Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Sunday, April 2d, 1899

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

Easter. Bible reading & prayer & praise to my God this morning. Then cooked breakfast, washed dishes & prepared for a service in Bilibid prison. Walked down Paseo Azcarraga in order to get there by 10.30.a.m. Did so, but had to wait on Lit. Wolf & Provost Sergeant Ryan. I have a feeling that they would prefer that I would not come, but this is not an unusual thing, as a great many other people can see no special good in the preaching of Christ and Him crucified. Sergeant Ryan proposed service in front of the Sergeant of the guard’s quarters under the trees but I preferred the building occupied by civil prisoners who are mostly sea-faring men – a hearty, bluff reckless set. They were eating dinner at 11 when my service started but good-naturedly joined the singing & at the close joined me in repeating the Lord’s prayer. Audience 18, three of them soldiers. I think these 3 are interested. Asked me for bibles. Promised to try to get some testaments for them. I read Scripture lesson appropriate to Easter & gave a nautical talk. At the close a fireman (marine) Frank Carson, age 22. Knelt down at a bunk & professed to get victory thro’ the Lord Jesus. Voluntarily exhorted his fellow prisoners to commence a better life.

Rev. & Mrs. Owens have been absent last night & all this day. They have not come yet; will probably be absent tonight.

Chaplain Stephenson of the 1st Idaho Vol. Inf. dropped in. He & I had a long talk re various subjects.

One of the Utah battery baker called with a type written slip to ask advice. There is an annex to the rear end of the house occupied by me, occupied by Senora Simona Soriano the wife of a jeweler, who is supposed an Insurrect colonel out at the front. Senora Ysabel Wood my landlady wants to eject her & her family. Have had several quarrels; Mrs. Soriano failed to pay rent during the past 3 months. Senora Wood says Senora Soriano threatens to burn the house in which she resides, have been heard to threaten as much by witnesses; she also upbraids the Filipinos who live in the rear basement of this building saying in effect to them: “Why don’t you go out to the front & fight for your country?” I advised that the threat to burn her house be put in a complaint to the Provost Marshal General & the ejectment suit for now – payment of rent be brought before the Spanish court which tries civil cases.

I learned incidentally thro’ the baker that my landlady when the war closes hopes to sell or lease the house occupied by me & return to Spain with the proceed & there abide with her family.

Took advantage of quiet spells between visits to continue writing my narrative. Finished it after cooking supper, eating thereof & washing dishes. Fills 18 pages Ms. & is divided into the following subheads: “In the Wake of Battle”, “A halt by the Wayside”, “A War Cry on the Battlefield”, “Filipino Trenches”, “Scenes in a Forest”, “Three Salvationists”, “Tambobong” and “Bilibid”. I want to catch tomorrow’s mail for the United States with this copy.

A commissary sergeant of the Utah artillery called after a supper. With other news he said another uprising is expected in this city. Natives have been caught recently trying to get in the city – bad characters – signs are pointing to more trouble. He also related the case of a soldier finding a native man in a house who tried to kill him. Went off & brought 2 other soldiers. While they were gazing at him, he flung a knife at one of them. One of the men, a Kansas soldier, shot the Filipino on the spot.