Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Wednesday, March 29th, 1899

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

Heavy shower this afternoon. Have had a long dry spell. Hope it will continue until this distressing war is ended or else our troops will have a very uncomfortable time out in the field. Private David Freeman Co. E. 1st Montana Vol. Inf. came in from the front –16 miles from Malolos. He said the right & left wing of the army are nearer that city; seem to be surrounding it. Freeman was ordered in by the doctor. The troops were engaged: he felt himself overheated; something like “soap-bubbles” passed before his eyes. Came to town to get medicine & recuperate. I requested him to rest himself & prepared him a cup of lemonade. Freeman reports himself saved. God is keeping him in perfect peace amid the horrors of battle. I feel greatly encouraged because of Freeman. He was a miserable drunkard whe the Lord Jesus saved his soul. With the sole exception of using tobacco he is a bright convert; to God be all the glory. My comrade hinted that he sent in some money for me; gave it to Hines & the latter passed it on to some one else. I did not get it.

Freeman gave me a tiny pair of baby shoes, which he picked up on the battlefield alongside a dead woman, Filipino, who he thinks was the mother of the babe, & that the latter was carried away by the fleeing Filipinos. The natives had to leave their houses so quick that they could not get away with their household goods: the country is strewed with family odds & ends including provisions. The food supplies are destroyed by the Americans. The report is out according to Freeman (we were discussing the game fight the natives are making, that General Otis said if the Filipinos could shoot as skillfully as the Americans, with their courage it is doubtful whether the Americans could retain even Manila.

I encouraged Freeman to keep close to Christ & prayed with him.

This forenoon early urged a German unbeliever –member of the Utah battery with a Mormon wife– to accept Jesus as his Savior. Left for the front to fight. On a street car coming down the Escolta urged a soldier of the 20th U.S. Inf. regulars to seek Christ. Replied that he often thought of that subject : his people are christians.

This afternoon past 3, visited the Imperial photograph gallery to secure recent pictures. Failed.

Gave a Filipino woman downstairs an opportunity to patch my uniform. Is poor & starving. Paid her tres pesetas (60 cents Mex). Did poor work. I cannot understand how some of the people in this house manage to live.

Wrote a letter to Miss Eva Milsaps, Shawnee P.O. Oklahoma. Is my niece. Gave her religious advice among other things.