Skip to content

Wednesday, Feb. 22d, 1899

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

Washington’s birthday — I have had a cold in my head the past 2 days. Could hardly sleep last night. Mosquitoes got inside my bar & troubled me. Cooked breakfast & supper, & for dinner bought mince pies, which with lemonade made of lime-fruit cordial did duty as dinner for Private Hines of the Montanas & myself. He came in from the battlefield this forenoon with his Springfield & belt filled with cartridges. Brought his baggage (most of it) from the Battalion barracks to my house for safe keeping. After arranging his stuff in my bedroom together we went down town. Called at the 1st Battalion barracks to see Private Berry, but failed. Berry was absent guarding Gen’l MacArthur’s headquarters. Then we went to the quarters of the 2 & 3d Battalions. Looks empty. The men are out at the front. Called a second time on our way back to see Berry. Failed again. Were in a carromata. Dropped in at the post office. Received a publication –Spanish– 1 copy — from Bro. Armstrong of Barcelona. Then drove home. I paid the Filipino driver 30 cents for hire of his vehicle. Prayed with Hines a couple of times & counseled him to be spiritual & not allow the savagery of war to do him hurt in his soul — to remember that he is above all a saint. Gave a good account of Lloyd & Freeman, says they are O.K.

A Colorado soldier met me on the street car. Invited me to come out & visit the Colorados. Promised to do so. Hines (if memory is true) said Capt. Grant of the Utah’s requested permission of Gen. McArthur to fire a cannon shot at the Insurrectos to get his range. The Gen’l assented but on second thought he requested the Capt. not to fire as it might stir the Filipinos up to give battle. This he wished to avoid. The policy now seems to be delay until reinforcements arrive.

The Filipinos are trying a suicidal policy. About 8 o’clock Monday night they set fire to their houses in Paco district of Manila. Some of the Filipino men were dressed in women’s clothes. The First Washington Vol. Inf. had a hard time fighting fire but by 4 a.m. yesterday got it under control yet not until about $1,000,000 worth of property was destroyed. It is estimated over 200 houses were burned. They (the Filipinos) threaten to destroy this city. Will have to be watched closely.

Private Green of B. Battery Utah Light artillery called again this p.m. Wanted to borrow money — the third time. Prayed with him. Green is very eccentric.

Tied in parcels & cataloged some of my curios & relics, also wrapped up Spanish MSS.

Down in the yard under our parlor window my landlady Mrs. Ysabel Wood, has had a young hog staked over the past 2 or 3 weeks. Last night the porker died. The diseased animal was cleaned and taken down on a public plaza for sale. One half was sold for $4. Mex. Tomorrow she expects (I heard) to realize $5. in the remaining half. People are peculiar in this country.

x x x x x x x

9. p.m. A great fire is in progress in another part of the city some say in Trozo Dist., some in Santa Cruz. The sky is bright with flame & dense columns of smoke is rising heavenward. The electric lights went out about 10 minutes ago. –The guards have been doubled I hear. — From my back window a grand sight is visible. Binondo Church tower stands out against the bright glare and the dark silent cascos show on the red water plainly. The natives are probably up to mischief. They threatened to burn this city — the fire at Paco and the one raging now appears to be on that line of action. This war promises to be extremely disastrous to them by the time it ends.

A strange thing tonight is the noise & music coming from a circus. Imagine a circus amusing people while flames are destroying fortunes.

I have just counted 12 Filipino men ( supposed to be friendly) & mestizos in my back yard sitting around (some) & some watching the fire from the stone gateway facing the estuary. Some of the Filipinos are whistling “There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight.” How the sublime & the ridiculous oftentimes meet!