Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Monday, January 23d, 1899

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

Cloudy and dry. To me a busy day. Was troubled with pain in my right foot and leg up to the knee think it is a touch of rheumatism; my first experience of that pest of human flesh.

After cooking & eating breakfast I struck out for San Miguel. Called at the battalion of 1st South Dakota Inf. to look for Private Alfred Pines of Co. A. Was not there but I found Private O.P. Georgeson of Co. L. and learned to my grief that Georgeson was in a backslidden condition. Would not explain the reason but I partly learned that both men made their first downward step by smoking. I pleaded with Georgeson to return to Jesus, but he would not promise. Pines & G. were such bright Salvationists that I feel specially sad to see them go back. From the 3d battalion I went to Co. H. of the South Dakotas & had a long talk with Private Andrew Waterman re the two fallen comrades & asked him to try to get in touch with them. He promised to do so.

From the Dakotas crossed the Pasig & took a snap shot of the new U.S. gunboat just fitted up for work on the Pasig River & Laguna. When I took the picture the Captain commanding yelled for a guard to stop me, he came but it was too late, I had it safe. Two thicknesses of steel boiler protect the sides from the main about 5 feet high. Saw gatling guns aboard which were being cleaned. The boat had steam up. Part of the South Dakota infantry anf 6th artillery are detailed for service on her. A soldier said the gunboat’s name is “Laguna de Bay.”

At the point office I received 2 letters: (1) Staff Capt. Symons Hongkong re shipment of photo prints (2) Private Edward Stockton, Co. H. 1st Colorado Inf. The latter was on a line with Georgeson’ & Pines’ experience. 5. backslid payday through gambling. Says he is very sad & longs for the peace he lost. Wants prayer in his behalf. I wrote 3 letters to backsliders urginf them to return to their blessed Savior. viz to Pines’, Georgeson and Stockton.

Visitors 10. One of the number was Chaplain S. Wood of the 23d U.S. Infantry. He said in case I want anything to just command him & I should have my desire. I asked the priviledge to hold a meeting with the 23d’s men. Said he would see about the matter.

After supper a number of soldiers arrived & I led the soldiers’ meeting. Audience 7.

Private Peter Schipper of the U.S. Engineers brought me a late S.F. War Cry. I was glad to get it.

The Manila Times of today (p.m.) brings news that this day, January 23d the Filipino temporary or provisional republic is made a permanent Republic with Aguinaldo is president.

Chaplain S. Wood of the 23d U.S. Infantry (regulars) surprised me with thew news that Rev. Father Dougherty or Dorrity, the Paulist priest who came over on the S.S. “Newport” with Gen. Merritt returned to the United States having been ordered to return by the United States military authorities. Cause: Writing back home letters or a letter reflecting on American officers down here. Chaplain Wood said Dorrity was given a grand reception in America on his arrival & much ado was made over his valuable labors. He worked so hard that his nerves gave way –were overtaxed. Such was the explanation given to the public.

From conversation with Father Dorrity & what I saw of him, I thought Rome sent one of its brighest minds to the Philippines: a man who could grasp any situation & adapt himself to it. Personally I liked Dorrity. He impressed me as a very liberal minded, sincere worker for his church.