Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Monday, Dec. 26th, 1898

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

Out of bed early & cooked a hurried breakfast. Rev. Owens hunted a quilez. My meal was very scant, failed to lay in supply of food. Mr. Owens helped me out by bringing me some fried ham & a cup of coffee. Until about 6.30p.m. had nothing more to eat save a small piece of coconut given me in the ferry boat. I loaned Rev. Owens $1 U.S. coin & $1.10 mex. He paid for my supper in a restaurant 60 cts. mex.

Paid $1. Mex for a ticket to Corregidor Island & return. Mr. Tarsley or Tarsney, my old acquaintance of the first night in 17 Calle Gandara) and the Geo. Stirling, put this ferry on. They made this initial excursion yesterday. A voyage of 25 miles (stopped at Cavite) brought us to the entrance to Manila bay to the now world-famous island, words so by Rear Admiral Dewey’s destruction of the Spanish fleet off Cavite. Our party was composed of Rev. & Mrs. Owens, myself & Private Hines. There is no wharf at the landing place, a small village occupied principally by Filipinos. The water is shallow. We (about 20 passengers) went ashore in a row boat manned by Filipinos. Climbed the hill along a rough stone paved horse-path. Got on the wrong path & penetrated the forrest some distance. Returning found the right path & followed it to the summit of the island where the light-house is situated. The Filipino in charge showed us thro’ the building but especially the light in top of the tower. That light apparatus which is run by mercury is a wonderful affair. After seeing the light house descended the hill to the old fort-concrete-on the hillside overlooking the village. The U.S. military authorizations are establishing a convalescent hospital. Most of the patients are now encamped in tents. We left at 3.p.m. for Manila. Arrived about 6.15p.m. On the bay passed the U.S. transports which are about to take troops for the occupation of Iloilo.

At No. 2 Santa Elena St. Manila. Private F. Amie of H. Bat. 3d Art’y, led the Soldiers’ meeting. I closed the same with prayer & appointed Private Hines to lead the next with Private Blaney (10th Penn) as alternate. Attendance in the meeting 14.

Visitors about 13.