Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Wednesday, November 23d, 1898

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

Days are cool now, but a little exertion makes underwear wet with a cold perspiration.

Remained at home during the forenoon reading and writing, after cooking breakfast. Wrote a letter to Capt. Leutze stating (D.V.) I will lead a service on the “Monterey” next Sabbat. Mailed the letter.

After dinner started out with Rev. & Mrs. Owens. Visited post office first where I rec’d quite an important mail. Capt. Dyer of the “Baltimore” wrote that I can hold service among Sunday during forenoons but not on Thanksgiving day. Will put boats at my disposal at Cavite arsenal.

80 copies War Crys (S.F.) No. 568, Oct. 15th ’98 came.

Visitors today at No. 2, 10.

Got shaved in a Spanish barber shop on the Escolta.

With the Owens’ visited Old Manila to search for the notorious Black Hole in the Old Citadel. The 23d U.S. Infantry are now quartered there. Is a remarkable pile. On the Pasig river at the intersection of the passage into the Bay behind the Sea wall at the point where the moat surrounding the walls begin. A half circular bastion projects into the river. A sentry box surmounts the same. This was pointed out to me as the place in which is the horrible dungeon. We went on top of it & found 2 wooden trap doors but could not raise them to look in. U.S. officers when questioned one in particular said the dungeon is in the powder magazine, but is now filled with masonry & covered with ammunition. The answer was not satisfactory. Must try again.

Saw Mr. McCullough at the Palace. My receipts are not ready yet. Not quite satisfactory.

Utah battery men put caisons in the house across from No. 2. Rumor says they go south to Yloilo.

The “Senator” & “Valencia” arrived bringing reinforcements night before last.

Clayton Scott’s brother bought me a gift of bananas & oranges. One family of mestizos or Spaniards in the room below us came up after the soldiers went away & asked for bread. I gave them bananas & oranges & Mrs. Owens gave bread.

The mail brought me a commission signed by General Booth promoting me to the rank of major. This came thro’ Staff Captain Fenis of the Legal Dept., New York. I have another signed by the Booth – Tucker’s. Can’t understand why a second has been sent me. The Booth’s act queer sometimes.

Picking up the Chicago Ill. “Tribune” of    I read that Colonel & Mrs. Keppel took part in a council of “American Volunteers” in Chicago. Wonder if they have left the S.A.

Apropos of the commission or promotion to major which arrived today, will say, I was called by telegram from Philadelphia, will say, I was called by telegram from Philadelphia. Pa., to New York City, Thursday May 28th 1896, & in the Consul’s (Booth-Tucker) office was verbally promoted by her to the rank of major. (See diary for 1896) December 1st 1897 a commission was made out for me signed by Commander F. de Lautaur Booth-Tucker; and now for the same promotion comes another commission signed by Gen. Wm Booth, bearing the date: Sept. 1st 1898.