Diary of Alfred Burton Welch

Friday 12-16-98

Surveyed country between b.h. 11 & 10 –ran across a large rope walk– where the making of Manila rope is all done by hand. Platted map in p.m. Went to Tenn. camp in eve, stopped at 6th Art. on the way and then along the Luneta to the walled city. The Luneta is the ruins of the most famous drive and promenade in the world. Hundreds of carriages were lined up along the walks and there was talking, singing and laughing everywhere. Many Spanish ladies, wearing the finest silks –and hair in great puffs and rolls– Spanish prisoners –natives, and everywhere the U.S.V’s and regulars, in white. Several bands were playing and we gave them a few songs. Thro’ the walls, passed the palace to 233rd U.S. Inf., thro’ the walls again along the park to the 2nd Batt 1st Cal. where we sang anf were entertained like princes. Barracks close to the Ponta [Puente] Espanol. Then to the 1st & 3rd Cal. Batt’s and in the “Quartel del Forum,” then home via “Calle Real Concepcion” and “Calle de M[arques de] Comillas” to our own “Calle de Canonico.” When we reached to 4th Cav. we heard 3 shots and thinking our companies might be called out, ran. When halted by the sentry at the gate, we learned Co. D had been out ½ hour, for we were late on our pass. Took haversack and belt & canteen & rifle out caught up with Co. D at bridge on “Calle d Nazalledo” where they were halted awaiting orders. Threw out line of pickets and searched everybody who passed. Were recalled about 1.30 a.m., but kept pickets posted. Co. slept with clothes on and on arms the rest of the night. The Penn. pickets had been fired on –which was the cause of the call to arms. When the call sounded at 9.30 p.m., one man was so excited that he put his belt on over his shirt, and fell in without pantaloons.