Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Tuesday, April 4th, 1899

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

Clear day with more or less heavy black clouds on the horizon but withal dry & hot. Started the morning with Bible reading and prayer; then cooked breakfast, ate thereof and washed dishes. Did some reading of news. A cablegram in the daily Manila “American” brought tidings that 2 British marines & one American marine were killed by natives on the Samoan islands. German residents fled to their war vessel & the British & American war vessels shelled the natives. I fear that Germany will become embroiled with England & the United States over this affair as she is accused of being the chief instigator of the troubles there.

Rev. Owens & I went down town together for company’s sake. On the way a drunken sea faring man stopped me, wanted money; gave him salvation advice and 4 cents copper. Dropped in a Spanish barber shop to have my hair cut & a shave.

A soldier of the 4th U.S. Infantry – an old acquaintance – greeted me; he inquired about Ensign Maud Sharp. I took advantage of the opportunity to inquire about the salvation of his soul. Not O.K.

At the post office War Cry mail from Australia & Canada was handed me. Glanced over them. Read an article by Brigadier Philip Kyle on Adj. & Mr. Geo. Montgomery of California in “Victory”. The Montgomery’s are grand spiritual people. I have a high regard for Kyle too.

I have noticed of late considerable space is being given in Salvation Army publications. Mr. Bramwell Booth – Chief of Staff of the Salvation Army, who thro’ all the eventful years of S.A. history has had that position in London. An unusual amount of space is devoted to him now; the opinion has taken root in my mind that he is marked by his father General Booth for the succession; that is to be next general in his stead. Who is to succeed Gen’l Booth is kept a profound secret, but I am convinced that General Booth intends to appoint a member of his own family general, & that the man selected is Bramwell, Booth’s eldest son, who is 45 years of age. Gen. Booth cannot be accused of modesty. He has been so good to the members of his own family when apportioning out the chief commands of the Salvation Army. That it is evident he will continue that policy. The Army will be considered his personal property to be bequeathed to his own children. The 15,000 commissioned officers & multitudes of soldiers will have no voices in the premises. This will be a despotic assumption without parallel in religious history. I tremble for the Salvation Army when the General dies if he appoints his successor from his own family. The General is getting childish. The 10th of this month if God spares his life, he will have reached the age of three score & ten. The Salvation Army is a great problem & a marvel.

I think Bramwell is being banned for the general ship

When Rev. Owens & the writer returned home found Private Geo. Berry of the Montana Vol. Inf. writing a letter in my front room. Is troubled with dry catarrh, caused by sleeping on the ground. Has had much fighting of late at the front. Reports Hines, Lloyd & Georgeson saved & serving God. The Lord brought them thro’ the dangers of battle without a scratch. God cares for His own praise be to His dear name. we had a talk about things pertaining to Christ’s Kingdom & also about the present war. Berry related incidents interesting & incidents sad. He said:

The Montana men raised their flag over Malolos, were the first to enter the Filipino capital city.

It was a grand sight to see the many American regiments enter the city.

The Filipinos the night before the evacuation killed many Chinese & buried them. Cause they would not enlist in his army. The Filipinos set fire to the town & burnt part of it.

Filipinos are cunning: bury their bodies in water up to their neck & cover their heads with green grass & weeds. Officers when wounded take off their insignia of rank & hide them or send away. A body looking like a common soldier was pointed out among some dead as the remains of General Montenegro. Berry saw 5 dead Filipinos behind 2 foot logs. Kragg-jorgensen bullets pierced the wood & killed them.

Berry witnessed a cruel act. An old white haired Filipino man – a non-combatant apparently – was carrying a basket of rice. An American soldier beat the poor fellow’s brains out with the butt of his gun. No provocation, hatred. Filipino soldier slip out of uniform into citizens clothes; kill Americans after wounded or when opportunity offers. Guns are buried, hid and thrown into water.

An old crippled Filipino man in hiding behind a ridge along a ditch lifted his head to watch some American soldier. Berry & 3 others saw him, thought him a soldier at first; cocked their guns & was about to pull trigger. He got up & hobbled away. Discovering him to be an old man they did not shoot. Three old women – one blind – and a boy were hiding at the same place, with food supply – rice & live chickens. Were terror struck when the soldiers advanced. Thought their last hour had come. Crossed themselves & went thro’ their devotions – Catholic – and held 2 pictures of the Virgin Mary between their heads & the soldiers to protect them from bullets evidently. Got on their knees & raised their eyes to heaven. When the Americans declared themselves “mucho amigo”, they were much relieved but the first things they wanted to save were the Virgin Mary pictures.

At dinner time I prepared a lunch of pie (got at the Utah Bat’y bakery) lemonade, oranges, bread & jelly for Berry and myself. Before he returned to his quarter we prayed.

I read papers this afternoon. Cooked supper & washed dishes after eating. An Oregon soldier (name unknown to me) came in from Caloocan for a visit. Sent my regards to Schumerhorn.