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.
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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.