July 15, 1942

More war prisoners released, thank God. The prison camps are death holes.

Attended a meeting of restaurant owners at the Office of the Mayor.

I made the following suggestions subject to the approval of the Naric and subsequently of the Military Administration:

(a) Each restaurant owner shall state the name and address of their restaurant, the amount of rice required and the approximate number of people usually served.

(h) The Naric will study the location of these restaurants and then decide on the method of distribution.

(c) The City of Greater Manila will be tentatively divided into the north and south districts, making the Pasig River as the dividing line. The Naric will appoint one member of the association for each of the two districts, who is to take delivery of the rice, either at the Naric or at designated stations, in accordance with the decision of our Distribution Department.

(d) There shall be levied a fee per sack from each restaurant as a means of financing the situation, say, 10 centavos per bag, but that is up to the association.

(e) The above-mentioned must be presented as soon as possible to the Naric, which will in turn present them to the Military Administration for approval.

Cloudy day. Occasional thunderstorms. Thought they were cannons.


August 15 — Tuesday 1899

Some firing along lines around by shore early in a.m., but all day was very quiet. Killed a fat hog today and the boys fed well. Washing clothes in p.m. and laid around until they were dry. Many of the 21st boys suffering from fever. They are green, only been here four mos. Today they were going to take city, but the attack has not yet come off. The family of Dr. Jose Rizal, Patriot, lives here, and runs a stand. Also his brother, a General and the paymaster Gen. of the Phil. Army. The stock in trade of the Rizal tiende [tienda] is composed of ten lemons, several oranges, bananas, native cigarettes & cigars, sugar, two chickens, and H²O, and is well-stocked, too, for a native store. City is running full swing now –stores, shops (Tailors, barbers, meat, bakers, jewelers, dry goods, restaurants, &c) are all open. A general commissary is being put in.

A SCOUT TRIP

Took the outpost up about ¼ mile, to a point where we could view a stretch of open, and established the h’dqt. in the tall bamboo stems. I reconnoitered up the east tributary of the Pasig to where the river narrowed suddenly and was all but covered in by the interlocking boughs.

The current was running about 4 knots per hour and, after the moon sunk, I heard, behind a tier of comulous clouds, several canoes slip into the stream from the watery ways of the forest between my position and Laguna de Bahia. The paddles were handled with great care and I heard a whisper, but soon the showy, blinding forms drifted out of sight towards St Anna.

The right mist behan to steam & wreath upon the desolate rice fields and where the loathy floor of liquid mud lay bare beneath the bamboo dumps. Upon the floor of interlacing roots, great purple bugs were crawling with a clicking sound, as of a man in armour; a heavy, sickening, graveyard smell stole across the fields from the old cemetery and the depressing influences of that doleful place made me sick at heart. I sneaked back to the sentry, posted to command the white road to the bend 150 yds in front.

Then the weird, ghostly, oppressive silence –ugh! Wailing sadly, the slate-colored water rails off across the mud into the dreary dark of the black rings of jungle dumps ahead; the hoarse-voiced lizards, hidden among the bananas, broke the silence with a sudden shout, then all again was silent as the tomb behind.

Lines of tall herons stood dimply in the shallow H²O like white ghosts; and I almost expected to see a crew of skeletons glide past the openings where the river ran. All was foul, weird, sullen –then the storm broke.

We lost 4 men killed and 4 wounded. I was the only one who escaped.


April 25th-99

On outpost across river in ruins of old house. Close to bamboos. All quiet. Sabia’s husband came in at 8 a.m. with presents of chickens & eggs for me. I got him a pass and went with him to his grass hut at Ususan. They fed me on eggs, boiled chicken and rice and fried bananas. Then, as I was on outpost last night Sabia spread mat and I laid down, while she squatted down on her haunches and fanned me to sleep. When the canoes were loaded, she awakened me and I had a few raw bananas. Then we floated down the river past the black ruins of Pateros, and on down the winding river until we reached the ferry at lower Pasig. I went to Pasig & had Col. Fife sign the pass. Then we swung into the river and made good time to San Pedro Macate [Makati]. 12th U.S. all along river road. A couple of catacombs on n. bank which is hilly & rocky. At Macati a Brig. Gen. Wholley signed pass and I left them to float down to Singalon [Singalong] alone. They gave me all dinero they had –12¢ Mex. and paddled down the Pasig with their loads of rice, chickens &c and white flag on bows. They used to work in the tabacalaria [Tabacalera], 5 men & 20 women and children. Came back to Pasig on H²O boat New York –& walked across to Taguig.


Tuesday, March 14, 1899

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

Weather somewhat cool, with heavy clouds hanging overhead. Like this weather.

Remained at home all day.

As usual Scripture reading & prayer began the morning hours’ serious business.

Wrote & copied Weekly Letter No 19 to Lt-Col. Alice Lewis No. 124 W. 14th St. New York.

Private Hummer of H. Battery 3d Artillery-heavy called. A long talk on the war & God in history followed closing with prayer. Later Private Joe Stahl of the same regiment, a Texan & fellow town’sman of mine –that is of Houston. Gave him some Houston, Texas semi-weekly “Posts” & had quite a conversation re the aforesaid city & it’s affairs. Stahl said he was at one time an alderman & engineered thro’ the city council the scheme to pave Main street with asphalt. Hummer brought me word that Bro. Devine (Landon) is in the General Hospital down with dysentery.

Rev. Owens brought me, from the post office some periodical mail, especially from Madrid Spain, the following: 40 copies of a children’s paper printed in Spanish –“El Amigo de la Infancia.” Año XXVI-No. 296, Jan’y 1st 1899.

Last night the sawmill, a large building about 200 feet from my Headquarters was set on fire. Chinese extinguished the same. Last Sunday, some clothing was discovered buring in the house occupied by me. Tonight the sky is red again from a conflagration somewhere in the distance.

Rev. C. Owens paid me $17. rent today, Mex. money, for 3 rooms & a kitchen in No. 2, which pays up to tomorrow. The right wing of the American army is now sweeping the Filipinos towards Malolos, between Manila, Pasig river & Laguna de Bay.


Febr. 5, 1899

Sunday morning dawned bright and clear. The sun had no sooner rose bright and clear than the Americans began an advance on their entire lines. The advance was an inspiring sight. Our soldiers fired volleys by the platoons and then advanced under cover of the smoke and lay down behind the convenient rice ridges. Unfortunately our fort was soon behind the firing line and we could not fire. However I got in three shots at a sharp shooter in a tree. At this time a private in Co. C who had come out of the block house with me to get a crack at the sharp-shooter was shot through the shoulder. Then the Col came along and ordered us out of the block house and into the trenches. The men were coming back at this time from their advance and lay there the rest of the day. The Utah Artillery [Utah Volunteer Light Artillery] did fine work in their fire on block house no. 7 which was held by over 200 Filipinos, at San Juan Church at the Filipinos quarters just south of camp, and at two cannons they had mounted. The Filipino heavy cannon were soon silenced and general retreat of the natives took place all along the lines. The gunboat which had specially been prepared for this occasion came up the river Posig [Pasig] and began firing on churches and buildings occupied by the native troops. Many churches and other buildings were built of a sort of soft stone that is bullet proof of rifles, but the guns on the gun boat sent great holes in these buildings and soon there was not a native to be seen in five miles. In the afternoon I visited the battle field where my CO. “D” had been located. I saw there fifteen dead Filipinos, and heard that [Pvt. John L.] Bronson one of our men had been severely wounded in the arm. Many of the boys had killed from one to two Filipinos but they were not there to be found so of course it is hard to tell who killed the luckless fellows laid so low, one with the whole top of his head torn off and others with ghastly holes in them. This shows how deadly a weapon the Springfield is. During the day Dewey took some part in the fight in firing on towns and cutting off trains with reinforcements from Malolos. A whole train load was wrecked it is rumored. In the afternoon our boys crossed the river San Juan and took all of the Filipino works and occupied their headquarters which was the resevoir and filtering station of the waterworks. These places were occupied and held without attack for the night.