Manila, Luzon Island –Entry made in parlor of No. Calle Santa Elena, Tondo
Night closes in as I commence to make this entry in my diary dark and gloomy slow falling raindrops drip from the sullen clouds & the feeling comes to me with peculiar force: this is a dangerous and disagreeable night for the American outposts; all the more force is given to this feeling because heavy cannonading was heard over towards Malibon [Malabon]. From this room where I am writing the heavy roar of the great gun shocked the air with sudden impact, the flesh-creeping whir of unseen shells followed by the explosion of those missiles of death. Then comes the thought: “men are being killed at this moment. Possibly some man in health and strength a moment ago is now torn in fragments and passing into eternity.” Matters are hurrying to a crisis now quite swiftly. The 20th & 22d U.S. Inf. regulars arrived within the past 6 days & today the transport “Grant” came in port from New York via the Suez canal. 50 days en route. She brought over 1698 troops besides 49 officers & others. The 17th Inf. U.S. reg. came & 4 companies of the 4th Inf. reg. General Lawton & staff also arrived on the vessel. These reinforcements will greatly strengthen our fighting force at the front.
The transport “Arizona” sailed yesterday for San Francisco carrying a long list of soldiers, among them G.W. Spankie of E. company 1st Idaho Vol. Inf. Spankie is a backslider Salvationist. Was formerly Sergeant-major of the Fresno Cal. Corps, I dealt with him several times out here about his soul.
I remained close at home all day. Did not go outside the front door. Have felt disinclined to leave No. 2 lately for various reasons. When the boys drop in from the front I want to be at home to pray with them & encourage them in the Christian life if they are followers of Jesus. I can reach more by remaining at home than by going away.
Cooked breakfast & supper. Made my dinner of bread, honey & lemonade.
Put in several hours arranging Spanish & Tagalog manuscripts and cataloging them. This war has scattered to the winds vast quantities of manuscripts, representing the governmental routine of the Spanish Government & Roman Catholic church. The burning & looting of towns send adrift material that otherwise might never have reached the public eye. Private papers, ecclesiastical, legal, military & naval, are swept by on the tide of destruction. Chinese & Filipino dealers wrap up sugar, peanuts, & almost everything else suitable in these papers. How they get possession of them is the question. I am trying to collect as many as possible to save them from destruction. Have on hand hundreds of such MSS. with seals, coats of arms, signatures, etc. showing the importance once attached to them.
The “Times” of this p.m. states that the few houses left standing in San Roque were destroyed last night & the town is now practically “wiped” out. While I pen these lines the towers of Tondo Roman Catholic church in our quarter of Manila, stands out in bold relief against the darkness. A burning house sends the glare against the building. I am inclined to think another attempt will be made to burn Manila before we are done with the Filipino question.
Last night I had the large second floor to myself of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena. Rev. & Mrs. Owens passed the night on a ship out on the bay.
Before the present war the Chinese boy who came here for English lessons quoted some Filipinos who said, “Filipino boom, boom; Americano run.” They put a heavy discount on American courage.
Wrote & copied a spiritual letter to Private Geo. Berry of Co. H. 1st Montana Vol. Infantrty today –.