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About John Clifford Brown

About the author: John Clifford Brown (March 28, 1872 — January 16, 1901) Engineer, cartographer in the US Army, serving in the Philippines. From an online profile:

…born into an affluent family of high society in Portland, Maine. He graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in Electrical Engineering.

Known to love travel and having an adventuresome spirit, he rushed to join the American Volunteer Army at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898 and was enlisted as a Captain. Dejected that his outfit never made it to Cuba, he enlisted in the Regular Army’s Corps of Engineers as a Private and was sent to serve in the Philippine resurrection of 1899 where he became a cartographer. He was the only member of the Engineers who accompanied General Young on the famous “hike” from a point near Manila through Luzon to Vigan, on the north coast. Later, Brown was put in charge of building a bridge at Paranaque, where he suffered from the seemingly endless Philippine rains and contracted dysintery (Typhoid fever). The sickness became so bad he was shipped to the Army’s Presidio hospital in San Francisco where he weighed 90 pounds upon arrival. His mother, Fanny, traveled across the country to see him and died of pneunomia while there. John didn’t improve and was transferred to a military hospital in Los Angeles where he died on January 16, 1901.

About the diary: Originally published as Diary of a Soldier in the Philippines, The Lakeside Press, Portland, Maine, 1901.

An updated and expanded version, complete and unabridged, with the text of Brown’s original diary and letters, was published as Gentle Soldier: John Clifford Brown and the Philippine-American War. Edited, with an Introduction by Joseph P. McCallus, Texas A&M Military History Series, 89. College Station, Texas: Texas AM University Press, 2004.