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September 6, 1899

On guard at Gen. Wheaton’s headquarters. Gen. Wheaton being at Collulit [Calulut], the guard was only three men, myself acting Corporal. By a curious coincidence we all three had served in the Volunteers, Lehman in the 71st New York, Wyer in the Volunteer Engineers. It was a beautiful night and one of the finest places in San Fernando, so that after we had shut the iron entrance gates it was like sitting under grandma’s porte-cochere. There was not a breath of wind not a cloud and the stars shone with a vividness I have never seen equaled. I was “on” from 10 to 12. In the perfect silence all sounds seemed magnified, the hum of myriad insects, the occasional stir of the foliage seemed like distant musketry. Then I heard a native baby cry and the low tones of the mother. It must have been a quarter of a mile away and it restored the scale of noises. You could hear the horses stir in the Artillery lines in Square de Sagasta. It was altogether perfect and I never knew two hours to pass more quickly. On again from 4 to 6 A.M. and saw the night pale into the dawn and the day break quickly. Was relieved at 11 A.M. to draw a map at Gen. McArthur’s headquarters. They had just captured a ladrone, or thief, from a band of about forty. They got him in the territory I made reconnaissances over alone and otherwise, so the danger was not wholly imaginary. He was armed with an old Remington, the “pull” of which was so strong as to make it impossible to shoot straight, one of the long knives or “bolos” and a dark lantern. He expected to be shot every moment and the guard were handling and laughing at his equipment, saying “boom, boom, poco tempo,” which means shot presently. He was a young fellow and stood it rather well, though you could see tears roll down his cheeks. He was turned over to the provost and will be put at work. Any one at home who believes these people capable of governing themselves has only to come out and he will be sadly disillusioned.