Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Tuesday, November 22d, 1898

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

A busy day of sight seeing & other work.

Up early prayed & read bible as usual; then cooked breakfast of fried bacon, corn meal mush & corn.

Made supper of bread, guayava jelly & lemonade. Took dinner with Rev. & Mrs. Owens.

Mr. I. Russell proprietor, called early to get copy for the “American Soldier”. Gave him abt. 7 pages Ms. of War reminiscences.

Bought of Private O. Harris agent for Mr. Glunz, unmounted photographers of Manila war scenes. Paid $2 U.S. coin.

About 9.a.m. Private Heines & Lloyd of Montana vols., called at No. 2 with a vis-à-vis (barouche) & with myself, Rev. & Mrs. Owens visited Paca [Paco] cemetery. There witnessed the opening of 2 graves or tombs. The bones of which are to be cast into the big bone pile back of the mortuary chapel. The first (No. 1 in Section 117) had ths inscription. “D.O.M. D. Francisco Garcia Vigil Presbytero Capellan Que Fue del Regimento de Infanta. Jolo No. 6 Fallecio el 19 de Junio de 1888.” The Filipino cemetery employee raked the decayed bones & debris out & looked for valuables but found none.

A military funeral then came in: Private Frank Harden of Co. H. 1st North Dakota vol. Inf. He was buried & 3 volleys fired over his grave. Also the taps by a bugler. This latter was very touching. After the burial we went back to see another body disinterred – a priest. Tomb No. 9 Section 106. Outer circle. Inscription on tombstone “E.P.D. Dn. Jose Santos Rodriguez y Yangelina. Presbytero Fallecio el 17 de Mayo de 1887 Rogud Por El.” In this tomb when the decayed bones were scraped out were found 2 crosses & medals with strings of beads. The 2 medals & a wooden cross plated with silver was given to me for souvenirs. I took 3 Kodak pictures of the disinterment. Centipedes, spiders and roaches were disturbed when the tombs were broken open. These bones go with the rest of the friendless dead.

From the cemetario – Paca [Paco] – we drove through the Malate gate into Old Manila to the Palace where I dropped in upon Mr. Clinton McCullough to see about my receipts. Requested to call at 5.30 p.m. again.

Having a little time our party then went through the great cathedral opposite the Palace. Is a marvelous structure.

The vast building is thickly populated with Spanish prisoners of war. They are camped before & around all the altars.

From the Cathedral drove to the vast range of buildings occupied by the Augustinian monks, facing San Lucia Calle & Puerto Lucia – gate – the church & lower story are occupied by Spanish prisoners. Ascending the stair knocked at a heavy door. Two monks came to the wicket. I asked to see the place. Replied to call at 3.p.m. At that hour, I accompanied by Rev. Owens (they would not admit Mrs. Owens) & Private Hines & Lloyd entered the door – open at this time. Slating our mission 2 friars were detailed to escort us. Visited the organ loft, corridors, dining room, cistern (vast affair) the cells of the monks long ranges of them of vast extent & the library. This last is no small affair. Thousands of pig-skin bound folios & quartos are here. In the library is a full length statue of Saint Augustine, their patron saint. Many modern books crowd the shelves. Some very fine. Guess the library contains 6,000 books. Before we were thru a Spanish friar who spoke a little English, Father Mariano Isar also joined our company. The tables in the large dining hall were being set for 100 priests! At the time of our visit. Thanking our priestly guides about 5p.m. We bade them adieu & called again at the Palace, where I passed on the proof of my receipts & authorized McCullough to print them.

Visitors during the day at No. 2, 11.

After supper the boys wanted a gramophone exhibition. Accommodated them & finished with a prayer & praise service.