Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Sunday, Oct. 30th, 1898

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

Out of bed early. Rushed around & got breakfast, washed the dishes, but prayed & read bible lesson first. The weather was gloomy. Heavy clouds hung low all day. Slow falling rain made everything wet. In the evening a typhoon signal was hung out in front of the building occupied by the Port Captain.

Took the 8.30a.m. ferryboat “M. Nunez” for Cavite. Private C. J. Scott met me at the Pasig quay. Over at Cavite a steam launch from the U.S.S. “Raleigh”, met us at the wharf & took us to the war ship. The officer of the deck received us politely & ordered one of the crew to take us down to the after berth deck where a table was bought out, flag put over it & seats arranged. A queer place it was. Two large torpedo tubes project half (almost across the deck. Along the side of the forward partition 4 torpedoes were stowed. An audience of 30 men listened to us very attentively & sung our songs, but no one responded to our appeal for penitents to come forward. At the close of the service, the man Hanson, a christian, who attends to the large 6 inch rifle on the forward upper deck conducted us around the vessel. Forward we sat down on the deck with the crew & made dinner on black coffee, beef, sweet potatoes, rice & bread. I enjoyed the meal. 1 o’ clock p.m. the offices of the deck sent us ashore in a launch at our request.

We called at 18th Infantry barracks & had conversation with some of the troops – then called at San Felipe Fort, visited the dungeons nearby, also the long barrack & San Domingo church. U.S. soldier (Montana men) are quartered in the buildings. The floor, wooden saints & other wood has been used by the U.S. soldiers for cooking purposes. The church is becoming a wreck sure enough since my first visit. From San Domingo church we visited a high toned house once occupied by Spaniards on Calle Arsenal. It has no number but sets between Nos. 40 & 36. In a back ground floor room are indications of a terrible tragedy. Greater blotches & stains of blood cover the walls & a finger smeared with gore marked a cross & a skull on the same. On a nearby door are the words “Sextus Gloria”. The story goes that the Filipinoes murdered a Spanish officer who swam ashore, the memorable 1st May, when Dewey destroyed the fleet of Spain. He was crucified, head cut off etc. – the unfortunate officer. There are nail holes in the wood & plaster.

Left Cavite 4.30 p.m. I met Joe Stahl on the boat. He spoke of a proposed trip to Mariveles, & promised to remember me when the party goes. Mr. Shelton of San Antonio, chief steward of the Divisional hospital was with Stahl. He gave me some points re getting permission to visit the hospital.

Clayton J. Scott returned to No. 2 with me & took supper. I cooked it & washed the dishes & hurriedly selected hymns & got a bible lesson. Audience 7. Principally Montana & North & South Dakota men. God the Holy Ghost was present to bless. At the close one soul professed conversion: Private Homer Smith, Battery G. 6th U.S. Artillery. Is an American, hails from Linden, Indiana, & was formerly a farmer.

Visitors today II.

On the Warship “Raleigh” we distributed 21 War Crys. No. 564, edition, September 17th 1898.