San Fernando, Luzon Island – Entry made in parlor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, Manila
A sweltering day in the tropics – very hot. Had a sweat bath since morning. Up before 6 a.m. Read 2d chapter of Deuteronomy & prayed. Cooked breakfast of coffee, bacon & oatmeal mush. Then away to the train down on the Pasig quay. Train crowded. I wedged into a section, with three Mormons, and Irish Roman Catholic and two Filipino men for traveling companions.
Much of the talk among volunteer, “Well, where are you going home?” A question easier to ask than to answer.
On the way north embraced opportunities to speak to soldiers personally about Christ & salvation.
At Malolos, 2 bananas given me by a Mormon soldier (Utah Light Artillery corporal) took the edge off my appetite at the noon hour.
Going & coming on these military trains is a trial for a Christian. The fearful blasphemy is constantly assailing the ear. One would think a trap-door of hell was open & the conversation of the damned reached the cars of the living. The Lord gave me opportunity to speak for Him to the Mormons & Catholic Irishman re the way of life.
Arrived at San Fernando about 1:30 p.m. Had no difficulty to find my way out to the region where are billeted the Montanas and 20th Kansas & Filipino horses. These 2 regiments have been in a sense consolidated. Each is short handed thro’ death and sickness etc.
I learned at E. company’s quarters that the company was out doing outpost duty. I accompanied a soldier thro’ a sugarcane field to the extreme outpost where recently the Filipinos attacked our lines & killed a Montana soldier with a cannon shot.
Brothers Hines & Lloyd quickly discovered me. They, with 2 other soldiers occupied a temporary booth made of matting, between the field of growing sugar cane & a forest of bamboo. A road runs along the fence & turns towards the bay. We talked rapidly for my time was short. Learned that Bro. Turner of the Ecclesia mission is in San Fernando. He tried to hold a meeting last night but failed as rain kept soldiers from attending. Expects to try again tonight. I concluded not to interfere with his plans. Would have remained overnight in the case the Lord opened the way to do good. I knelt down with Hines & Lloyd on the ground beneath the booth & each of us took turn at praying to our God. These two stalwart soldiers are not ashamed to pray before their comrades in arms. Lloyd looks very rough. Has been in every fight but one, one which the Montana reg’t took part. Is well in body. Hines is improving & reports Freeman picking up again. I left with the boys 2 New Testaments 1 copy “Harbor Lights” & 1 copy Toronto War Cry. Lloyd then shouldered his gun & he & I struck down the road to an elaborate French captured from the Filipinos where are two more American outposts, to look for Dave Freeman, but learned that he was stationed a long distance in another direction. Asked to be remembered to him & hurriedly struck across the sugar cane field to catch the 3 p.m. train to Manila. On the road passed quite a member of able bodied Filipino men squatted by the roadside selling, bananas plantations, eggs, mangoes etc. They eyed me closely with a half-served, curious look – curiousity & fear held sway in their minds. Probably they have been Insurrectos, yes & some may slip off now to fight after dark following a day given to selling fruit to American soldiers.
Arrived at the depot very hot & hungry. Climbed into the section of a passenger & gladly rested & perspired in the shade. When the train got in motion 2 Filipino men climbed in. No pass. “Get off; vamoose – pronto!” Cried the 2d Oregon train guard. “Yo mucha pore”, pleaded the men “Yo, Macabebe”. Had to jump off.
I met Private Tan at Calumpit – G. Battery, 3d Reg’t Heavy Artillery. At Guiguinto, other members of the 3d H. Battery. Thro’ the car door got in hasty words of salvation advice for Jesus – with Privates Lambert, and others – their comrades. These men are not detached service. Train’s stop very brief.
Personal dealing on salvation lines marked the trip down & after my arrival in Manila.
Very tire & hot, but cooked supper & wrote this entry. Now for bed & a night’s rest. To God be the glory. Amen.
On the train going north Private Mike Ryan, our Irish Roman Catholic of the Utah Light Artillery, hinted that he had a priest’s robe & other vestments of the R. G. church to sell. I do not know how they came into his possession.