Diary of Alfred Burton Welch

Aug 3rd Thursday 1899

Took eight man out to outpost No. 3 on the old paved Spanish military road. This post is the farthest out and connects with the 21st picket lines which run to the steel bride across a river to north. We got some good shooting at 1000 yds.

A Spaniard told us that the niggers were going to attack about midnight, so our lines were heavily reinforced, and the positions of the outposts changed and advanced after dark. Movement of large bodies of troops were seen all p.m. from our lookout in a tree, and the high notes of bugles rung in the gorges.

Saw a very large iquana lizard today about 5 ft. long. Also a large lizard 3 ft. long. Our picket line runs to a great steel bridge across the river to east. This bridge has been a very fine one until lately but has been twisted out of shape by recent floods. 4th Cav were on other side of river. My 8 men had a long line to cover.

It was black as a stack of black cats, and air full of insects. About 8.30 the ins. shot a heavy smooth bore gun and a few scattering shots drifted in from all along their line. The 21st answered by Cab & Wn kept quiet.

At 9 several volleys came from our front but we still kept low. They are cute, and shot from the cover of a corn field as we could not see the flashes. That ended the “attack.” At daybreak we moved back 300 yds to tree cover, and got breakfast for roasting ears. Relived at 8.30 a.m.