Calumpit, Luzon Island – Entry made in parlor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, Tondo
My clothes are wet with perspiration & I am still hot. The day has been on of constant rush & work.
Out of bed early. Read the first chapter in Book of Numbers. Prayed. Committed myself into the hands of my God, whose providence is over me. Hurried off without washing dishes. Arrived at the Dagupan R. R. Train near the Port Captain’s office about 7.40 a.m. Boarded the train early to secure a seat. 8.30 the train left Manila. At Malolos saw & spoke to several 3d Reg’t Heavy Artillery boys.
Arrived at the Bagbag river about 10.30. The bridge over this stream was partly destroyed on the north bank, an iron span was dropped into the river. A temporary wood wagon bridge has been constructed. At the south end of a long train of cars are standing the “fort” train with its rapid fires General McArthur’s headquarters with his staff, etc. The crowd of soldiers from our train & civilians with supplies etc. struck out northward. The sun was excessively hot. I gave a distributor of “Freedom” a chance to walk under my umbrella & talked salvation to him. Said he is saved; was converted a few years since. At one of our stopping places a number of cigarettes fell out of his pocket. My idea of his salvation fell with the same.
I saw 2 of Aguinaldo’s officers in Gen. McArthur’s car on my way out. Think they are peace representatives. The country back of Bagbag and South of Malolos is getting some of its farmers & they are starting in to repair the wreck of war, plowing their land, etc. “Freedom” is authority for the statement that half a million refugees etc are back of Aguinaldo’s lines. I do not find this statement difficult to believe after noting how completely denuded of population the county & towns are that I have visited. Calumpit is only a name, everything else seems to be ashes. There is a stretch of open country about 2 miles across from the Bagbag river to Calumpit on the Rio Grande, a wide stream with a five iron bridge. Beautiful cornfields with indian corn ripening, covers the 2 miles on either side reminding me of the western states of America. The high railroad grade is cut across in many places with trenches, likewise both sides of the grade & the ditches have been changed for fighting men to use. There are, too, what a Montana soldier calls “get away” trenches. These are so constructed that the Filipinos can slip away under cover, providing they are not flanked. Many iron culverts break this high grade.
At Calumpit, after jumping across quite a number of trenches cut in the grade, & walking 5 inch iron bridge stringers, I crossed the Rio Grande on the Railroad bridge. The track flow including ties and iron have been carried away as were the 2 side foot walks by the Insurrectos. The American troops crossed by holding to the hand rail & walking sideways under fire, on a 3 inch iron stringer! A brave feat.
Across from Calumpit is situate Apalit, a most peculiarly built town of one street about 3 miles long following the course of the river. The most formidable trenches I have seen up to date are the trenches & forts at this place.
Followed the long street with its nipa huts, embowered in banana bushes, about 2 miles thro’ a very hot sun. Passing the 20th Kansas Vol. Inf. a squad of men of Co. M. invited me to take dinner with them. Accepted the invitation gratefully Y said grace over a cup of coffee, hand tack & Boston baked beans. The men of this company invited me to call again for a hold out meeting; so I understood it.
Half a mile alone M. company I found E. Co. 1st Montana Vol. Inf. likewise Private A. Lloyd who complained of feeling bad. Encouraged him spiritually & prayed together in a native hut where he & others are quartered. A heavy shower with thunder came up. When it ceased, Lloyd accompanied me back to the Rio Grande bridge. Here we parted. I returned to Bagbag bridge & hunted up Private V. Heron Co. L. 1st Nebraska vol. Inf. a convert of the S.A. Claimed that he is saved. We had a long talk including spiritual lines. At my request he got his Springfield & belt of cartridges & I took his photo at the bridge. Also took other photos including Private Peter E. Lamar & a gang of Engineer corps men who are surveying and plotting the country & specially the trenches for the U.S. Gov’t.
Spoke to several men re salvation & my Christ.
Met Bro. Glunz of the Christian Commission. He was returning from a trip done from the Master’s cause.
Our train arrived in Manila about 6.30 p.m. Getting home tired & weary & hot I cooked supper. A large mail of letters and papers awaited me.
(1) Lizzie White, Cotton, Cal. wants her boy Cha. Reed Co. I, 14th U.S. Infantry, converted.
(2) Lt-Col. Wm Evans, S.F. re Lawyer Duncan’s curios.
(3) do do date March 28th enclosing $34 money order, salary a/c charges me personally with $1.50 with gramophone needles & $3.50 for Bushnell’s copying books –- 3.
(4) Major John Bard, London, Eng. wants me to write a hurry article descriptive of the Philippines, 1,500 words for the London War Cry.
(5) A generalizing letter for Commander F. de Lataur Booth-Tucker which says nothing in particular – date New York March 29th
(6) Alice Lewis, Rec’d my letter re fares Manila to America. Keeping it for references. Want pictures from me. Says I am representing the S.A. so well, they have no idea of me farewelling at the present – date of letter March 29th – New York
(7) Harry Stillwell, Kansas City, Mo. Much interested in the Philippines. I think a hint has been given him that he may be sent to this archipelago to take charge. Date of letter, March 26th.