Diary of John E.T. Milsaps

Friday, April 7th, 1899

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

It is past 9.p.m. & I am tired and sleepy. Have been away from home 8.a.m. to 8.30.p.m. Got up with the dawn of the day, read Scripture, prayed, cooked breakfast partook thereof, then hurried away leaving the Filipino servant “muchacho” to wash them. Climbed into a section passenger car on the mixed military train down on the wharf below the Port Captain’s office. Two aimed soldiers watch each passenger car. One demanded to see my pass. Examined it & consented to taking me along. The train pulled out at 8.30 am.

The train stopped at several towns or what is left by the ruins: Caloocan, Malinta, Mariliao, Bocaue and Bigaa & Guiguinto. Soldiers everywhere. Two 2d Oregon Vol. Inf. companies got on the train-roof of the cars & alighted at Bocaue. They formed company right dress. One looked back at the train as it pulled out. I was surprised & gratified to see Bro. Geo. Schumerhorn, Salvationist. God bless him. The train passed elaborate trenches constructed by the Insurrecto. We arrived in Malolos at noon. Struck off to the right following a road along which thousands of our troops are encamped (It is their battle line) in a skirt of bamboo forest facing a large open field. I visited the 1st Nebraska vol. Inf. & 1st South Dakota Vol. Inf. Found Bro. V. Heron of the Nebraska, they came with me & we picked Brothers Waterman, Bertrand and Georgeson – all Salvationists – the latter backslidden. Two strangers joined us. We went to the side sluggish stream beneath the bamboos by the main road & sat down on the ground. The main burden of our talk was on salvation lines – personally. Closed with prayer. Waterman, Bertrand, Heron & myself prayed. I urged Georgeson to return to Jesus. Said it is no use he cannot serve God in the army. Also urged 2 other but they excused themselves.

Bade them good-bye. Saw three troops – E. I. & K. – of the 4th U.S. Cavalry, a rapid fire gun & an ambulance return from a reconnoitering tour of the front.

I passed the 10th Pennsylvania encampment but did not meet Bro. Chester Blaney. Crossed the railroad near the depot & visited the 1st Montana encampment – E company. Boys lying on the ground. Brothers D. G. Hines & Lloyd glad to see me. Did not fail to inquire about their souls. With the other soldiers looking on we three prayed – each one in their presence. Lloyd gave me an order on Chaplain Stull of their reg’t for $10 U.S. coin & Hines $25. Some of this money is for me & some for others.

From the Montana camp crossed a slough by a short cut to the main part of Malolos, accompanied by Bro. Lloyd. I met & shook hands with Lieut England & Private Hammer & some others of the 3d Artillery. Lloyd visited with me the Filipino ex-prison where some American prisoners were incarcerated. Some of them wrote their names on the walls, but had been carried away by the retreating enemy.

Aguinaldo’s “palace”, a church building, was in ruins. Piles of rice in several places were still burning. I saw a group of Filipino non-combatants – coming in town to be fed. Waited in the shade of car an hour or more for the train from Manila. Our train pulled out about 5.15 p.m. for Manila. At the last moment 3 well built athletic Spaniards in the uniform of their country were brought in under guard. Appeared in good condition. Arriving at Bigaa station our train stopped. Suddenly a couple of shots rung out. Looking out of the car window I saw soldiers aiming their gun at the figure of a man who was running across the open field. I saw the poor fellow run. Then he fell flat to the ground, shot, & did not rise. Soldiers quickly reached his prostrate body & carried him back to the depot, but our train did not wait for him. The poor fellow was one of the 3 Spanish prisoners who were brought on our train at Malolos. They were arrested for spies. He jumped out of the car & tried to escape, but American marksmanship was too accurate.

On the train I found the acquaintance of Mr. Chas Ward Macdevitt, reporter of “Freedom”.

Arrived in Manila at about 745 p.m. I got off at the depot when the train slowed up. Was very hungry. Had nothing to eat since morning save an apple & a little water out of a well in Malolos. Turned to, and cooked supper. Mrs. Owens gave me same cold stew. Satisfied the demands of my appetite about 8.45 p.m.

One of the soldiers said it was reported among them that I was killed out at the Water Works.

When our train was approaching Caloocan from Malolos, the flash or rather search lights of a war vessel played upon our train at intervals of a few minutes through the darkness. The bright light would shine thro’ the mist with wonderful clearness. The commanders of our vessels are alert. I gave Mr. Chas Ward Macdevitt a small slip of paper (the latter he furnished) on which I wrote my address and that the Salvation Army, Army and Navy League conduct a reading and writing room there.

An interesting feature of the trip to Malolos was the sight of little groups of farmers – Filipinos – returning to their houses carrying white flags. This region is deserted. It is estimated that 100,000 people lived here. They fled from the American troops & are now somewhere beyond Malolos.

Last Tuesday E. company & other Montana men were ordered out to reconnoiter. They found the enemy in force at Calumpit and had to retire. One man was killed on our side & about 38 overcome with heat, not including those wounded about 7. Some are captains. Brother Hines was prostrated & lost his reason for a short time. Raved. Is recovering again.