Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Saturday, Dec. 31st, 1898

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

Last day of 1898. Unto the Lord my God be the glory and praise for the good accomplished. He has kept me from disaster in the perilous hour of temptation. He has protected me from physical dangers. Truly the Lord is good to me. Truly ’98 has been an eventful year to me. God has given me opportunity to preach Christ & Him crucified in both the eastern & the western hemispheres & saved souls.

Have just returned from the barracks of the 3d Battalion of the 1st South Dakota Vol. Inf. The night is distributed by the report of exploding firecrackers. My underwear is with perspiration. I led a service in the splendid ex-Spanish mansion in San Miguel St. occupied by the 3d Bat. 1st South Dakota, 12 Salvationists assisted me. Hines, Lloyd, Berry & Freeman, of the 1st Montana, Private Frank Amie 3d Artillery, H. Battery; Private Schurmerhorn 2d Oregon; Pines, Waterman, Bertrand and Georgeson 1st South Dakota; Scott North Dakota & Private Flansberg, 13th Minnesota, Vol. Inf. Audience 85.

Private Georgeson settled details for the service. When I arrived the regimental brass band was playing selections in front the main entrance. Finished about 7.30.p.m. Candles were hurriedly lighted when they were through and entering into the vast vestibule of this elegant mansion we struck up the song “the blood of Jesus cleanseth white as snow don’t you know” etc. Throughout the meeting attention splendid. No souls publicly tried to get saved. After meeting Bertrand showed me thro’ the Battalion quarters. Before service I returned to Private Berry $5 gold of the $15, he put in my care some time ago. Have still $10 of his money. Some of the other Salvationists were talking of making me their banker. This is not of my seeking. Am afraid of getting robbed.

Rev. Chas. Owens went to the post office & brought back for me a large newspaper mail & several letters (1) from Maj. Acum London en/c another from L.B. Armstrong of Barcelona. Spain who wants me to put his new Tagalog scriptures into circulation (2) Staff Capt. E.J. Symons, Hongkong endorses bill for $9.20 Mex. for printing 92 Kodak pictures; (3) Capt. Port, S.F. re sending Kodak films to Kline for me. (4) Letter from Lt.-Col. Wm Ewans with salary remittance of $18 U.S. coin. Date,       ’98. I collected the same at the post office and paid $2 to the Lord on Tenth League a/c.

Visitors today about 6.

Comrade Wm Eletson of the Flagship “Olympia” called to see me. Donated $3 Mex to assist my work. He told me interesting anecdotes re Rear Admiral Geo. Dewey that I may relate later in this diary.

I cooked breakfast, then dinner on Eletson’s a/c & last supper.

Rec’d of S.F. War Crys: No. 572, Nov. 12th copies 119

“                     “       “         “   573   “     19         “       120

“                     “       “         “  574   “     26         “       120

Sent 12 copies 4 of each edition by Eletson, for distribution aboard the “Olympian”.

Took 20 copies of No. 572 ed. with me to the 3d Bat. of 1st South Dakota Vol. Inf. & distributed them.

While at the Dakota quarters while waiting for the brass band to finish its old year work I utilized the time by arranging with the Salvationists for a squad to accompany me to Corregidor Island tomorrow. God willing.

Returning from the Dakota quarters tonight the salons were crowded with drinking, noisy American soldiers.

Well the year is almost done. It has in the main been spent in the service of God. His providence has not failed me in a single instance. I am saved & sanctified tonight because my Redeemer kept me. The Holy Ghost has been my guide & comforter. To my God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I give all the glory (for it belongs to God) for whatever good has been accomplished thro’ my feeble instrumentality. I pray & trust my faithful God to keep & use me through the coming year 1899.

~ Good – bye 1898 ~