Last Monday morning at 3 A.M. 25 men each from CO’s K & L, under Capt. Griffiths started out on a scouting expedition to follow up the principal trails in the mountains to the west of here. We carried ponchos, canteens & haversacks & what rations we could get into the haversacks, and two hundred rounds of ammunition each. We ate breakfast just after daylight at the foot of the mountains and then pushed on, crossing three mountains before we stopped for dinner. After dinner we went almost straight up an untrailbroken mountain side & then followed a slowly descending trail which crossed our forenoons line of march then turned again toward the heart of the mountains & camped that night clear back away from where there were any signs of civilization. “The great what is it” howled till the mountains rang but we never knew what it was and those not on guard just laid still & trusted the guards & the guards just kept still and shook in their boots. During the day we passed several little shacks with new made & unfinished lug-nut boats all around them but the niggers had all left the camps before we got there. In one place we burnt a small shack with a suspicious look to it & examined a near-by grave. Tuesday we climbed, all day, up & down, up and down till we were nearly worn out. Kerstetter gave out about the middle of the forenoon & we had to take turns at helping carry him on a stretcher, which, of course, made it much harder on us. During the day we saw a few wild chickens and one of the advance guards picked up the antlers of a deer. Late in the evening we came upon a band of Igorritoes [Igorots] (little kinky-heads) clad in breechclouts, only. Most of them sneaked away but we managed to keep two with us for guides the next day. I bought a string of beads from a young squaw which was the largest half of her clothing. We camped where we found the ..ms. I was on guard & it rained nearly all night but I was in such condition that I laid & slept like a log during my hours off in spite of the rain & nothing under me for a bed. Lawrence & Sharp (as with me) were awake all night & knew every move I made during my “hours on”. They said the “what is it” howled again but I didn’t hear it. Wednesday morning we were almost out of rations but managed to scrape up enough amongst us for breakfast. The niggers which we had held were comeing to a little burrit near this place so we took them as guides and started back. During the forenoon we passed the trucks of a big Krupp gun & the track in which it had been hauled up into the mountains. At noon we were back to where there were a few scattering houses so we went into camp there while a scouting party went & rustled some rice & sweet potatoes for dinner. I washed out some black sand with a gold colored sparkle in it (got about a thimble full from a mess pan full of sand) out of a creek where we camped. Don’t know whether the glitter is gold or not. After dinner we came on into Dinalupijan [Dinalupihan] getting here just as mess call blew for supper. The paymaster had been here while we were gone & left our money with the adjutant so, after supper we lined up & drew our pay. Carried Kerstetter all day, again. Thursday I spent paying & collecting bills, buying necessaries for the next two months etc. Friday I was supernumerary & Saturday was on guard. Monday I went to Orani with the wagon for bread & meat (we are to get bread & meat Mondays & Fridays hereafter) and bought a lot of stuff from the commissary. I came in the worst worn that I have been from any hike on the Island. While at in Orani I was on the scales & scored them at 144 lbs. Yesterday I was on guard again. We got a big mail Friday night. Jess sent me Papers & envelopes from Bautista. On our mountain hike things were much the same one place as another. The streams are cold & swift, running amongst & over big rocks. Except right in the beds of the streams very little rock shows in the mountains; they being for the most part hard clay estored soil & thickly wooded. Some parts were bamboo thickets but most of the mountains are covered with a growth of gigantic hardwood timber that will be worth fortunes when opened up. On the first morning out I tore my pants nearly off & had to patch them up with my handkerchief & some safety pins. The Captain made fun of me all the way. Someone “swiped” my knife that C.W. C. sent to me, Wednesday noon while we were cooking our dinner.
Day before yesterday I went to San Fernando–(took my first long ride in a “carrometa” [carromata]) and laid in a stock of supplies to last till next pay day. A gang of the 41st (4 companies) are in that town and they were scared to death at something (all running around with gun & belt.) I saw a nice little 12 or 13 ft “boa” down there. Two women had it tied to a a bamboo pole and were running around trying to sell it for “chow-chow.” The 32nd has been catching it in the lst week. Feb 5th a guard of 11 of Co D. with a bull train, were waylaid near Orani, 6 soldiers & 2 drivers were killed & 2 soldiers taken prisoner. Report came in yesterday that a detachment of Co. M. had been caught at Porac (8 miles form here) and 8 men killed & Lieut Mapes wounded in the hip. I was on guard yesterday & last night.
Wednesday–The niggers have threatened a little but done nothing more in the last few days. I was on guards Sunday nights and last night. Monday I went with Crayne to Bacalor [Bacolor] for the rations. Yesterday we were paid for Nov. and Dec. Last night we got a little mail. Today I have been busy getting square with the world & haven’t much left, now.
The weather is getting better than it has been. The niggers are getting their crops about in and getting almost ready to cut loose in general again. They made their first break at this place last night. Coffman was on guard at the market & at about 7.50 P.M. nine of them tackled him. The point of a bolo split his shirt sleeve nearly full length and made quite a little gash in his arm. The grappled him and tried to take his gun but by some change he got away from them enough to fire a couple of shots & this turned out the guard for his assistance. There were several scattering shots fired all around the town at that time and two hours later a patroll of three men ran onto about a dozen at the outskirts of town and exchanged a few shots with them. The idea is that they were “feeling of” the place and had we not seemed to be all around town at once they would probably have attacked us. We took in 4 prisoners, one of whom Coffman says is the man that slashed him. Everything has been quiet today. We got mail last Tuesday. C.W. C sent me a knife & fork combi.
Tuesday–We did not go to Bacalor [Bacolor]
Sunday. A considerable body of insurgents were at that place but Lieut Crawford considered that his force, with what we could send would be too small to surround & capture them & so telegraphed and go a Co. from Gwagwa [Guagua] but the niggers were warned of their approach & “vamosed” before the Co. got there. yesterday an insurgent Major gave himself up, at Bacalor [Bacolor], to our troops. I was on guard yesterday and lst night.
Saturday–This week has passed without much of interest happening. It rained Tuesday: Thursday a detachment of the boys went out for a hike & “scrap-hunting” but came back without the scrap. (I was on guard so didn’t go). Word was telegraphed down here from Bacolor that they e[x]pected a scrap any moment and a detachment of us are ready to go at any moment now (about 1 P .M.)
Last Wednesday I was on guard and at night Sharp & I were out on Patrol and caught a nigger, within 20 feet of us, mounted on a good pony, with a Remington Rifle, Chamber open, in one hand and a cartridge in the other. Next morning he told a pretty story about going to Porac to see his wife and carrying his gun “for protection” and Capt. Griffith turned him loose. I have the cartridge that I believe he meant to shoot one of us with. He had about 40 more in a field glass case. I was on guard again last night. The boys are getting beer and whiskey both on “somewhere” and some of them are rolling pretty high, now.
Guard-Monday. Yesterday P.M. 9 of us went out in a little jaunt & searched a few houses. Monday 3 gangs were out, leaving only the guard here part of the time. Lieut Ballards crowd ran into a bunch of niggers and got a few shots at them. A few of the boys are out this P .M.
Guard-Monday. Yesterday P.M. 9 of us went out in a little jaunt & searched a few houses. Monday 3 gangs were out, leaving only the guard here part of the time. Lieut Ballards crowd ran into a bunch of niggers and got a few shots at them. A few of the boys are out this P.M.