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Diaries describe the start of the Filipino-American War, February 4-28, 1899

(Note: this was originally published to mark the 120th anniversary of the outbreak of the Filipino-American War in 2019; last modified in February, 2023).

“Faithful unto death. Filipino color bearer. A touching incident connected with the fight at Paco near Manila, Feb. 5th, 1899.” Caption written by John E.T. Milsaps for this photo of a slain Filipino flag bearer which he pasted in his diary.

The Philippine Diary Project features several diaries not only covering the outbreak of the war, but which illustrate the atmosphere in American-occupied Manila and its environs from the American conquest of the city in August, 1898, to the immediate prelude to the war. On this page, we have supplemented out material with links to the site, the Philippine-American War 1899-1902, which provides an exhaustive overview from a Filipino perspective of events.

Miguel Saderra Maso

The diaries of a French naval officer, Aime Ernest Motsch, writing as “Lieutenant X,” and a Spanish Jesuit, Miguel Saderra Maso (identified as such by the Jesuit scholar Fr. Jun Arcilla, but described as “anonymous” by a Spanish scholar) assigned to the Philippine Observatory, cover the portion of the Spanish-American War concerning the Philippines.

Even as Dewey blockaded Manila, American troops began to arrive. The arrival of these troops, the months of waiting, the occupation of Manila and then the long period of uncertainty concerning both the Spaniards and the Filipinos, can be seen through the eyes of American soldiers from different backgrounds.

John Henry Asendorf

The soldiers scribbling down their observations and opinions came from diverse backgrounds. John Henry Asendorf a Corporal in the Pennsylvania Volunteers, was a butcher who emigrated from Germany. James J. Loughrey was a Sergeant serving in the California Volunteers, who’d emigrated from Ireland –both serving in the U.S. armed forces at a time when tensions were high against immigrants like themselves.

Chriss A. Bell was a Corporal (and lawyer) in the Oregon Volunteer Militia, and kept a diary from May, 1898 to June, 1899.Other soldiers began the Philippine portion of their diaries after the fall of Manila: Karl D. White, a Private in the Iowa Volunteer Infantry, kept a Philippine diary from October, 1898 to May, 1901.

Alfred Burton Welch

Alfred Burton Welch, who’d attended Puget Sound University, Tacoma, Washington, serving in the Washington State Volunteer Infantry, arrived in the Philippines in November, 1898, and would be in Santa Ana, Manila, when the Filipino-American war began.

Robert Bruce Payne

In contrast to these other soldiers, Robert Bruce Payne, who served in the Nebraska Volunteer Infantry, only kept a diary during the first week of the Filipino-American War, and more importantly, his is the only diary by an American soldier reflecting opposition to the war. By March, 1899 he was writing his brother to help him get out of his military service. Because of his sympathies for the Filipinos, it’s proper to feature his entries at the start of each day, for the full week he kept his dairy; the contrast with the diaries of his fellow American soldiers becomes that much more vivid.

John E.T. Milsaps in Paco Cemetery

A lone civilian voice is that of John E.T. Milsaps, a Texan, and a missionary for the Salvation Army. His is a unique perspective, partly opposed to war yet unquestioning about the superiority of the American cause; he was a compulsive collector, with an important collection of ephemera from the Philippines during this period: he would assiduously buy and file away Filipino and American newspapers, and during his travels, he would buy scattered government and other records he encountered. He was also an amateur photographer; uniquely, in places his diary contains photos of the places and people he’s describing for that day.

Santiago Barcelona

The Filipino point. of view is scarce, of course. There is Santiago Barcelona, a member of the staff of President Aguinaldo.Barcelona was one of two doctors–the other being Simeon Villa–who joined Aguinaldo in his flight to Palanan, Isabela, in November 1899. He, too, was captured by the Americans in March 1901. It was in the house of Santos in Singapore that General Aguinaldo stayed during his exile… Aguinaldo gave the rank of brigadier general to Barcelona, but he never used it. A member of the Malolos Congress representing Butuan, he treated the wounded when hostilities broke out on Feb. 4, 1899. Basically an obstetrician, he also attended to Mrs. Aguinaldo during Aguinaldo”s flight in northern Luzon.

Other early diaries include Thomas H. Briggs and Theodore Wurm from 1898; and an anonymous American Trooper.

Whitelaw Reid

And there is the insider’s account, as a member of the American delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, of Whitelaw Reid. He was a journalist, politician, diplomat. Member of the Peace Commission representing the United States in negotiations with the Spanish government to conclude the treaty ending the Spanish-American War.

The first month of the Filipino-American War in diaries

The diaries reflect the culture (and prejudices) of the time and of the individual authors. Filipinos, for example, are variously called Filipinos, Filips, flips, insurgents, insurrectos, natives, niggers, gu-gu’s, and amigos. On February 10, one American soldier on the other hand referred to African-American troops as “coloured troops” –and stated that believing them unwilling to enter the fight, they “went up and clubbed them into action.”

Prelude: February 1-3, 1899

On February 1st, 1899, Alfred Burton Welch recorded in his diary that,

Went to Singalon[g] in a.m. Got a “bolo” from a native. A few days ago the ins. caught a staff officer and a 1st Lieut. and were going to kill them –and had the staff officer tied to a tree, when they were rescued. I have been over the same ground many times. They have a cannon there now, and a large outpost. 

On the same day Chriss Bell wrote,

Insurgents last night advanced on the Nebraska outposts they fell back according to orders so as to avoid trouble. The insurgents who made the advance are not directly under Aguinaldo & want to fight. [Gen.] Otis hopes to arrange matters peacefully so will not oppose them with force until it becomes necessary. It seems to natives [our] policy gives false idea of us. Makes them think we are afraid so gives them much confidence if trouble ensues[and it will] finally will make that much harder work to subdue them.

The impression is unavoidable that both sides had elements raring to start a fight. The next day, February 2, 1899, Chriss Bell takes a second look at a place of potential friction between Filipinos and Americans:

Before getting milk I rode out to the outpost where Washington troops are located. It was there the natives made demonstration the night before. All was quiet. Few sentrys (sic) are within 200 feet of the natives. I took two pictures one of the blockhouse and one of native guard & guard house. The demonstration They made was simply to advance and as our troops did not retire but were set in, [they] forced & formed skirmish but the natives retired. Understand our boys have orders not to fire under any circumstances but in case of determined advance [they are] to retire in good order. This I understand are [is] because Aguinaldo hopes of settling difficulties without bloodshed. The troops near the Washington boys are not Aguinaldos [Aguinaldo’s] personal force but under another insurgent leader. He wishes to fight & it seems hard for Aguinaldo to hold him down.

For his part, Alfred Burton Welch recorded a cancelled offensive operation:

Before getting milk I rode out to the outpost where Washington troops are located. It was there the natives made demonstration the night before. All was quiet. Few sentrys (sic) are within 200 feet of the natives. I took two pictures one of the blockhouse and one of native guard & guard house. The demonstration They made was simply to advance and as our troops did not retire but were set in, [they] forced & formed skirmish but the natives retired. Understand our boys have orders not to fire under any circumstances but in case of determined

“To Arms” at 11 p.m. last night and went to Calle Real y Pena Francisco [Peñafrancia] where the regiment was formed. Gen. Chas. King with re. We had order to take Ponto de Santa Anna [Puente Santa Ana] and then push on to Santa Anna. We were all ready to make the rush when countermanding orders came. Guess the whole 8th Corps was in arms. Oh! how disappointed we were. We camped on north of road and it was bright moonlight and the rows of sleeping soldiers and stacked arms made a splendid picture. The southern cross, the night perfume of the Passion flower –strange noises across the line, &c &c. Withdrew at 6 a.m.

The day before war began, February 3, 1899, John Henry Asendorf wrote,

The outpost reports that the Filipinos are strengthening their outpost considerably and things look suspicious but nothing is feared. 

In Tondo, Salvation Army missionary John E.T. Milsaps records a soldier’s story –and ominous reports in that evening’s newspapers:

Breakfast time Sergeant Fisher of the U.S. Engineering corps called at No. 2. Calle Santa Elena to see Rev. Owens. He & 4 privates had just arrived from Malolos. These 5 American soldiers while engaged completing a survey of Manila inside our lines were captured by Aguinaldo’s troops. An armed body of insurrectos crossed the American line and getting behind Fisher & his men made the latter march before them into the Filipino camp. The Americans were without arms. They were made a show in the Filipino army. Were taken thro’ the Igorote reinforcements. A body of savages from the interior of Luzon armed with spears, bows & arrows, & shields. Fisher & his men were held prisoners until an American officer was sent over to Malolos to demand their release. On demand they were put on the train and returned this morning. Fisher called at our place with a message from ex. Rev. David Brown who roomed in No. 2 a short time since. This gentleman while under the influence of strong drink wandered into the Filipino camp & was made a prisoner & is one now. He wants liberty. Sergeant Fisher told me the foregoing story re the capture of himself and comrades…

Tonight’s evening “Times” says that yesterday Aguinaldo & his generals had a council. The generals advised him to declare war against the United States. Refused stating that he promised the foreign consuls in Manila to give them 24 hours warning previous to declaring war.

Saturday, February 4, 1899

Map: Dispositions on the eve of war 1899, Historical Atlas of the Republic (2016), p. 88

See First Shot of the War, Feb. 4, 1899 in Philippine-American War 1899-1902:

On Saturday night, Feb. 4, 1899, Privates William W. Grayson and Orville H. Miller of   Company D, 1st Nebraska Volunteers, while doing sentry duty, encountered 3 Filipino soldiers on Sociego Street in Santa Mesa, Manila, between Blockhouse 7 (Manila City boundary) and Barrio Santol (Sampaloc district)…

The name of the first Filipino fatality of the war was Corporal Anastacio Felix of the 4th Company, Morong Battalion under Captain Serapio Narvaez. The battalion commander was Col. Luciano San Miguel…

As they ran back to their post, Grayson shouted, “Line up fellows, the niggers are in here all through these yards.”…

Filipino troops at San Juan del Monte exchanged fire with the American line at Sta. Mesa. The companies of the Morong Battalion under Captain Narvaez and Captain Vicente Ramos charged the American positions and pushed back Grayson’s unit and even captured an American artillery piece. “By 10 o’clock at night,” said American historian James LeRoy “the American troops were engaged for two miles from Pasig river north and west.”

Many of the Filipino commanders were on weekend furlough.  General Antonio Luna, commanding general of the Philippine Army, visited his family in San Fernando, Pampanga Province. Gen. Mariano Noriel was in Parañaque making preparations for his wedding. General Artemio Ricarte and Col. Luciano San Miguel, commanding officers of the troops in San Juan and Santa Mesa, were at Malolos meeting with Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo. They stayed the night in Malolos, at the house of Tomas Guison.

Many others were similarly indisposed. The Filipino soldiers were for the most part leaderless.

General Pantaleon Garcia was the only one who was at his post in Maypajo, north of Manila (he was captured by the Americans in Jaen, Nueva Ecija Province on May  6, 1900).

On the American side that same night, Maj. Gen. Elwell Otis and Brig. Gen. Robert Hughes were playing billiards, Maj. Gen. Arthur MacArthur, Jr., and his staff were playing cards and most senior officers were absent from their commands; the officers of the 1st Colorado Volunteers were in dress whites playing whist.

Near Intramuros, several hundred 1st California Volunteers and civilians were enjoying themselves at a circus. When firing commenced and the alarm spread, an excitable orderly rushed in and between gasps howled the soldiers to quarters. The men rushed over the flimsy structures through the rings, the civilians followed suit, and clowns and trained horses were forgotten in the general rush to the doors. A number of officers were present who attempted to restore order, but the delay cost them their carriages; for when they reached the street they found their horses had been taken by soldiers in their anxiety to get to barracks.

For the chroniclers of the American military, this marks the start of the “Philippine Insurrection,” specifically the Manila Campaign (February 4 – March 17. 1899):

During the War with Spain, Emilio Aguinaldo (who had led an unsuccessful insurrection in 1896-97) organized a native army in the Philippines and secured control of several islands, including much of Luzon. Cession of the Philippines to the United States (Treaty of Paris, 10 December 1898) disappointed many Filipinos, and on 4 February 1899 Aguinaldo’s followers clashed with American troops near Manila. The Americans, numbering about 12,000 combat troops under Maj. Gen. Elwell S. Otis, defeated Aguinaldo’s force of some 40,000 men and suppressed an attempted uprising in Manila.

American columns pushed north, east, and south from Manila to split the insurgent forces and seize key towns. Brig. Gen. Lloyd Wheaton’s column pushed out of Manila, gained control of the Pasig River in March, permanently interrupting communications between insurgent forces in north and south Luzon.

Based on the above (note the California volunteers and the circus), an entry dated February 3, 1899 by Chriss Bell, a Corporal in the Second Oregon Volunteer Infantry state militia, seems missdated as it the outbreak of fighting. A reading of the entry, however, suggests it straddles the two dates: in other words, it records the last few hours of “peace,” and the confusing outbreak of hostilities on February 4:

[Then] in evening about 9 we were all [done for] today [and] we walked out [to] Whalleys when we heard the call to arms played at California quarters just across the river.

We started to quarters notifying the boys we saw. Just a few minutes after our arrival the boys came from the circus & told us they had heard firing in the outposts. Some [Soon] we could hear the firing it was general although the [in our] bones we were just ready to go. Slept with clothes on. I was Corporal of Guard. Firing continued all night. Several shots coming very near in the Buttels were found in the morning. In early morning Dewey opened on woods with some of his guns. Cannot yet tell results but believe found all that can be learned [that] the insurgents were driven back all along the line. We went [and] lost some men. Dont [Don’t] know how many. There has been no general uprising in town but wounded men returning from front & policeman & others etc. have been set upon by 8 to 10 natives, 7 in several instances badly wounded or killed. The beets in position as now being cause as to prevent this. One of own sentries was shot at. It came from river probably from Ciscos attack the [we] are learning something about fighting. With proposal, [we] fire across, which they did not before know if we have call. Question as to final outcome but we may have some severe fighting. Tomorrow we will know something of todays fighting.

Robert Bruce Payne:

On the evening of this day was placed on guard or rather Cossack outpost at Block house no. 8 in the Santa Mesa district. Our orders were to hold this place and report anything suspicious. A number of recruits had been rec’d on this day by the Filipinos in the shape of wild men from the mountains who were armed with bows and arrows. They wore red breech cloths. [Pvt. James I.] Bowe]s] from our company had been placed on guard. The other private, the corporal and myself had lain down. At about 8 o’clock I heard a rifle shot, a Springfield. We did not pay much attention to this, but directly we heard two more shots. We began to hastily put on our stuff, but before we could get on our belts and haversacks on, firing began on our camp from all sides, and balls began to bing and chug around us. In a minute or two we heard footsteps approaching from camp. It was eight men and a sergeant from C to reinforce the post. Our orders were now to hold the blockhouse and fire only when the enemy advanced in the immediate open and were visible, so during the fire of the night which was incessant we lay sleepless and keeping a sharp watch.

James J. Loughrey:

We were called to arms at 8.35 pm. and recalled at 9.15 p.m. There was a second call to arms at 9.45 p.m. when the Insurgents attacked the Colorado’s outpost. We left the barracks at once and reported to the 6th Artillery Quarters and went from there to Paco Cemetery. We arrived back in our own quarters at 12.30 a.m. on February 5th.

John Henry Asendorf:

The weather is fine but terribly hot. The company is undergoing a strict inspection of quarters and arms. Everything was ok. Gun [inspection] was especially strict. The outpost came in at 8 o’clock and reported that things were restless on the insurgents’ line but we only sent fifteen men on outpost and seven men on guard duty. Around the quarters the day was rather quiet in the city all day which was broken in the stillness of the night by sudden shots being fired about fifteen minutes after midnight(?) but in a short time there were shots fired all along the line but most of it was near the waterworks where the Nebraska Regiment was encamped. All boys rushed to their respective quarters and dressed for action and, before the call for arms was sounded, every man was already in line each carrying 70 rounds of ammunition. We started off doubletime to Companies H and I quarters in front of the prison “Bilibid.” Here we were joined by the rest of the regiment. The Colonel [Alexander Hawkins] order Company I to guard General [Elwell Stephen] Otis‘ quarters and Company C to patrol our end of the city while the rest went on in double-quick to the front. The firing was now along the line. Some shots even landed in the city. Some [shots] went through the roof of our quarters. Just every place before 10 o’clock the Utah Battery had several guns going. All Filipinos were ordered into their houses. We had but very little trouble in the city. The firing kept on all night.

Alfred Burton Welch:

Adventures on line b[lock].h[ouse]. 14.

The Filipino perspective comes from Dr. Santiago Barcelona, on the staff of President Aguinaldo:

The evening was quiet with a silver moon shining; Malolos was happy; a dance was being held in the house of Mrs. Concha del Rosario, widow of Mapúa. Gen. Artemio Ricarte and Col. Luciano San Miguel, commanders of the Santa Ana line in Manila, were paying homage to Terpsichore. While Malolos was in deep slumber without any suspicion of an unrest, between midnight and 1 o’clock in the morning, an unusual noise woke the unsuspecting inhabitants. The cry of “War” reverberated everywhere. The hostilities had begun!

We woke up at 1 o’clock and went to the Central Postal Station, where we met the Honorable President of the Philippine Republic issuing orders. All the prominent members of the government were also there: Gen. Ricarte, Col. San Miguel, [Teodoro] Sandico, and others.

About 3 o’clock, Gen. Ricarte and Col. San Miguel boarded a train for Sta. Ana; Moreno and I accompanied them. At 5 a.m. we reached the station at Caloocan and continued on foot to Maypajo. Before reaching it, Ricarte and San Miguel separated from our group and took the road to La Loma; Moreno and I proceeded to the trenches at Maypajo and reached them at 5:30 a.m. Here we learned of the impossibility of reaching Manila; Moreno has been appointed chief of the volunteers from Manila.

After a while some soldiers from detachments in Solis arrived informing us that they were leaving because they had no longer any cartridges. I left Moreno at 6 o’clock to be in Caloocan with the intention of establishing an emergency field hospital while waiting for the military health unit to take some action. A few steps away sounds of guns and cannons rent the air while shots whistled by, instilling in me the fear that the end was near. During intervals, I made my way and reached unscathed the municipal building where I intended to attend to the wounded. I had hardly gone upstairs when I saw a warship in the bay opposite the building. I left for the railroad station; but barely twenty meters away a grenade fell. I entered the station and saw a wounded man, but as I did not have anything with me to help him, and knowing the impossibility of requesting medicines from Malabon, I departed and took the train for Malolos.

When I arrived home, Choling told me that I was a coward because I had abandoned the fighting. I explained to her that I had come to get bandages and medicines because there were none there. I went to the drug store and requested everything needed for first aid. When I inquired for the cost, the pharmacist refused to collect. At 1 in the afternoon of the 5th, after lunch, I returned to Caloocan bringing my surgery satchel. I found [Antonio] Luna, José, [Leon Ma.] Guerrero and [Anastacio] Francisco, Inspector General of Military Health.

At 4 p.m. a stretcher arrived bringing [José] Torres Bugallon, Major of the General Staff, with a broken right thigh; he was very pale, looking almost bloodless owing to profuse hemorrhage. He stretched his hand upon seeing me, relating at the same time how he had been wounded.

He said, “I was leading the troops when I felt I was wounded, but continued marching about fifty meters farther; then I fell. I felt I was being dragged and then I lapsed into unconsciousness. I did not know anything more until I found myself here today. Bitter and endless fighting continued on both sides.” I asked him to stop talking and he kept silent.

Luna and I applied first aid to him then he was transferred to the Lolomboy Hospital at Bocaue. He died, however, on the way.

At 1 in the afternoon of the 5th, after lunch, I returned to Caloocan bringing my surgery satchel. I found [Antonio] Luna, José, [Leon Ma.] Guerrero and [Anastacio] Francisco, Inspector General of Military Health.

At 4 p.m. a stretcher arrived bringing [José] Torres Bugallon, Major of the General Staff, with a broken right thigh; he was very pale, looking almost bloodless owing to profuse hemorrhage. He stretched his hand upon seeing me, relating at the same time how he had been wounded.

He said, “I was leading the troops when I felt I was wounded, but continued marching about fifty meters farther; then I fell. I felt I was being dragged and then I lapsed into unconsciousness. I did not know anything more until I found myself here today. Bitter and endless fighting continued on both sides.” I asked him to stop talking and he kept silent.

Luna and I applied first aid to him then he was transferred to the Lolomboy Hospital at Bocaue. He died, however, on the way. 

John E.T. Mislaps (writing in Tondo, Manila):

The battle so long expected, has just started. Commenced just as taps were sounding. The roar & rattle of small arms is heard on the outskirts of the city; seems to be over towards the cross-roads –where the Montana troops are stationed. This starts the war. The so-called Filipino Republic is now doomed, –Mrs. Owens is greatly excited. Three Spaniards & mestizos from the lower floor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena have come up stairs. Excepting the shooting now going on — the city is quiet. The Utah artillerymen –brass band across the street from us, are astir. –Two Filipino women have come up stairs.

The horrid din of war sounds louder. Rapid fire guns are at work. Can hear them above small arms & a call to arms us heard in the artillery q[uar]t[e]rs. –Now the thunder of a heavy gun. xx 10.40 p.m. Infantry are now hurrying out Calle Jolo to the front… A lull lasting about half an hour. Now there is disultury [desultory] small arms firing, with the occasional roar of a cannon –apparently from a war vessel… The Utah sentries across the street state that some small bullets struck their building –a soldier came over from the Cuartel de Meisig. Says he saw a 3rd Reg’t  artilleryman being carried in. In a different quarter the rattle of small arms accentuated with the crash of volleys is now heard. An engagement is in progress –is about 11.30 p.m.–Sleep is out of the question now with the din of war continually sounding, & men getting killed and crippled… The rumble of wheels is heard on the streets, probably cannon. –All the Utah cannons are out with the exception of two pieces , which have been left behind for street fighting… 25. min. to 12 midnight. Quiet again.

The mestizos of the first floor seem not to care to return to their own part of the house. They are remaining on our floor smoking, talking and keeping me in the qui vive as the battle progresses. xxx Mrs. Owens brought in some cake to refresh the physical man. Is very acceptable at this late hour. —

Past midnight — 12.15 a.m. All quiet, save the whistling of a locomotive over at the R.R. depot.

May God protect our precious Salvation Army comrades who this morning are facing death, likewise the dear Christians of other denominations. I know some splendid Christians –Salvationists and church members in this 8th army corps —

The sky is clear but no moon is shining. The city electric lights are driving away the darkness & the search lights from Dewey’s fleet are busy this morning.

10 minutes of 3 a.m. Have just been awakened from an uneasy slumber by the renewed noise of battle –which as re-opened. There is a constant sputter with the roar of great guns now & again. Private Frank Amie of H. Battery 3rd Heavy Artillery is in the street below our front window doing patrol duty. Says he is cold. Have thrown him my handkerchief to tie around his neck. xx This is the holy Sabbath of the God of peace, but the awful discord of war is marring its peace. The crescent moon is now shining out brightly.

Sunday, February 5, 1899

See War Escalates: Battles in Manila and Suburbs, Feb. 5-6, 1899 in Philippine-American War 1899-1902:

At daybreak of February 5, the reinforced Americans counterattacked and retook their original positions. Soon after, firing broke out across the 16-mile Filipino and American lines involving 15,000 Filipinos and 14,000 Americans (3,000 of whom were assigned to provost or police duty in Manila). Admiral George Dewey’s navy artillery pounded the Filipino positions.

General Hughes sent his Provost Guard out in the streets, blocking off thoroughfares, dispersing crowds, and keeping a close watch on suspected neighborhoods.

Large numbers of suspected “insurgents” were arrested; Hughes grimly noted that “when the police company got through with them the undertaker had enough business for the day.”

Aguinaldo tried to stop the war by sending  Gen. Carlos Mario de la Torres to Maj. Gen Elwell S. Otis, commander of the US Eight Army Corps, to propose peace talks and a demilitarized zone. But Otis responded, “fighting, having begun, must go on to the grim end.”

The 1st Nebraska Volunteers captured the San Juan Bridge, powder magazine, waterworks, and San Juan del Monte church and convent; the Utah Volunteer Light Artillery occupied Santa Mesa…

Major Jose Torres Bugallon defended La Loma…

Brig. Gen. Arthur C. MacArthur, Jr., commander of the 2nd Division, Eight Corps,  attacked the Filipinos in the north and captured La Loma, on the Santa Mesa Ridge overlooking Manila, on February 5. [Santa Mesa Ridge is now known as Santa Mesa Heights in Quezon City]. After capturing the blockhouses, he seized their fortified strongpoints at the Chinese hospital and cemetery and La Loma Church. (La Loma is now a part of Quezon City).

The coastlines were pounded continuously by Admiral George Dewey’s naval guns. 

Robert Bruce Payne:

Sunday morning dawned bright and clear. The sun had no sooner rose bright and clear than the Americans began an advance on their entire lines. The advance was an inspiring sight. Our soldiers fired volleys by the platoons and then advanced under cover of the smoke and lay down behind the convenient rice ridges. Unfortunately our fort was soon behind the firing line and we could not fire. However I got in three shots at a sharp shooter in a tree. At this time a private in Co. C who had come out of the block house with me to get a crack at the sharp-shooter was shot through the shoulder. Then the Col came along and ordered us out of the block house and into the trenches. The men were coming back at this time from their advance and lay there the rest of the day. The Utah Artillery [Utah Volunteer Light Artillery] did fine work in their fire on block house no. 7 which was held by over 200 Filipinos, at San Juan Church at the Filipinos quarters just south of camp, and at two cannons they had mounted. The Filipino heavy cannon were soon silenced and general retreat of the natives took place all along the lines. The gunboat which had specially been prepared for this occasion came up the river Posig [Pasig] and began firing on churches and buildings occupied by the native troops. Many churches and other buildings were built of a sort of soft stone that is bullet proof of rifles, but the guns on the gun boat sent great holes in these buildings and soon there was not a native to be seen in five miles. In the afternoon I visited the battle field where my CO. “D” had been located. I saw there fifteen dead Filipinos, and heard that [Pvt. John L.] Bronson one of our men had been severely wounded in the arm. Many of the boys had killed from one to two Filipinos but they were not there to be found so of course it is hard to tell who killed the luckless fellows laid so low, one with the whole top of his head torn off and others with ghastly holes in them. This shows how deadly a weapon the Springfield is. During the day Dewey took some part in the fight in firing on towns and cutting off trains with reinforcements from Malolos. A whole train load was wrecked it is rumored. In the afternoon our boys crossed the river San Juan and took all of the Filipino works and occupied their headquarters which was the resevoir and filtering station of the waterworks. These places were occupied and held without attack for the night.

James J. Loughrey:

We were called to arms at 4 a.m., had our breakfasts and then left for the 6th Artillery Battery and then on to Paco Cemetery at Mole, where we were deployed as skirmishers at the rear of the battery. We received orders to advance at 8 a.m. We had to wade through rivers with water up to our breasts. Jack Ward was nearly drowned here but I pulled him out. My watch stopped at 8.10 a.m. as it had got full of water. We captured San Pedro Mercati [Makati] at 11 a.m. Sergeant Maher was killed here and his brother wounded. Corporal Murphy was shot in the calf of the leg and Lieutenant Hogan through the shoulder. Sergeant Wall was also wounded. It took the 14th US Regulars until 4.30 p.m. to capture Santa Ana where they had to blow up the church. We all went into camp at San Pedro Mereati [Makati].

John Henry Asendorf:

The weather was fine all night and we patrolled the city. At 8 o’clock we ate breakfast of sheet bread and coffee. At 10 o’clock forty of the company filled their haversacks with ammunition (300 per man) and carried the same to the front. All returned but four or five. I stayed myself with the Colonel’s permission. I laid alongside of the right to H Company. I kept 100 rounds myself. We continued heavy fire on the enemy which was stationed all along the lines but the strongest fort they had was in the Filipino hospital. But the Utah Battery soon put shell after shell into it and a few minutes later we made a charge. All boys along the line cheered as we advanced continuing to fire as we went. This made them run in all directions. Most of them fled to the Chinese hospital about 1/2 mile further back. Here we laid down flat in the rice field but they were now a good deal too much for us. They just poured their lead into us but in a short time C Company arrived. I now retreated to my company and laid between Charlie Playford and Milbert Johnson. We laid down here for a full 1.2 hour but firing was almost impossible for us. Seeing that we couldn’t stand their fire, we crept on hands and feet to the right which was a hillside on which was a Chinese cemetery with thousands of tombstones for breastworks. But, it had a strong wire fence around it which made it hard to cross with our guns and ammunition. Here two of our company were wounded and a few minutes later Major [Everhart] Bierer was hit with a brass bullet through the left shoulder and arm. The two men were Carl DeBolt and George Rockwell. Both were also hit with brass bullets through their shoulders. They were hurriedly carried back by our men. Here we opened up on them for about two hours. The Rebels were putting up a stubborn fight but after a couple hours work of the battery we again made a desperate fight and the rebels soon had to flee from there. Many of them were killed. Now we (the 10th) crept over to the right while the South Dakota men took charge of the hospital. We now entered a Filipino cemetery. Here the sharpshooters of the rebels which were all around us, in front of us in trees and bushes. [They] did some good work and wounded a good many of our men but not too dangerous. We opened up on them after finding some safe place but soon most of us were out of ammunition. It was in hand in short time. Then the bugle sounded for a charge. In front of us on the hill was a large church with a strong ten-foot wall around it and right in the rear of it was a blockhouse. About 200 yards in front of the church and to the right was a little village containing about 50 small “shacks.” Here we could see them as thick as grass. We fired volley after volley into them and could see them drop almost one on top another. Many of them retreated to the church. There we made a charge on the church. Here it was where Jake Landis was almost killed instantly. All he said was “well boys, I guess they got me.” He was taken back with the wounded. After taking the church and the blockhouse it was getting dark and we were assigned to our quarters for the night in a kind of skirmish line. All the rebels had made for the woods and everything was quiet for the night. In making the charge on the church I was the fifth man entering the same and the fifth man entering the blockhouse. Taps was sounded at 8 o’clock and we had a number of outposts and patrols out all night. The next morning, February 6th, the weather was fine but the night had been very cold. All of us were shivering all night having nothing but a poncho to cover with. All the boys started out to hunt some chickens which were plentiful in our neighborhood. Also they brought three sheep, two hogs, a buffalo calf and two cattle. I killed them all and strung them to a tree. One beef we gave to the Kansas boys who hadn’t any and one leg of veal and a fresh ham we sent to the Colonel. Several details were sent out to bury the dead rebels which were about 45 in our neighborhood. Each regiment burying their own. So, we buried all that was on the hill: one officer and 17 privates were put in our grave and the rest wherever they had fallen. This was a mean job as most of them were already decaying and had been partly eaten up by the dogs. We now established a cookhouse and fired up our quarters.

Alfred Burton Welch:

Firing opened at line by Pandacan at taps on Sat. eve. Battle around by bay by North. Opened on line on south of river at b[lock].h[ouse]. 11 at 3 a.m. Sunday and at b.h. 12 & Art. Knoll at 4.15. Steady, stubborn, continuous, until very late Sun. night. 4th Cav. & 14th Inf. on our rt. between b.h. 12 & 13. Our line extended from b.h. 12 to b.h. 10.

Terrible fight at Paco bridge. 3 sets of fours stormed and took Paco church burnt it & also 200 ins[urgents]. inside.

Rescued one Co. D lost 2 killed. Co. A at bridge lost several. Line of battle 10 mi. long, 5000 Filips killed.

Co. D took Paco in a.m. and Piebla a’ Tabacolaria in p.m. where I shot & killed an ins. officer with sixshooter. Took 250 prisoners –men and boys. Boys at b.h. 11 capt. 2 field pieces. Co. D burned town from 11 to Pena Francisca [Peñafrancia] and Sun. night slept in Santa Anna with the ins. in full fight to hills. Burned Santa Anna.

Santiago Barcelona:

It was a terrible day. From 6 in the morning the fighting began by sea and land. In the afternoon our forces were unable to continue the defense at Caloocan, where the grenades and incendiary bombs fell. Two fell directly on the church tower and confusion ensued. The forces retreated toward Tinajeros and Polo. Left behind when evening came were General Pantaleon García and Major Soriano.

Fully informed of this happening, the President left Malolos for Caloocan and Malabon ordering our forces to return and occupy these places; and if the enemy wanted to retake them, they should do so shedding their own blood in the attempt. The order brought renewed vigor among the troops. Caloocan was garrisoned anew as far as Navotas and Malabon.

The Director of War, Antonio Luna, was in the battlefield the whole Sunday afternoon, stopping the advance of the enemy with a small number of troops, thus showing his bravery and fearlessness on this occasion. Everybody agreed that he was worthy to be in the hierarchy of Division Generals who had displayed their insignia of distinction. This event won for him the general applause and an appointment as Defense Chief of the railroad line.

John E.T. Mislaps:

I feel somewhat tired and sleepy this morning. Time now is 7.30 (about.) The sputter of rapid fire guns, heavy cannon from warships and rattle of small arms made sleep well nigh out of question.

The air and building (No. 2 Calle Santa Elena) in which I am writing, vibrate from the concussion of the great guns.

With the dawn of this Sabbath morning, looking across the Estero Tondo, I see groups of Chinese standing on Calle Jolo gazing out towards the place from whence come the sound of firing.

American patrols are everywhere on the streets of Manila dressed in their suits of fighting brown. Mrs. Owens treated me to a couple of cups of strong coffee — a very welcome gift after a night of unrest.

A mounted orderly has just come in from the front to secure a spring for a gun — to replace one out of order. Says our pickets out at the cross roads on Calles Dulumbayan, de Sanloleyes, have taken position at the Filipino cemetery and Leper hospital. The latter & former have high concrete walls, good as a protection against small arms. Also says some of the Montana men have been hurt.

Between the roar of cannon I hear this morning the twitter and singing of birds. What a strange contrast between these sweet sounds of nature and the discord of war!

Following my usual custom when getting out of bed this a.m. read the Bible and prayed. Asked the Lord to give me something in His Word. Opened the book at a venture. My eye fell on Micah IV: Read: “But in the last days it shall come to pass that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; & people shall flow into it. xxxxxx And he shall judge among many people, & rebuke strong nations far off; & they shall beat their swords into plowshares, & their spears into pruning hooks; nations shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

May all nations speedily learn to follow the path of righteousness and settle their differences by arbitration.

9.40 a.m. There is a lull in the shooting. Occasionally the boom of a heavy gun breaks upon the Sabbath stillness.

Clouds of smoke have been rising some time from the native town out Dulumbayan street, and from burning buildings in Paco district.

Spaniards, mestizos and friendly Filipinos have been in this room & on this our flat all morning…

Burnt roofing-thatch from buildings afire has been raining down from the clouds, to whence it ascended with the smoke.

Took breakfast with Rev. & Mrs. Owens.

Private Devine (Landon) has been to the front with food. Said piles of dead Filipinos were seen in places. Also that one company of the 1st Washington vols. was almost wiped out.

12 o’clock noon. Private Devine (Landon) just brought the news that Bro. E. Tarr, of G Battery 3d artillery is dead. Killed in battle. Tarr was one of the most zealous members of the Y.M.C.A. & has taken part in my meetings and own Owens’, held in the Cuartel de Meisig. Devine just started with a gun on his shoulder for the front taking a load of food — dinner to K. battery.

Dense clouds of smoke overhang the native quarter out Calle Dulumbayan. The conflagration is increasing.

1.10 p.m. Filipino men and women are coming down the thoroughfares from the scene of the battle where the houses are burning, bringing their household effects in bundles, baskets & boxes. The fire of small arms has ceased, but frequently the city vibrates from the discharge of heavy ordnance.

A detachment of prisoners just came down Calle Jolo from the fight. A sergeant of the Utah artillery brought tidings that General King is killed & Col. Smith of the Tennessee vols.

4 p.m. (about) 4 or 5 carromatas guarded by American soldiers passed out Calle Jolo. About 5 minutes after passing the junction of Santa Elena street, the rapid reports of rifles followed. We could not see what was going on but for half an hour patrols kept up a continuous fusilade all around our quarters. The sharp, keen explosions of the Krag-Jorgensen rifles soon cleared the streets. The Americans shoot to kill without hesitation. The death of Gen. King who was shot from a window out in Malate, is a warning to Americans. They are dealing with a treacherous foe, who are in Manila by tens, yes probably hundreds of thousands of Filipinos. Manila has a population of about 300,000 inhabitants.

Soldiers are bringing in news from the long battle. The Filipinos have stubbornly contested the field but have been driven back about one mile. Fighting is still in progress. Thousands are reported killed. (Another shot just this moment around our corner). Our troops were fired at from windows in the nation town or quarter near Tondo church (Roman Catholic). Our men enfiladed the quarter shooting through the frail huts. Men, women and babies were killed. The dead are piled in heaps.

A Spanish or mestizo woman who resides down stairs, came up stairs & affrightedly said we are to be killed tonight & the house burned by Filipinos. Almost all day Spaniards — men & mestizo & Filipino women have hung around our rooms afraid to go away.

A patrol brought in word that Private Eli Clampitt of Battery G, 3d artillery, is dead. Was killed in this battle. Clampitt (a backslider) claimed the Lord Jesus as the Healer of his backslidings in a meeting led by me in the 3d artillery barracks –Cuartel Meisig, October 6th, 1898. (I heard he backslid again.)

8.40 p.m. Private Devine (Landon) cook of K battery, left us about 5 minutes ago. He came in from the battlefront. Told us much news. Bullets were flying thick. Our advance lines are now far from Manila that we can no longer hear the firing. All is quiet tonight. Devine said that Tarr is not dead, but Corporal Dean is. The latter was a Christian & assisted in our meetings. Was a frequent caller at No. 2. Took lessons in Spanish from Owens.

An advance is expected to be made tomorrow on Malolos. A Utah cannon by mistake killed one of our own men, SDergeant Whittaker of the 3d artillery. Before Devine said good-bye he & I prayed together with Rev. & Mrs. Owens. I took supper with the latter this p.m.

Held no religious meetings today.

Visitor 1.

This has been a day of slaughter.

Monday, February 6, 1899

See Feb. 6, 1899: US Senate Ratifies Treaty of Paris in Philippine-American War 1899-1902:

President William McKinley controlled all the information coming from the Philippines. On Feb. 6, 1899, after he reported to the American people that the Filipinos had attacked US troops in Manila, the U.S. Senate ratified the Treaty of Paris by one vote more than the necessary two-thirds (57 to 27). The American public tacitly endorsed the ratification by reelecting Mckinley in 1900. 

Robert Bruce Payne:

I had joined my company during the night and now we anxiously waited orders to go to the front but instead were ordered to hold the captured places while two battalions of Nebr and two co’s of Colo [First Colorado Volunteer Infantry] moved against the waterworks or pumping station. When they had gone about two miles they [found] a quartermaster of the Utahs shot full of holes and with his throat cut from ear to ear and his heart cut out. He had lost his way trying to join his command which were advancing with Nebr with two guns. This nerved the boys who soon came upon the entrenched Filipinos. The advance guard fell back and the Filipinos mistaking this for a retreat made a charge out of breast works. They were fairly mowed down. 78 were found and buried here. After that there was no more opposition till the pumping station was reached which is eight miles east of Manila and now Nebr holding this and all surrounding territory. The pumping station is in a deep vale [illegible] splendidly for­tified. There is a fine fort on a high point which commands the entire valley. The country around here is a country of ledges and places not naturally adapted to battle it is terraced with rice fields. The ground is dry and hard now and in splendid condition for a campaign. Those boys of the two battalions went into camp here in separate co’s. Co L our friends at station and others here and there in nice spots. The night of the sixth was uneventful save that where we were quartered a K man got scared and began shooting and of course there was a call to arms, but there was not a shot fired by a Filipino in hearing. This camp at the waterworks was named after our Col. Camp Stotzenburg [John Miller Stotsenburg]. Our col. was very brave and led the charge against the block houses 6 and 7 which K and D men took on Sunday morning. He found a Remington Rifle and used it in the thickest of the fight. There are strict orders issued against pillaging which up to this time has been carried on to excess.

James J. Loughrey:

We left San Pedro Mercati [Makati] at 10 a.m. on reconnoitre and had a hot skirmish around Guadaloupe [Guadalupe] where Culling was shot through the eye, Slade was shot in the leg and Smyth, who was beside me, was marked on the arm by a flattened bullet. ‘H’ and ‘I’ Companies retired at 4 p.m. We were in some tight corners and were completely tired out for we had no sleep for three nights. It appears that we killed 30 Insurgents, their bodies being found by Father McKinnion next day. Reports said 3,000 Insurgents had been killed yesterday. ‘B’ Company 14th US Infantry were reduced to 35 men, the rest being either killed or injured. Amongst the Insurgent dead were found two deserters, one from ‘M’ Company and the other a Lieutenant Colonel.

Chriss A. Bell:

This morning reports show that our [troops] advanced driving natives before them. Most of the firing at night is by the natives answered by and [an] occasional volley from our men. But at daylight much to the purpose of the natives who expected us to remain quiet, our men opened fire at the same time. Dewey let them have it. The result was something awful. Natives were killed by them by the hundreds. They did so much shooting from bamboo huts that an order came to fire the huts as the men advanced. This was done & men, women, and children suffered. The natives are but poor fighters & do not understand our style charging under fire. Freeman was in the thick of the fight but was in the company and could not get away.

In the evening I got permission of the Capt. to take a walk. Carr, Jim & I started and we met Dustin & (?)dale who joined us. We started for Kansas lines but got on a road which finally led in the jungle & stopped. We could see a quarter of a mile to our right a big hut on fire so we retraced our steps. Crossed a rice field on the dikes and reached the fire but if our men started it they did not remain now. Just before reaching fire we ran on a hut. The inmates were watching fire on seeing us they began to yell “Buenos Noches, Onega Cara Beno.” [“Buenas Noches, Amigo Cara Bueno“] They were nearly frightened to death. From the fire we soon ran across the main wad & soon met some boys of G. Co. Kansas going to the front with blankets. We went across with them but once ran off the road & ran into Montana outpost. We turned back & in about an hour reach block house where Kansas Co. was located. It was on top of a hill to left of church where 3rd A battery was sited at. We could see but little and there were only a few stray shots fired so we did not go into action. In the return we got a ride in as far as Bibi Bid [Bilibid] We got back about 12 & went on guard at 4A.M.

John E.T. Milsaps (writing in Tondo):

The sun is rising beautifully over the city of Manila as I write (about 7.15 a.m.) and the birds are singing sweetly as though grim war had not left its mark in this section.

This morning about 3.50 o’clock the sharp incisive report of Krag-Jorgensen rifles were heard. From first a solitary shot the reports increased until they became a roar intermixed with occasional volleys. Sounded like a small battle. Silence followed about 15 minutes of this kind of work. About a half hour later another fusilade woke the echoes of the silent streets. I do not know what was the cause of trouble, perhaps street fighting. The native made elaborate preparations for an uprising. The Utah artillerymen captured 2 bags full of daggers, new & native made. Thousands of arms are also reported discovered in a Roman Catholic church. The uprising failed. Many solitary shots were fired thro’ the night.

I am thinking seriously this morning of going out to the battle front which is about 10 miles from Manila. My right foot has pained me in the past 10 days or more, probably rheumatism which makes walking difficult. Am anxious to go nevertheless and trust myself in the hands of God, whose providential care is my safeguard. The Lord may have work for me to do where men are dying. Quite a few of the men at the front are Salvationists who love Jesus, likewise other saints are there & also many backsliders & other sinners who have never known experientally God’s saving grace…

Called at the post office in Manila…

Returning from the post office I took a bite to eat, filled my coat pocket with peanuts and struck out for the front on foot. The Lord favored me. Just as I turned out of Santa Elena street I met some 3d artillerymen starting out with food for the troops in carromatas. I joined the squad. Privates Amie & Devine (Landon) were in the party. The men carried the Krag-Jorgensen guns. We passed out Calle Dulumbayan thro’ the large native quarter. When we reached the Filipino cemetery* (*Santa Cruz cemetery) signs of the battle began to appear. The balustrade around the top walls was destroyed, the shack facing the street torn into fragments & the back wall torn down for a barricade. Almost all the native huts between the cemetery & outskirts were burnt. The ruins were smoking. Here & there were dead horses lying in the ashes partly roasted. Chickens wandered around & dogs. One of the latter was eating flesh from the carcass of a burnt poney. A lone cat was nestled by the ashes of its former home. A female carrabou was lying dead near one burnt house & its calf lying by its side, alive & suckling its dead mother. When we reached the stone monument I got the men to halt & took their photo. I walked all the way out. The monument is at the cross roads — Call de Sanloleyes & Calle Dulumbayan. All is changed now. The battle raged over this spot & the houses  & people are all gone. When our party arrived at the foot of the elevation on which is situated the great Chinese & Roman Catholic cemetery, I heard the sound of fighting — a familiar sound now. There were single shots & at times volleys. The Chinese cemetery showed signs of battle, shrapnel bestrewing the road, the packing for artillery ammunition & empty rifle shells. Barbed wire was cut here & there to permit the passage of cannon & men. Tombstones were shattered by projectiles. They were used as breastworks by Filipinos. I saw one dead Filipino lying among the tombs by the roadside. His face & mouth discolored by dry blood. A bullet had entered one eye & killed him. The red mortuary chapel used by the Chinese close by was vacant. The candle sticks, biers & other accessories used when the rites of the dead are performed were lying around broke. Bloody pillows were lying on the floor and blood stained bandages here & there. The building had been used by the Filipinos to shelter their wounded.

Presently I reached the top of the hill & made my way to Brigadier General McArthur’s headquarters. The General was there, likewise members of his staff and a company (G) belonging to the 20th Kansas Infantry. A long line of men were drawn up in battle line at rest. In a forest to the left of Malibon [Malabon] the American firing line was at work. Their crushing volleys had the effect of herding the natives over towards a forest in a point of land. I could see them about one mile distant. Two American war vessels came up towards Malibon [Malabon] off shore. I witnessed the shelling. Several bombs were thrown into the town. After the natives were driven over towards the point firing ceased. But the rattle of rifles over on our right towards Camp Santa Mesa, told of warm work there. When they had taken position firing ceased.

Spoke to several men about their souls.

A stranger (civilian) & I struck out for home on foot. A country carromata with 3 U.S. 3d artillery men aboard came along. The soldiers took me on & I got a ride to the Cuartel Meisig. Tomorrow may be a terrible day for the Filipinos as they seem to be shut off from escape.

Filipino prisoners, Santa Mesa, Feb. 5-6, 1899.

Tuesday, February 7, 1899

From the diary of John Milsaps, February 7, 1899

Robert Bruce Payne:

Today has been an uneventful day. The dead were buried and a little skirmishing done but few natives could be found. The boys are taking a much needed rest. Our 2nd sergeant and a pvt have returned from the front. By the way these are the two men who started the war. The sergeant, a Dutch man [Sgt. Joseph De Vriendt], told the guard [Pvt. William Grayson], a man of little character, not to stand any monkey work. There was a lieut. on the Filipino side who had about as much sense as the afore mentioned who had been getting drunk and causing trouble before. He came down and ordered a post of ours moved back which had been moved up to hold one in check which had been pushed up by the Filipinos. This had been done during the day and when night came the lieut. came up and was halted by our sentinels. He called back “Alto,” the Spanish for “halt” at which our sentenel fired upon him and it is stated killed him but he was taken back by the native soldiers with him. Then the post was reinforced and on the natives making a second advance were fired upon again, which was answered as stated before by the Filipinos on all sides of us save the Manila side.

James J. Loughrey:

Reveille at 6 a.m. We had chicken for breakfast. We held 16 Insurgent prisoners, one of whom was dressed in woman’s clothing and was suspected of spying. We left camp at 2 pm. to reconnoitre around Laguna da Bay, sixteen miles from Manila, and returned to camp at about 6 p.m.

Alfred Burton Welch:

Reviewed by Gen. King. In afternoon took line to San Pedro [Macati]. Had a patrol in night, 12 miles. Dogs & birds feasting on stray bodies.

Chriss A. Bell:

Nothing of importance happened during the day except arrest of all men who went to front without leave including Morrow, Watson, Clagget, & Pratt. In evening 2 natives were shot within 30 feet of me apparently no cause as neither of them had any sort of weapon. On guard all day.

John E.T. Milsaps:

A day of exciting events. … About 10. o’clock a.m. with my blanket, diary, soap, towel, one pair socks, 4 photographic films, one loaf bread, 3 cans devilled ham, & 1 of jelly & a pocket filled with peanuts, I struck out on foot. Brought my umbrella along for contingencies of rain & hot sun. Rev. Chas Owens and wife accompanied me on foot. Went out thro’ the native quarter on Dulumbayan street. A carromata driven by a Filipino came along with a 10th Pennsylvania soldier on board. Mrs. Owns was taken on & put off at the large Spanish Roman Catholic mortuary chapel in the Binondo or La Loma cemetery. This cemetery on the hill including the Chinese burying place is an immense affair. Name: Cemeterio de la Parroquia de Binondo.”

Owens and I walked out. Arrived on the battleground about 11 o’clock. Sharp shooting with an occasional volley was kept up all day until 5 p.m. in a disultory manner. In the forest to the left skirting the bay just outside of Caloocan, the American battle line lay across the pain with its left wing on the bay near Caloocan & the right wing miles away. I went along the battle line for quite a distance visiting the batteries (particularly H and K) of the 3d Reg’t heavy artillery & the Montana infantry. Met quite a number of acquaintances as saved & unsaved. Seemed glad to meet me. Brought the matter of salvation personally to the attention of a number of soldiers. The boys were very hospitable offering me such food as they have on the battlefield & coffee.

Brigadier General Otis was on the field taking in the situation personally.

During the early part of the afternoon I witnessed an interesting skirmish down on the open flat field north east of the Spanish mortuary chapel. Three men went down to fire some native huts. The enemy would have probably captured them, had not 15 men went out to support them. The firing on both sides was quite brisk for a time. The Filipinos lay in the shelter of timber & the Americans in the open, but none of the latter were hurt.

5 p.m. The shooting in the forest west of us became hot. Brisk work. A war vessel (probably “Concord”) out in the bay threw shells in the town &  2 Utah pieces over on our hill assisted. The attacking party (20th Kansas Infantry less Co. G) could not be seen from the forest but their advance could be traced by the line of burning buildings as they advanced into Caloocan. In half an hour the town was taken. As darkness closed in I went over to the battle line — 3d artillery. The boys gave me some coffee which with my loaf of bread served me for supper. By the light of the burning village I managed to pick my way over the small brook at the bottom of the hill to the Spanish blockhouse (No. 2) or fort. A wall about 10 feet high punctured with numerous port holes for small arms with a shelf to stand on around the inside, & a wood frame covered with corrugated iron is the aforesaid blockhouse. Company G, 20th Kansas vol. infantry (Capt. Elliot) occupied the same: also a detachment of Utah light artillerymen. I laid a piece of heavy paper on the ground, my blanket on the same & using my coat for a pillow considered myself fortunate. While lying there, availed myself of an opportunity the Lord gave me, to talk to a corporal lying alongside me of salvation.

My bed was pretty hard. Slept in my clothes.

Caloocan is a village on the Dagupan railroad about one and a half miles from Malibon [Malabon].

Our battle line remained in place all night sleeping on their arms. Nothing unusual happened during the night save the occasional firing of our pickets.

Block House No. 7, Feb. 7, 1899

Wednesday, February 8, 1899

For the chroniclers of the American military, this marks, for the “Philippine Insurrection,” the start of the Iloilo Campaign (February 8-12, 1899):

Although control of Luzon was the principal military objective in 1899, measures were also taken to establish American control over other important islands. Iloilo on Panay was occupied on 11 February, Cebu on 26 February, Bacolod in Negros on 10 March and Jolo in the Sulu Archipelago on 19 May.

Robert Bruce Payne:

This day was spent waiting for orders which came and were revoked several times. The Tenns. [First Tennessee Volunteer Infantry] left for Iloilo and in a few days the fight will be on there. Dewey bombarded a few towns where there might be Filipino soldiers stationed, and several of these towns burned. Kansas [First Kansas Volunteer Infantry] had another brush with the natives who tried to effect an entrance through our lines at that point north of the city. So far as can be heard our boys have done bravely through the whole army corps. The Washingtons [First Washington Volunteer Infantry] shot a little too much ammunition perhaps and the Minns [First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry] who were police in the city killed too many harmless people if accts are true.

James J. Loughrey:

We prepared to go to the city for 24 hours to relieve ‘C’ and ‘I’ Companies. We saw a gunboat go up river to shell Pasig. It got stuck and had to wait about three hours for a launch to go to its assistance. During the day we had photographs taken. Later we had a Wyoming Company firing over our heads at the Insurgents.

Alfred Burton Welch:

In Santa Anna. Other W[ashingto]n CO’s on line beyond San Pedro.

Chriss A. Bell:

On guard all day. Privates who left without leave were fined from $2 to $7. The non coms I think got a severe lecture because of charges were preferred a General Court Martial was necessary. It is rather hard on privates to be fined and non coms let go with a talk. Shorty, Pratt, Coyine, & Hampton all tell of a very exciting time. Hope I’ll get a chance to see some action.

An incident happened which showed native character. During the battle one of Aguinaldo’s Generals who took part in Peace conference appeared with a flag truce. It was answered by Col. Crowder [Major Cardwell] & Col. [Q.M. Sergeant] Potter who also took part in peace conference. The American officers advanced to near the insurgent lines & were met by officers. Immediately after insurgents fired on the crowd. When our officer demanded of insurgent officer what was meant by firing on flag of truce he answered, almost in ha [laugh] that he was forced to admit that his men were untamed savages without the first principle of humanity and apologized for being a part of such a disgraceful affair & asked to be allowed to retire. He himself was pured on by his own men. The chances of the Oregon regiment Co. H in particular going to the front grow lean fully less each day. Was on guard all last night nothing very exciting happened. There was more fighting at the front.

“Brigadier-General King and Staff, at the Surrender of Pasig, February 8, 1899”

Thursday, February 9, 1899

See: Feb. 9, 1899: Battle of San Roque, Cavite Province in the Filipino-American War 1899-1902:

On the night of February 4, word reached the Americans at the yard  that the Filipinos had attacked US forces in Manila. 

The call to arms was sounded. From across the bay the thunder of guns and the roll of volleys told that the conflict was on. The Americans  expected that the Filipinos would attack them from San Roque, but they did not.

Immediately thereafter sentries and outposts were established at the outskirts of San Roque by a battalion of the 51st Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment under the command of Col. John T. Loper.

Batteries were placed opposite the approach from the causeway separating San Roque and Cavite Nuevo. Gatling guns were placed on bastions, and field pieces were trained on the blockhouses of the Filipinos, while the gunboats Manila and Callao were anchored close inshore in readiness to lend assistance to the Americans in case it was needed.

On the afternoon of February 8,  the Americans sent 2Lt. John A. Glass, of the 1st  Battalion of California Heavy Artillery (California National Guards), with a flag of truce and an escort to the Filipino commander, General Salvador Estrella, and presented him with Commodore George Dewey’s  demand that the Filipinos evacuate San Roque; unless the demand was complied with before nine o’clock of the following morning, the town would be bombarded.

On February 9, at 7;30 a.m., a party of three, headed by the Mayor of San Roque, came over the American line and asked for further time. Commodore Dewey, who was ashore, refused, and the delegation immediately returned. A white flag was then hoisted over a Filipino blockhouse, but it was a bluff, intended to draw the advance of American troops into a trap. Shortly thereafter the town was set ablaze by the Filipinos.

Two battalions of the 51st Iowa Volunteers, the Wyoming Light Battery and the Nevada Cavalry, with Batteries A and D of the California Heavy Artillery were dispatched across the causeway. Every passage through San Roque was a seething mass of flames, and in order to gain entrance to the town it was necessary for the Americans to flank it by moving along the seashore. The Americans fought their way through the flames of the burning town in pursuit of the retreating Filipinos, dragging their heavy guns by hand, and skirmishing whenever the opportunity afforded.

Robert Bruce Payne:

This morning our company rec’d orders to go to the water works. We left the “Asilo de Huer-fanos” [Asilo de Huerfanos] Orphans Home, an old brick building which had been used by the Filipinos for barracks, about 8 o’clock and reached the Pumping Station about one. Co. L our friends had a dinner ready for us when we reached there. They gave us three cheers when we came to which we responded heartily though we were very tired. We enjoyed our dinner very much. In the afternoon James, my tent mate and myself were down to the river a small mountain stream called San Mateo. Here we enjoyed a fine bath. The water was very chilly however. In the pumping station are four mammoth engines capable of 120,000 gallons per hr each. The natives had not destroyed a thing here though it could easily have been done and one would think they would from the way our forces burnt their homes.

James J. Loughrey:

At 8 a.m. we were ready to leave for the city and arrived there about noon. Last night several thousand Insurgent cavalry were advancing on the city. Dewey’s ships shelled them and played the Devil with them!

Alfred Burton Welch:

Wrote home to Tops. In Santa Anna.

Chriss A. Bell:

Nothing had happened today. The usual round of work & guard duty. In evening put on extra guards as outbreak was expected. The non coms who took trench leave were reprimanded by Clagett & Capt. Mc [McDonnell] was very cool to them but in evening he took up their regulations played crib with short & said let by gones be by gones. Privates were all fined from $2 to $10. Little now fighting.

John E.T. Milsaps:

Am sleepy this morning. Was kept awake the entire night. Stayed with Co. E* (*Note. Capt. A. Jensen in command) 1st Montana vol. inf. in the stone fort (Blockhouse No. 2) on the hill…

When in town I got shaved in a Spanish barber shop; also called at the General or Brigade Hospital to see Private Clayton Scott. He is up again & getting well. Advised him to do as much work for Jesus as possible among the patients. From town returned home, took a bite to eat, bundled up some things & struck out afoot for the Caloocan battlefield. While trudging out Dulumbayan street through the dust and sun heat, a couple of Utah light artillery men overtook me. They were taking mail out to their comrades in a carromata. Invited me to ride out. I gladly accepted the invitation. Arrived on the battlefield about 4 p.m. Put my luggage in the stone fort. Private D.C. Hines fished me up a soldier’s kit & some supper from the company (E.) cook. After supper Hines & I went down the battle line. The men are about in the same place, but have constructed trenches. Encouraged some of the Christian soldiers to remain true to Christ.

Returned to the stone fort (Blockhouse No. 2), spread our blankets on the ground & lay down with the intention of sleeping but did not sleep all night. About 10 o’clock p.m. firing started up in the forest over on our left wing & with slight intermissions had continued until daybreak. The outposts over on our right fired at real or imagined foes. I could hear them cry out “Pennsylvania outpost” in the darkness probably to let their comrades know their whereabouts so as not to fire on them. Company E. 1st Montana lined up (some) behind the fort walls at the portholes & others went outside into the rifle pit. They fired one volley. A bullet presumably from the enemy struck our corrugated iron roof with a bang.

An officer* (*Note. Captain Andrew Jensen) of Co. E. ordered a sergeant to make me get up and change my bed. Would not permit any of his men to sleep.

The sun is now up but an occasional shot still rings across the battlefield. Brother Lloyd has just brought me some fried pork, boiled potatoes and coffee so I must discontinue this entry and pay my respects to soldiers’ rations. The men are cross this morning because robbed of sleep.

Sandra Plummer Collection, Genealogy, History and Archives Unit, Fort Worth Public Library, Texas.

Friday, February 10, 1899

See Feb. 10, 1899: Battle of Caloocan in Philippine-American War 1899-1902:

After capturing La Loma, Brig. Gen. Arthur C. MacArthur, Jr. pushed toward Caloocan, an important railroad center 11 miles (17 km) north of Manila. For several days, trainloads of Filipino soldiers were seen landing in the town.

It also barred the way to Malolos, Aguinaldo’s capitol. General Antonio Luna together with a Belgian-trained engineer, Jose Alejandrino had constructed trenches to defend Caloocan. 

Robert Bruce Payne:

This day passed with little done save waiting for orders which came at supper time. In the morning we enjoyed another bath in the clear and swift San Mateo [river]. When we reached camp again we found letters from home. Mine announced the death of my father [Richard Thornton Payne, b. 1828]. He died of paralysis on the 18th of Dec. 1898. This was sad news to me. I had written him in Jan. some time after his death. I had hoped to be home and see him again before he died. Indeed I often thought I would like to see father again. My nephew tells me he died reading the bible. He was alone on his farm near Otto [Webster County] Nebr. Late in the evening we rec’d orders to return partway back to the filtering station and resevoir. There were said to be some 20 or 25,000 Filipinos.going to attack no. 7 block house and force an entrance to Manila combined. They did not try it that night.

James J. Loughrey:

Last night we were called out and later slept in our clothes all night. Late this afternoon the battle of Malabon took place. The coloured troops lay in their trenches until the 23rd US Infantry went up and clubbed them into action. Five men were killed and twenty wounded. Captain Wallace of the Montanas was shut in this action.

Alfred Burton Welch:

At Santa Anna. A battle raged to the east last night –could hear the volleys. Wrote to Gypsy.

Chriss A. Bell:

Last night American forces captured two small towns & California [was] fighting in left was severe but insurgents were licked. At one place center of our lines fell back purposely let insurgents in then caught them on the flanks & slaughtered them. Another hospital man killed. This makes three I think. A few days ago 6 natives were shot for firing on hospital wagon. We were issued one days rations & rolled blankets yesterday as outbreak was expected and we had some hopes of going to front but as our lines were strong enough we were not sent & fear we will not be.

John E.T. Milsaps:

It is late in the afternoon. The Utah Light Artillery guards have half closed the double doors of their commissary warehouse; a very unusual proceeding. The Spanish men –2 of them– on the lower floor of No. 2 Call Santa Elena have come up stairs again. They are apprehensive of danger. The old Señora down stairs also excitedly drew her hand across her throat signifying what is expected. Word has been sent to the American military guards to look out for an uprising of Filipinos. With a telescope loaned me by one of the Spaniards I saw a few minutes ago the two towers of Tondo Roman Catholic church full of American troops. The heavy, barred gates of our basement have been closed on the street side. The streets of Manila are look deserted. During an hour the heavy roar of great guns from Dewey’s fleet has been heard here in our house bombarding either Caloocan or Malibon [Malabon]. Aguinaldo is massing his troops at Malibon [Malabon] and a decisive battle is expected.

I feel very sleepy. Captain A. Jensen of Co. E., 1st Montana vol. inf. found me sleeping or rather lying down on the ground among his men in the Spanish blockhouse* (*Blockhouse No. 2). He instructed a sergeant to make me get up & go to another part of the fort. Kept my clothes on & sat up almost all night with the noise of shooting to help keep my eyes open. Hines said the men of Co. E. did not like the way I was treated by their Captain. Says he has been drunk the last two or three days.

After breakfast Private D. Hines & I walked down the lines to almost the end of our left wing in the forest skirting the railroad where so much fighting has been done of late. The Americans 20th Kansas vol. inf. have constructed trenches & rifle pits & are still at work. The Filipinos attacked our troops last night. While we were in the forest sharpshooters were still pegging away. A bullet came unpleasantly near to us.

Desiring sleep & feeling the need of recuperating I gathered up my belongings and struck out for home on foot. A long, hot, dusty walk. Arrived at home at last glad to be back. Civilians are not usually welcome in a military camp when war is in progress. They do no good (from a military standpoint) & may do much harm.

4.40 p.m. The sound of cannon is still heard in the distance…

Rev. Owens who was out near the front returned this evening from near the front. The enemy has been driven back –charged. Dense clouds of smoke I saw rising heavenward was caused by the burning of Caloocan. I expect to go out to the front again tomorrow…

Saturday, February 11, 1899

See The War in the Visayas, Feb. 11, 1899 – March 10, 1899 in Philippiner-American War 1899-1902:

On Feb. 11, 1899, the US First Separate Brigade commanded by Brig. Gen. Marcus P. Miller, West Point Class 1858, invaded Iloilo City on Panay Island. The  defenders were led by General Martin Delgado and Teresa “Nay Isa” Magbanua y Ferraris…

The brigade consisted of elements of the 1st Tennessee Volunteer Infantry Regiment,  18th US Regular Infantry and 6th US Artilley. The Americans were assisted by several ships from Admiral George Dewey’s squadron (the war vessels BaltimoreBoston and Petrel, troop transports ArizonaNewport and St. Paul, and the launches Iloilo and Vicenti). The invasion force totaled 3,322 men.

At 9:30 a.m., Saturday, February 11, the gunboat Petrel and the cruiser Baltimore bombarded the Filipino shore trenches. Forty-eight marines from the Boston and a company from the Petrel were sent ashore. The Filipinos retreated.

The Filipino soldiers burned Iloilo to prevent the Americans from making it as their base of operations. The Swiss consul’s residence was burned. The entire Chinese and native sections of the city were destroyed, but foreign mercantile property escaped with slight damage…

On February 14, the town of Santa Barbara was captured by the Americans. Next they captured Oton, Mandurriao, and Jaro.

American forces occupied Cebu on February 22 and Bacolod on Negros Island on March 10.

Robert Bruce Payne:

When we got up this morning we had a two miles march in heavy marching order to make before breakfast. This gave us a good appetite, but breakfast was not ready when we arrived which annoyed us somewhat as we expected to advance against the Filipinos. We had orders to be in readiness after breakfast as we were to be in the reserve but the advance after meandering around the country all day returned empty handed. So today has been a day of rest with us. I have had a bath again in the San Mateo [river]. Its bottom is sandy and the gravel is plainly visible and the smallest fish can be seen. Ten days rations were just issued to us here and our dinner was an excellent one we had been having poor fare since we have been in field hitherto. It is nearly supper time and I am writing seated in a species of rubber tree. This tree is large and spreading and close to camp. Under it is an immense stone a boulder with steps up it, so one can walk up the steps and step off in the tree. There was a bombardment of Caloocan, a small town, by Dewey this morning. During the middle of the days the heat is hardly bearable but in the evenings and mornings it is quite cool and the nights are cold. Very dry here now, even too dry to plow. We hear many banterings and quarrels now about what troops did this and that. But I can hardly realize the honour that is to be gained any way fighting a people struggling for liberty. Many of the boys have a poor opinion of the Filipinos simply because they have talked ill of them so long that now they hate them. I think they are doing unwisely in fighting so powerful [a] nation as the U.S. It reveals at once the[ir] patriotism as well as their ignorance. Nor is it by any means all ignorance.

Alfred Burton Welch:

Buried some Filips. The 14th were pressed on Pasa [Pasay] and we were called out to help, but were not needed. Maloban [Malabon] was taken by Mont. & Kas, Penn & 6th Art.

Chriss A. Bell (entry for February 11-12):

Nothing happened but usual round of duty. Several boys are off ships so guard work is less heavy on me. No province boats are allowed to leave harbor. Skirmishing goes on at front with but little loss in either side. Will try and take camera to front tomorrow.

John E.T. Milsaps:

One week ago tonight the Filipinos attacked Manila or rather the American outposts & what a week it has been! A week of constant conflict –day and night. Thousands of Filipinos (over 3,000) have been killed. Others wounded. And hundreds of Americans have suffered. Houses have been destroyed & devastation is evident on every side. The atmosphere is foul in places with the stench of putrefying men and animals. The Insurrectos have been beaten in every action. God has signally blessed our arms. The desire of our Government was to pursue a pacific policy, but I fear the natives mistook a generous spirit for cowardice. I heard that their contempt of our soldiers led them more than once to spit in the face of our sentries, but such work could not continue. The swagger & spirit of bravado so marked a few days ago, are gone, for they have been taught a dreadful lesson.

To me Feb. 11th will be associated a long time with horrid memories.

Rising early, after bible reading & prayer I cooked & ate breakfast then started out alone for the battlefront. The roar of great guns bombarding Malibon [Malabon] caused me to push on. By street car went to the end of the line. A civilian dressed partly in soldier’s clothes with a gun on his shoulder joined me. He proved to be a Salvationist of 22 years ago. He carried my bundle. Spoke to him re religious matters. Together, we scoured the forest in which the recent fighting has been done. Everywhere we saw the ashes of burnt huts & residences. Everything gone. A few lonely chickens and other live domestic animals wandered about lost. But the air was burdened in places with the loathsome smell of rotting human beings — their corpses. In one place lay about ten corpses bloated, black, hideous & rotten with worms eating them. In another place (same forest) lay about 6 more dead Filipinos, several apparently killed by shrapnel. One place up the road near a burnt hut lay a dead native with his back, head & hair fearfully burned. A wound in one leg led me to infer that he had been struck in the leg near the ankle by a bullet & entered a hut for refuge. The same was set afire. There he remained until the flame took hold of him. The awful agony caused the poor wretch to pull himself out into the road where he died. He was lying in the dust with his body bent & face down. In the church yard were 3 more corpses. In the cemetery another hideous sight met my gaze. A number of empty tombs are built [intiam?] –Spanish fashion. A dead soldier was crammed into one & hastily left with some loose stones put into the opening. The man’s head was thrown back, with mouth wide open & almost gone thro’ putrefaction. In another tomb lay another corpse. A funny thing connected with these vacant tombs was told me. One of the wild tribes –almost naked– crawled into one and remained there until the Americans discovered him & brought him out of his queer hiding place. He was sent a prisoner to Manila.

I met Brother Joshua Calvin in the Roman Catholic Church which was temporarily improvised into a hospital. Calvin did not go to Iloilo. His vessel was ordered to remain in the bay until further orders.

Calvin & I went down the road towards Malibon [Malabon]. This in Caloocan. The town was in possession of the Americans. A battle was in progress. Met on the road Cos, S, E., F., & H, of the First Idaho Vol. Infantry & ex-Salvation Army Sergeant-major Spankie of Fresno, Leal, who is private, had a pipe in his mouth. Called his attention to advice given hium on salvation the other day & again urged him to seek Jesus. The command was ordered to fall in & marched down into the brush to take position as a reserve line. In addition to the fusilade of small arms shells were thrown into Malibon [Malabon] (which was being attacked) by a vessel of Dewey’s squadron. Calvin & I sat down at a spot by the roadside back of the American firing line (20th Kansas). Bullets flew over our heads quite rapidly. A U.S. soldier had just been wounded in the leg when we arrived. His leg was red with blood. A bandage was tied around the wound. After a while Calvin & I parted. He visited the 20th Kansas & I went back to a bluff back of the post office to watch the bombardment of Malibon [Malabon]. Also explored the flat near the bay shore. While there exposed myself to view. A gun report was heard by me in Malibon [Malabon]. In a second or two a bullety struck near me. I concluded to leave that spot without loss of time.

Met Rev. & Mrs. Owens, Bro. Geo. Turner near the Catholic Church in Caloocan. The former & I visited the firing line ogf our troops –20th Kansas & 2 guns 6th U.S. light artillery, & Sec. 4-B. Battery, Utah light artillery. Also visited the cemetery & then went to the Railroad depot. The trains are being run by the U.S. Gov’t today. We got permission from a Hospital Sergeant in charge of the train to go back to Manila –5 miles. Was a hospital train taking back wounded men  & men overcome by heat. In our car 23d U.S. Inf. brass band with guns traveled with us, likewise several British officers. Naval officers have lately been watching the battles closely…

From the diary of John Milsaps, February 11, 1899
From the diary of John E.T. Milsaps, Feb. 11, 1899
From the diary of John E.T. Milsaps, Feb. 11, 1899

Sunday, February 12, 1899

Alfred Burton Welch:

Started early for San Pedro Macati.

John E.T. Milsaps:

Remained at home all day in Manila, sleepy and tired. Have been on the go to & from the front all week. Felt like remaining at home because there is a lull in the storm of war. Chaplain Stevenson of the Idaho Vol. Inf. called on Rev. Chas. Owens this afternoon. The chaplain reported that a Spaniard had just been captured from inside the Insurrectos’ lines, who said the strength of the Filipino army in Malibon [Malabon] is about 10,000. Stevenson said he saw their line about 3 miles long. The line is not thin and weak. The American line is about 18 miles long. This information from a Utah artilleryman. We are under the necessity of protecting Manila on three sides.

Monday, February 13, 1899

James J. Loughrey:

Reports state that the Insurgent leader Aguinaldo wants to surrender Malabon but Otis will not accept unless Malolas [Malolos] surrender as well.

John Henry Asendorf:

It has been impossible for me to keep account from day to day. I will try to put it all in a nutshell because I was always occupied with work almost day and night. While all the regiment had its hands full in trying to keep the enemy, who were constantly shooting away at us on account of our small force, at bay. We were compelled to stay where we are. Therefore we threw up entrenchments all along the line which already extends over 30 miles and was occupied by only 8000 men in all. We now laid in trenches all day and night. Ten men from each company were allowed to go to town each day, five in the morning and five in the afternoon. Our wounded are doing fine. The Major is walking around and DeBolt and Rockwell are sitting up but still very sick. During this time we have burned down thousands of homes and have captured all horses and wagons within our reach. We have also taken over eight towns which were all destroyed by heavy shells which Dewey put into them. We also captured the railroad and oarshops at Caloocan. On the evening of the 11th I was sent to town for the first time to get a load of fresh meat out. The next morning I walked the five miles. When I was about two miles from the city I heard five or six shots fired along the road and at the same time I saw an officer riding along and it was him these were intended for but none of them hit him. One Filipino with a revolver in hand came running my way. I fired but missed him but the second bullet went through his heart and down he went. Unfortunately, the revolver was marked U.S. and I had to give it up. We then set fire to all the houses in this section. All told we have lost: killed 65; wounded about 300 and two missing. But the rebel losses are counted by the thousands. Good many of our boys, when found, could hardly be recognized since they had been cut up in a terrible manner. On the 12th we received mail which was delivered in the field. The boys, having no paper or envelopes, wrote on cartridge boxes or anything they could find. I sent several myself. We also have killed hundreds of dogs and cats during the engagement. On the 5th we also lost three horses belonging to our regiment. All told it was simply horrifying after all these battles. This is only what I witnessed myself but all the other regiments had equally the same experience. Many Mausers and Remington rifles were captured and many prisoners were taken, among them some of Aguinaldo’s staff and about 400 Indians which used the old fashioned bow and arrow for weapons. When captured, they were all naked and had to be dressed before bringing them into the walled city where most of our prisoners are kept. Our eight men who were captured some time ago are still held prisoner by the rebels and perhaps tortured to death by this time… During all these days, the weather was terribly hot and we had to carry our water for over a mile and then boil it. But, we had plenty of rations.

Chriss A. Bell:

Went to left of our line today. Took 5 pictures. Was under fire nearly all day but was not allowed to return fire. Lieut. and some regulars did shooting. Battery opened up once. Several of our men wounded.

We were in plain sight of Malabon. Passed through Caloocan. Battery on river just outside of Caloocan. The line out from town is a desolate sight. Houses burned. Huts shot down wearing apparel scattered round. Dogs howling. Deserted inturshments [instruments]*. Cartridges scattered on edge of town while flags at each hut nearly all deserted. Soldiers chasing pig. Soldier drinking glass water saying :”Would it not be funny if a shot should knock the glass out of my han.” Just then tyrnn zip and a bullet came so to him that he choked himself in dodging. Everybody dodges. One Corporal, a tall skinny fellow went out in front of trenches in plain sight but no one fired at him, I was with Barrett, Kaltz & Hill. Returning came in on railroad. Visited and took pictures of battery. Ho Ho [Binondo] fell today. No men lost.

Tuesday February 14, 1899

Alfred Burton Welch:

Fighting at Pasig on the Laguna de Bahia [Bai]. Reg. called out and went directly to San Pedro de Macati, where we rested & had hardtack.

Got coffee from a Cal. lad. Then took march to Pasig, about six miles along the river. It was bright moonlight and the lovely road wound along the shore among the bananas & bamboos. Went thro’ Guadalupe and one or two other towns –deserted.

Road close to H²O with high rocky hills on either side. Right bank more open, but rough & hilly with great stone quarries, potteries and carved doorways carved in the rocks leading to the catacombs, far into the hills. Great cuts in the road made awful good places for ambush.

We came in sight of Pasig, then rt. by file, up a steep, stony path to a high plateau on top of the hills.

During the day two Co’s of Cal. were burning a small village across from Pateros. They were flanked on both rt. & left, and were being cut to pieces when the Wn skirmish lines got them going and saved them from being butchered –even they (the Cal.) say so. We were under command of Col. Smith, Cal.

Slept until morn then threw skirmish line over the plateau to edge of cliff. Up to noon Co. D was reserve. Below was a broad valley of about 1200 yds. to the river, where the burning shacks of a village, and the great inland sea made us feel like the discoverers of Lake Nyaza must have felt. The mountain battery on our left opened up on a church below and the Eng. batt. advanced the rt. of the line to within 150 yds of the el rio –when the bells in the tower boomed out a signal & the Filips who had reserved fire, opened on the Eng’s who had to fall back owing to lack of cover.

The rt. cut loose on us –lying behind the rocks on the edge of the hill with a hard fire. But they are very poor shots. Co’s D & E got orders to charge & were ready when Col. Smyth got scared and ordered us to retreat. Serg’t Burtt was sunstroke & I helped him along, so we soon were far in rear.

How they poured into us. We joined Co. D in a deep buffalo hole where 5 men lay sunstroke. Then down the cliff to river road –a squad of 4th Cav. Troop K covering our rear. Oh! That retreat –tired, hungry, thirst, mad, sick at heart, defeated– we hurried down the road toward Sto. Pedro the Laguna de Bay, covering our retreat with Gattling [Gatling] guns and 3 -2 inch cannon. Cal, Wn, Cavalry, Hawthorn battery all together with buffalo carts, ambulances, orderlies & aids mounted all together –choking the narrow road with the black devils hovering on our rear and left flank. Retreat! Oh, now I know the meaning of that word.

John Henry Asendorf:

Everything is quiet all day and we all are enjoying camp life on the firing line. But, things look suspicious in the woods around us. We can see rebels sprouting around in all directions and our officers thought they would attack in the evening. And, right they were. While we were eating supper they fired volley after volley into us but shot a little too high. This they kept up for a half hour. We couldn’t see them, therefore we held our fire. After supper I went to town with a message. After delivering the same I put my horse away and laid down to sleep but had to get up in a few minutes and take 15,000 rounds of ammunition out. This was loaded on two wagons but when we got about two miles from the city I broke down breaking both shafts and the springs and got myself pretty badly bruised up. Doc Minsinger, my buddy, drove on and I stayed and watched the ammunition but the Filipinos soon gathered around me seeing my dangerous position. I drove them all back 30 yards and made up my mind to kill the first one who would advance. But, they soon left and, for a time, I thought they were going to reinforce and make it hot for me. I stayed there for one and a half hours then Doc and eight guards came with a wagon and relieved me. Arriving at the front, things were hot and several bullets hit the cart and one hit me on the forehead making a slight wound but I drove back to town.

James J. Loughrey:

Confession and Communion at St. Ignatius Church. Reports state that Iloilo has surrendered without loss of life.

John E.T. Milsaps:

Our troops are now taking a respite from the tempest. The Idaho regiment returned to town for a rest. Other regiments are giving soldiers passes –that is, a few. The city looks very dull, and business very quiet. The streets are quite deserted…

Got shaved in a Spanish barber shop. Saw an extra there issued by “Freedom” announcing surrender of Iloilo to the Americans last Saturday, & that Aguinaldo has “thrown up the sponge” –run away…

The supposition that Major General Otis is awaiting the arrival of reinforcements from the U.S. before pushing the war.

Wednesday, February 15, 1899

Alfred Burton Welch:

Lay down at Sn Pedro [Macati], tired out, for I had carried Sgt Burtt’s traps besides my own. Fighting was on all night along the outposts. We were sent out without breakfast to the cemetery where we deployed as skirmishers, Co. D on left. The line, complete, extends from El Rio Pasig to Pasay on the bay where the 14th US and 4th Cav. were. The ins. were 1200 yds in front, showing that our ill-advised retreat cost us over six miles. Desperately hot, but we threw up trenches, and now as I write it is morn & our line is 14 mi. long. 

John E.T. Milsaps:

Tonight I hear the voice of a Filipino woman singing, and children in the yard attached to the house in which I live are laughing & playing as gaily as tho’ no war disturbed the land. Rumor tonight states that an uprising is expected in Manila; 100 natives armed with daggers were arrested today; they were in council. Some cannon shooting was done today out at Caloocan. A battle is probably impending….

Tonight I hear occasionally the sound of cannon in the distance, very likely at Caloocan. The sentries are alert and ready for serious business should occasion require it.

John Henry Asendorf:

I was working all day in the commissary and hadn’t much time to see anything, but the insurgents kept firing on us all day. Some of the other regiments were engaged all day, but we kept our fire as we couldn’t locate the enemy in the woods. We have plenty to eat and during the day we are taking things easy. The outpost is engaged most of the time. At night we all were engaged for several hours but didn’t advance on them. Dewey, this day, bombarded the town of Malabon all day but on account of out weak forces couldn’t take it. This night I slept in the commissary tent and rested up good.

Thursday, February 16, 1899

Alfred Burton Welch:

Last night we had a hot time, for the niggers charged us four times. Co. D bore the brunt of these attacks & they came up within 100 yds. But they carried off the dead & wounded. They can not stand our volleys. Hawthorn battery opened up & all day the ins. kept the line busy especially the rt. Sharp shooters kept us uneasy all day & at night they were at it again. They would rush –shoot awhile– fall back –then yell and mock us. Two Co’s of Cal. were in Guadelupe [Guadalupe] church and were attacked time after time –but as often held them off. Hot. 

John Henry Asendorf:

Weather is hot as ever. The rebels are trying their best to break through our lines but we hold our own. A few more were wounded this day. Some other regiments lost several this day.

John E.T. Milsaps:

We appear to be over a seething volcano here in Manila, and it is raging within its suppressed confines. The iron hand of military power is keeping the Filipinos of this city in check. They would murder us if they could. Last night over 100 daggers were captured near our house. We live in Tondo –one of Manila’s worst quarters & today more arrests were made of natives who are plotting to rise. The streets look deserted , business is to a large extent suspended and conditions are extremely unsatisfactory. The Filipino fruit peddlers & peddlers of almost everything else, lately so numerous have almost completely disappeared. One’s life is not safe in Manila now, save when under the providential care of God.

Friday, February 17, 1899

Alfred Burton Welch:

Made our “forts” stronger & had a little rest. Yet the sharpshooters were very annoying. At sunset we were advanced under Col. Smith into the jungle where, by a left turn, we expected to drive them into el rio. But they slipped out and flanked upon the rt. So we fell back to our former position –the 2nd retreat under Col. Smith. The ground we went over was frightful, it being covered with a thick growth of broad leafed bananas & thorny bamboos & cut up by stone quarries, long ago turned over to the poor to live in, & a good place to hide. Holes & tunnels & mounds made it very hard to keep a good alignment, and one did not know were his rt. or lft. man was –all the same it was a bad move– if a poor Corp’s word has any weight.

James J. Loughrey:

During the night we were attacked and fired 65 rounds at the Insurgents.

John Henry Asendorf:

The weather is the same and the rebels are pouring many shots into us without effect, our men laying in trenches at all times. In the evening there was heavy firing on our extreme right where the California are stationed and which kept up all night. About twenty of their men were killed and many of them wounded but the insurgents lost heavily.

John E.T. Milsaps:

Reached Cavite about 10.15 a.m. Visited the arsenal and navy yard…

A few houses remain in San Roque, but the whole town as a rule is in ashes & is depopulated. Domestic animals are without masters. About 200 dogs were shot by the American troops. Reason: fear that they will go mad from starvation specially thirst. The appearance of San Roque I shall not soon forget. The Filipinos fired the town before retreating. The uncaring of the people was manifested in a peculiar manner. The soil is a loose black and filled with sea shells. In this excavations were made –mostly under the houses, but in some cases, alongside. The shacks were set fire to, & the buried goods covered over, first with soil, then ashes which hid the place, but the scheme did not work. Quantities of household goods were exhumed & overhauled, & the ashes littered with miscellaneous articles: books, MSS, pictures, dresses, glassware, crockers, pillows, tools etc. etc. etc. stowed in chests, wardrobes & other furniture. I took several snapshots, one of several American soldiers bringing to Cavite a cart load of furniture, including a large mirror…

No serious fighting today — Temple said by yesterday American casualties were: 76 killed, 243 wounded.

In regard to the burning of San Roque I heard a lieutenant & some of the private of the 51st Iowa vol. inf. say they only had a chance to shoot one or two natives for the crime. They advanced the theory that short pieces of candles were left burning with the bottom resting in inflammable material, which caught fire when the candle burnt down & set the house in flames not a difficult matter when we consider the flimsy character of huts constructed of bamboo and nipa thatch.

Saturday, February 18, 1899

Alfred Burton Welch:

That night the fighting was spirited along parts of the line. The village across the river was shelled and burnt but large numbers of rebs were collecting there, so Co. G was put on our left and the two Cal. Co’s left the church. The gun boat came up the river to our lft & poured in a terrible fire from her 4 Gats and 3 2 in. guns. The rebels stood ground and died like heroes. I watched this battle from the hill.

John Henry Asendorf:

The weather is fine and things are very quiet; but, during the night, we could hear heavy fighting all along the lines and many shots were exchanged in the City. But, our neighborhood kept quiet. We have reports from the hospital that our men are all getting along nicely. Read Murphy is discharged from the small pox hospital and looks pretty good except being marked in the face. It’s a terrible sight at the hospital. Some have their arms and legs shot off. Many of them shot through the should and stomach, some have their whole insides hanging out. One fellow has both eyes shot out and many are walking around on crutches and others carrying their arms in slings. Many are down with fever. During the afternoon, heavy fighting was going on at Panama when many rebels were killed and only a few of our men got wounded. Also, many shots were fired into out line while we were eating our supper; but, no one was hit since the battle. I wrote four different letters to friends, some I had to send in a cartridge box.

John E.T. Milsaps:

Two weeks ago tonight the American-Filipino war commenced. Much skirmishing has been done and the natives forced back an average of about six miles from Manila. The “Times” of this evening states they are concentrating their troops in force at Guadaloupe [Guadalupe] where they may be more willing to risk a battle than near the Coast, where Dewey’s guns can reach them. Our forces will probably act on the defensive until the re-inforcements now en route arrive. Mrs. Owens said this evening tho’ the authority of Miss. Thompson who is writing a book re the Philippines, that the danger of an uprising in Manila is greater than ever, the Filipinos intend if they can, killing every American man, woman & child. The Lord has some people in Manila who will not be slaughtered with impunity for His special providence is over them.

Sunday, February 19, 1899

Alfred Burton Welch:

Last night they attacked and after a half hour’s fight they took it for it was vacated. Then the Scott’s battery soon had it afire. Fight on our close lft. was steady, only part of Co. D in it. 5th day’s fight. We did not observe today very much for we fought all day. The sharpshooter’s were closer & they were massing in great num’s. across the river on lft. flk. Towards night they began to signal with red & green lights. There were fully 1000 on our left. flk. & front. The boat was not there and we felt uneasy. Early their high, clear bugle sounded: 1·35/1·35/1·35·31 and a fl’k volley raked us, and all night Co. G was at it, & part of Co. D. We were ready, but only fired a few volleys. After every attack they would mock us. In the morning the battery drove them out. Chap. Thompson died.

John J. Loughrey:

The church at Guadaloupe [Guadalupe] was blown up. A gunboat engaged the Insurgents at Guadaloupe [Guadalupe] with heavy fire from their rapid-fire guns.

John Henry Asendorf:

It has been a beautiful night out in the field. The moon rose at 9 o’clock and shone until 2 o’clock but between the mosquitoes and the many bullets from the sharpshooters, we don’t get much sleep. In the commissary several bullets went through it during the night but we can’t see the enemy. Therefore, we kept our fire. But the Nebraska and six artillery kept fighting on all night until daylight when they drove back their enemy and found 87 killed in the morning and no Americans killed. But, two officers and seven men were wounded, two of them seriously. The South Dakota and Pennsylvania Regiments killed 51 during the night while not even one of us was wounded. At 7 o’clock Dewey shelled a town somewhere and we can hear heavy artillery fire which continued until 10 o’clock. Then, all was quiet until noon where once more the rebel sharpshooters opened up on our outpost; but, our men spotted two of them in a tree and soon they tumbled down never to arise again. In the evening, I came to Manila, everything is very quiet. I never knew this was Sunday until I went to bed as every day is alike to us now. Pabst Brewing Co. has donated one barrel of beer to each company on the line which the boys enjoyed in the afternoon. 

John E.T. Milsaps:

This afternoon a flutter was caused in the houses adjoining No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, between our house & the Estero at the ferry and in the basement of No. 2 which is populated with Spaniards, mestizos and Filipinos. Cause of excitement: An American officer and squad of soldiers searched the houses presumably for arms. This is necessary as Manila is full of bitter enemies who would rise & kill all the Americans if they could. The military are repressing them with an iron hand. It is unsafe to pass along the streets. We never know at what moment an assassin may strike one down with a knife. I believe God’s providence is over me & likewise over all His redeemed ones, but for all that we are not allowed to tempt God by unnecessarily rushing into danger.

Monday, February 20, 1899

Alfred Burton Welch:

Resting in a.m. The Filips are gone but we can hear their bugles ring in the hills. S. Shooters are close but smokeless powder makes it hard to locate them. Very hot. Late in p.m. they got so hot that Co’s K & L & 2 Cal Co’s made an advance. Fighting was heavy. Co. D called out for support. They were cleared out & we buried about 20 who died at the stone bridge and this side of church. Took about 10 prisoners and lost 2 killed –Cal. had 4 wounded.

They have fine trenches and all thro’ the woods & in the road. I saw a wounded man (shot in the ankle) who afterwards killed by some soldier. He had on a “charm shirt” supposed to keep him from harm. Then our scouts discovered two cascos sunk in the river 1½ mi up which I reported to Gen. King. We drove them back to big cut in river road 1 mil. This church is the strongest one I have seen. I saw many ins. there, but we did not bury them. One was an officer.

John Henry Asendorf:

At 2 o’clock in the morning, heavy firing was going on the line where the Washington, California and 3rd Artillery were stationed. It continued all night until early morning. Sixteen Americans were wounded, none killed. But, the rebels are said to have lost heavily. At our line, the sharpshooters kept firing all night but we didn’t pay any attention to them. We all laid in our trenches where they could not hit us; but, before daylight we opened up on them for about one hour with good results. All during the day shots were fired by the rebel sharpshooters but, as we can’t locate them, we keep our fire. We have fresh meat now regularly. I drive to the city in the evening and bring a load of beef out early in the morning. The sun is terribly hot out all day. A good many prisoners were taken. The boys over in Cavite are having a hot time with the rebels but they will hold their own with the help of Dewey’s guns. They burned down a village with about 1000 houses and they killed over 100 rebels and wounded about 200. In the afternoon several engagements with the enemy all along the line took place but then everything was quiet until 9 o’clock when the 14th Regulars had a hot battle which lasted until early morning. At the same time, many arrests were made in Malate and several natives killed. They had opened fire upon a guard and wounded him but they were soon captured. They also captured a number of Mausers and lots of ammunition. Then our men set fire to the place and over a thousand homes were blazing. The fire kept up until the early hours in the morning.

John E.T. Milsaps:

On account of the rumor that the Filipinos had re-captured the Water works & the water would be shut off tomorrow I hired a Filipino to fill all my jars at 1 cent a coal oil can full. Quite a number of persons were talking about it. Rev. Owens said the Nebraska played a ruse on the natives yesterday (I think) drew them into a trap & since buried about 95 of them. Such is war. May God speedily stop this frightful work if best in His sight.

Tuesday, February 21, 1899

Alfred Burton Welch:

Last night was very quiet, for they were too badly demoralized to reform, still the s.s’ were in evidence and succeeded in shooting a Cal. lad thro’ the heart & wounded another.

The best shot I ever saw was a three inch gun trained upon a single Filip at 2500 yds and he went 50 feet in air. Guess it did not hurt him much. Took bath in river, very hot and no breeze. Wrote several letters to Tops, home Gypsy on cartridge boxes. Sharp’s [sharpshooters] kept us low & uneasy.

John J. Loughrey:

There was heavy skirmishing on the other side of the river, 13 soldiers were killed including a Captain and a Lieutenant.

John Henry Asendorf:

I got up at 6 o’clock and the fire at Malate was still burning. Somewhere at our right there was heavy firing all morning. At 12 o’clock the mail left via Hong Kong. At our line, very few shots were fired. In the city, everything is quiet. There is a rumor afloat that our troops have already surrounded Malolos and they are now trying to starve them out as food is very scarce. It seems all our movements are kept secret and we will take the rebels by surprise. I am sleeping tonight in the captain’s quarters. Everything is very quiet while I go to bed.

John E.T. Milsaps:

Cooked breakfast, washed dishes then with Rev. C. Owens went down town. First called at the Imperial Photograph Gallery. At last I succeeded in buying ($1.50 Mex) three pictures of the scenes connected with the Filipino war viz., (1) the Spanish Blockhouse overlooking the battlefield of Caloocan in which I passed 2 nights; (2) dead Filipinos in their trench at Santa Ana after the battle; (3) Third Reg’t Heavy artillery in line, Battlefield of Caloocan. Put them in a large envelope & returned immediately to the post office to catch today’s mail for the United States. 

German Vice-Consul Cummings, in Cebu:

There was a stormy meeting of the townspeople on February 17 upon hearing of the approach of the Americans. The young men advised the burning of the town and fighting to the bitter end, but the older men advised calmer councils. There was a second meeting at noon and the wiser heads prevailed. On February 21, the Petrel was seen, and prominent local persons Llorente, Majie, Garardo, Qui and Climaco, leaders of Cebu, went out to meet her. When told by Mr. Sidebottom, English Consul, who was acting for the American government about the intentions of the Americans, Majie said that “the people of Cebu, finding themselves abandoned by the Spaniards, have joined the Filipino republic.” The Commander of the Petrel gave them until eight o’clock on February 22 to surrender. A great many were in favor of burning the town, but at seven o’clock on the night of February 21, Cebu was surrendered to the Americans, under protest, by the influence of Majie and Llorente, the two ablest Filipinos in Cebu. The young men of Cebu advised to burn the town, but wiser counsels prevailed. Majie said to the commander of the Petrel that, finding themselves abandoned by Spain, they had joined the Filipino republic. They had no orders from Aguinaldo, but would yield only under protest, owing to the greater force of the Americans. At 9:40 the Americans landed forty sailors, who raised the Stars and Stripes amid a sullen and angry populace who wanted to attack the Americans.

Wednesday, February 22, 1899

See: Second Battle of Manila, Feb. 22-23, 1899.

Alfred Burton Welch:

Washington’s birthday –opened early but did no damage. Went to StA in a.m. –shaved &c & combed my hair for the first time in 8 days. Firing close & low.

Shortly after noon another sally was made by Wn and we made about 30 good Filips. Got a padre too –He had 27 bullets in him. We let them lay where they fell. The jungle is full of trenches and they defend them viciously. We lost 2 killed and three wounded. The ins. were pushed to the church, then we went back to our trenches, but they reformed and followed us closely. We think the priest is worth 100 soldiers. Very hot. The “Scandia” got in tonight with reinforcements.

James J. Loughrey:

In further skirmishing 18 soldiers were killed.

John Henry Asendorf:

Awoke at 2 o’clock and firing was heavy all along the lines and kept up all night. The Utah Battery is engaged all night. At 3 o’clock we (Doc and I) took out some ammunition and were shot at from both sides by natives, but we got to the front safely. The firing was heavy at the time. We came back after meat to Manila. After loading the meat and Doc and his bread, we were again fired at from both sides from the thickets. We returned the fire with good results but upon getting neat the firing line it was simply terrible. The bullets just made the dust fly up everywhere. We had to stop within 100 yards and get under cover until the firing ceased. The fighting again started in the evening about 6 o’clock. I had made another trip in the afternoon but by this time the Minnesota boys had driven the natives back and set fire to the shacks. In the evening I was in the Captain’s quarters and wrote a letter to Cst Plattenburg. Before I finished, a fire broke out right in the heart of the city. We were called out. I worked at the fire until 2 o’clock. About 200 to 300 buildings were burned down, mostly Chinese business houses. Over a million dollars worth of property went up in flames before this fire was under control. Another one stared in the Carriedo district near the railroad station. This is known to be a dangerous and tough place. As soon as I could, I went there. Hearing heavy fire, and not being on guard, I joined the 23rd Regulars which had two companies stationed there to fight the natives who had already sent shots after shots into out men. I fought with them as long as my ammunition lasted, 50 rounds, of which I kept 5 for my quarters were a mile from this point.

John E.T. Milsaps:

…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…

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!

Thursday, February 23, 1899

Alfred Burton Welch:

The ins. threw out a strong skirmish line –200 yds in front, last night– but we set with our rifles in hand all night. Only a few shots fired & it is tho’t to have been a trap to lure us in and ambush. today has been quiet so far –3 p.m. We strengthened our position and the bait, cut loose occasionally at the church and ridges to s. Heavy firing on lft. back towards Manila. Manila is burning –& the atmosphere is heavy with smoke. Chinese quarter was burned last night & today. Cooler with a slight shower. Paco in ashes –Senora sent me a note –she is safe. took the note 13 days to reach me. Detailed with scouts tonight. Rested them at 9 p.m. Could hear the filips talk & cough. In such places you can hear the heart beat. They came to spring for H²O. Withdrew scouts at 9 a.m.

John Henry Asendorf:

We drove the bread wagon and again they gave us a hot reception from the woods; but, none hut us. While on our way, more fires had started in different places. After getting back to the city, we heard the news that hundreds of people had been killed during the previous night, also some Chinese. Many little incedents happened during this day, too many to mention. In the afternoon we made another trip to the firing line. As soon as we got there the natives just attempted a bold attack. We all laid in our trenches and, for almost two hours, put volley after volley into their lines. I was with Company D as C Company was up too far and the bullets were coming too thick. I surely could not make it without being hit. This day only five were slightly wounded. At 9 p.m. I went back to town without any further trouble.

John E.T. Milsaps:

The hour is now 12.10 p.m. I have returned (20 minutes ago) from the place where the fight commenced last night –the quarters of of C. Company 13th Minnesota Vol. Infantry. on Calle Lemory, an old wooden building in front of an iron foundry or machine shop. Shooting has been going on continually in that district since the Filipinos attacked the quarters last night.  The quarters are on the verge of a large town of nipa palm huts. It is rumored that 200 Insurrectos got thro’ our lines last night by following the beach. The major part of the huts were given to the flames & every native man shot who looked like a soldier.

I went down to the C. company’s barracks about 11 p.m. 4 or 5 sea captains came in (No. 2 Calle Santa Elena S.A. qtrs) Rev. Owens introduced me to them. Not waiting to talk to them I started out with my Kodak. Passed near the smoking ruins of Divisoria native market & the district since midnight. Reaching Paseo de Azcarraga (street) found 13th Minnesota soldiers posted along the burnt region at intervals. Accompanied a squad of 4 to their barracks. They showed me a large pool of blood where a native was killed just across the street from the Minnesota qtrs. The Filipinos did some shooting judging from the number of bullet holes in the entrance leading into the barracks yard. Several of the Minnesota’s were wounded. Two Filipinos were buried in the yard of the Foundry. A hog was rooting near their new made graves.

After looking about & taking a snap shot about 15 minutes A. + M. company’s 23d U.S. Infantry came marching up in column of 4’s. They halted about 200 feet beyond the place I was standing. Suddenly there was a shot or two fired. The 23d’s were ordered to take shelter behind a concrete wall. Suddenly they faced to the right and with the butt end of their guns smashed the wooden pickets facing Calle Lemery. They quickly strung out behind the wall & commenced shooting. Suddenly a cry was raised that they were shooting at Americans. The bugle sounded “cease firing”. Another cry was raised that they had killed a Filipino. There was a rush of soldiers to the back end of the foundry yard which is bounded by a narrow estuary. Lying on a bamboo raft near the bank was the dead body of a young Filipino dressed in white linen clothing and white shoes. His shoes were black with mud and his spotless rainment literally saturated with his red life blood. The poor fellow was shot in a number of places. I noticed particularly a hole under his chin, and another one in one leg. Blue clothing could be seen through the hole made in his white pants. I am convinced he was a Filipino soldier disguised in the clothing of a civilian. Turning away from this horrible sight, I sawe a few feet away under an open shed at the rear end of the foundry, several Filipinos –a family. I noticed an aged man as if bowed with grief & speechless, lying on a bench or some kind of platform lay an inanimate form, with a white cloth over its face…

Heavy cannon are now (about 1 p.m.) firing in the distance. A great column of black smoke is rising again from the native district (Tondo) partly burnt last night. Our men are completing the work of destruction begun last night. Another column of smoke is rising from beyond Manila across the city –probably Paco district.

I see a procession of Filipinos bringing their household effects from the front. A boy is carrying a white flag on a tall pole in the lead. While the firing was in progress at the 13th Minn. quarters, while I was there, a procession of Chinese men with bamboo poles over their shoulders to which were suspended bundles of white & navy-blue packages of yarn came along. Some of the Chinamen’s arms were stained blue as indigo, perhaps they came from a dye works. Bringing up the rear of the “Chinos”, followed a rabble of Filipino women and children looking badly scared. The Americans permitted them to pass through.

x x x x

To go back to the events of last night (ever memorable) in order to catch up the thread of my narrative. Tired & sleepy with watching the fire across the city, I put out the light in the parlor about 10 o’clock p.m. and after prayers went to bed. About 12 o’clock midnight I was awakened from a brief sleep by the sound of shooting. Rev. Owens voice was also heard outside of my door inquiring if I were awake. Answered affirmatively. Got up & put on my clothes. The heavens were a blaze of light in our district –Tondo. The native shacks were afire. The towers of Tondo church looked grand thro’ the dense volumes of smoke & leaping flames.  (“I have been thro’ the siege of Paris but don’t think it was so grand as this”, just now remarked Rev. Owens as he took his telescope from his eye.) “Not so spectacular?” I replied. “No”.) Three or four Spanish & mestizo men, a Spanish señora & a Filipino woman came up stairs and remained until daybreak. A tremendous fire was in progress. Hour after hour I watched it burn. Appeared to start at the Divisoria market –native– about 3 squares from my house. A tremendous sight this proved. Many buildings were swept away. The mighty columns of smoke rolled skyward, the city was almost as light as day. The Chinese were greatly excited as their stores & warehouses were destroyed. Pigs squealed –probably caught by the flames, & amid the roar of flames, the whistling of the fire engine & occasional explosions, the crackle of bamboo rose –the sharp reports (thro’ the whole night) of small arms…

x x x x x

8. o’clock p.m. I have seen enough since 3 p.m. to give me something to think & talk about for years to come. About 3 o’clock Rev. Owens and I started out into the native quarter where the fighting has been in progress last night & today. Much happened since I left the C. company quarters of the 13th Minnesota today about 11.30 a.m.

Arriving at the quarters again found a big crowd –soldiers, civilians and Filipinos, prisoners of war & refugees. I took several photos. The prisoners were squatting on the ground in the yard. Looked stolid & unconcerned. Several wounded Filipinos were having their wounds dressed.

We next went down to the estuary back of the foundry. The native killed while I was there this forenoon by the 23d U.S. Inf., was still lying in the muddy bank, but lower down the bank & cold & rigid.

Met ex-Sergeant W. Harper late of the 3d U.S. Artillery — heavy & he came along & together we three kept on out to the front & managed to get in advance of the Hospital vans, that is, so far as the service of this dep’t was accorded the Filipinos.The ground had been fought over but recently. Dead & dying & other wounded Filipinos were lying here & there singly & in groups, in lots; behind barricades in cars & in houses; some terrible to behold. Houses were in flames or just consumed. Ahead of us towards Caloocan shooting was in progress. Occasionally the sound of a heavy gun was heard.

In a lot the Filipinos, a detachment, made a stand behind some blocks of concrete. The fearful accuracy of gun practice with small arms showed the ghastly effect of American skill.
Corposes were lying thick on the ground in a corner. *

*Note: “Bloody Corral”. Calle Lemeré.

One man with his head battered in and his brains lying on the ground two or more feet from his head, in a mass.

Spoke to Mr. John F. Bass “Harper’s Weekly” correspondent. Rode by an a bicycle. Bass’ pantaloons were bloody. Caused by assisting an American wounded officer.

One or 2 “shacks” in the yard had been burnt, near the ashes of one lay a dead Filipino, his body drawn up, & the clothing burnt away leaving the corpse naked.

In the car house of the Caloocan dummy railroad we found a boy & man wounded; another in a car. As Filipinos attended to their wounds we passed on. At the upper end of the car yard the Insurrectos constructed a hasty barriace accroiss the road, of railroad iron, car wheels, oil barrels, shut iron & in short everything they could lay their hands on.

Near this we saw 2 men shot through the body, lying in the shade of a car. It was evident neither could live. One in delirium would turn completely around, putting his head where his feet had rested & vice versa, anon reversing his position the other way. These movements made the the blood pour out of his wound & saturate the blanket on which he lay. An ashen color on his countenance announced approaching dissolution. The other man was in great pain –shot thro’ the stomach– we gave him water which he drank eagery. Asked for a “medico”, but we felt a physician could do him no good, so passed on. Not far from him in the shade of the canal monument by the roadside, lay an old woman with white locks. The bloody on the lower part of her dress told of a wound in the legs. She was holding a woman’s umbrella over her to keep the sun off. I brought her water which she drank. Two soldiers ccame along. Three of us got some bamboo sticks in a nearby “shack”. A rough bamboo-pleated bed-bottom or gate (apparently) served for a stretcher & she was carried by Harper, Rev. Owens & the 2 U.S. soldiers to the horse car at the dummy car depot.

Another barricade had been constructed near the monument on the causeway raised to approach the bridge. With their backs against the barricade sat 2 wounded Filipinos. I brought them water 2 or 3 times. In a native hut close by lay on the dirt floor a dead Filipino, his face horribly distorted and the floor covered with gore. We left him there. The building will probably be burnt over his corpse.

Near the car house to the left facing Caloocan is a large walled-in cemetery. (Manila is pre-eminently a city of cemeteries.) Owens & I entered the gate. Behold a crowd of 500 or more Filipino refugees, homeless & friendless, principally old men, women & children. Three elderly men approached us when we entered. They took their hats ogg & were very obsequious. Begged the privilege of going into town. Was advised to remain in the cemetery till tomorrow. One showed us a pass and an American Cedula –just taken out– the last day or two.

Turned homeward. Overtook Harper. Tried to get some hospital men halted in a cross road with an ambulance to pick up the two wounded Filipinos. They did not care to bother with them.

Continued our way home. In front of a well built house Spanish style we found a barricade of concrete blocks & such piles of empty catridge shells that we we concluded a determined stand had been made at this point. Pushing thro’ an open basement door, the entrance room was piled & littered with a confused mass of furniture, bedding, dresses, tools, pictures, papers etc, etc., near the door inside was a puddle of mud & blood. Stepping on beds, dresses etc. we entered. Saw a young man –Filipino– lying on his back almost hid in the debris. Back of him in another –the back-room lay a frail delicate looking young man, on a table cold in death. (War is terrible). He appeared anything but a fighting man. I pitied him. Fishing out a bead-stead-bamboo- for a litter, & securing a piece of matting & a woman’s dress to cover his wound the furniture was cleared away to the front door. Just then 2 Filipino men –non combattants, a boy & several women & children came up with their baggage & babies. I ordered the men to put down their stuff & enter the house. They were made to lift the wounded Filipino on the bed & carry him about 3/4 of a mile. The load was heavy. Meeting another Filipino boy pressed him into service, & lugged the man to Lemere street to C. company’s (13th Minn.) quarters. Just then a physician rode up. Alighting he took out his knife ripped the shirt off the back of the Filipino, & dressed his wound. A bullet entered near his shoulder & came out of his back.

Asked the man when we first found him if he wanted some water. No, wanted a cigarette. Wouldn’t give it to him. While caring for the man who couldn’t speak Spanish, one of the Filipinos asked him for us in Tagalog what he would like to have. Replied he would like to have a gun to shoot us. “Malo umbra!” –bad man.

We stopped on the road at Tondo Catholic church & asked to leave him there. The men (13th Minnesota men) said no. Said last night when they were holding the church, the heat was so great they were compelled to cover their faces with wet handkerchiefs.

Near the church we overtook a barouche which 2 men –whites– were hauling in place of a horse –it was loaded with fine Spanish books, artistic vases & other articles. Suppose they looted a house.

Met a 13th Minnesota soldier –a Salvationist– returning from the front with a Mauser rifle in his hand. Quite a number of soldiers captured Mausers, Remingtons & other arms.

A private of the 23d U.S. Regulars gave me a machete, quite a good one. How the natives got their arms & how they slipped in past our lines –a hundred or two– mystifies me. Probably they were largely reinforced by the natives of this burnt-Tondo district. A remarkable feature of it was that the fight of last night & today took place behind one battle line, which lay between 2 forces.

Getting back home Rev. & Mrs. Owens & myself went down to the Escolta to buy groceries. Almost all the stores were closed. A poster was up requesting civilians to remain indoors after 7 p.m.

I am hungry. For dinner had 1/2 of a cold mince pie & lemonade; for supper 1/2 mince pie & a cup of cocoa. Have a beautiful moonlight night. All is quiet save the crackling of burning houses in the distance.

God providence was over our forces; glory to His dear name.

Englishmen –I think officers from British war vessels in port were in evidence out at the front; Spanish prisoners –officers & privates were allowed to go to the verge of the burnt district where the fighting & burning was in progress all day.

“Manila, Tondo Dist., Dead Filipinos in a yard. This man lay dead near a hydrant where he had apparently been dressing chickens for supper. Uprising of Feb. 22d and 23d in Tondo Dist. Manila. The dead of the 2 photos were in same yard.” From the diary of John E.T. Milsaps, February 23, 1899.

Friday, February 24, 1899

Alfred Burton Welch:

Slept until late. City still burning. Little rain last night. Very little shooting today –sharpshooters. Hot –with good breezes. Quiet. Recv’d letters from home, folks, Tops, Gypsy –Etta Son & Kate McGovern. Stood sentry as my squad is getting tired. Firing commenced early but a few volleys left a few on field & the rest “vamoosed.”

John Henry Asendorf:

The fighting continued pretty near all night but I slept good and sound. I hadn’t slept any for 72 hours. I was two and a half hours late to get the meat out but my excuse was accepted. On my return to the city there were fires everywhere. Just near our quarters over 100 houses were burned down. These were all disorderly houses (magareth?) and many others. The city is patrolled very strictly now. No one is even allowed on the roofs of any houses. Many who disobeyed were shot down. I shot one myself and killed him… Just before I go to bed there is heavy firing all along the line. Dewey and the Utah cannons are making the whole island shake. Out boys at hospital are doing fine. The weather is fine and the moon shines brightly. Shacks are burning everywhere.

John E.T. Milsaps:

…Following breakfast Rev. & Mrs. Owens & the writer walked over to the late Divisoria market adjacent ruins. Filipinos were directing water on the still burning ruins. A company of soldiers were sitting on the sidewalk ready for serious work should occasion require their service. The vicinity was full of Filipinos & Chinese humanity. A coffin was resting on a vacant space with a dead person inside. We viewed the charred remains of a Chinese in the ruins. Was past recognition. Blood was oozing from the piece of head left of the dead…

To get back to the day’s narrative: Owens & I after calling at the post office walked down to the Pasig quay near the Port Captain’s office to see the 20th U.S. Infantry land. Was too late. They arrived on the “Scandia” & most of them (the soldiers) had already disembarked. We saw stone barricades across the streets in several places made by our soldiers to fight behind. Expect trouble with the natives & have already had it.

(A shot was just fired near by –is about 10.45 p.m. Manila is like a volcano ready to explode. The Filipinos I fear are bringing destruction upon themselves.)

I must not forget to state that we also visited the burnt district in Santa Cruz near Calle Gandara where I resided when I first came to Manila. Looks bad, the ruins. The little Chinese boy who takes English lessons from Owens, said he had no sleep last night. Watched his father’s factory; fear the natives will set it on fire.

Saturday, February 25, 1899

Alfred Burton Welch:

At work along line making map of entrenchments. One of the Filips left on field last night was found shot thro’ the head, ball going in center of forehead. Had him walk to hospital. Enemy in sight all day but only pot hunters shot at us.

John Henry Asendorf:

Large fires could be seen burning every place, most of them shacks. Firing was kept up pretty steady to the right of the line where the Montana and Nebraska Regiments lay. Dewey’s and the Utah Batteries’ cannons did a good deal of night but there wasn’t much firing done through the day. The sharpshooters are as thick as ever in the woods but we don\’t pay much attention to them. Very few are getting hit. Our rations are issued regularly, fresh bread and meat almost every day. It always keeps our two wagons busy to haul all the staff; besides, we keep seven carabaos and carts there with Chinese drivers. Also, these stay at the front. The field hospital is established in the church. In the city everything is very quiet but a few shots are heard here and there every once in a while from the guards and some good arrests are made daily. The sick and wounded are doing fine.

John E.T. Milsaps:

Dinner over took street car over the Bridge of Spain to old Manila within the walls (Intramuros). Met a number of 20th U.S. Infantry men strolling about sight seeing. These troops served in the Cuban campaign. They arrived on the Scandia. Feel greatly relieved because they have come. We left the walled city by the Santa Lucia gate & walked down thro’ the hot sun to Malecon at the foot of the Luneta –Manila’s fashionable drive. Talked to some of the men & took a photo of their encampment…

So far as the the war is concerned everything seemed quiet today. Heard no firing. Rumor says insurrectos are massing troops in front of our lines evidently for a battle. —

Sunday, February 26, 1899

Alfred Burton Welch:

This is our regular “fightin’ day.” but aside from pot hunters were not molested. They were very aggravating & shot all day persistently, often in volleys. Moonlight is very bri’t & they have the advantage in having woods for shelter. Hard to locate them, but if a flash is seen Mr. S[harp].S[hooter]. stands a poor show. Big fire off towards inland hills where the ins. have vacated a town & burnt it.

Chriss A. Bell:

Nothing has happened except on the night of the 22nd when outbreak was made and attempt made to burn. The attempt was partly successful the Native huts and several blocks in Tondo district. We were called out and went to Calletries [Caloocan] where we saw some active work. 

John Henry Asendorf:

The night had been pretty and the moon and stars have been shining bright. Very little firing was done on the line. At 9 a.m. we had Muster Roll right in the trenches. This has been the quietest Sunday since hostilities opened up but in the evening heavy firing was heard on the left. The Kansas Regiment and Third Artillery were engaged for several hours. About 100 rebels were killed but not a single American was wounded. 

Monday, February 27, 1899

Alfred Burton Welch:

Desultory firing all day, but many birds hang low over the jungle, they perhaps smell filips. Think there is an American with the ins as we saw one on our raid last week. Nice breeze –yet hot.

John Henry Asendorf:

A good deal of fighting was done near the bay on our right and it is claimed a good many rebels were killed while one man was killed and several of our men were wounded. As I am kept very busy at work all the time, it is hard to keep track of what other regiments are doing. But, everything is very quiet and we hear on good authority that the insurgents are running short on ammunition but keep their powder mill going day and night. In the city everything is quiet. Some more prisoners were taken by the several regiments and Company C killed several sharpshooters in the morning.

Tuesday, February 28, 1899

Alfred Burton Welch:

Last night the usual amount of firing –only it was close, oh so close. Went in St Ana in a.m. –Picked out some clothes & slippers for Tops. Took out my Mauser. About 8000 ins. in our front. Gen. King is sick and has been relieved by Wheaton, a regular fire eater.

John Henry Asendorf:

All night everything has been unusually quiet with the exception of the Kansas Regiment which is now stationed at Caloocan. They had quite an engagement when finally one of their men noticed a white flag in the far distance. Firing ceased immediately on both sides and several officers from both sides advanced until they met. These were Spanish commissioners who had been at Malolos and were on their way to Manila. They reported that they had seen five of our prisoners in Malolos but had their freedom in the city. To the best of their judgement, they thought the insurgents would surrender soon. Chaplain [Joseph] Hunter and several lieutenants of our regiment who had spent a month on furlough in China and Japan returned in the morning. We also received mail. As Taps is sounded, everything is quiet on the line and in the city. 

John E.T. Milsaps, after a day’s excursion to Cavite:

The earthworks supported by plaited bamboo uprights & mounting 2 guns engaged my attention. Took a picture of the same. Detachments of the 51st Iowa, & Battery B. 1st California Heavy Artillery are stationed at this point which commands the causeway* (*Note: This causeway is called the Isthmus of Dalahican.) leading to Cavite Viejo (old C.) & the main land of Luzon Island. Private Frank Tarr, a Christian, who accompanied me on my rounds, Geo. Baker wanted to visit the San Roque Roman Catholic cemetery, because he heard bones were thrown out of graves & he had never seen anything like that. The 3 of us cut thro’ the forest to the cemetery. Visited unburnt native shacks & the burnt ones too en route. In San Roque under a verandah Baker showed me a wretched Filipino man, covered with syphaletic sores; a pitiable case. He gave him 10 cts Mex. & I 04. Tried to teach the poor creature to pray to Jesus.

When we entered the arched entrance to the San Roque cemetery we saw a box made in imitation of a coffin of box lumber. A sling was around it. Evidently the same had been brought out by 2 Filipinos slung to a bamboo pole. While we stood looking at the strange coffin an artillery sergeant –Ernest Koenig– hastened out of the cemetery & warned us to beware of the corpse as it was that of a 2 year old child who had died of small pox, in a casco down in the navy yard at Cavite. One Filipino was busy digging a shallow grave in the coarse black sea sand. With the sand he threw up the bones of other dead humans. Leaving the funeral party we went into the mortuary chapel. Confusion certainly struck this place since the war began. Boxes of bones had been dug up all over the floor & the remains scattered over the same. On either side of the altar at the back end were 2 tiers of tombs probably for priests. The tombs were open. A coffin containing a mummified priest dressed in a long drown robe was dragged out and dropped on the floor. The wood coffin broke open & the priest lay partly in & partly out, his hip bone got disjointed by the fall probably & broke thro’ his parchment-like skin, a ghostly, loathsome sight. The alter with its crucifix was a wreck & moved from its place. Between it & the wall was a litter of garments & smashed odds & ends. While engaged contemplating this scene, Sergeant Koenig entered the chapel & inquired if I would not hold some kind of service over the grave. Certainly! Taking our stand on the windward side of the little grave, the 2 Filipino men, holding one each end of the coffin, with Sergt Koenig & privates Geo. Baker & Frank Tarr as witnesses I consigned to mother earth the remains of little Damasa Garcia. While lowering the coffin of his child into the grave the poor father wept. It was a touching scene.

After the burial, we passed thro’ a back gate into a yard where were heaps of bones. Indeed they are everywhere under & on top of ground in this cemetery. A row of skulls from the limb of a tree faces the front gate, & outside the wall one surmounts a pole as if put there in derision. The very atmosphere of this horrible cemetery seemed to be saturated with death.

Other diaries and the rest of the War

“Aguinaldo and his chief men,” a photograph included in his diary by John E.T. Milsaps, June 9, 1899
William Herman Wilhelm

All this is a work in progress, as we identify possible diaries, try to obtain them, encode them, and upload them. See the diaries of Ernest Dieball, Ernest Hewson, William R. Johnson,

In contrast to the enlisted men, an officer’s point of view is reflected in the diary of Captain William Herman Wilhelm, a West Point graduate who arrived in the Philippines after the Filipino-American War had already broken out. The Philippine portion of his diary begins on May 27, 1899, when he was first assigned in Pasay, then being transferred to Bacoor, and being nominated for the Medal of Honor after the battle of San Mateo; he went on to serve in Laguna, Pampanga, and Tayabas, ending up fatally wounded in Lipa, Batangas, on June 12, 1901. See also the diary of Edward Avery Bumpus, Lieutenant in the U.S. Army from Massachusetts. Killed in action in 1901. An American naval officer’s perspective is in the diary of Joseph K. Taussig.

Gen. Venancio Concepcion

One of the few, rare glimpses of the war from a Filipino point of view is in the diary of General Venancio Concepcion, who chronicled his detention in the wake of the assassination of General Antonio Luna. The man who interrogated Concepcion’s men, General Gregorio del Pilar, kept a diary which was taken as a war trophy (see the diary of Peyton C. March): if it ever resurfaces, it should provide an insight into the man and his times, gauging from the published journal he kept in 1896-97 (as summarized and reproduced by Teodoro M. Kalaw). The diary of Telesforo Carrasco, a Spaniard who ended up in the Philippine Army, will also make for interesting reading when complete.

Santiago Barcelona, Emilio Aguinaldo, Simeon Villa in captivity in Malacañan Palace, 1901.

The long, extended, death agony of the First Republic is seen through the eyes of Santiago Barcelona, who was the appointed representative of Butuan in the Malolos Congress, and who accompanied President Aguinaldo as he evaded capture by the Americans; and Simeon Villa (father of the noted poet Jose Garcia Villa), who was the physician of Aguinaldo and held the rank of Colonel: he chronicled Aguinaldo’s various escapes from November 1899 to his capture by the Americans in March, 1901.

Embedded American reporters of the era included Marrion Wilcox. Even as the fighting took place, education became an American priority: the diary of John David DeHuff describes the process as it unfolded in Negros. As shown by the diary of Milsaps, the American conquest brought with it opportunities for Protestant missionaries: see the diary of John Marvin Dean for an example, also in Negros.

The era is closed off with the poignant diary of Apolinario Mabini, writing in exile in Guam.