Saturday, March 25th, 1899

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

Sky cloudy but weather hot & oppressive. My overshirt was wet with perspiration. Tonight I am tired; don’t feel like writing.

Bible reading, prayer, breakfast –cooked & eaten– then leaving my dishes for “Muchacho”, the Filipino servant boy to wash. I took my Kodak & umbrella & walked over to the Dagupan railroad depot to catch the 9. o’clock train. I waited in the depot with a party of soldiers & civilians until 9.45 o’clock a.m. when a mixed passenger & freight rolled in from Pasig quay near the Port Captain’s office. Without asking leave of anybody I jumped into a box car with some U.S. troops. The floor & wall in places with fresh wet blood, from wounded men. At daylight this morning a combined advance movement was made all along the line. While Bible reading in my bedroom this morning I heard firing at the front. The work of death commenced early. A company of soldiers came out on the train. Going over to the bluff back of the post office overling Dagatdagalono bay from whence a fair view was had of Malibon [Malabon]. Heard constant firing over there but could see nothing. Went over to the temporary fort back of the cemetery & watched Section 2, Battery A. Utah Artillery put some shots into Malibon [Malabon], The 2 guns face the causeway. Here a German –photographer, Peter Dutkewich* [*See page 239 re Private Julius Kuester], of No. 15 Plaza Santa Ana, Manila, joined me. He is taking pictures for G.M. Davis, No. 21, Washington St., New York. for public sale, stereopticon views & newspapers. This was the German’s first trip on the battlefield & was hard on him –the heat & work. An Englishman had joined me before. Together we visited the Filipino trenches, abandoned this morning. Found piles of empty catridge shells in the holes under the thatched roofs covering the holes. What a quantity of lead was shot at our men! Followed these trenches about one mile. No dead in them, but back I counted about 8 dead Filipinos. One I saw with brains oozing out of his head. Photographed the corpse.

By the roadside saw the dead body (alone & deserted) of Private Thompson, K. battery 3d Reg’t Heavy Artillery, lying in the shade behind a clump of tall bamboos. His neck & face were purple. Ants were attacking Thompson’s face.

Down in the forest North west of La Loma cemetery I separated from my 2 companions. German returned to the city. Pushed on alone north by a forest road. Came to 2 dead American soldiers –a lone sentry stood guard over them. In a bamboo & nipa shack (village of Balintaoag) [Balintawak] opposite the old ruined stoned church I saw a Filipino man stretched out wounded in the hand & leg. Asked me in Spanish for some “chow”. Gave him boiled rice. Then rustled around the houses near by & in water jars managed to get a little water, which I fetched him. Not wishing to have the poor fellow lie there & perhaps be burnt with the hut, seeing a book lying on a table, hastily tore a double leaf, meteorlogical report out & on the back wrote with a lead pencil:

“Attention There is a wounded Filipino in this house Take him to town. Milsaps.” Hung this paper under the eve of the hut facing the road & went on. Here Bro. Arthur Temple of the 2d Reserve Hospital (Salvationist of No. 1 corps San Francisco) came up with me. He was driving 4 ponies hitched to a hospital ambulance, going out to the fighting line. Climbing on to the back end of the vehicle I accompanied the 3 men to the road –& a rough road it is– about one mile. They halted for orders & I pushed on afoot. Ober in the forest to the left –bay side– came the sounds of a battle or engagement. In an open plain between the first line of forest & the 2nd line skirting the Tuliaha [Tuliahan] o Taasá (probably) river, I saw a picture of more than usual interest –a mass of army teams– mules drawing covered wagons, cavalry, Chinese, with arms & in U.S. soldiers uniforms, carabao carts, & in infantry guarding the same. This mass of men & animals stretching out perhaps a half mile long was halted awaiting orders. They stood there, the teams, loaded with commissary supplies, ammunition & baggage. A grand spectacle of war. Halfway down the line, 2 soldiers grimy and black, were sitting on the ground making dinner of jelly, bread & water –the latter tepid, out of a canteen. Asked me to share their meal. Did so gladly as I had nothing to eat since morning it was now about 2.45 p.m. Retraced my steps back. Near the rear of the train saw Chaplain (Father) McKinnon, of the 1st California vol. Inf. We shook hands. I remarked “I see most of your regiment has gone south?” (Negros & Panay Islands) Replied “Yes they have about left me all alone.”

Mr. Peters (artist) was also there. We exchanged a few words. Knew each other on the S.S. “Newport.”

I should state before going further with my narrative that crossing the battlefield from Caloocan to the northwest forest (from La Loma) came up to a party of soldiers & 2 Chinese in the shade of trees by the roadside. The Chinese weak, puny fellows, gave out. Chinese are employed largely to carry wounded men on stretchers. One of the two was lying asleep on the ground –completely used up. A wounded soldier, Private Julius Kuester* [*See page 235 re Peter Dutkewich, photographer], Battery K. 3d Reg’t Art’y., was stretched on the littler, with a bullet hole thro’ one leg, the stretcher was saturated with his blood. Spoke to him about Salvation & called his attention to advice given him on that line before. Acknowledged the advice, but excused himself when advised to seek Jesus. Some strong Chinese came along. They were made to take Kuester to Caloocan.

When I got back to where Bro. Temple was left beind, found him still waiting orders. While in conversation another Salvationist drove up with a 2 horse wagon, Brother Peter Shipper of the Engineer corps. Came in from Tuliaha [Tuliahan] o Taasá river, where a party of Engineers are throwing a bridge across the stream. Shipper had a lot of S.F. War Crys under his wagon seat. Gave me 3 Washington Crys. I passed some on to Temple. Shipper said some one at Headquarters (.S.F.) send him big packages of S.F. Crys. Which he distributes. For some reason unknown to me, I only get 3 copies now. Mistake somewhere; I am glad to learn that Shipper puts them in circulation. Mounting the seat by his side after bidding Temple good-bye, we drove back across the morning’s battlefield into Caloocan. In answer to questions Shipper said he is getting along well in his soul. Praise God. Seeing a big pile of Springfield rifles cartridges by the roadside, hundreds of them, we stopped & threw them in the wagon for the U.S. Army to have the benefit when needed for use. On the battlefield near the spot where Thompson’s dead body lay, we also saw a copy of the S.F. War Cry, Washington number (1899) by the roadside. Left it there for a soldier to pick up.

Arriving at Caloocan R.R. depot I said good-bye to Peter Shipper (gave him spiritual advice) & lo met a 3d Salvationist on the depot –Bro. Geo. Schurmerhorn of Co. D. 2d Oregon Vol. Inf. Has had a hot time today. Detailed to take ammunition to his regiment at the front. Related to me that the Filipinos tried to get him but did not succeed. God care’s for His own, blessed be His holy name.

Scenes of blood met my sight at the depot. Nine dead Americans were taken out of a room & laid in a row on green grass or hay just cut, in a box car. Railroad depot blanks littered the floor, & were sprinkled & smeared with blood. In the depot waiting room, one American lay on the floor. An attendant sat at his head fanning him. On a table lay another. A surgeon & attendants were dressing his wounds. He would cry out with pain. A basin of bloody water the surgeon used.

Gave Bro. Schurmerhorn words of comfort & admonition, we parted, he for the front, & I for Manila. I got into a compartment passenger car with soldiers & civilians, & about 5 p.m. arrived in Manila down near the Port Captain’s office. No one asked me to show my pass today.

Reached home tired & hungry & hot. Found a letter awaiting me on the parlor table which read as follows:

“Major Milsaps: I thought that I would run up and see you. It is the same old story. I have been gambling and I am so tired of it and hate it, but yet I cannoy get the power that I need so much. Major I (ask) you to pray for me, that the Lord Jesus may forgive and bring me back to him, for I have been very unhappy. If we do not go up or out to the line tomorrow, I will come up, but I shall try and make one more fight to overcome the devil.

Edward Stockton, Com. H. 1st Colorado.”

May God save poor Stockton, amen.

I turned to and cooked supper, very tired.

While eating thereof Private Clayton Scott, mounted Q.M. orderly dropped in. Said he will busy tonight & tomorrow. Went out & pressed into U.S. service 50 carabao carts & drivers today. Lost his temper while so doing, but God forgave him.

The battle today has been hard on our men. This evening’s train brought back 12 dead American soldiers. Many have been killed & wounded. We look for another fight & capture of Malibon [Malabon] tomorrow.

 


Thursday, March 16th, 1899

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

The night closes in dark, with a slow, steady rain falling. Must make our boys very uncomfortable out at the front. The shooting I heard last night 9.30 p.m. was along our line from Caloocan to La Loma cemetery; otherwise Binondo cemetery. Prayer of Bible reading this morning. God the Holy Ghost manifested His presence in my soul last night, revealing His love.

I love my God.

Cooked breakfast & supper. Washed the dishes. My dinner consisted principally of dry bread lemonade & peanuts.

Remained at home until about 2 p.m. Considerable company called to see the Owens’ –Americans.

Mounted a street car & went directly out to the Brigade or General Hospital on the north side of the Pasig river. Called at Ward No. 10 & met Private Albert Scott of the North Dacotas. Scott is under treatment for his ears. Said some kind kind of an insect in this part of the world destroys the drum of the ear. He thinks this pest caused the destruction of one drum & the subsequent deafness. S. smoked a cigarette in my presence. Has lost ground in his soul, but claims to be not wholly backslidden. I was saddened by this confession. Advised him to give up tobacco & be a whole-hearted Christian for the reason that he cannot half-heartedly serve God successfully. Also counseled Scott to be a man of prayer & work for the salvation of souls in the hospital. S. has been discharged from Bilibid prison. Held one meeting in that place. When he tried to sing a Salvation song the men took it out of his hand and turned it into vulgar singing. Scott said he was glad to stop. Promises to call & see me tomorrow at No. 2. I hope by God’s grace to get him to the foot of the Cross for a complete victory.

Together we visited the morgue or dead house attached to the hospital. No dead bodies were in there at the time of visit, but a corporal was washing the floor with a hose. The place made me think of a butcher pen; only this was for butchered men not animals. All the killed and wounded are brought to this hospital from the field. Very suggestive indeed of war’s work was a pile of black coffins under the verandah in front of the morgue., two standing up on end near the entrance and another close at hand. These are all waiting for occupants & will probably not wait long. Dead American soldiers are embalmed & sent back to the United States.

From the morgue we went outside main gate to the rows of tents pitched for overflow cases. In two rows of tents Filipino wounded are kept. We passed between the cots, giving a smile or speaking a kind word here and there to the poor fellows. A very sad spectacle they present to the visitor. Arms & legs are gone, others are wounded in different parts of the body. None asked us for food. All have sufficient, but they did beg for cigarettes & cigars. However I would not grant such requests. Don’t believe in the tobacco vice.

I was surprised & rejoiced to meet the old white haired woman we discovered the evening closing the Tondo Dist. uprising behind the monument by the canal, near the tramway where it crosses the bridge out towards Caloocan. She was carried by our crowd to the street car & taken to the city & here she is. In spite of her age the old woman seems to be doing quite well. One poor Filipino was far advanced towards the shadow land –consumption is killing him.

Dealt personally with several men today about their soul’s salvation. On the Escolta, a soldier from Cavite, member of 1st California vol. heavy artillery; corporal in charge of the sentries at gate of the Brigade Hospital; a patient –20th Infantry– U.S. regulars; a teamster who was driving a 4-mule team into the Hospital courtyard. He stopped. Recognized me; knew me in San Francisco.

Called at the post office & mailed 2 letters for Scott. Rec’d several packages of papers –3 new S.W. War Crys. I receive no more the 120 War Crys of each issue from S.F. Neither do I see any more articles from my pen in that War Cry. They have written me nothing on the subject so I am at a loss to know what they are doing.

Purchased some Mindanao Island sea shells, also a couple of magazines.

At the hospital heard that 17 men were wounded again. Fighting every day on the right wing over at Pasig town now.

P.S. The teamster said he read an article of mine in the S.F. War Cry in San Francisco before his departure from that city, re the Philippines.


Thursday, Feb. 9th, 1899

Caloocan Battlefield — Entry made in stone fort* (*Blockhouse No. 2 at La Loma) early in the morning of February 10th.

Am sleepy this morning. Was kept awake the entire night. Stayed with Co. E* (*Note. Capt. A. Jensen in command) 1st Montana vol. inf. in the stone fort (Blockhouse No. 2) on the hill. Yesterday or rather today commenced the day with bible reading & prayers. Felt refreshed by the night’s sleep in No. 2. Living on half rations and loss of sleep is pulling me down considerably. After cooking breakfast took a bath which refreshed me considerably. Went down town. Called at the post office & rec’d 3 letters. (1) from Chaplain Stephen R. Wood of the 23rd U.S. Infantry, who sent me a printed bulletin advertising me to lead the Wednesday evening (Feb. 8th) services in place of the Y.M.C.A. meeting but he explained that the regiment had been suddenly called into action, so the meeting failed to materialize as the place was turned into a prison. (2) Ensign Jackson, HongKong who acknowledged receipt of the $5. donation I sent her. Wrote that she needed it. Was taken sick and came near dying. (3) Eli Higgins, Niagara Falls, N.Y. an old friend. I answered Chaplain Woods’ letter immediately.

When in town I got shaved in a Spanish barber shop; also called at the General or Brigade Hospital to see Private Clayton Scott. He is up again & getting well. Advised him to do as much work for Jesus as possible among the patients. From town returned home, took a bite to eat, bundled up some things & struck out afoot for the Caloocan battlefield. While trudging out Dulumbayan street through the dust and sun heat, a couple of Utah light artillery men overtook me. They were taking mail out to their comrades in a carromata. Invited me to ride out. I gladly accepted the invitation. Arrived on the battlefield about 4 p.m. Put my luggage in the stone fort. Private D.C. Hines fished me up a soldier’s kit & some supper from the company (E.) cook. After supper Hines & I went down the battle line. The men are about in the same place, but have constructed trenches. Encouraged some of the Christian soldiers to remain true to Christ.

Returned to the stone fort (Blockhouse No. 2), spread our blankets on the ground & lay down with the intention of sleeping but did not sleep all night. About 10 o’clock p.m. firing started up in the forest over on our left wing & with slight intermissions had continued until daybreak. The outposts over on our right fired at real or imagined foes. I could hear them cry out “Pennsylvania outpost” in the darkness probably to let their comrades know their whereabouts so as not to fire on them. Company E. 1st Montana lined up (some) behind the fort walls at the portholes & others went outside into the rifle pit. They fired one volley. A bullet presumably from the enemy struck our corrugated iron roof with a bang.

An officer* (*Note. Captain Andrew Jensen) of Co. E. ordered a sergeant to make me get up and change my bed. Would not permit any of his men to sleep.

The sun is now up but an occasional shot still rings across the battlefield. Brother Lloyd has just brought me some fried pork, boiled potatoes and coffee so I must discontinue this entry and pay my respects to soldiers’ rations. The men are cross this morning because robbed of sleep.


Wednesday, February 8th, 1899

Caloocan Battlefield. Entry made in parlor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, Tondo, Manila.

I feel very tired & sleepy tonight. Hardly had any sleep last in the “block house”. The ground was hard, atmosphere cold & coffee Im inclined to think excited my nerves too much.

The Lord used me to talk salvation to several persons. Went over to the Binondo or La Loma (Spanish) mortuary chapel early in the morning & took a photo of it. Made my breakfast standing at the platform constructed for Spanish marksmen; the same served me for a table. A soldier belonging to Co. G. 20th Kansas Vol. Inf., gave mesome coffee in an old tin can. He & I sipped out of it. Devilled ham & bread (which I shared with him) completed my breakfast.

From the tower of the blockhouse on the hill watched the movements of the Insurrectos, sometimes thro’ an opera glass. The Filipinos appear to be gathering in force & a battle is imminent. One battle line commenced to intrench themselves –the men. Likewise 2 more guns were planted alongside our blockhouse by the Utah’s & hasty breastworks constructed.

I went along the battle line where the men lying two days & talked with a number of the men. Not only did I visit the 3d artillery but likewise the Montana’s whom I found forming in the woods to receive an attack from the enemy. I took 2 Kodak views of Co. E. Two letters written on the battlefield were given me to mail. One was a postcard –a hard looking affair.

The dear Lord was near me last night.

Made my dinner on peanuts & water.

Met Mr. John F. Bass (war correspondent for Harper’s weekly) again, on the field.

A number of ex-soldiers and civilians are hanging about, desirous of sharing in the battle. Minnesota (13th) soldiers are slipping out of town, where they do police duty, to take part in the expected battle. One of the Minnesota men told me that an outbreak is expected daily. Last night they slept on their arms. Have killed 50 natives since hostilities commenced Saturday night.

Co. E of the 1st Montanas took possession of the blockhouse (No. 2) just before dark. I left part of my baggage in charge of Private Hines & struck out on foot for Manila. This was difficult as rheumatism makes my night foot pain me. Walked a mile & a half along the dusty road where a soldier overtook me. I asked a ride. Granted it. Was lost. I showed him how to reach old Manila where he wanted to go. Spoke to him re Jesus.

Good night; am very tired. God be with all.

On second thought will add: On my way back through the Filipino quarter along Dulumbayan street a great many white flags were hanging out in front of the private houses — flags of truce or surrender probably. I heard when reaching home that Aguinaldo declared war against the United States today. Rumor says the Filipino chief said he cannot restrain his men any longer. Otis sent word back that he will restrain them for him then. Aguinaldo’s private secretary has been captured.

 


Tuesday, Feb. 7th, 1899

Caloocan Battlefield — Entry made in the ex-Spanish fort or stone blockhouse* (*Note. Blockhouse No. 2 at La Loma) —  Feb. 8th, 6.20 p.m.

A day of exciting events. Got up as usual starting with Bible reading and prayers. Cooked breakfast, then straightened up my rooms with a view to leaving for a few days if considered best. About 10. o’clock a.m. with my blanket, diary, soap, towel, one pair socks, 4 photographic films, one loaf bread, 3 cans devilled ham, & 1 of jelly & a pocket filled with peanuts, I struck out on foot. Brought my umbrella along for contingencies of rain & hot sun. Rev. Chas Owens and wife accompanied me on foot. Went out thro’ the native quarter on Dulumbayan street. A carromata driven by a Filipino came along with a 10th Pennsylvania soldier on board. Mrs. Owns was taken on & put off at the large Spanish Roman Catholic mortuary chapel in the Binondo or La Loma cemetery. This cemetery on the hill including the Chinese burying place is an immense affair. Name: Cemeterio de la Parroquia de Binondo.”

Owens and I walked out. Arrived on the battleground about 11 o’clock. Sharp shooting with an occasional volley was kept up all day until 5 p.m. in a disultory manner. In the forest to the left skirting the bay just outside of Caloocan, the American battle line lay across the pain with its left wing on the bay near Caloocan & the right wing miles away. I went along the battle line for quite a distance visiting the batteries (particularly H and K) of the 3d Reg’t heavy artillery & the Montana infantry. Met quite a number of acquaintances as saved & unsaved. Seemed glad to meet me. Brought the matter of salvation personally to the attention of a number of soldiers. The boys were very hospitable offering me such food as they have on the battlefield & coffee.

Brigadier General Otis was on the field taking in the situation personally.

During the early part of the afternoon I witnessed an interesting skirmish down on the open flat field north east of the Spanish mortuary chapel. Three men went down to fire some native huts. The enemy would have probably captured them, had not 15 men went out to support them. The firing on both sides was quite brisk for a time. The Filipinos lay in the shelter of timber & the Americans in the open, but none of the latter were hurt.

5 p.m. The shooting in the forest west of us became hot. Brisk work. A war vessel (probably “Concord”) out in the bay threw shells in the town &  2 Utah pieces over on our hill assisted. The attacking party (20th Kansas Infantry less Co. G) could not be seen from the forest but their advance could be traced by the line of burning buildings as they advanced into Caloocan. In half an hour the town was taken. As darkness closed in I went over to the battle line — 3d artillery. The boys gave me some coffee which with my loaf of bread served me for supper. By the light of the burning village I managed to pick my way over the small brook at the bottom of the hill to the Spanish blockhouse (No. 2) or fort. A wall about 10 feet high punctured with numerous port holes for small arms with a shelf to stand on around the inside, & a wood frame covered with corrugated iron is the aforesaid blockhouse. Company G, 20th Kansas vol. infantry (Capt. Elliot) occupied the same: also a detachment of Utah light artillerymen. I laid a piece of heavy paper on the ground, my blanket on the same & using my coat for a pillow considered myself fortunate. While lying there, availed myself of an opportunity the Lord gave me, to talk to a corporal lying alongside me of salvation.

My bed was pretty hard. Slept in my clothes.

Caloocan is a village on the Dagupan railroad about one and a half miles from Malibon [Malabon].

Our battle line remained in place all night sleeping on their arms. Nothing unusual happened during the night save the occasional firing of our pickets.


Monday, Feb. 6th, 1899

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

The sun is rising beautifully over the city of Manila as I write (about 7.15 a.m.) and the birds are singing sweetly as though grim war had not left its mark in this section.

This morning about 3.50 o’clock the sharp incisive report of Krag-Jorgensen rifles were heard. From first a solitary shot the reports increased until they became a roar intermixed with occasional volleys. Sounded like a small battle. Silence followed about 15 minutes of this kind of work. About a half hour later another fusilade woke the echoes of the silent streets. I do not know what was the cause of trouble, perhaps street fighting. The native made elaborate preparations for an uprising. The Utah artillerymen captured 2 bags full of daggers, new & native made. Thousands of arms are also reported discovered in a Roman Catholic church. The uprising failed. Many solitary shots were fired thro’ the night.

I am thinking seriously this morning of going out to the battle front which is about 10 miles from Manila. My right foot has pained me in the past 10 days or more, probably rheumatism which makes walking difficult. Am anxious to go nevertheless and trust myself in the hands of God, whose providential care is my safeguard. The Lord may have work for me to do where men are dying. Quite a few of the men at the front are Salvationists who love Jesus, likewise other saints are there & also many backsliders & other sinners who have never known experientally God’s saving grace.

x x x x x x

Called at the post office in Manila & received the letter I wrote Major Gen. Elwell Stephen Otis* (*Note. In the field commanding at Caloocan we have a Brig. Gen. Oits), requesting permission to hold services in Bilibid prison. The letter was referred to several officers and was returned to me without endorsements thereon & finally a request to call in person & see Major E.S. Bean of the 13th Minn. Vol. Inf. re ther priviledge. Must put the visit off a while to suit present circumstances.

Returning from the post office I took a bite to eat, filled my coat pocket with peanuts and struck out for the front on foot. The Lord favored me. Just as I turned out of Santa Elena street I met some 3d artillerymen starting out with food for the troops in carromatas. I joined the squad. Privates Amie & Devine (Landon) were in the party. The men carried the Krag-Jorgensen guns. We passed out Calle Dulumbayan thro’ the large native quarter. When we reached the Filipino cemetery* (*Santa Cruz cemetery) signs of the battle began to appear. The balustrade around the top walls was destroyed, the shack facing the street torn into fragments & the back wall torn down for a barricade. Almost all the native huts between the cemetery & outskirts were burnt. The ruins were smoking. Here & there were dead horses lying in the ashes partly roasted. Chickens wandered around & dogs. One of the latter was eating flesh from the carcass of a burnt poney. A lone cat was nestled by the ashes of its former home. A female carrabou was lying dead near one burnt house & its calf lying by its side, alive & suckling its dead mother. When we reached the stone monument I got the men to halt & took their photo. I walked all the way out. The monument is at the cross roads — Call de Sanloleyes & Calle Dulumbayan. All is changed now. The battle raged over this spot & the houses  & people are all gone. When our party arrived at the foot of the elevation on which is situated the great Chinese & Roman Catholic cemetery, I heard the sound of fighting — a familiar sound now. There were single shots & at times volleys. The Chinese cemetery showed signs of battle, shrapnel bestrewing the road, the packing for artillery ammunition & empty rifle shells. Barbed wire was cut here & there to permit the passage of cannon & men. Tombstones were shattered by projectiles. They were used as breastworks by Filipinos. I saw one dead Filipino lying among the tombs by the roadside. His face & mouth discolored by dry blood. A bullet had entered one eye & killed him. The red mortuary chapel used by the Chinese close by was vacant. The candle sticks, biers & other accessories used when the rites of the dead are performed were lying around broke. Bloody pillows were lying on the floor and blood stained bandages here & there. The building had been used by the Filipinos to shelter their wounded.

Presently I reached the top of the hill & made my way to Brigadier General McArthur’s headquarters. The General was there, likewise members of his staff and a company (G) belonging to the 20th Kansas Infantry. A long line of men were drawn up in battle line at rest. In a forest to the left of Malibon [Malabon] the American firing line was at work. Their crushing volleys had the effect of herding the natives over towards a forest in a point of land. I could see them about one mile distant. Two American war vessels came up towards Malibon [Malabon] off shore. I witnessed the shelling. Several bombs were thrown into the town. After the natives were driven over towards the point firing ceased. But the rattle of rifles over on our right towards Camp Santa Mesa, told of warm work there. When they had taken position firing ceased.

Spoke to several men about their souls.

A stranger (civilian) & I struck out for home on foot. A country carromata with 3 U.S. 3d artillery men aboard came along. The soldiers took me on & I got a ride to the Cuartel Meisig. Tomorrow may be a terrible day for the Filipinos as they seem to be shut off from escape.


Wednesday, August 17, 1898

The Americans reveal their intentions

Last night, the American military officers and the politicians planned their strategy for eventual takeover.

A new monitor of 4,000 tons, the Monadnoch, dropped anchor after having been at sea for 53 days. News of the peace treaty was conveyed by the consul of the United States in Hongkong. The form of procedure was signed on August 12 and a commission is meeting in Paris for a definitive agreement.

The Americans are already showing their lack of flexibility with regard to the insurgents. In the first place, the officials concerned feel that negotiations should last only a few days. General M.A. ________ allegedly cried out loud, “We have come here to stay. It is not our custom to throw away money for the love of these Negroes. We have spent a considered amount of money which we will recoup by occupying the Philippines. And it would be to the interest of the Filipinos not to run counter to our policies if they wish our support. A blunt statement indeed. Once again the Tagals find themselves on the defensive in their own country.

These Yankees are as clumsy as the most illiterate Englishmen. They insist on regarding the Tagals as Negroes and treating them as such. Using this term is definitely an insult to the Filipinos, but treating them like one is unpardonable. The complacent attitude of the Americans towards the Spaniards is another unreconcilable issue in the eyes of the native. The Anglo-Saxon race believes that human dignity does not extend beyond themselves. A Yankee chatting with Spanish officials in the street smilingly stated, “We will teach these savages a lesson and if these rebels resist, we shall bring them around to reason.”

The Tagals, however, have demonstrated exemplary behavior since the surrender. They have not committed any murder, nor have they attempted to pillage, and yet, their mere presence aggravates the Americans whose cynicism could easily sow the seed of revolt. The Yankees are scandalized that the Filipinos dare contest the government established by the United States army. When General Merritt wanted to keep the Tagals out of Manila and confine them at the Camp in Cavite, he had to order them to do so, because the stubborn natives were reluctant to obey this directive.

The Americans are disarming all the insurgents, including their officers who entered beyond the perimeter assigned to native troops. The Tagals remain stoic and refuse to show their bitter resentment. Every Spaniard employed in whatever capacity in the public sector of Manila has been ordered to leave and has been replaced by an American. There is not a single Filipino among them.

The American troops are occupying the city and the forts of Manila, the arsenal of Cavite, the main points along the road between Manila and Cavite, and control the telegraph service. The fleet is in charge of monitoring communications of the ships at sea.

A visit to the fortified fort at La Loma held by the insurgents could prove to be an interesting experience. In Tondo we were stopped by the American sentinels who searched us for arms and knives, which proves that armed Tagals are not allowed passage, but when I showed them my penknife, they were good-natured about it. At one point we met a number of insurgents wearing hats decorated with a ribbon showing the colors of the republic –red and blue. They were all smiling and greeting us spontaneously. The Tagals are occupying barracks where the road forks. We took a Filipino officer by surprise when we asked him to accompany us to our excursion, but he eventually obliged. Wherever we went we were looked at with great curiosity. In the church of La Loma, where we were warmly welcomed by 10 Spanish artillerymen, we came upon a native officer working at his desk who also showed surprise at our request to permission to walk through the trenches. After questioning us, he finally granted our request and, from that moment, became rather friendly.

Coming from the garden, we met a Filipino colonel on his inspection tour –a young man of about 25 to 30 years old who, in correct French, explained that the Spanish defeat was inevitable. The Spaniards did not represent a formidable adversary to the Tagals who were entirely familiar with their terrain where they could hold their own, or even gain the upper hand, vis-a-vis the Spaniards. Perhaps the Americans were more to be feared. The young colonel had his reservations about the Americans who, he thought, would wish to have complete control over both the Filipinos and the Spaniards. But he hurriedly continued that he hoped the future would prove him wrong. He estimated that the Tagal forces around Manila numbered as many as 10,000 men, with other troops spread out over the islands.