Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Friday, Feb. 24th, 1899

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

Cool breeze at times, but withal clammy hot. Although this is the dry season, the atmosphere is heavy with moisture.

Met 3 Salvationists today & spoke to them re the salvation (present state) of their souls: viz., Private Frank Amie of H. Batter 3 Heavy Artillery, Bro. A. Temple, Hospital Corps, 2d Reserve Hospital, and Private Geo. S. Bertrand of the 1st South Dakota vol. inf.

After Bible reading & prayer, cooked breakfast of oatmeal mush & cocoa; dinner bread lemonade & jelly, supper oatmeal mush cocoa & fried bacon. Living is getting high. eggs 15 cts. Mexican.

We are having lovely moonlight nights at present.

Have a cold in my head & a touch of influenza.

Following breakfast Rev. & Mrs. Owens & the writer walked over to the late Divisoria market adjacent ruins. Filipinos were directing water on the still burning ruins. A company of soldiers were sitting on the sidewalk ready for serious work should occasion require their service. The vicinity was full of Filipinos & Chinese humanity. A coffin was resting on a vacant space with a dead person inside. We viewed the charred remains of a Chinese in the ruins. Was past recognition. Blood was oozing from the piece of head left of the dead.

Returned to No. 2 & kept house a few minutes then away for town. Purchased back numbers of the “Times” at its office & secured back nos. of the “American” to complete my file. Also purchased groceries. Personally spoke to U.S. soldiers about salvation.

Spent some time reading then struck out with Rev. Owens again about 3 p.m. Rec’d a letter enclosing $2. postal note  from ex-Ensign Gilbert Findlay of San Francisco. Findlay is doing religious work when at leisure in connection with the Mariner’s church but his wife daughter of Rev. Powell, pastor of that church is serving God as a soldier in S.F. No. 1 corps. This couple are splendid people. When such Godly men as Gilbert Findlay resigns from the Salvation Army it is a reflection on the management of the same. Findlay told Ballington Booth personally that he (Booth) was full of self-conceit; this on the line of not suffering sin on a brother and “faithful are the wounds of a friend.” Findlay (who was a thoroughly conscientious saint & devoted officer, seemed from that time to the day of his resignation to have been under the ban of the S.A.’s chief leaders in the United States. More’s the pity.

In addition to the letter several papers came.

(A shot was just fired near by –is about 10.45 p.m. Manila is like a volcano ready to explode. The Filipinos I fear are bringing destruction upon themselves.)

To get back to the day’s narrative: Owens & I after calling at the post office walked down to the Pasig quay near the Port Captain’s office to see the 20th U.S. Infantry land. Was too late. They arrived on the “Scandia” & most of them (the soldiers) had already disembarked. We saw stone barricades across the streets in several places made by our soldiers to fight behind. Expect trouble with the natives & have already had it.

I must not forget to state that we also visited the burnt district in Santa Cruz near Calle Gandara where I resided when I first came to Manila. Looks bad, the ruins. The little Chinese boy who takes English lessons from Owens, said he had no sleep last night. Watched his father’s factory; fear the natives will set it on fire.