Friday, April 14th, 1899

Got up at 5 a.m. and after eating Breakfast we broke Camp and took all our Stuff to the depot a 9 am we all boarded the train and started for Manila ariving there about noon we then boarded 6 lighters wich towed us over to Cavite we then went into Barracks located by the Ioways while crossing the Bay we seen the T.S. Sheridan from New York with troops aboard her we also passed Manaduok Monteray and Oregon and the Olympia. I slept all Night in the Navy Yard wich is patroled by Dewys Marines our Quarters are the best we ever had the Ioways are still ocupying some of them until the nesct morning

Got up at 5:00 a.m. and, after eating breakfast, we broke camp and took all of our stuff to the depot. At 9:00 a.m. we all boarded the train and started for Manila arriving there about noon. We then boarded six lighters which which towed us over to Cavite. We then went into barracks located by the Iowans. While crossing the bay we saw the T.S. Sheridan from New York with troops aboard her. We also passed the Montauk, the Monterey, the Oregon and the Olympia. I slept all night in the Navy yard which is patrolled by Dewey’s Marines. Our quarters are the best we ever had. The Iowans are still occupying some of them until the next morning.


Saturday, August 27, 1898

“United States Supremacy Must Be Absolute”

On August 18, Admiral Dewey, through his aide-de-camp, informed his squadron that as a result of the preliminary talks in Paris, Manila would fall under American jurisdiction until a definite treaty would be signed.

A few days later, on the occasion of the farewell visit of a foreign admiral, Admiral Dewey was heard to say, “I am very pleased to have the Monterey and Monadnoch as reinforcement but I am disturbed by these insurgents who are becoming increasingly demanding.” General Merritt totally agreed with him. Nothing is more cumbersome than trying to dislodge a people from their own land. The law instituted by Judge Lynch is by its very nature the only means of extricating his American compatriots from this complicated situation.

On the 21st of August, Aguinaldo sent President McKinley a telegram requesting the representation of the revolutionary government of the Philippines at the Paris Conference. The request went unanswered. And yet, General Merritt, this “gringo” officer who wielded his authority over Manila with such clumsiness, has been designated to participate in this conference. The absence of a Filipino representative clearly proves that the United States intends to push its objectives to the utmost limits.

The Americans are keeping the Philippine capital under the strictest surveillance and unscrupulously maintain that their duty is to govern the entire archipelago. United States supremacy must be absolute.


Sábado 13 de Agosto 1898

Hoy la plaza de Manila se ha rendido a los yanquis. Las primeras horas del día no anunciaban novedad alguna, (…) De repente se ha puesto en movimiento toda la escuadra yanqui. Los Vapores que estaban de guardia han ido á reunirse con los demás y se han dirigido hacia el fortín de S. Antonio. Cuatro barcos grandes que debían de ser el “Olympia”, el “Boston”, el “Raleig” y el “Baltimore” han cañoneado aquel fortín. Luego la han emprendido contra las trincheras perpendiculares á la línea de la playa, jugando el principal papel en el ataque un Cañonero que debía de ser el “Leyte” ó el “Callao”, En medio del cañoneo ha sobrevenido un fuerte chubasco que nada ha estorbado el ataque, A las cinco cuartos de hora de fuego han juzgado los Yanquis que el campo estaría completamente despejado, por lo cual han suspendido el fuego de los barcos empezando á marchar el ejército de tierra en formación hacia Manila. Nuestras tropas agazapadas en las trincheras que aún quedaban, han sorprendido con dos rociadas de balas á los yanquis que entraban con toda seguridad y que se han quedado parados. En esto el “Olympia” y el Monitor “Monterey” se habían colocado frente á Manila, y este último tenía sus cañones de 30^5 centímetros apuntando á la batería de dos cañones de La Luneta, Ha disparado el “Olympia” un cañonazo sobre nuestras trincheras cuyos soldados han recibido luego orden de retirarse mientras sobre las murallas de la Ciudad se levantaba una gran bandera blanca. La plaza, llena como estaba de gente indefensa, no ha hecho fuego sobre los barcos por no atraer sobre sí las balas enemigas. Ha habido parlamentó en el cual parece que los Yanquis se han mostrado generosos en todas las condiciones, con tal que se les entregue la plaza. Los insurrectos han estado á la mira con ánimo de sacar todo el partido posible de nuestra desgracia. La amistad que mostraban estos últimos días, era la simpatía que por el rico moribundo sienten sus domésticos quienes procuran apoderarse de sus riquezas , antes que de fuera venga otro á tomárselas. Un poco antes que los Yanquis han atacado ellos las trincheras y luego han entrado por la brecha que han dejado abierta nuestras tropas al retirarse. La Vanguardia Yanqui que iba á preparar sitio á los demás se ha dirigido al Observatorio…

(..,) hasta las 6 de la tarde se ha visto pasar por las calles de Manila diversos Cuerpos del ejército español que iban á dejar las armas en la fuerza de Santiago. A las seis la bandera española que coronaba esta fortaleza ha sido arriada, siendo izada en su lugar la bandera Yanqui. Los Yanquis que estaban en la fuerza han saludado la bandera con el grito de “urra”  y una banda de música ha tocado el himno nacional delante de la bandera en el paseo entonces solitario de María Cristina (…).

Las trincheras de la parte de Binando y Sta Mesa, continúan defendidas por nuestras tropas mandadas por el GraL Monet y el Coronel Carbó. Hay por aquel lado mucho tiroteo y mañana abandonarán los nuestros aquellas posiciones para que las ocupen los yanquis si les viene en gusto.

Las bajas se calculan en 400 por nuestra parte, y 2,000 por la de los Yanquis. Es probable que estas cifras sean exageradas como de primera impresión (…). Al caer la tarde se ha embarcado con su familia para Hong Kong el General Augustin.

Today the plaza of Manila surrendered to the Yankees. The early hours of the day gave no new signs at all. The Boston was guarding off Parañaque, the Petrel and McCallouch off the mouth of the river. The rest of the squadron was idling off Cavite. It must have been about 9:00 when we saw sailing into the bay a merchant vessel flying the German flag. Someone said it must have been the boat bringing peace, and secure in this, we positioned ourselves to watch it as she entered the bay. She was signalled off Cavite where she was heading, and turned back to join the rest of the German squadron near Pampanga. All of a sudden the entire Yankee fleet was in motion. The boats keeping guard sailed away to join the rest and headed towards Fort San Antonio Abad. Four big boats, which must have been the Olympia, Boston, Raleigh, and Baltimore, cannonaded that fort. Then they aimed at the trenches perpendicular to the beach . . . . During the attack, a heavy squall fell, but without disturbing the bombardment in any way. After five quarters of an hour firing, the Yankees thinking the field was already fully cleared, ceased firing their guns, while the land forces began their march towards Manila. Our troops crouched in the trenches still remaining intact surprised with a shower of bullets the Yankees who confidently came and were stopped in their tracks. At this moment, the Olympia and the monitor Monterey had moved themselves in front of Manila, the latter with her 30.5 cm. cannons pointing at the battery of two cannons on the Luneta. The Olympia fired a cannon shot over our trenches, where the troops subsequently received the command to retreat, while over the walls of the city a huge white flag was being hoisted. The plaza, filled as it was with noncombatants, had not fired at the ships lest it draw enemy fire. A parley followed during which apparently the Yankees have shown generosity in all the conditions, provided the plaza be surrendered. The insurgents have watched from the sidelines, intending to take all possible advantage of our disgrace. The friendship shown these past few days was that which his domestics feel for a dying rich man, and who seek to take possession of his riches before others come to claim them. Ahead of the Yankees, they had attacked the trenches, and later entered through the breach left open by our retreating troops. The Yankee vanguard which came to prepare the ground for the rest went to the Observatory, asking Fr. Algue if they could lodge there. Father answered politely he did not think so since the ground floor was filled with refugees, and mainly because if the city resisted anew (for the result of the parley was not yet known) the Observatory despite being a building of an international character would be a target of the cannons of the plaza. Accepting the explanation, they asked Father if there was a place where they could shelter themselves, and he indicated the volodrome. Within a few minutes, some insurgents came to the Observatory, and very politely asked the Father’s permission to put by the window grating the insurgent flag, lest the Yankees claim the building. While Father was trying to dissuade them from it, others proceeded to place it nonetheless. Two lieutenants ordered a soldier to remove it, and on obeying, he was rattan-whipped and the flag remained where it was.

[From the time of the noon meal] until 6:00 in the evening, one could see various units of the Spanish army passing through the Manila streets going to deposit their arms in Fort Santiago.  At 6:00 the Spanish flag which used to crown this fort was furled, in its place the Yankee flag was hoisted. The Yankees who were present in the fort saluted their flag with shouts of “Hurrah!” and a music band positioned at the time of the solitary passage of Maria Cristina played their national anthem before the flag. -— Since the Yankees have taken possession of all the barracks, the Spanish authorities cannot find sufficient place to lodge the troops who are retreating to Manila. The former have filled some churches, and our church, too, if we had not offered them a place in the Ateneo, where the native Regiment No.73 and two artillery companies have stayed.

The trenches along Binondo and Santa Mesa are still being defended by our troops under the command of General Monet and Colonel Carbo. There is plenty of shooting in that part and tomorrow ours will abandon those positions that the Yankees may occupy them if they wish.

Today’s casualties are calculated to total 400 on our side, and 2,000 on the Yankee side. Probably these numbers are exaggerated from first impressions. The family of Gen. Augustin boarded the ship for Hongkong at sunset.


Saturday, August 13, 1898

The final act of this conflict between the Spaniards and the Americans has taken place. It lasted two hours this morning; the simulated attack was met by a simulated defense.

At 9 o’clock, the American fleet readied itself by raising its flag, positioning the Charleston in front of Parañaque, and rallying the other ships behind the Petrel right in front of Manila. The Concorde is moving to the north of the Pasig, where she will keep watch over the Tondo coast until the city surrenders. It is hard to believe that the cannons on the southern pier have been ordered not to fire to prevent the likely bombardment by the Americans.

The fleet coming from Cavite is sailing in the following order: Olympia, Monterey, Raleigh, Charleston, Baltimore, Boston. The small ships are moving independently of this formation.

At 9:38 the Olympia opened fire west-southeast, at 5,000 meters, followed by the Monterey and the Raleigh a few minutes later. All three ships aiming their shots at San Antonio were missing their target completely. As I watched the continuous fire to the finish, the following words of a Spanish officer ran through my mind: All this cannon fire is merely a bluff and Fort San Antonio would not be threatened if they did not fire at the American troops.”

Some missiles landing on Spanish trenches have caused some lost lives. After the Monterey took the lead position at 9:49 a shell fell on Malate. By 10:00, a heavy shower of rain hid the details of the struggle, if there actually was one. I would say it was Much ado about nothing.

At 10:25, the weather cleared to show the Americans drawn up in two columns pointing approximately north-northwest. The Petrel and the Callao approached land, with the latter merely 2,000 meters from San Antonio, and the next day’s observations showed that six shells penetrated the fort, one of which was responsible for the death of three men manning a cannon. Another flattened the ramparts at the point where there were no gun emplacements. A shell, apparently fired from the Callao, exploded close to another cannon, lifting its parapet and killing several servants.

At 10:40, the fleet stopped firing. The only shots heard were those directed towards San Antonio and the trenches, but the Spaniards were not responding to the enemy fire. At any rate, from our decks we saw no counterattack. If we can believe the Americans, 20 projectiles were fired from the fort, killing two men and wounding six. They could scarcely have done less. The start of the siege is not exactly like a ballet performance. The 24cm and 25cm cannons at the ramparts of Manila remained silent for the same astonishing reason, the “prevention of the city’s bombardment” rapidly becoming a proverb since it was being heard constantly everywhere.

At 10:52, the artillery fire resumed both at sea an on land. Undoubtedly, the infantry had not been able to take over the trenches. There was one final burst of cannon fire from the fort. One minute later, a massive shell smashed into it.

By 11:00 the American flag crowned the crest. The soldiers retreated from the trenches which hardly showed any trace of battle. From this point onward, the Spaniards were obviously on the defensive. The troops from San Antonio and the surroundings either capitulated or beat a retreat. In the direction of Paco, the confusion continued as the insurgents attacked a battalion of sailors and captured two sections.

The victorious American troops were suddenly everywhere, coming from Malate and arriving in Luneta at 11:30. Along the way, they took over the 24cm cannons without firing a single shot, making one believe that a tacit agreement did exist between them, since both camps did not use their cannons.

The Spanish volunteers guarding the ramparts fired only a single volley as the Americans appeared. There again a situation of pure bluff. The Americans replied with a few shots, and then gave orders for an immediate ceasefire. The end result showed a few wounded on both sides. The white flag was raised in the southern part of the city as the comedy continued to unfold. When the Olympia finally signalled the city to capitulate, it was obvious that no reply came since the city had already surrendered.

From noon to 2 o’clock we took a much-needed rest. Then we dined. At 2:35, a Belgian vessel flying a parliamentary flag came alongside the Olympia. Admiral Dewey boarded a small American steamer full of troops which entered their new port. The Callao followed it. This is the end. They are negotiating the terms of surrender. The general feeling is that this whole scene has been meticulously prepared since yesterday, or perhaps earlier. W find this deception completely offensive.

At 3:38, the American squadron anchored 4,000 meters south-southwest of the Walled City. By 6:00, they celebrated their victory by lowering the Spanish flag and replacing it with the American fla to the thundering sound of a 21-gun salute.

This is definitely a great American victory, but a humiliating defeat for Spain, and undoubtedly, for Europe. Someday we shall discover the real truth. Spain is finished, and no matter what she chooses to believe, she has lost both her influence and possessions throughout the world primarily through her own fault. Her ferocious presence will fade away and, as it often happens, will end in ridicule and absurdity. And thus, the final curtain drops on this shameful tragedy. The sun which has shone for 400 years on the pearl of the Orient seas will no longer shine over Spain.

The Americans are festively marching into Manila with their rifles on their shoulders. Not a single gunshot is heard. The Spaniards do not show any resistance, except for the artillery unit in Luneta which fired this morning against the rebels in the north. One thousand five hundred Spaniards, a thousand Tagals, and one sole American regiment took part in the struggle. The next day, those in the garrison who were not involved in the fighting left their trenches, taking their guns with them.

Some details about the Americans. Some Yankees were seen entering the Pasig on a small steamboat; instead of hoisting their flag, they put up some sort of American publicity. Even worse, before the end of the day, two drunk volunteers were beating up the natives and pushing them around with the butts of their rifles.

And soon after Manila opened its gates, a formal order posted on the road to Paco prohibited the Tagals from entering the city. A group of natives, refusing to take heed, were blocked by the Americans, who harassed them with their bayonets.


Friday, August 5, 1898

It is said that the Monterey has brought formal orders to attack. But perhaps the victor and the vanquished would eventually end the fighting and maybe even settle their problem without combat.

There is threat of a typhoon. The strong winds from the west have worsened the situation at sea. We are forced to close all portsides and doors to keep the water from coming in. The defense mounted by the junk boats at the mouth of the Pasig River has failed. We have been enduring these torrential tropical rains for a month now. The Tagals, however, are indifferent to the weather, and continue surrounding Manila and the countryside. What would the Americans do here without them? Sinking a fleet at anchor is certainly only the first step towards the conquest of a country that is bigger than Hongkong or Ireland.

The shots heard on the evening of August 1 and 2 came from the attacks attempted by General Agustin and is units against the Americans in their trenches. Insignificant losses with no decisive results.

Tonight, a dramatic turn of events. We have learned from the consulate that the governor general of the Philippines, General Agustin, has been removed from office. Nothing could be more ridiculous; for the past four days, he has been working secretly at his desk. But what is more revolting is the example set by Madrid, whose policies are an incredible mixture of stupidity, incoherence, inertia and hysterical indecisions.

General Jaudenes y Jaudenes has been appointed governor, with Francisco Rizzo his deputy. This is nothing compared to General Monet’s appointment as chief of defense after deserting his post and his men, a constant subject of severe criticism. Together with his 2,800 men and General Agustin’s family, he found himself surrounded by insurgents since June. Under the pretext of escorting Mrs. Agustin and her five children across the Tagal lines, General Monet and his aide-de-camp abandoned their men. Some say that the true version of the story is that Monet abandoned his troops because he was aware of the implacable hatred of the Tagals. Of all the Spaniards, he is the most hated by the Tagals, having allegedly exerted heavy-handed authority by putting to death thousands of natives, women and children included, during the last repression of the uprising.

In order to promote more confusion, the same newspapers which carried news items regarding Agustin’s downfall have also reprinted an article published in Spain, dated the 21st of July, in which the new governor sings high praises to “the heroism of the Philippine army, its illustrious chief, and the nation.” The appointment orders dated the 24th were evidently pre-empted by the newspaper article.

All these insincere half-truths disgust us. Have people really reached this level? One could almost say that the empty pride of the vanquished found glory in their defeat. There is nothing else left for this nation but to face death.


Friday, August 5th, 1898

It still raigned as we arived in Camp at 10 am we where all tired and needed Rest badly we didnt even have even sufficient Food to satisfy our Hunger our tents where partly blown down again we heard a Report that the Montaray had come in and we all are anxious to march onto Manila in the Evening the Insugent are marching pass our Camp about 1000 men strong and about Midnight we hear the Cracks of Cannons & Riffle shot Georg Miller Christopher & Shanaberger are on the Sick List

It was still raining as we arrived in camp at 10:00 a.m. We were all tired and needed rest badly. We didn’t even have sufficient food to satisfy our hunger. Our tents were partly blown down again. We heard a report that the USS Monterey had come in and we are all anxious to march on Manila. In the evening the insurgents marched past our camp about 1,000 men strong. About midnight we hear the cracks of cannon and rifle shot. George Miller, [Frank] Christopher and [Frank] Shanaberger are on the sick list.


Thursday, August 4, 1898

This morning, the American monitor, Monterey, arrived in Cavite, escorted by a commercial steamer. Crossing the Pacific on this monitor weighing 4,000 tons must have been a remarkable exercise for the sailors. The Yankees’ prowess at sea is sure evidence that they have English blood in their veins.

Now that Camara’s squadron and the Pelayo have retired to Europe, what does Dewey need this monitor for? I am certain that the Monterey will not return to America, proving once again that they do covet this exceptional colony. They have come and intend to remain here. The insurgents are not blind and must have drawn their own conclusions at the sight of the Monterey with its 30cm cannons and the two 22cm guns in their turrets. Not even Spain has ever threatened Manila with cannons of this caliber. The Spaniards have certainly come up against a formidable negotiator. The Monterey, anchored in this bay, is an absolute fortress of steel.

Saturday’s fighting lasted three hours. It was a terrible night. General Greene had pushed the retrenchment forward at Camp Dewey with an impudence which could have cost him dearly if he were confronted with a better armed and more skilled enemy instead of the Spaniards who, with merely 3,000 men, advanced behind the bamboo and mangrove bushes extending along the right-hand side of the enemy lines, taking the Yankees completely by surprise. These Americans do not really understand the tactics of war. Their strength is based on an arrogance which will be their undoing the day that they pit themselves against an organized enemy. A division of Yankees could easily be overthrown by a German brigade.


Friday, July 29th, 1898

This is a pretty Morning and for the first time our Clothing is dry ones more we all where able to perform the regular routine of duty all where out on Drill on time we all exspected the Montery to come in to day in the afternon was witnessed a foot race between Powers and a Native Powers won easily by 10 Yards in a 100 Yards run I am emproving gradualy Rush Landis Walker Fox & Collins remain on the Sick List the Rest are all well

This is a pretty morning and, for the first time, our clothing is dry. Once more we were all able to perform the regular routine of duty. All were out on drill on time. We expected the Monterey to come in today. In the afternoon we witnessed a foot race between Powers and a native. Powers won easily by ten yards in a 100 yard run. I am improving gradually. [Ray] Rush, [Jacob] Landis, [Charles] Walker, [Robert] Fox and Collins remain on the sick list. The rest [of the men] are well.


Tuesday, July 19th, 1898

the Weather is clear but verry hot we begin to get ready for loading but where stopped again the Senator leaves for the Shore guided by the Boston wich later on through Anker near the Camping Ground there are 7 German War Vessels 4 English – 2 French and one Japanese Vessel in the Bay it is runored that the Germans have annoyed Dewy ever sins the came into the Bay and it is claimed that the have secret communication with the Spanich and urging them to hold out until proper time and then receive german Assistance We are all praying for the Montery and Monoduok to come for we fully believe that with their Assistance we are able to Cope with the german Fleet if nessesary to day we send our Mail via Hong Kong & Suez Canal 3 men are on the Sick List we all sleep on the Deck

The weather is clear but very hot. We begin to get ready for loading but were stopped again. The Senator leaves for the shore guided by the USS Boston which later on threw anchor near the camping grounds. There are seven German war vessels, four English, two French and one Japanese vessel in the bay. It is rumored that the Germans have annoyed Dewey ever since they came into the Bay and it is claimed that they have secret communications with the Spanish urging them to hold out until proper time and then receive German assistance. We are all praying for the USS Monterey and USS Monadnock to come for we fully believe that, with their assistance, we will be able to cope with the German fleet if necessary. Today we send some of our mail via Hong Kong and the Suez Canal. Three men are on the sick list. We all sleep on deck.