Diary of Alfred Burton Welch

July 26th Wednesday 1899

Left Taguig on casco with sealed orders at 10 a.m. Co’s D, H and A. I and F left garrison on sick. Joined other cascoes with gunboat Oeste. Course S. Joined fleet of seven cascoes. G b’ts. Laguna de Bay, Napidon [Napidan] and the Gov. Gen. Otis launch off S end of island. Turned and started W toward large city. Landed most troops, but two Co’s went around point. Landed under fire –one man shot thro’ hand & sh’l’l’d. Waded fully ½ mile under fire, in mud & H²O, forming as we went. Swung into town from S. Ins. Art. in full retreat to W hills. Saw two wounded niggers. Gunboat aided us, but 4th Cav & 21st on N side met with quite a resistance. Lost 3 men killed & several wounded. We met a great many Spanish prisoners of war –70 or 80 in all– 2 women. They were nearly crazy with joy at being rescued. Prisoners over a year –the rest hid. We went to extreme end of street & camped for the night. City is large and many fine buildings.

Co G engaged the enemy yearly on east road. Co’s D & H went out S road then east along ridge to flank niggers and soon had ’em going north. Connected with other Wn at noon, & came to camp. Country rich, with broad fields of sugar cane on slopes & rice in lowlands. Hundreds of Flips in sight along the hills, but kept out of range. When we entered city their art & inf left in good order in plain sight –and we engaged the rear guard. Gen Miguel [Malvar] is in command of ins. Gen. Hall of U.S. 4th Cav & 21st inf on outposts west and N. resp. 2000 niggers advanced on cav outposts at noon. 1st Wn –2 guns of 1st Art, Batt E Mountain Battery, on road & I troop on rt went against them, pushed them two miles to summit of ridge where they took to trenches across a gorge. Night was approaching and we dared not advance. Started to rain, and we got to camp late. Wet, hungry and miserable yet the boys whistling, “March thro’ Geo.’ [“Marching through Georgia”]. Built fires, fried potatoes & slept in wet clothes for the 2nd night.