Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Saturday, March 18th, 1899

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

Weather cool and pleasant; sky cloudy.

Cooked breakfast & supper. My meals are quite scant with too much sameness of diet to tempt the palate. Still my health is excellent, praise God. The Lord is my only true comfort. I feel the sting of injustice at the hands of the Booth family continually, & oftentimes am ashamed of the leaders who so long have dominated the Salvation Army. That family (the members) as far as they dare show their hands, are against Americans. Since the Booth-Tuckers took charge of the United States they have been slyly working European (chiefly English) officers into the United States & placed the divisions in their charge. The American officers have been backseated or set adrift –that is, given positions of little or no importance. They are carefully lifted out of places where they have controlled field forces. During all my service of 16 years I have endeavored in my own case & taught others to eliminate the word nationality. We were one Salvation Army; Christ was the great bond of union. The theory I held was that English, French, Germans or Americans, as such, should not be recognized, but we should be one indevisible, great, happy, useful family, going forth in the power of the Holy Ghost, to preach Christ, glorify God & save the world. Our English leaders encouraged us in that line of thought, but alas they have played the fox. They have talked one way & acted the reverse. The Salvation Army is run as an English concern, & the Englishmen who are at the head of affairs are clannish to the last degree. They fill every position of trust with British officers as far as they dare. That’s why I am ashamed. I have stood by them, defended them, given them credit for disinterested motives, until at last I am forced against my own wishes to recognize the policy of the Booth’s in the U.S. as anti-American. Such foxiness in religious leaders is despicable. May God guide the Salvation Army.

Seeing a cloud of smoke arising out Paseo Azcarraga this forenoon Rev. Chas. Owens & myself, walked over to the fire. A district of nipa palm shacks –native huts– was in ashes when we arrived & a building (the last of the conflagration) in flames just outside the walls of Bilibid prison. A large number of Filipinos watched the fire. Incendiaries are charged with this work, supposedly Filipinos. They generally manage to burn themselves out of house and home. I met & had a talk with the City Editor of “Freedom” at the fire. He gave me todays paper printed in green ink, in honor of yesterday patron saint –St Patrick.

This has been a day of expectation. Is mail day –par excellence– i.e. mail from the United States. Three letters & a pile of papers were handed out to me at the general delivery window when I inquired late in the afternoon. Why do we rejoice to get mail? Bad news comes as well as good. Private Andrew Waterman (dear, good boy) of Co. H. 1st South Dakota Vol. Inf. writes from Palace Malacanan, Manila, endorsing his Soldiers Pass for me to sign. God bless him. His company have returned from the front for a few days. “I can truly say” (writes Waterman,
I am saved & kept by the grace of God all thro’ these trying times. I wish I could see some of your articles in the War Cry.” My articles have not appeared in the San Francisco War Cry since edition No. 581 January 14, 1899. altho’ much copy has been sent. I have been thinking of late that my copy was consigned to the waste paper basket. Another letter (Lt-Col. Wm Evans) under date of feb. 9th in the postscript says “Send us as fas as possible descriptive accounts of how matters have been going, together with any photographs you think would be useful.” In the beginning of the letter the Lt-Col. writes: “I want to take this opportunity of expressing to you our concern for the perilous position that you at this time, are placed in. I want to say to you that your comrades over here will not fail to ask our Father to be over & about you with His protecting wings.” Mrs. Lt-Col. Evans (his wife) writes under date of Feb 4th (letter came in same mail) “The longer you are over there, the more convinced I become that you are just the right man to send, & that you will be able to do for God & the Army that which should make a lasting impression.”

Rec’d 5 visitors today. Prayed with several men & urged salvation on the attention of wavered one personally.

Gave a Filipino woman beggar 01 cent, Mex. & a sailor (probably English –talked like one) 10 cts. Mex.

Read papers, for quite a number came.

Sent some War Crys & S.A. magazines to the front, with Private Hines, also writing paper.

Purchased from a Filipino street vendor some sea shells for my collection.

Everything is quiet tonight.