Manila, P.I., July 25, 1901.

My DEAR FATHER: I am writing this in the quarters of Aguinaldo, where I am acting as officer of the day. Captain Palmer has general charge of Aggie, and another officer and myself are taking turns staying in Aguinaldo’s house while the captain is out. This is a big house on the Malacannan [Malacañan], the swell residence street of Manila.Some officer has to be here all the time. There is a guard of two men about the house, who prevent any illicit correspondence from going out or coming in. Aguinaldo has his secretary here and his family, so that he has a monotonous but a comfortable confinement.

He is allowed to see any visitors he wishes to at certain hours of the day. Captain Palmer looks over all his letters, and Aguinaldo is allowed to have any newspapers or letters which have been inspected. He has been here for several months and I believe has not been off the top floor of this house since he came here. He can go out walking in the big yard if he wishes to, but has to be accompanied by an officer if he goes out into the street. It is said that some of Luna’s friends (a Filipino general who had almost as much influence as Aggie, and who was killed by Aggie for political reasons) will assassinate him if they get a chance. I have met Aggie and talked with him for a short time. He is not a remarkably brilliant-looking man, but has a certain amount of magnetism, and he certainly has had an interesting life so far. He can’t be more than thirty-five and is about five feet, four inches tall. I am acting as the recorder or secretary for an examining board to examine ex-volunteer officers and soldiers for commissions. My time does not hang heavy on my hands. We expect to get orders any day now to go to the island of Samar and join the Second Battalion, which has been there since June 10 with Lieutenant-colonel Foote. Still, one hears all sorts of “Pipe Dreams” in Manila and we may not go at all. I understand that Samar has a good climate, but it is a very difficult country to fight in. Guerilla warfare has been going on there for some time under charge of a certain General Lucban, who ts said to be a capable man. I do not care much for that kind of warfare, for there is little glory and much hard work connected with it. Never mind! this is the only privilege we soldiers have, and that is to growl and do our duty.

I will be glad to get out of Manila, because I do not feel so well here as I did before when living in the country. Then one has got to spend money here, and it is almost impossible to spend money in the country, unless one is an unsuccessful poker player. The men like it better in the country, as there they have a little more variety and can be lazier when quartered in a country town. You spoke in your last letter about my going to the Leavenworth School. That would be the best thing I could do, as it was once a good school, and if it starts again, it would give me two years in which I could study those things which I have found need of studying in my practical experience. A good deal of my service has been of such a nature that I did not have the inclination, or could not have the books, to study. Then it gives a man prestige to have graduated from a first-class school like that. A great many West Pointers have graduated or attended the Leavenworth School. I realize what prestige it gives me to have been at Harvard, for I meet Harvard men everywhere and find my thoughts going back to the dear, old, happy-go-lucky days of college life when old Shaggie and I were having the pleasant times
of our lives. Get me a place at the school when it starts; but do not try to get it until I am ordered home, for it would look bad for me to leave the regiment while practically in the field.


ANGELES, P.I., October 3, 1899.

DEAR MOTHER: Father wrote to me from the Royal Hotel, Edin- burgh, September 9, and I also have your letter of September 19, so that I have a good idea of what a pleasant, restful, and sightseeing trip you have had. How you must have enjoyed old Edinburgh and the pretty Isle of Wight. My impressions of these places are only taken from books, and I hope it will be my fortune to travel through some of the cities and countries of the Old World. I have seen some of the world coming to the Philippines, but this life is not for any sightseeing except looking for gugas [gugus] or sighting a gun. This town is like nearly all other Filipino towns; but it has many well-built houses and a church which has some Italian Renaissance motives in it. There are two old bell towers on the front, from one of which I got a fine view of the surrounding country. Look at the map I sent home to father three months ago and you will see that we are getting into a higher altitude as we advance along the railroad. There are mountains several miles to the east of this town, and then there is Mount Arayat which can be seen for miles and has a big saddle in the middle of it, made by two peaks, upon which the Ark could have rested. The country is very flat here, producing lots of sugar, and it is said that a great deal of tobacco is grown in the northern portion of the island. To-day is muster day, it being the last day of the month, and my company (Co. C) is on outpost duty at the edge of the town, so that I have been pretty busy getting my men posted at seven o’clock this morning, and then mustering what few men were left in camp, such as cooks and men “sick in quarters.” It is about half-past four and I am going out to spend the night on outposts at a little after five. The insurgents have been very quiet since I have been here, and nothing has happened except the regular duties of troops in camp.

ANGELES, P.I., October 3, 1899.

DEAR AUNT LAURA: This is a pleasant day here and there is enough breeze to offset the rays of the sun. The days are never very hot and the thermometer ranges near 90° in the shade during the hot part of the day between ten-thirty and three-thirty. One always needs a blanket at night, especially from midnight to daylight. The night dews are heavy, and the last time I was on outpost I slept near and under a bamboo thicket from which the dew fell so much on my poncho that I thought it was raining. The most uncomfortable time is just before a storm or after it, as then the air is very humid. Angeles is a good-sized town, having a large church and a number of well-built houses. The town is on one side of the single railroad track which runs from Manila to Linguyan Bay and along which our troops have been fighting and slowly advancing. There are three streets connecting with a square on one side of the town. These squares in all the towns are near the church, and some of the best buildings are here. General McArthur, in command of our brigade, — consisting of the Seventeenth, Twelfth, Ninth Infantry regiments, two batteries (3.2 calibre), twelve guns in all of the First Heavy Artillery, and troop of the Fourth Cavalry, — has the best house in town, and it is the finest house I have seen in any of the small towns outside of Manila.

I have been with the regiment since the twentieth of September, but have not gotten entirely acquainted with my brother officers as yet. Those that I have met seem to be good fellows, and the colonel is certainly a fine man. His name is Liscum, and he was formerly one of the volunteer brigadier generals who were appointed last year. The Ninth has the centre of the town, with the Twelfth on the left and the Seventeenth on the right. There is a string of outposts all around the town in the important positions and a guard of one hundred men with some artillery guarding the railroad bridge which was partly destroyed by the insurgents when they retreated from the town. The brigade has been here nearly a month and it has been attacked heavily at least once. General Wheeler is here, and I had the pleasure of meeting him when he made his round of the outposts the other day. He is a very vigorous old man and makes his staff officers ride to keep up with him.

Monday, October 2, 1899.

It has been cool and cloudy and I am beginning to get back my strength. The day in the hospital usually starts in at 6 a.m., my hombre, or man, bringing in a washbasin with water to wash in, and about seven the day nurse relieves the night nurse and we have breakfast. During the morning we have an eggnog, and then lunch at twelve. The afternoon brings another eggnog, and about once a week we have ice cream. Supper comes at six, and it is dark at seven-thirty. The doctor comes in the morning and at night, but he has little work to do in this ward, for there are only eight or ten officers here. When I was here before, about a month ago, for three or four days, the ward was full. The rainy season is drawing to a close, and as there has been little, if any, campaigning, on account of the heavy rains, there has not been much sickness.

1st RESERVE HOSPITAL, MANILA, P.I., October 1, 1899.

DEAR MOTHER: The letter heading is not as pleasant looking as some I have sent to you. I have been sick with a fever for fifteen or sixteen days; but it was not serious although uncomfortable. Just at present I am getting back my strength and trying to make my clothes fit once more. This hospital used to be a Spanish one and it is pretty comfortable and commodious. Where I am there is a large courtyard with the buildings grouped around and plenty of trees and grass to make it pleasant for the convalescents. The Fourth Infantry band used to give two or three concerts here in the courtyard every week, but the band has been ordered to join the regiment, so that we have lost some good music.

While I was sick at Calamba, the headquarters of the Twenty-first, I got my appointment as first lieutenant, and lately I have been ordered to the Ninth, which is operating to the north of Manila. A friend of mine in the Ninth was promoted to the Nineteenth, and as he has very good reasons for wishing to stay in his old regiment, I am going to transfer with him; and by the time you get this I shall be in the Nineteenth Infantry. The Nineteenth has not been in the islands very long, and two-thirds of the regiment are stationed on the island of Panay, at the city of Iloilo. It is said to be a very healthy city, and I should not mind going there and seeing more of the islands. The rest of the Nineteenth is near the city of Manila. Everything is quiet at present, and the rebels do not stand when our troops get after them. The rebels seem to be fighting for time; that is, until our Congress meets. The general sentiment is one of a kind of pity for the poorly equipped Filipinos. We do not have much heart in the struggle and wish it would soon end. The word duty is small, but it makes the soldier fight, and it seems to underlie a great many actions in life. I have never been homesick, although I have thought many times of you dear ones, your joys, and happiness, for all should be happy and joyful with the birds that sing about the beautiful house in Quincy.

I received a letter from father while you were in London together, and you have returned to Quincy some time ago. This is the witching time o’ year in New England, and I can smell the orchards as the fruits are being picked. I would send for a barrel of apples if I were settled in the city, but one wants as little as possible to carry and look after in the field. My baggage has usually been a dress suit case, and a big piece of heavy canvas into which I can put blankets, folding cot, and many other articles, and then the whole thing rolls up into a good solid roll, and two heavy straps hold it together. This roll and the dress suit case have never weighed much over fifty pounds, and an officer is allowed to carry 150 pounds in the field. All the marches one goes on in this country are so hard that one has to carry everything with him. I remember one march or expedition we went on with six companies of the Twenty-first stationed at Morang [Morong] on the Laguna de Bay. About four or five hundred men started off, and the only transportation was four or five coolies or Chinos who are attached to each company and carry the rations. My outfit was the clothes I wore, my blouse, a canteen, haversack, revolver, and poncho. The haversack is supposed to hold rations, but there is always room for some comforts, such as toothbrush, soap, and maybe a pair of socks. I used to march, when it rained, in undershirt and poncho, keeping my blue shirt dry in the haversack so that I had a dry shirt to keep me warm for the night. In this march we had some hard walking, but we had enough to eat, and were always able to sleep in a native house at night. Some of these native houses are very comfortable, for they are, of course, built to meet climatic conditions, and they do it. I had a large house at Paete, where our march ended, and where we stayed two or three days. This house had a big, roomy ground plan and there was a kind of store on the ground floor. Back of this was a large room which was used as kitchen for my company. The living rooms were reached by a stairway on one side of the store. These rooms were a large front room, which I appropriated; a dining room, into which the staircase led; and finally a large kitchen with a stoop near by. Mahogany was about the only wood used in the building; and I saw one gutter about eighteen feet long hollowed out of a mahogany log over two feet in diameter. So you see that some of the woods which are considered so valuable by us are used for the commonest purposes in the lake regions. There are large quantities of fine timber in and about the mountains which skirt the lake, but like many other things in the islands, they need to be utilized and bought by some of our enterprising Yankees to show what there is in these forests.

It is getting dark and I am getting tired, so that I will finish this another time.

July 3d, 1899.

My DEAR CHRISTINE: In spite of the fact that you owe me several letters, I am going to write you on a piece of Spanish legal paper I picked up in a house in Manila and thought it was a little odd. I went to Manila Saturday, and had a little change in food and air. Manila is nearly four miles from this station, and a pleasant, shady road leads into the town. Last year there was some heavy fighting all up and down this way, and there are remains of burnt houses everywhere.

There are some street railway tracks running into the city, and during the fighting some of the cast-iron ties were removed and made into breastworks. The telegraph poles are of iron, and a great many of these were missing, having been torn down and used as defences. The natives always carry their market produce and a few other articles into the markets early in the morning, and they hurry with their picturesque costumes, carrying everything either on the head, or in
the case of a man it is carried by means of a rod of wood with two baskets, or whatever the receptacle is, and it is remarkable how strong these natives are in the neck, shoulders, and legs. The people have good faces generally, and do not look like a down-trodden race. They are beginning to have a wholesome respect for the American Soldado ; we are ahead of them in size and energy, but not in cunning. I did not have to walk far that morning. I meta native public carriage, called a carretita [carretela], and I should have called it the “ one-hoss shay,” or a relic of the Ark. Away we bounced, jounced, and spanked, into Manila, and I stopped at the Hotel de Oriente, for a cool drink and a little rest. There was a staff officer from General Lawton’s staff having a drink of water, and I joined him. Finally I took a carriage and saw the paymaster. Of course he was glad to see me, and feeling better in pocket, I left him and drove along the Luneta to the Army and Navy Club, where I expected to meet this staff officer. I did not find him, so went and lunched at a first-class boarding-house on the San Luis road, near the water. This is the best boarding-house I have been able to find, and while there is not
much show, everything is good.


My DEAR PADRE: Your letter came with several others, and I could picture to myself the circumstances and surroundings under which it was written. The dear old library lighted up by the fire, by whose side I have spent many a fleeting hour browsing through Scott’s novels, or Plutarch’s masterly lives. I can see the pug dog and the “kids,” who must be rather resentful of such a title by this time. Then I can see you reading in that comfortable chair by the front window, and gazing at the heavy laden trees outside. Yes, Sunday is a day of rest; but here in the trenches every day is very much alike, but there is a little variety occasionally, when some person has to be examined at our post. Every woman and male child twelve years old is allowed to pass without question along the main road, but men must have government passes, and we usually take all the contraband of war we can find. Some thirty or forty men are just starting for target practice to our front. We start the recruits at one hundred yards and work back to three hundred. So you see that everything in the army goes on just the same, the only difference being that we are so far from the United States, a few of the “niggers” might give us a go, but they have been thoroughly beaten in this part of the island, and it 1s hardly likely that there will ever be much more fighting so near Manila.

We have a reading club in the company, and we get the newspapers and comic papers in every mail. On the table where I am writing, under Mr. Clement’s tent fly, there is a San Francisco Chronicle, May 21, 1899, which I intend to look at soon. Mr. Clement went to the city this morning and returns this evening. Back of my tent there is the noise of building all day, for the government is having some nipa barracks built. These are constructed like the native nipa huts, but on a much larger scale. A regiment is to be quartered here, and it is interesting to see the Chinese laborers working. A framework of some hard wood is first erected, and then a pitched roof of bamboo is put up, the bamboos being fastened to the side timbers, and enough overhang being left to allow of a good shedding of water. When this framework has been finished, it is covered with strips of dry nipa leaves, which overhang each other and make a cool, dry house. There are some of these barracks in use in the city at present. It is the rainy season, and one should get under a good dry roof tent. My tent is very comfortable, and sheds water like a duck, and then everything dries so nicely after a rain when the hot sun comes out.

We had lunch about twelve o’clock, and then at one a sergeant took nine men and finished our target practice for new men at one hundred yards. There is so much hammering and chattering among the workmen back of the tent that it is hard to sleep in the daytime ; but I make it up by going to bed every night at nine and getting up to take the reveille report at 5.30. Nearly every morning I go out to inspect our two Cossask posts, three hundred yards or more at our front. The country here is very flat, and there is an open field, broken here and there by trees, which stretches along our front and ends in woods about two miles off, so that you see we have a good secure position with a fine field of fire. My rubber boots are just the thing for this season, and they have saved me many a cold while in camp. Mr. Clement and I each have a man from the company to look after us, and my man is a hustler. I have a washstand, a cracker box made into a table with the inside of the box to be used as a shelf, a bamboo pole stretched through my front and rear windows on which I hang my clothes. The man washes all my clothes and has a bamboo clothes-horse on which to dry things back of my tent.

With all of these comforts, and by being careful of dieting, avoiding much spirituous liquors, and keeping dry, one can manage to stand the rainy season. There is a small bookstore in town, where I buy novels, The dealer has not got a large assortment, and most of them second-hand. When we are settled in regular barracks I intend to get at my box of books in our storehouse. I have about two hundred good books in the box, but one might as well hunt for a needle in a haystack as to try to find it in the mass of stuff we have there. Some- time you might send a batch of old magazines, which are just the thing in camp.

I am glad to hear that General Bates is going to be paymaster-general; perhaps he can land a V occasionally.

Does this letter sound homesicky ?

MANILA, P.I., June 27, 1899.

DEAR CHAUNCEY: Your letter dated June the 7th reached me on June 23, while we were camped near Blockhouse number Cinco, not far from the Baligbalig [Balic-Balic] road which goes into Manila from the trenches. The next day being one of my most memorable of days, —my birthday,—I had made arrangements to visit the city and have a little dinner with a few gentlemen at the Army and Navy Club, 38 Calle Marina Erminita (of which I am a member), but we got orders to pack up and move. So our battalion under charge of Captain Oltenhead moved about four miles to the north, and we have been here since then. The rainy season is upon us, and it rains hard every day late in the afternoon for two or three hours. Last night it started to rain and it is raining very hard just at present. We are camped in snug tents three hundred yards in front of the Cabocan [Caloocan] station. There is no town here, but there are four or five car shops, and some large nipa barracks are being erected here for the use of a regiment or so during the rainy season. From Cabocan [Caloocan] the railway goes into San Fernando, which is about fifty miles from Manila. Our troops hold this last city, which is one of the most important points in the island of Luzon. Last year there was heavy fighting here and all along to San Fernando. Aguinaldo is entrenched about San Fernando and has tried to force our lines there, but he cannot last long and has few sympathizers in the island. There are a number of islands in the Philippine group, but the only trouble is in and around one or two provinces of the island of Luzon. This camp is almost five miles by rail from the city, and the trains run like Cape Cod trains, —once a day. The steamer did not stop at Honolulu, but we were hustled across as fast as possible and only camped a day in the city before going into camp near part of the trenches which guard the city on the land side for eight or ten miles. The volunteers are being shipped home as fast as possible. The news here of operations, etc., oftentimes does not appear in the local papers until four days after they occur, so that you get the news quicker than we do, by means of the cable. By cracker, how it do rain, as the Amherstites say; but I have got a ten by twelve wall tent, and the fly sheds water pretty well. I sleep on a “gold medal” cot, —that is, a canvas cot which folds into a hand bundle and is an excellent thing for the field. Besides this, I have three blankets, an old blackboard as part of a floor, a candlestick consisting of an empty (too bad) pint bottle of infandel claret, my dress suit case, which still holds together, pail, wash basin, soap (I thought I would mention it, although it is not often used by certain classes of the population), canteen (which gets very cool and sweet at night), haversack, a bolo or native knife (a relic of our Bacoor campaign, June 13), field glasses, and a blanket roll. This roll is a heavy piece of canvas about seven feet square and arranged to be used as a hammock, shelter, and bed; it is an indispensable article for an officer to have in the field because one’s blankets, cot, and clothes can be rolled up in it. Lastly I have a fine rain coat and a pair of rubber boots which are just the thing in such a climate. I am writing this seated on my cot, and using the seat of a fine cane chair which one of the men found in camp and gave to me. You can picture to yourself an individual perfectly healthy and ready for anything. I have seen Dalton several times. We took our examination for promotion together. All the officers are well with the exception of Donovan and Connolly, who are wounded.

In Camp, MANILA, P.I., May 16, 1899.

DEAR MOTHER: Buenas dias ! (good morning), Como la va ? (how are you). My last note was written just before I received orders to go on a scouting expedition toward the San Juan River three miles in front of the outposts. I took two men and a corporal with only our arms (the men all had one hundred rounds in their belts and I had my revolver) and a canteen. We started about 3 a.m., and after going through rice fields and occasional clearings with breastworks scattered about, by burnt villages and remains of gardens, with occasional wells, we reached a sunken road and then the San Juan River.

I send a newspaper and a priest’s dispensation, taken, while scouting, from a very picturesque Spanish church near the San Juan.