Times”, “American Soldier” and “Freedom”. Am aiming to secure full sets of these publications as they may of value historically in the future. The Philippines are but little known. The literature bearing on these islands is scant. — Visitors 2.

Purchased this diary. Paid $2. Mexican for it.

Returning house met on the street the city editor of the “American” Isaac Russell, A. Battery, Utah Art’y, who accompanied me to my quarters & secured points re the writer & his work for the aforesaid publication. We talked matters over & then agreed to make a trip up the railroad if possible and have a personal interview with Aguinaldo “El Presidente La Republica Filipina.”

With Major General Hughes’ refusal blocking my plans to erect in the burnt district on Calle del Rosario, I hardly know which way to turn. The artillerymen do not come save in small numbers to No. 2. The vino dens are generally crowded with them. Religion is not popular in the U.S. army & small wonder for many professing christians, including Salvationalists, have turned their backs on Jesus. What good reason can the average sinner see for seeking Christ when he has examples in his regiments of His (Christ’s) professed disciples leaving Him. The state of affairs is enough to give one the “blues” but my trust is in God. I will go ahead success or no success, faithful to my Lord, by His grace.

Every morning before commencing the day give from half an hour upward to Bible-reading and prayer. Generally pray several times each day – quite often with visitors.

Faith claims that my God is directing my steps and the experiences now befalling me. The Philippines are involved in civil war & the situation is very complicated from a foreign standpoint. The Insurgents are not recognized by the U.S. & other powers, yet Dewey & Merritt have virtually recognized Aguinaldo’s Republic furnishing arms, protection etc. The Republic is supposed to exist, its army is in the field awaiting the decisions of the Paris Peace Conference. What the destiny of the Philippines shall be God only knows. The outlook is dark, many war clouds hang low on the horizon. A Spanish paper pub, in Manila in pessimistic mood can see nothing but war ahead no matter what government gains control. I read a translated article today from “Independencia” which states plainly that the Filipinos want independence of all foreign domination including the United States; that the U.S. when the Spanish fleet was first destroyed seemed to consider its mission filled with the sinking of Montojo’s vessels, but now as an afterthought treats the natives as if they have no standing. Probably the Americans will have trouble with the Insurgents if they keep the Islands & try to suppress the republic. The whole country may be upset.