Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Thursday, Dec. 15th, 1898

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

War rumors fill the air. The signal corps or part were hanging a field telegraph out Calle Jolo on the electric light poles, just before dark. The natives & Chinese watched proceedings with deep interest. Word went ‘round that a fight is expected tonight with the Insurgents. They were given until today to lay down their arms says report. Appearances imply that they do not intend to do it. The 3d artillerymen were kept in their quarters all day, & have rations, water & cartridges ready for instant marching orders. General Otis & staff inspected the posts today including the 3d. The General is reported as having said (on authority of Private Rensberger who was acting as orderly & overheard his parting talk) “I depend more upon you four batteries than upon the whole volunteer army”, addressed Brevet Maj. O’ Hara.

Utah batterymen took some of the their guns out last night.

We hear that the Nebraska troops took possession of the Insurgent powder factory. Matters may come to a head by Sunday next. I do hope bloodshed will be avoided.

I met two Astor battery men down on the Escolta this afternoon. They bade me good-bye. Are leaving us. Returning home to the United States.

During the forenoon I remained at home reading, casting up accounts & posting scraps in personal Scrap book.

After dinner sallied forth. Post office first. Rec’d a letter from Staff Capt. Symons at Hongkong. He reports the S.A. work flourishing. Glory to God who doeth wonders.

The Staff Captain writes that my photo films for development & 2 prints to each negative would cost $28. Scares me.

Sent out many War Crys for force distribution by Salvationists in the U.S. army, all were miscellaneous copies, old dates viz. Private Hines for 2d battalion 58 copies: 1st Montana Vol. Private Berry, 50 copies. 1st Battalion. 1st Montana vols. Private Lloyd, 10 copies for the ship “Glooscap”. On my way to town I took 25 copies No. 571 Cry. Nov. 5th to Peter Shipper to distribute among the U.S. Engineers, his comrades.

Get some notes tonight form Hines for public private.

Visitors 8.