Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Wednesday, March 1, 1899

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

Clear beautiful day — Weather not too cold nor too warm. My influenza attack is wearing off. Praise God for His goodness.

Very busy and much rushed this forenoon. U.S. mail to leave. Closed at 12. noon; so said the bulletin board in the post office. Started the day with Bible reading & prayer; cooked breakfast, washed dishes & then turned in & wrote against time; begrudged every passing minute; page after page was covered with a lead pencil, describing the war & my experiences down here for the San Francisco War Cry. This article covered 24 pages Ms. note size paper & dealt exclusively with the great fires on the night of Feb. 23d and the Insurrection and battle in Tondo district. The article was divided into the subjoined subheads: “The Insurrection,” “Scenes of Sorrow,” “Visit to Battlefield,” “A Night of Fire,” “A Stand,” “Assisting the Wounded,” and “Wanted a Gun.”

Had to cut the article short & put it in an envelope without reading it to make corrections. Wrote a hasty pencil letter to Lt-Col. Wm Evans, then away on street car to the post office to catch the mail. Arrived 10 minutes ahead of time.

Met Bishop Thoburn at the post office. The Bishop is the head of the American Methodist Episcopal missionary operations in India. The Philippine Islands is debatable territory in the M.E. church, as it is in the Salvation Army. Rev. & Mrs. Owens were sent out here from Washington state, Puget Sound Conference, by Bishop McCabe on his own responsibility, but the territory has not yet been assigned to any particular leader.

At the office I received a box containing 3 Bushnell, letter size copying books. These are personal property. Were sent by Wm Evans to me at my request. Also received from Rev. L.B. Armstrong, Barcelona, Spain by mail 52 copies flexible cover, the Gospel according to St. Matthew in Tagalog.

The sailing ship “Tacoma” arrived from the United States today via Honolulu with a load of horses for our army. The first lot to come from that quarter. Were in good condition.

The Californians (Infantry) & 23rd, infantry are going south, split up into battalions and companies. Major General E.S. Otis is not waiting for Aguinaldo’s army to surrender before taking the Southern islands. The 18th regulars & Tenneeseans are fighting in Panay & winning. Iloilo is burnt. The California and 23d battalions will take possession so I hear of Negros and Cebu.

Today while on the street car returning home down the Escolta I saw Admiral Geo. Dewey go by in a barouche. The Admiral looked clean & tidy, strong & healthy, but his mustache is very white. Dewey must be well on in years.

Private Geo. Oden of H. battery 3d Reg’t artillery, called. Like all the soldiers now with his rifle & cartridges ready for instant war. Secured 3 or 4 back numbers of the Manila “Times” for me.

He reports affairs comparatively quiet at the front. There is shooting every day, but our troops are ceasing to pay attention to the Insurrecto fire unless unusually heavy. –Chaplain Leland of the the Tennessee Vols. died of small pox at Iloilo. Heard it today.