Caloocan, Luzon Island –Entry made in parlor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, Tondo.
One week ago tonight the Filipinos attacked Manila or rather the American outposts & what a week it has been! A week of constant conflict –day and night. Thousands of Filipinos (over 3,000) have been killed. Others wounded. And hundreds of Americans have suffered. Houses have been destroyed & devastation is evident on every side. The atmosphere is foul in places with the stench of putrefying men and animals. The Insurrectos have been beaten in every action. God has signally blessed our arms. The desire of our Government was to pursue a pacific policy, but I fear the natives mistook a generous spirit for cowardice. I heard that their contempt of our soldiers led them more than once to spit in the face of our sentries, but such work could not continue. The swagger & spirit of bravado so marked a few days ago, are gone, for they have been taught a dreadful lesson.
To me Feb. 11th will be associated a long time with horrid memories.
Rising early, after bible reading & prayer I cooked & ate breakfast then started out alone for the battlefront. The roar of great guns bombarding Malibon [Malabon] caused me to push on. By street car went to the end of the line. A civilian dressed partly in soldier’s clothes with a gun on his shoulder joined me. He proved to be a Salvationist of 22 years ago. He carried my bundle. Spoke to him re religious matters. Together, we scoured the forest in which the recent fighting has been done. Everywhere we saw the ashes of burnt huts & residences. Everything gone. A few lonely chickens and other live domestic animals wandered about lost. But the air was burdened in places with the loathsome smell of rotting human beings — their corpses. In one place lay about ten corpses bloated, black, hideous & rotten with worms eating them. In another place (same forest) lay about 6 more dead Filipinos, several apparently killed by shrapnel. One place up the road near a burnt hut lay a dead native with his back, head & hair fearfully burned. A wound in one leg led me to infer that he had been struck in the leg near the ankle by a bullet & entered a hut for refuge. The same was set afire. There he remained until the flame took hold of him. The awful agony caused the poor wretch to pull himself out into the road where he died. He was lying in the dust with his body bent & face down. In the church yard were 3 more corpses. In the cemetery another hideous sight met my gaze. A number of empty tombs are built [intiam?] –Spanish fashion. A dead soldier was crammed into one & hastily left with some loose stones put into the opening. The man’s head was thrown back, with mouth wide open & almost gone thro’ putrefaction. In another tomb lay another corpse. A funny thing connected with these vacant tombs was told me. One of the wild tribes –almost naked– crawled into one and remained there until the Americans discovered him & brought him out of his queer hiding place. He was sent a prisoner to Manila.
I met Brother Joshua Calvin in the Roman Catholic Church which was temporarily improvised into a hospital. Calvin did not go to Iloilo. His vessel was ordered to remain in the bay until further orders.
Calvin & I went down the road towards Malibon [Malabon]. This in Caloocan. The town was in possession of the Americans. A battle was in progress. Met on the road Cos, S, E., F., & H, of the First Idaho Vol. Infantry & ex-Salvation Army Sergeant-major Spankie of Fresno, Leal, who is private, had a pipe in his mouth. Called his attention to advice given hium on salvation the other day & again urged him to seek Jesus. The command was ordered to fall in & marched down into the brush to take position as a reserve line. In addition to the fusilade of small arms shells were thrown into Malibon [Malabon] (which was being attacked) by a vessel of Dewey’s squadron. Calvin & I sat down at a spot by the roadside back of the American firing line (20th Kansas). Bullets flew over our heads quite rapidly. A U.S. soldier had just been wounded in the leg when we arrived. His leg was red with blood. A bandage was tied around the wound. After a while Calvin & I parted. He visited the 20th Kansas & I went back to a bluff back of the post office to watch the bombardment of Malibon [Malabon]. Also explored the flat near the bay shore. While there exposed myself to view. A gun report was heard by me in Malibon [Malabon]. In a second or two a bullety struck near me. I concluded to leave that spot without loss of time.
Met Rev. & Mrs. Owens, Bro. Geo. Turner near the Catholic Church in Caloocan. The former & I visited the firing line ogf our troops –20th Kansas & 2 guns 6th U.S. light artillery, & Sec. 4-B. Battery, Utah light artillery. Also visited the cemetery & then went to the Railroad depot. The trains are being run by the U.S. Gov’t today. We got permission from a Hospital Sergeant in charge of the train to go back to Manila –5 miles. Was a hospital train taking back wounded men & men overcome by heat. In our car 23d U.S. Inf. brass band with guns traveled with us, likewise several British officers. Naval officers have lately been watching the battles closely.
Bro. Turner moved away from our house with his family this afternoon. I cooked supper & washed dishes. Rev. Owens brought an armfull of paper mail for me, viz.: 165 copies No. 13, May 1897 Chinese War Cry & miscellaneous S.F. War Crys, S.F. “Calls”, & 3 copies ofg the number of “Victory” published by the S.A. in Melbourne.
This issue contains my write-up of the Philippines. Likewise the S.F. boys for respectively contain narratives of my experiences etc. on these Islands.
A small book, entitled “Mr. Booth, The General of the Salvation Army” by Com Booth-Tucker arrived, a Christmas present from the author.
Loaned Rev. Owens $2. Mex.