January 19, 1945

Same old morning meal. Soy bean soup for lunch and soy bean, camote stew for supper and again I feel satisfied.

Plenty doing today. This morning our planes unloaded a lot of heavy bombs on what appeared to be Montalban Gorge. Probably buried a lot of Japs there. Hope so, anyway. This afternoon a bunch of P-38’s were after Marikina Valley. A very big fire west of Malabon. It sure was putting out lots of black smoke.

Well, today I sure got all of the different colors and prints for my crazy patch work that I can use. I got three red cross kit boxes full of that sort of stuff from the bodega. I found thread, yarn, new patches and pieces of various colors besides lots of women’s dresses, drawers and what not. Well, what I can use I can save and take home. Mama and the girls can find use for that sort of thing.

Haven’t seen a Jap plane for about 8 days, and there has been no trains that passed here for about 4 or 5 days now. Things are picking up. All for today.

Oh yes, nearly forgot. Somehow the Japs left their storeroom open. The camp kids got into it and stole a lot of coconut oil They carried it away in 5 lb. margarine tins. The Japs were all hot and bothered. It is now prohibited for any internee to go near that place. Coconut oil is about worth its weight in gold now.

January 17, 1945

I won’t write lying down tonight. The same breakfast except that I starved myself last night and saved a few pieces of camote to mix with the mush. It improves the flavor. Of course, I had tea, and that helped. Lunch — a ladle of thin soup made of camote leaves and vines. Looked like very dirty dishwater and tasted — well, we’ll let it go. Use your imagination. Tonight, we had a stew made of camotes, ground kidney beans and rice. It was good, but as usual, lacking in quantity.

Here are a few quotations on prices of the few things one can buy in the canteen. Soy sauce ₱55.00 a beer bottle full; cinnamon ₱33.00 90 grams; Vinegar ₱33.00 a beer bottle; Pepper ₱36.00 90 grams; Garlic ₱43.00 150 grams. Nothing else. They say that the canteen will close soon.

We have another scandal and the Japs are all riled up. A newspaper man by the name of Eisenberg went over the fence last night and they haven’t caught him yet. They took the man who slept next to him and put him in jail.. It may make things harder for the rest of us. Time will tell. He wanted to get away and get his story of the starvation in the camp back to his paper first. Well, that seems rather selfish. He could get the whole camp into trouble, say, another cut in food, which we just can’t stand. And, a lot of young men had to move from the Gym to the main building today on account of him.

Quite a lot of our planes around over Marikina, Malabon, and points north this morning. Most of the bombing was quite far north. Well, they are sure pounding them. We haven’t seen any Jap planes for several days now and that is a welcome relief. Our camp Generals and optimists have them in Angeles, Pampanga and paratroopers holding the Calumpit Bridge. Well, I hope that it is true.

January 16, 1945

Same breakfast but Mr. Carter’s tea went good. No lunch. A ladle of camotes with gravy for supper. And, oh boy, the worms. But believe or not, I am developing a taste for the darned things, as bitter as they are. There was plenty of bombing today — out around Malabon and Marikina. Our boys are giving them the works now. On the north, they have reached Bambang, Tarlac. I hope that it is true.

I am writing this lying on the bed. Some lazy guy, eh ? Done a little more washing today and some more work on my crazy patch work.

September 27, 1944

In a radio speech yesterday, President Laurel categorically pointed out that the Republic has only one path to pursue, and that is, to extend all assistance and cooperation to the Japanese imperial government. He made this statement rather emphatically, and people tend to believe that it was motivated by the exodus of many young Filipinos to the mountains for fear of being called to active duty in the Japanese Army. They prefer to join the guerillas rather than fight for Japan.

To forestall this possibility, the Military Police, five days before the bombing, “zoned” the towns of Navotas and Malabon, and herded all the men in churches and churchyards. For three days they were kept without food and drink, while houses were searched and suspicious characters were interrogated. According to the press, thousands of guerrilla members were arrested and a great quantity of small arms, ammunitions, dynamites and short wave radio sets were confiscated.

Tuesday, March 28th, 1899

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

More or less cloudy; air still; weather hot; dry. Heavy smoke cloud rose straight up in the sky & hung above the horizon, northward, probably more house-burning in Malibon [Malabon]. Tonight weather lovely, clear sky and bright full moon, shining. Nature is so still & the “meek-eyed angel of peace” seems to have his wings shadowing the land in outward seeming, but the reverse is the case. The Filipinos are desperately fighting for existence & death is abroad. Bombs made of high & powerful explosives are beginning to be used in this city; three I hear have been exploded; one in front of the U.S. Quartermaster or Commissary Dept. building.

I remained in Manila all day. Rev. Owens brought word that no one can go to the front without a pass on the railroad. Capt. Crow walked out to the trenches. Is a sea captain.

On my awakening this morning, launched the day as its mission with Bible reading & prayer, then breakfast & dish washing. Private Geo. Schumerhorn of Co. D. Oregon Vol. Inf. came in early this forenoon. Put his Springfield rifle & belt of cartridges in my bedroom & spent the larger part of the day in the city, about 4 p.m. he walked out to Caloocan to rejoin his regiment. We prayed together before he left.

Schumerhorn took an active part in the recent fighting with his regiment at first later by supplying his regiment with ammunition while in action. Had charge of a Chinaman or two & a caraboa [carabao] cart loaded with ammunition. Schumerhorn told me today that Prince Lowenstein (whose full name is Henry Ludwig Lowenstein Wertheim Freudenberg) of Bavaria, Germany, was shot through the stomach & instantly killed by the squad under the charge of Corporal Frank C.E. Edwards C.M. of of the 2d Oregon Vol. Inf. Edwards (who was also severely wounded) said they saw two men dodging about in a house some distance in front of the Oregon line. They could not recognize the men & did not know they were non-combatants, because Filipino sharpshooters were firing from some of the houses in the vicinity at his squad. The strange thing connected with the Prince’s habit of venturing between the lines & near the Filipinos was the fact that the latter never molested him. Loewentstein’s companion, Mr. Wm Neggli, a Swiss, was shot thro’ the hand. The sad mistake occured about 1. o’clock p.m. last Sunday. Schumerhorn saw his body lying in a church near the bridge about 2 miles beyond Caloocan, covered with a cloth. The prince was too rash for a spectator.

Wrote & copied 2 letters. (1) Capt V.R. Post, acknowledging receipt of $36. for one month’s salary –date Feb. 17–

(2) To Lieut-Col. Alice Lewis, 134 W. 14th St. New York a 7-page letter –my 21st weekly– describing as per her request the situation down here & that if the S.A. leaders conclude to hold the Philippines, foreign Salvation Army officers should sent here against whom the natives would hold no grudges as they are likely to do against Americans as the outcome of this war. Cited the case of Rome preparing Italian priests to supplant Spanish priests on the archipelago. I consider this letter as very important.

After bidding Schumerhorn good-bye I went down to the Escolta. Got shaved in a Spanish barbershop; then called at the post office. Got a letter from my niece Miss Eva Milsaps, Shawnee City Oklahoma Ty. Writes very affectionately. Says I am about the only person who seems to care for her in this world. Wants to see me. Is keeping a Scrap book of my Manila letters to the War Cry.

Rec’d several publications (English) & forty copies of “El Amigo de la Infancia” in Spanish; letter from Madrid, Spain. God is good to me praise His dear name. –I drew at the post office the $36. postal note, turned my tenth $3.60 over to the Lord’s fund.

Monday, Mar. 27th, 1899

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

Cloudy more or less all day but dry and hot. Tonight my clothes are wet with perspiration. Have returned about one hour since from the village of Tambobong opposite Malibon [Malabon]. Rev. Owens & I started out this afternoon about 2.15 o’clock & walked all the way to this village of nipa huts with the long name. Where is it situated at the Malibon [Malabon] end of the long causeway between Caloocan & Malibon [Malabon], Large, square, fish ponds stretch away north & south on either side of the causeway. A salt water inlet or estuary separates the village from Malibon. We could not enter the latter town because the middle arch of the bridge spanning this piece of water had been blown up by the Filipinos. A large part of the two towns was burnt by the retreating enemy who slipped quietly out. The ruins were still smoking when we arrived. Stragglers from the U.S. army Passed out Call Lemery thro’ the burnt part of Tondo district, made famous by the battle of the 22d & 23rd. Everything is very quiet & about deserted. Several companies of the 4th U.S. Inf. regulars were just getting into quarters at various points along the road to the Malibon causeway, at the American trenches now abandoned. I hardly recognize Caloocan, so completely has it been razed to the ground. A sentinel stopped us as we turned on the causeway. He called the corporal. The latter said we must see his captain. The latter (Captain Andrews of L. Company) demaned our passes somewhat brusquely. We exhibited them. Andrews cautioned us about entering Malibon; said he had no troops in that place & if we went we must take the responsibility on ourselves. We concluded to do that & passed on down the road. About 300 yards from our trenches came to high trenches made of mud in a fish pond on the right hand side of the road going towards Malibon. A low hillock of gravel was thrown across the road. Behind this Filipinos lay to shoot, judging from many empty shells. Men were hurt here. Stains of dry blood were seen, where it had stood in pools, & trails of blood could be traced along the road towards town, made by wounded men. Deep ditches & wide were cut across the causeway in 2 places. We crossed them but were stopped by the broken arch. Examined Tambobong. the large Spanish hospital is a ruin. We saw smoking ruins here & there in Malibon. Towards the north a few miles a great cloud of smoke rose heavenward. Someone ventured the suggestion that Polo was on fire. Was probably another village. We saw not a single Filipino in Tambobong. The sun was getting low & we retraced our steps. Capt. Andrews came out of tent & was very pleasant to us. Invited us to come back & hold service with his men. Promised to “round them up” for us. Leaving him we hastened back to the Caloocan road to catch up with a couple of Government teams. Overtook a four-mule outfit. Had 4 u.S. soldiers & teamster; the latter permitted us to climb on & gave us a much appreciated atho’ rough ride back to Manila. Arrived home about 6.30 p.m. when I turned to & cooked supper.

This morning after Bible reading, prayer & breakfast, I went over to the Dagupan R.R. depot Manila at 8.35 to go out to the front. An officious man –don’t know his name– refused to met me go on the 9. o’clock train. Made the excuse that it was a special. I waited 3 hours altogether until 12. for another train then changed my mind & gave up the idea –too late. Our advance guard is getting near Malolos… Rumor says Gen. Montenego was shot & captured.


March 27-99

We sent about 500 ducks down in canoes to Manila –for mess fund. Quiet last night but firing at Pasig this morn. Don’t savey [savvy] why we are not attacked as we are not over 100 men and are fearfully exposed. Wn is all along this end of lake & the rest of brigade is at Malahon [Malabon], which will probably fall today.

Saturday, March 25th, 1899

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

Sky cloudy but weather hot & oppressive. My overshirt was wet with perspiration. Tonight I am tired; don’t feel like writing.

Bible reading, prayer, breakfast –cooked & eaten– then leaving my dishes for “Muchacho”, the Filipino servant boy to wash. I took my Kodak & umbrella & walked over to the Dagupan railroad depot to catch the 9. o’clock train. I waited in the depot with a party of soldiers & civilians until 9.45 o’clock a.m. when a mixed passenger & freight rolled in from Pasig quay near the Port Captain’s office. Without asking leave of anybody I jumped into a box car with some U.S. troops. The floor & wall in places with fresh wet blood, from wounded men. At daylight this morning a combined advance movement was made all along the line. While Bible reading in my bedroom this morning I heard firing at the front. The work of death commenced early. A company of soldiers came out on the train. Going over to the bluff back of the post office overling Dagatdagalono bay from whence a fair view was had of Malibon [Malabon]. Heard constant firing over there but could see nothing. Went over to the temporary fort back of the cemetery & watched Section 2, Battery A. Utah Artillery put some shots into Malibon [Malabon], The 2 guns face the causeway. Here a German –photographer, Peter Dutkewich* [*See page 239 re Private Julius Kuester], of No. 15 Plaza Santa Ana, Manila, joined me. He is taking pictures for G.M. Davis, No. 21, Washington St., New York. for public sale, stereopticon views & newspapers. This was the German’s first trip on the battlefield & was hard on him –the heat & work. An Englishman had joined me before. Together we visited the Filipino trenches, abandoned this morning. Found piles of empty catridge shells in the holes under the thatched roofs covering the holes. What a quantity of lead was shot at our men! Followed these trenches about one mile. No dead in them, but back I counted about 8 dead Filipinos. One I saw with brains oozing out of his head. Photographed the corpse.

By the roadside saw the dead body (alone & deserted) of Private Thompson, K. battery 3d Reg’t Heavy Artillery, lying in the shade behind a clump of tall bamboos. His neck & face were purple. Ants were attacking Thompson’s face.

Down in the forest North west of La Loma cemetery I separated from my 2 companions. German returned to the city. Pushed on alone north by a forest road. Came to 2 dead American soldiers –a lone sentry stood guard over them. In a bamboo & nipa shack (village of Balintaoag) [Balintawak] opposite the old ruined stoned church I saw a Filipino man stretched out wounded in the hand & leg. Asked me in Spanish for some “chow”. Gave him boiled rice. Then rustled around the houses near by & in water jars managed to get a little water, which I fetched him. Not wishing to have the poor fellow lie there & perhaps be burnt with the hut, seeing a book lying on a table, hastily tore a double leaf, meteorlogical report out & on the back wrote with a lead pencil:

“Attention There is a wounded Filipino in this house Take him to town. Milsaps.” Hung this paper under the eve of the hut facing the road & went on. Here Bro. Arthur Temple of the 2d Reserve Hospital (Salvationist of No. 1 corps San Francisco) came up with me. He was driving 4 ponies hitched to a hospital ambulance, going out to the fighting line. Climbing on to the back end of the vehicle I accompanied the 3 men to the road –& a rough road it is– about one mile. They halted for orders & I pushed on afoot. Ober in the forest to the left –bay side– came the sounds of a battle or engagement. In an open plain between the first line of forest & the 2nd line skirting the Tuliaha [Tuliahan] o Taasá (probably) river, I saw a picture of more than usual interest –a mass of army teams– mules drawing covered wagons, cavalry, Chinese, with arms & in U.S. soldiers uniforms, carabao carts, & in infantry guarding the same. This mass of men & animals stretching out perhaps a half mile long was halted awaiting orders. They stood there, the teams, loaded with commissary supplies, ammunition & baggage. A grand spectacle of war. Halfway down the line, 2 soldiers grimy and black, were sitting on the ground making dinner of jelly, bread & water –the latter tepid, out of a canteen. Asked me to share their meal. Did so gladly as I had nothing to eat since morning it was now about 2.45 p.m. Retraced my steps back. Near the rear of the train saw Chaplain (Father) McKinnon, of the 1st California vol. Inf. We shook hands. I remarked “I see most of your regiment has gone south?” (Negros & Panay Islands) Replied “Yes they have about left me all alone.”

Mr. Peters (artist) was also there. We exchanged a few words. Knew each other on the S.S. “Newport.”

I should state before going further with my narrative that crossing the battlefield from Caloocan to the northwest forest (from La Loma) came up to a party of soldiers & 2 Chinese in the shade of trees by the roadside. The Chinese weak, puny fellows, gave out. Chinese are employed largely to carry wounded men on stretchers. One of the two was lying asleep on the ground –completely used up. A wounded soldier, Private Julius Kuester* [*See page 235 re Peter Dutkewich, photographer], Battery K. 3d Reg’t Art’y., was stretched on the littler, with a bullet hole thro’ one leg, the stretcher was saturated with his blood. Spoke to him about Salvation & called his attention to advice given him on that line before. Acknowledged the advice, but excused himself when advised to seek Jesus. Some strong Chinese came along. They were made to take Kuester to Caloocan.

When I got back to where Bro. Temple was left beind, found him still waiting orders. While in conversation another Salvationist drove up with a 2 horse wagon, Brother Peter Shipper of the Engineer corps. Came in from Tuliaha [Tuliahan] o Taasá river, where a party of Engineers are throwing a bridge across the stream. Shipper had a lot of S.F. War Crys under his wagon seat. Gave me 3 Washington Crys. I passed some on to Temple. Shipper said some one at Headquarters (.S.F.) send him big packages of S.F. Crys. Which he distributes. For some reason unknown to me, I only get 3 copies now. Mistake somewhere; I am glad to learn that Shipper puts them in circulation. Mounting the seat by his side after bidding Temple good-bye, we drove back across the morning’s battlefield into Caloocan. In answer to questions Shipper said he is getting along well in his soul. Praise God. Seeing a big pile of Springfield rifles cartridges by the roadside, hundreds of them, we stopped & threw them in the wagon for the U.S. Army to have the benefit when needed for use. On the battlefield near the spot where Thompson’s dead body lay, we also saw a copy of the S.F. War Cry, Washington number (1899) by the roadside. Left it there for a soldier to pick up.

Arriving at Caloocan R.R. depot I said good-bye to Peter Shipper (gave him spiritual advice) & lo met a 3d Salvationist on the depot –Bro. Geo. Schurmerhorn of Co. D. 2d Oregon Vol. Inf. Has had a hot time today. Detailed to take ammunition to his regiment at the front. Related to me that the Filipinos tried to get him but did not succeed. God care’s for His own, blessed be His holy name.

Scenes of blood met my sight at the depot. Nine dead Americans were taken out of a room & laid in a row on green grass or hay just cut, in a box car. Railroad depot blanks littered the floor, & were sprinkled & smeared with blood. In the depot waiting room, one American lay on the floor. An attendant sat at his head fanning him. On a table lay another. A surgeon & attendants were dressing his wounds. He would cry out with pain. A basin of bloody water the surgeon used.

Gave Bro. Schurmerhorn words of comfort & admonition, we parted, he for the front, & I for Manila. I got into a compartment passenger car with soldiers & civilians, & about 5 p.m. arrived in Manila down near the Port Captain’s office. No one asked me to show my pass today.

Reached home tired & hungry & hot. Found a letter awaiting me on the parlor table which read as follows:

“Major Milsaps: I thought that I would run up and see you. It is the same old story. I have been gambling and I am so tired of it and hate it, but yet I cannoy get the power that I need so much. Major I (ask) you to pray for me, that the Lord Jesus may forgive and bring me back to him, for I have been very unhappy. If we do not go up or out to the line tomorrow, I will come up, but I shall try and make one more fight to overcome the devil.

Edward Stockton, Com. H. 1st Colorado.”

May God save poor Stockton, amen.

I turned to and cooked supper, very tired.

While eating thereof Private Clayton Scott, mounted Q.M. orderly dropped in. Said he will busy tonight & tomorrow. Went out & pressed into U.S. service 50 carabao carts & drivers today. Lost his temper while so doing, but God forgave him.

The battle today has been hard on our men. This evening’s train brought back 12 dead American soldiers. Many have been killed & wounded. We look for another fight & capture of Malibon [Malabon] tomorrow.