Sunday, January 22d, 1899

Manila, Luzon Island –Entry made in parlor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, Tondo.


Cloudy and cool. No rain. Took breakfast with Rev. & Mrs. Owens. Cooked dinner for myself and Clayton Scott. I remained at home until 2.15 p.m. or thereabouts. Wrote & copied 2 letters. Read an article or two.

The carrier (one of the Utah light artillerymen) brought the “American” around this a.m. Gen’l Otis suppressed this paper. Remained suppressed two days. Cause probably friction with Germans re their friendship for Filipino cause. Printing newspapers in Manila is a ticklish business just now.

Miss Thompson, a New England lady who is writing a book re the Philippines, called this forenoon while the Owens’ were absent. Directed her to the rear room. She comes here to take tub baths in the Owens’ part of our domicile.

After Scott & I talked the matter over went out to Malate to try secure the priviledge of holding a meeting.The Lord favored his efforts. At 2.15 together he & I by street car went out into Malate –the extreme suburbs. In the front vestibule of the Incina cable house, now occupied by Co. B. 1st North Dakota vol. inf. for quarters, we held a service. The soldiers appeared quite indifferent. Had an audience of 10. Dealt with them faithfully: no one responded to the invitation to seek Christ & salvation. From the front door of where we held our meeting can be seen the “Monadnock” lying near shore ready for Filipino trouble. A new dirt breastwork has been thrown up during the past week by Americans, between the building a Fort Polvorin San Antonio de Abad. Scott & I went over to the Fort. The sentry halted him there. I passed the fort sentry, & across the river on the concrete bridge to our trenches which marks out extreme picket line. Down the road past the grave yard I saw groups of Filipino soldiers., about one quarter of a mile distant. Looks like war. Saw some Spanish prisoners (sergeants) come to the American line to view the situation.

Returned home by streetcar. Arrived too late to cook supper. Made our repast on bananas, dry bread and lemonade. Then it was time for meeting as some of the troops must be in their quarters by 8 p.m.

Private Geo. Berry, drew %10. (the last of his money on deposit) and signed for it.

Audience 10. The Lord gave me liberty & utterance. Last night the Holy Ghost shed His love abroad in my soul & blessed me most graciously; praise His dear name.

Meetings are held now amid rumors of war & shooting of natives by our pickets, & attacks by the Filipinos upon our sentries. This state of affairs unsettles everything.

Private Devine (Landon) K. battery cook, brought me some food before meeting but I had no time to eat it until after meeting.

Sunday, Jan. 8th, 1899

Manila, Luzon Island –Entry made in parlor of No. 2 Calle Santa Elena, Tondo.

All day clouds covered the sky. Gloomy weather. A light, slow rain fell at one time.

Cooked dinner for myself and Private Clayton Scott. Before dinner however he went for me out to the outskirts of Malate to try if possible to arrange for a meeting in the Luciana Cable station. Fell through. He learned that the North Dacota infantry were in the trenches & were fixing the Polverin de San Antonio Abad fortress in order for the expected Filipino attack. The sentry would not allow him in the fort.

Breakfast I took with Rev. & Mrs. Owens & supper with Scott with in a Chinese restaurant facing Binondo plaza. He paid for the meals.

I remained at home all day & passed the time reading & in conversation with comrades. Prayed with them several times. Salvationists (3d artillery) and church-Christians appeared today for a few brief hours. Had to be in their barracks by “retreat”. Have been kept in their prison almost a week. Their quarters were their prison – Cuartel Meisig.

Visitors 12.

I expected no one at night but was originally surprised because the dear Lord gave me an audience of 8 soldiers, praise His name. The American army at present is in an extraordinary position. War with the Filipinos is imminent; it is as good as already declared. Caromata & quilez drivers have left town & these vehicles are becoming scarce on the streets. Clerks have also left the stores during the past few days & there has been a general exodus of men to the Insurrecto lines. I am breathing freer on that account. I feared they would rise inside Manila & a number of Americans be killed before they could get off the streets into places of shelter.

With the Filipino fighters outside the city in a body that way will be plain as how best to deal with them. The prospect of what is in store for them moves my heart to pity. I feel they will be like so many children before our troops & will be astonished at the outcome, which is evidently foreign to their expectations at this juncture.

One of the Filipino men down stairs is troubled with hemorrhage of the lungs. Rev. & Mrs. Owens are waiting on him. I gave them a pot of extract of beef to make beef-tea for him. He was formerly a Spanish soldier. While in their army, some Spaniard struck him a blow which brought on the trouble.

Gave to a 2d Oregon comrade tonight for distribution, 2 copies No. 572 S.F. War Cry; 7 No. 573 & 1 No. 574.

Sunday 12-18-98

Serg’t Burtt and I went to 14th U.S.A. in Matate [Malate] to see Fix. Had a great feed and then went along Calle Real to Fort Matate [San Antonio Abad]. We got thro’ the lines of guards by my compass. Here is where very heavy fighting took place on Aug. 13, and above the shattered, battered ruins floats the same flag, whipped and torn by the winds, which was raised during the fight. The boy who raised it was shot thro’ the neck and killed. The old hospital behind is riddled with shot and several large shells. These trenches were filled with Sp. dead & wounded, and the bl. house 13 was burned with many wounded within. A 6 or 8 inch shell bored thro’ the wall into the magazine doing the fearful execution. I picked up several heavy gun primers and Mausers. Up to cock pit in Calle Neuva [Nueva], then we visited the 14th “house” in the grove, then back for supper. Took in the Luneta and home at 8 p.m. Several boys recv’d Xmas boxes today.

Sábado 13 de Agosto 1898

Hoy la plaza de Manila se ha rendido a los yanquis. Las primeras horas del día no anunciaban novedad alguna, (…) De repente se ha puesto en movimiento toda la escuadra yanqui. Los Vapores que estaban de guardia han ido á reunirse con los demás y se han dirigido hacia el fortín de S. Antonio. Cuatro barcos grandes que debían de ser el “Olympia”, el “Boston”, el “Raleig” y el “Baltimore” han cañoneado aquel fortín. Luego la han emprendido contra las trincheras perpendiculares á la línea de la playa, jugando el principal papel en el ataque un Cañonero que debía de ser el “Leyte” ó el “Callao”, En medio del cañoneo ha sobrevenido un fuerte chubasco que nada ha estorbado el ataque, A las cinco cuartos de hora de fuego han juzgado los Yanquis que el campo estaría completamente despejado, por lo cual han suspendido el fuego de los barcos empezando á marchar el ejército de tierra en formación hacia Manila. Nuestras tropas agazapadas en las trincheras que aún quedaban, han sorprendido con dos rociadas de balas á los yanquis que entraban con toda seguridad y que se han quedado parados. En esto el “Olympia” y el Monitor “Monterey” se habían colocado frente á Manila, y este último tenía sus cañones de 30^5 centímetros apuntando á la batería de dos cañones de La Luneta, Ha disparado el “Olympia” un cañonazo sobre nuestras trincheras cuyos soldados han recibido luego orden de retirarse mientras sobre las murallas de la Ciudad se levantaba una gran bandera blanca. La plaza, llena como estaba de gente indefensa, no ha hecho fuego sobre los barcos por no atraer sobre sí las balas enemigas. Ha habido parlamentó en el cual parece que los Yanquis se han mostrado generosos en todas las condiciones, con tal que se les entregue la plaza. Los insurrectos han estado á la mira con ánimo de sacar todo el partido posible de nuestra desgracia. La amistad que mostraban estos últimos días, era la simpatía que por el rico moribundo sienten sus domésticos quienes procuran apoderarse de sus riquezas , antes que de fuera venga otro á tomárselas. Un poco antes que los Yanquis han atacado ellos las trincheras y luego han entrado por la brecha que han dejado abierta nuestras tropas al retirarse. La Vanguardia Yanqui que iba á preparar sitio á los demás se ha dirigido al Observatorio…

(..,) hasta las 6 de la tarde se ha visto pasar por las calles de Manila diversos Cuerpos del ejército español que iban á dejar las armas en la fuerza de Santiago. A las seis la bandera española que coronaba esta fortaleza ha sido arriada, siendo izada en su lugar la bandera Yanqui. Los Yanquis que estaban en la fuerza han saludado la bandera con el grito de “urra”  y una banda de música ha tocado el himno nacional delante de la bandera en el paseo entonces solitario de María Cristina (…).

Las trincheras de la parte de Binando y Sta Mesa, continúan defendidas por nuestras tropas mandadas por el GraL Monet y el Coronel Carbó. Hay por aquel lado mucho tiroteo y mañana abandonarán los nuestros aquellas posiciones para que las ocupen los yanquis si les viene en gusto.

Las bajas se calculan en 400 por nuestra parte, y 2,000 por la de los Yanquis. Es probable que estas cifras sean exageradas como de primera impresión (…). Al caer la tarde se ha embarcado con su familia para Hong Kong el General Augustin.

Today the plaza of Manila surrendered to the Yankees. The early hours of the day gave no new signs at all. The Boston was guarding off Parañaque, the Petrel and McCallouch off the mouth of the river. The rest of the squadron was idling off Cavite. It must have been about 9:00 when we saw sailing into the bay a merchant vessel flying the German flag. Someone said it must have been the boat bringing peace, and secure in this, we positioned ourselves to watch it as she entered the bay. She was signalled off Cavite where she was heading, and turned back to join the rest of the German squadron near Pampanga. All of a sudden the entire Yankee fleet was in motion. The boats keeping guard sailed away to join the rest and headed towards Fort San Antonio Abad. Four big boats, which must have been the Olympia, Boston, Raleigh, and Baltimore, cannonaded that fort. Then they aimed at the trenches perpendicular to the beach . . . . During the attack, a heavy squall fell, but without disturbing the bombardment in any way. After five quarters of an hour firing, the Yankees thinking the field was already fully cleared, ceased firing their guns, while the land forces began their march towards Manila. Our troops crouched in the trenches still remaining intact surprised with a shower of bullets the Yankees who confidently came and were stopped in their tracks. At this moment, the Olympia and the monitor Monterey had moved themselves in front of Manila, the latter with her 30.5 cm. cannons pointing at the battery of two cannons on the Luneta. The Olympia fired a cannon shot over our trenches, where the troops subsequently received the command to retreat, while over the walls of the city a huge white flag was being hoisted. The plaza, filled as it was with noncombatants, had not fired at the ships lest it draw enemy fire. A parley followed during which apparently the Yankees have shown generosity in all the conditions, provided the plaza be surrendered. The insurgents have watched from the sidelines, intending to take all possible advantage of our disgrace. The friendship shown these past few days was that which his domestics feel for a dying rich man, and who seek to take possession of his riches before others come to claim them. Ahead of the Yankees, they had attacked the trenches, and later entered through the breach left open by our retreating troops. The Yankee vanguard which came to prepare the ground for the rest went to the Observatory, asking Fr. Algue if they could lodge there. Father answered politely he did not think so since the ground floor was filled with refugees, and mainly because if the city resisted anew (for the result of the parley was not yet known) the Observatory despite being a building of an international character would be a target of the cannons of the plaza. Accepting the explanation, they asked Father if there was a place where they could shelter themselves, and he indicated the volodrome. Within a few minutes, some insurgents came to the Observatory, and very politely asked the Father’s permission to put by the window grating the insurgent flag, lest the Yankees claim the building. While Father was trying to dissuade them from it, others proceeded to place it nonetheless. Two lieutenants ordered a soldier to remove it, and on obeying, he was rattan-whipped and the flag remained where it was.

[From the time of the noon meal] until 6:00 in the evening, one could see various units of the Spanish army passing through the Manila streets going to deposit their arms in Fort Santiago.  At 6:00 the Spanish flag which used to crown this fort was furled, in its place the Yankee flag was hoisted. The Yankees who were present in the fort saluted their flag with shouts of “Hurrah!” and a music band positioned at the time of the solitary passage of Maria Cristina played their national anthem before the flag. -— Since the Yankees have taken possession of all the barracks, the Spanish authorities cannot find sufficient place to lodge the troops who are retreating to Manila. The former have filled some churches, and our church, too, if we had not offered them a place in the Ateneo, where the native Regiment No.73 and two artillery companies have stayed.

The trenches along Binondo and Santa Mesa are still being defended by our troops under the command of General Monet and Colonel Carbo. There is plenty of shooting in that part and tomorrow ours will abandon those positions that the Yankees may occupy them if they wish.

Today’s casualties are calculated to total 400 on our side, and 2,000 on the Yankee side. Probably these numbers are exaggerated from first impressions. The family of Gen. Augustin boarded the ship for Hongkong at sunset.

Saturday, August 13, 1898

The final act of this conflict between the Spaniards and the Americans has taken place. It lasted two hours this morning; the simulated attack was met by a simulated defense.

At 9 o’clock, the American fleet readied itself by raising its flag, positioning the Charleston in front of Parañaque, and rallying the other ships behind the Petrel right in front of Manila. The Concorde is moving to the north of the Pasig, where she will keep watch over the Tondo coast until the city surrenders. It is hard to believe that the cannons on the southern pier have been ordered not to fire to prevent the likely bombardment by the Americans.

The fleet coming from Cavite is sailing in the following order: Olympia, Monterey, Raleigh, Charleston, Baltimore, Boston. The small ships are moving independently of this formation.

At 9:38 the Olympia opened fire west-southeast, at 5,000 meters, followed by the Monterey and the Raleigh a few minutes later. All three ships aiming their shots at San Antonio were missing their target completely. As I watched the continuous fire to the finish, the following words of a Spanish officer ran through my mind: All this cannon fire is merely a bluff and Fort San Antonio would not be threatened if they did not fire at the American troops.”

Some missiles landing on Spanish trenches have caused some lost lives. After the Monterey took the lead position at 9:49 a shell fell on Malate. By 10:00, a heavy shower of rain hid the details of the struggle, if there actually was one. I would say it was Much ado about nothing.

At 10:25, the weather cleared to show the Americans drawn up in two columns pointing approximately north-northwest. The Petrel and the Callao approached land, with the latter merely 2,000 meters from San Antonio, and the next day’s observations showed that six shells penetrated the fort, one of which was responsible for the death of three men manning a cannon. Another flattened the ramparts at the point where there were no gun emplacements. A shell, apparently fired from the Callao, exploded close to another cannon, lifting its parapet and killing several servants.

At 10:40, the fleet stopped firing. The only shots heard were those directed towards San Antonio and the trenches, but the Spaniards were not responding to the enemy fire. At any rate, from our decks we saw no counterattack. If we can believe the Americans, 20 projectiles were fired from the fort, killing two men and wounding six. They could scarcely have done less. The start of the siege is not exactly like a ballet performance. The 24cm and 25cm cannons at the ramparts of Manila remained silent for the same astonishing reason, the “prevention of the city’s bombardment” rapidly becoming a proverb since it was being heard constantly everywhere.

At 10:52, the artillery fire resumed both at sea an on land. Undoubtedly, the infantry had not been able to take over the trenches. There was one final burst of cannon fire from the fort. One minute later, a massive shell smashed into it.

By 11:00 the American flag crowned the crest. The soldiers retreated from the trenches which hardly showed any trace of battle. From this point onward, the Spaniards were obviously on the defensive. The troops from San Antonio and the surroundings either capitulated or beat a retreat. In the direction of Paco, the confusion continued as the insurgents attacked a battalion of sailors and captured two sections.

The victorious American troops were suddenly everywhere, coming from Malate and arriving in Luneta at 11:30. Along the way, they took over the 24cm cannons without firing a single shot, making one believe that a tacit agreement did exist between them, since both camps did not use their cannons.

The Spanish volunteers guarding the ramparts fired only a single volley as the Americans appeared. There again a situation of pure bluff. The Americans replied with a few shots, and then gave orders for an immediate ceasefire. The end result showed a few wounded on both sides. The white flag was raised in the southern part of the city as the comedy continued to unfold. When the Olympia finally signalled the city to capitulate, it was obvious that no reply came since the city had already surrendered.

From noon to 2 o’clock we took a much-needed rest. Then we dined. At 2:35, a Belgian vessel flying a parliamentary flag came alongside the Olympia. Admiral Dewey boarded a small American steamer full of troops which entered their new port. The Callao followed it. This is the end. They are negotiating the terms of surrender. The general feeling is that this whole scene has been meticulously prepared since yesterday, or perhaps earlier. W find this deception completely offensive.

At 3:38, the American squadron anchored 4,000 meters south-southwest of the Walled City. By 6:00, they celebrated their victory by lowering the Spanish flag and replacing it with the American fla to the thundering sound of a 21-gun salute.

This is definitely a great American victory, but a humiliating defeat for Spain, and undoubtedly, for Europe. Someday we shall discover the real truth. Spain is finished, and no matter what she chooses to believe, she has lost both her influence and possessions throughout the world primarily through her own fault. Her ferocious presence will fade away and, as it often happens, will end in ridicule and absurdity. And thus, the final curtain drops on this shameful tragedy. The sun which has shone for 400 years on the pearl of the Orient seas will no longer shine over Spain.

The Americans are festively marching into Manila with their rifles on their shoulders. Not a single gunshot is heard. The Spaniards do not show any resistance, except for the artillery unit in Luneta which fired this morning against the rebels in the north. One thousand five hundred Spaniards, a thousand Tagals, and one sole American regiment took part in the struggle. The next day, those in the garrison who were not involved in the fighting left their trenches, taking their guns with them.

Some details about the Americans. Some Yankees were seen entering the Pasig on a small steamboat; instead of hoisting their flag, they put up some sort of American publicity. Even worse, before the end of the day, two drunk volunteers were beating up the natives and pushing them around with the butts of their rifles.

And soon after Manila opened its gates, a formal order posted on the road to Paco prohibited the Tagals from entering the city. A group of natives, refusing to take heed, were blocked by the Americans, who harassed them with their bayonets.

Wednesday, August 10, 1898

The Waiting

Nothing. The Americans have not stepped up their attack. Three hours full of tension follow as the Concorde and Petrel are sighted approaching the city. Both are anchored 4,000 meters from the shore, six kilometers from San Antonio. An open mockery on the part of the Spanish artillery could provoke an immediate reaction. In this case, it would be best for the Spaniards not to furnish their enemy with a perfect excuse to open fire. At present, the art of provocation seems to be their only skill. It is difficult to refrain from criticizing the lethargy of the Spaniards. I am extremely tempted to use another term to define their attitude. Actually, every marine in this blockade dreams of a nocturnal attack on the American fleet as it lies anchored in the bay. Obviously, it is just a dream, since the logical consequence of a bombardment is retaliation. Why don’t the sailors on land arm the steam launches in the Pasig with torpedoes to use in the event of a surprise attack from these insolent Americans? If eight or ten steam launches fire on the Olympia or any other ship, one good hit would suffice to make the Americans uncomfortable.

The inertia of the Spaniards is beyond belief. An insurgent’s barge driven off-course by the typhoon of August 2 is now 600 meters from the Pasig. All one has to do is to take possession of it. On its foredeck is a 120mm cannon. There is much talk among the port authorities, but no one has acted.

Among the Spanish refugees on board the Adelaide, there are men who could be useful on land. One of them is this so-called photographer, who claims he is a correspondent for an illustrated magazine. And what about this captain of the artillery who has lost his right arm? He does not appear to be ill. Most of us on board think he should be on land. There is an armless hero called Cervantes, whose example he should follow.

Lunes 1 de Agosto 1898

Desde las 11 y media de la noche hasta la una de la madrugada ha habido en la línea de defensa desde S. Antonio á Mandaloyan el tiroteo más estrepitoso que se ha oído en estas islas desde que hay yanquis en ellas. Cañones, ametralladoras y fusiles jugaban á porfia sin cesar de una y otra parte. Mucha gente de la Ermita ha huido de sus casas refugiándose en la Escuela Normal donde han pasado la noche más de 2,000 personas. Han reventado muchas granadas de procedencia yanqui en toda la esplanada que hay desde la ciudad murada hasta el campo de batalla: una granada ha estallado en una sala del Cuartel de la Luneta y ha matado á tres soldados y herido á diez; otra en el Puente de España matando un caballo; otra en la Ermita matando un muchacho y un hombre. Otras muchas han caído en diversas partes sin causar desgracias. En nuestra casa de Sta. Ana han estallado dos, disparadas desde Mandaloyan y en la huerta de la Escuela Normal tres, sin causar, á Dios Gracias, ningún daño personal. Una de estas últimas ha reventado en la huerta, y un casco ha entrado en el cuarto del R.P. Superior, dormitorio actual del P. Algué y ha destrozado la ventana con gran espanto del P. Algué y de algunos hermanos que estaban observando desde la ventana contigua. El P. Algué acababa de salir de su dormitorio por providencia de Dios. En las trincheras hemos tenido un muerto y siete heridos. Los cascos de granada recogidos en el Observatorio llevan la marca de un Arsenal de los Estados Unidos.

From 11:30 last night until 1:00 this dawn, firing along the defense line from San Antonio Abad to Mandaluyong was the heaviest so far heard since there have been Yankees in these islands. Cannons, machine guns, rifles exploded without let-up on both sides. Many people from Ermita escaped their houses, seeking refuge in the Normal
School where more than 2,000 refugees spent the night. We had one dead and several wounded in the trenches. Recovered grenade shells in the Observatory bear the trade mark of an arsenal in the United States.

Monday, August 1, 1898

This is the situation on the 1st of August.

Admiral Dewey can no longer delay taking action against Manila. Yesterday, the third expedition of American troops arrived in the bay on five transport ships: Indiana (with Brigadier General MacArthur on board), Ohio, Morgan City, City of Peru and Valencia. Granting that this convoy that arrived carried 5,000 men, the American troops present would total 11,000. Of the warships in the bay, 26 are American, four English, two French and one Japanese. Day by day, both the wind and the sea get increasingly worse. The only means of communicating with the mainland is by sending a dinghy across.

The Union’s troops occupy four different points on the battle front: in the north beyond Caloocan, in the northeast from LaLoma to San Juan del Monte, and in the south between Malabon and Fort San Antonio. The commandant of the Kaiser estimated that the American forces have 12,000 men. He confirms that the commander-in-chief, General Merritt, who arrived on a separate ship on the 25th, hastened his trip, thinking that Camara’s squadron would be diverted towards Manila. The unnecessary installation of this squadron in the Suez Canal, costing Spain over one million francs, is a deplorable example of indecisive naval strategy.

The battle fought last night lasted 11 hours, and took place in Malate, southeast of Manila. This first serious encounter between the Spaniards and the Americans must have been a bloody one. The Spaniards attempted an attack against the front and the right flank of the 10th regiment of the Pennsylvania volunteers positioned in trenches in Malate. The battle continued until dawn and took place in the midst of torrential rain and high winds. Now it is certain that the Spaniards have lost. They allegedly lost 300 men, while the Americans lost only seven. It is a fact that the Americans put the insurgents in the line of fire as human shields to protect themselves. How long will the Filipinos accept this demeaning role?

At 10 o’clock tonight, gunfire was resumed near San Antonio when the insurgents armed with rifles forced Spanish troops to retreat.

According to the Americans, their fighting force here will number 20,000 at the end of the month.

Martes 26 de Julio 1898

Esta noche pasada por el lado de S. Antonio Abad ha habido tiroteo breve pero intenso. Han matado al Teniente Ojeda del batallón nº 4 de Cazadores. (…) Continúan circulando noticias alarmantes sobre la situación interior de España, y se dice que el populacho ha asaltado nuestra residencia de Talavera y un Covento de Dominicos y otro de Agustinos.