Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Thursday, March 30th, 1899

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

Heavy shower this afternoon. The weather now reminds me of the climate of last August with its daily rains & masses of black clouds. Have seen but little lightning & heard thunder but rarely during the past 3 months. As usual started the day with Bible reading – Exodus and Psalms. Prayed.

Cooked breakfast. Mrs. Owens gave me some fried beefsteak. It was highly appreciated. Good beef is a rarity down here.

I was agreeably surprised to behold Private M.L. Devine (Landon) of K. Battery 3d Right Heavy Artillery walk into No. 2. His face was somewhat thin. Just in from Corregidor Island. Been discharged from the hospital cured. Was troubled with malaria not dysentery. Spent a couple or 3 hours with me. We did not fail to talk about religious matters.

Reports himself in good spiritual trim praise God. Before saying good-bye he requested me to pray with him. Did so. Devine paid me $5 U.S. gold –Tenth League payment & donation. Gave him writing paper & envelopes to send to Corregidor.

Started a War Cry (San Francisco) narrative of my Philippine Island experiences. Wrote 4 pages.

Rev. Chas Owens & I took the Jolo Street car & called for mail. The writer rec’d several home papers. The “American” (daily) failed to get a frequent experience. The publishers have much trouble to get the paper into the hands of its patrons. The San Francisco “Call” of Feb 22d, prints a cablegram from Major-General E.S. Otis to the Government at Washington repeating a document sent out by Aguinaldo’s government to his followers in Manila, ordering the Territorial militia to rise with bolos’, revolvers, etc. & exterminate all white people. Filipino families only should be spared. The 2d paragraph partly reads “All other individuals of whatever race they be, will be exterminated without any compassion after the extermination of the army occupation.” The prisoners of Bilibid were to be released, armed & set to butchering. The work was to commence the evening & night of Feb. 15th. On the 22d (see this diary) an effort was made in the Tondo District to commence operations. The same, Thank God, ended disastrously to them.

This afternoon Rev. Owens & I on our way home dropped into the Binondo Roman Catholic church at the terminus of Calle del Rosario, when we observed the preparations for Good Friday. Many Filipinos, male & female, were down on their knees on the pavement performing their devotional exercises. Music, many lighted tapers behind the altar & glitter of bright metal made of spectacular display for the eye – but for the heart there was nothing.