Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Sunday, Jan. 8th, 1899

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

All day clouds covered the sky. Gloomy weather. A light, slow rain fell at one time.

Cooked dinner for myself and Private Clayton Scott. Before dinner however he went for me out to the outskirts of Malate to try if possible to arrange for a meeting in the Luciana Cable station. Fell through. He learned that the North Dacota infantry were in the trenches & were fixing the Polverin de San Antonio Abad fortress in order for the expected Filipino attack. The sentry would not allow him in the fort.

Breakfast I took with Rev. & Mrs. Owens & supper with Scott with in a Chinese restaurant facing Binondo plaza. He paid for the meals.

I remained at home all day & passed the time reading & in conversation with comrades. Prayed with them several times. Salvationists (3d artillery) and church-Christians appeared today for a few brief hours. Had to be in their barracks by “retreat”. Have been kept in their prison almost a week. Their quarters were their prison – Cuartel Meisig.

Visitors 12.

I expected no one at night but was originally surprised because the dear Lord gave me an audience of 8 soldiers, praise His name. The American army at present is in an extraordinary position. War with the Filipinos is imminent; it is as good as already declared. Caromata & quilez drivers have left town & these vehicles are becoming scarce on the streets. Clerks have also left the stores during the past few days & there has been a general exodus of men to the Insurrecto lines. I am breathing freer on that account. I feared they would rise inside Manila & a number of Americans be killed before they could get off the streets into places of shelter.

With the Filipino fighters outside the city in a body that way will be plain as how best to deal with them. The prospect of what is in store for them moves my heart to pity. I feel they will be like so many children before our troops & will be astonished at the outcome, which is evidently foreign to their expectations at this juncture.

One of the Filipino men down stairs is troubled with hemorrhage of the lungs. Rev. & Mrs. Owens are waiting on him. I gave them a pot of extract of beef to make beef-tea for him. He was formerly a Spanish soldier. While in their army, some Spaniard struck him a blow which brought on the trouble.

Gave to a 2d Oregon comrade tonight for distribution, 2 copies No. 572 S.F. War Cry; 7 No. 573 & 1 No. 574.