Diary of Alfred Burton Welch

Thursday 12-29-98

Started to Singalon[g] at 6.30 relieved 1st Idaho at 7. Sergt Burtt at b.h. 12, 2nd Lieut Lamping at b.h. 13. Made maps of good, high, dry artillery ground in a.m. Went to insurgent lines beyond b.h. 13 where a large outpost is. Also one of about 30 further on, from which 2 guards were sent with me. Went to b.h. 14 which is literally shot to pieces. They told me at least 400 Spaniards were killed here. And the condition of the fort and the trees surrounding would justify such a conclusion. Got some Mausers, and located a 6 inch shell at a native house. Took observation of trenches and breastworks. Went back with guards to post and watched them play ball with their feet. Keeping it in the air as long as a tennis ball is usually. A Chinaman told the Lieut. that I was captured and he bro’t a guard to my relief. Watched the ins.[urgents] drill. They all talk and laugh in the ranks, but the movements are all quick and full of life. All barefooted and armed with Mausers. Took gun and went out to b.h. 12 at eleven p.m. Splendid night.