Diary of Alfred Burton Welch

Tuesday 6th-99

At Taguig –but will take up story where I left off. The Wn. left field before Taytay –with the 12th & N.D. hard at it– and got back to Pasig, any old way –I got there at 10 p.m. It was 102° and fully 1/3rd Co. D dropped out. Got some coffee and lay down on courtyard tiles at church to sleep but a crazy woman prisoner kept me awake and at 4 a.m. we were fell in went to casco. We were in to of the Oresta gunboat and got stuck. Had to get out and swim river to pull boat off –which took until daylight. The rest of the fleet lay out of reach of the guns at Augono [Angono] awaiting us. Then we started across the lake to Morong in the following order:

The gunboat Cavadonga (a Fil. Gunboat captured at St. Cruz) led –followed by Suerta on the left –with two cascoes –Oesta in the center with three and the Norte on rt. With two –all Wn troops– nine Coi’s. Met the Napindan at the strait –with her heavy guns. The gunboats got to within 1300 yds andf the cascoes polled to within 900 –then under the guns we jumped into H²O and made for the level field to the SW of city.

I was the second man on shore –and was sent with the scouts under Sergt. Rawson. We adv’n’d 250 yds. when the niggers opened up, six hundred yds. The reg. quickly formed and started under Fie & Wisenberg, Scouts on extreme rt. with trenches directly in front. Gunboats opened with shell and rapido’s over our heads. After 30 min. of close fire, we advanced in rushes and at 30 yds. they broke and ran, and we took possession. Only a few wounded men captured. The city was deserted and the inhabitants in the hills. We started the battle at 11.55 and by 2.30 had coffee in the church. The city is a daisy. The church is on a hill and from the hill four long, wide streets lead S.

Some splendid houses were burnt by the shells –but we had positive orders against firing or looting. The gov. gen. palace is on the we. of the river which divides the town, running thro’ a deep canyon –this is spanned by an arched stone bridge built in 1855. W. side of city has about four st’s. To N.W. about four other sts. lead up along river about ½ mi. where I killed gugu and got his knife. He also was a scout. We were dogged by two others, but got home all OK. The reg. scouts were out to the N.W. and had a scrap.

Also a party were out to the E. and shot Private Thygensen. A fine boy and scout, with a record of 10 niggers, Co. D. The only one killed, one other wounded. About noon Gen. Hall’s brig –composed of Or; 2nd Batt. 9th; 4th; 4 troops Cav., 1 mounted and the Mountain battery. Wn boarded cascoes in p.m. and with the gunboats left for Pasig –leaving Hall in Morong. Met Gen. Lanton [Lawton] in bay and awaited orders but late in p.m. started again. A heavy head sea made it hard –and off Angona [Angono] were fired upon by cannon and the upper afterdeck of the Cavodonga.

We lost mouth of rio, but at daylight got stream, unloaded at Pasig, and crossed ferry, then to Taguig. Slept all day until 4 p.m. As a memento I bro’t an old history pair of shoes; art. Officer’s epaulets, and a dead flip’s knife; a hard trip and hard fighting. Very hot today. A man on outpost No. 1 shot early this morn in leg. We expect to go up against the bunch here, before many days. A fine country up there at Morong –tobacco, corn, cane, rice &c. Very tired, sunburned & sore.