Manila, Luzon Island — Entry made in parlor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, Tondo
A cool breeze reduced the temperature here to such an extent last night that one might feel justified in calling it cold. Reminded me of fall weather in southern Texas. Cloudy today but dry. Cooking breakfast & supper & taking the edge off my appetite with a cold bite at dinner, is a regular feature of everyday life in Manila as my experience runs now.
Since Mrs. Brigadier Brengle wrote me to become a member of the “Acquaintance (with God & the Bible) League”, although I have not joined, I have and am trying to give more time to prayer & bible reading each day.
This forenoon visited the post office but rec’d nothing. Wrote, copied & mailed a letter to Brig. Bruno Friedrich, chief editor of the Canadian War levy, congratulating him on his Christmas number.
Purchased some shells down on the Escolta for my collection. Private Green, B. Battery, Utah Light Artillery dropped in at No. 2. Borrowed of me $1. U.S. coin. Said he would give me $1.50 pay day. Advised him not to give the extra 50 cts. I dont want it in the shape of interest. Green said 4 more cannon were sent out to Camp Santa Mesa today: pieces belonging to the Utah artillery, and more are to follow. Says likewise that reports bring information that 3 Colorado men were killed last night out on picket by natives. War & rumors of war. G likewise said the trains going north are crowded with natives leaving the city. Why they are departing I know not; perhaps the Filipinos expect to rise & burn the city when the attack is made from the outside. Chaplain Stevenson of the Idaho vol. Infantry brought word that he head the foreign consuls have been notified of war.
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The battle so long expected, has just started. Commenced just as taps were sounding. The roar & rattle of small arms is heard on the outskirts of the city; seems to be over towards the cross-roads –where the Montana troops are stationed. This starts the war. The so-called Filipino Republic is now doomed, –Mrs. Owens is greatly excited. Three Spaniards & mestizos from the lower floor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena have come up stairs. Excepting the shooting now going on — the city is quiet. The Utah artillerymen –brass band across the street from us, are astir. –Two Filipino women have come up stairs.
The horrid din of war sounds louder. Rapid fire guns are at work. Can hear them above small arms & a call to arms us heard in the artillery qtrs. –Now the thunder of a heavy gun. xx 10.40 p.m. Infantry are now hurrying out Calle Jolo to the front. xxx A lull lasting about half an hour. Now there is disultury [desultory] small arms firing, with the occasional roar of a cannon –apparently from a war vessel. xx The Utah sentries across the street state that some small bullets struck their building –a soldier came over from the Caurtel de Meisig. Says he saw a 3rd Reg’t artilleryman being carried in. In a different quarter the rattle of small arms accentuated with the crash of volleys is now heard. An engagement is in progress –is about 11.30 p.m.–Sleep is out of the question now with the din of war continually sounding, & men getting killed and crippled. xx The rumble of wheels is heard on the streets, probably cannon. –All the Utah cannons are out with the exception of two pieces , which have been left behind for street fighting. xx 25. min. to 12 midnight. Quiet again.
The mestizos of the first floor seem not to care to return to their own part of the house. They are remaining on our floor smoking, talking and keeping me in the qui vive as the battle progresses. xxx Mrs. Owens brought in some cake to refresh the physical man. Is very acceptable at this late hour. —
Past midnight — 12.15 a.m. All quiet, save the whistling of a locomotive over at the R.R. depot.
May God protect our precious Salvation Army comrades who this morning are facing death, likewise the dear Chistians of other denominations. I know some splendid Christians –Salvationists and church members in this 8th army corps —
The sky is clear but no moon is shining. The city electric lights are driving away the darkness & the search lights from Dewey’s fleet are busy this morning.
10 minutes of 3 a.m. Have just been awakened from an uneasy slumber by the renewed noise of battle –which as re-opened. There is a constant sputter with the roar of great guns now & again. Private Frank Amie of H. Battery 3rd Heavy Artillery is in the street below our front window doing patrol duty. Says he is cold. Have thrown him my handkerchief to tie around his neck. xx This is the holy Sabbath of the God of peace, but the awful discord of war is marring its peace. The crescent moon is now shining out brightly. xxx