Diary of Chriss A. Bell

Feb. 8, 1899

On guard all day. Privates who left without leave were fined from $2 to $7. The non coms I think got a severe lecture because of charges were preferred a General Court Martial was necessary. It is rather hard on privates to be fined and non coms let go with a talk. Shorty, Pratt, Coyine, & Hampton all tell of a very exciting time. Hope I’ll get a chance to see some action.

An incident happened which showed native character. During the battle one of Aguinaldo’s Generals who took part in Peace conference appeared with a flag truce. It was answered by Col. Crowder [Major Cardwell] & Col. [Q.M. Sergeant] Potter who also took part in peace conference. The American officers advanced to near the insurgent lines & were met by officers. Immediately after insurgents fired on the crowd. When our officer demanded of insurgent officer what was meant by firing on flag of truce he answered, almost in ha [laugh] that he was forced to admit that his men were untamed savages without the first principle of humanity and apologized for being a part of such a disgraceful affair & asked to be allowed to retire. He himself was pured on by his own men. The chances of the Oregon regiment Co. H in particular going to the front grow lean fully less each day. Was on guard all last night nothing very exciting happened. There was more fighting at the front.