Diary of Alfred Burton Welch

Saturday 11-26-98

To bed last eve early. Along coast which looked like Olympic Mts. About 4 a.m. we sighted a flash light on “Corregidor” Island, which stands in the entrance to Manila Bay. A splendid H²O & easily defended. Cavite on rt. Manila 7 mi. on. Most of the fleet is anchored at Cavite. Two old Spanish prize gun boats are close to us. German Man o’ War “Irene” is only a cable’s length away. She is the one which Dewey bro’t to terms. Dropped anchor at 6.50 close to Arizona, Valencia and Senator. U.S. Man o’ War “Raleigh” and several foreign merchantmen close. Soon a swarm of native boats (very rude dugouts –round paddles, matting tops). Made 187 to Manila. Came alongside with tropical fruits. No swimmers as in Hono, for sharks abound.

Several official visitors from the fleet & shore offices came. Seen from on board –Manila seems to be low very shady with a great many churches & cathedrals rising from the green. Back, perhaps 3 miles, hills are in which the insurgent chief has 30000 armed men. Great grass hats 3 ft. across are worn. Hottest day yet struck. No one allowed ashore. Letters written on trip were stolen today.