Pennsylvania Volunteers
in the Spanish-American War

1898-1899

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PA Spanish American War

The Diary of John Henry Asendorf

The Story of a Pennsylvania Volunteer During the Philippine-American War (1898 - 1899 )

January 1999

Januar 1 1899
This is a delightfull day the skie is clear and most all of us are having a good time there being no dull but seven men are on Guard and 3 on Outpost every think is quiet on the line we have Pork and Beans for dinner and Soup for Supper I took a good big Walk over in the walled City and along the Bay in the Evening most of us attended Service at the Opera House for some Reason we where all ordered to fill our Belts and be ready in a Minutes Notice many most of us slept with our Clothing on but where not called out there are 14 men on the sick List and 3 at the General Hospital of wich two cases are are Smal Pox there are more then 1500 confined at the General Hospital and about 800 at Cavite and 300 at Coricodore Island and the average of sick at the Company Quarters are mine showing that nore then 500 are not fit for duty. Frank Brain is reported to be in verry poor Condition

Monday Jan 2 1899
The Weather is clear and quiet compfortable the Nights are cool anough to use our Blankets the Company is going throug the regular Routine of drills & with 7 on Guard and 4 on Outpost many Rumors are afloat and a Clash with the Insurgents is hourly exspected Orders are to remain in Quarters and be ready for any Emergencie we have pretty fair Grup and all are satisfied and anxious to meet our so much ignorent Enemy some of the Regiment have been paid during the day and Buisnes up town is booming 2 Battalion of the Nebraska leave during the Night on a Steamer with 24 hours sealed Orders many Rumors are afloat about Hoila we have Fresh Meat and I doe Frank Brains work besides my own now I am excempt from all duty from my Company but still mess with them there is one Addition to our sick List we have a good Shower just befor taps and goe to bed with the same Orders as the previous Night

Tuesday Jan 3 1899
It has raigned the biggest part of the morning but at about Noon the Skie is clear we have 7 on Guard and 3 on Outpost at 10 o Clock we lined up in Dress Uniform and marched to Headquarters where we recieved 2 Months Pay of course everybody is as happy as a Bird and all have a good time until 4 pm this time was fixed for Regimental Dress Parade on the Lunette I didnt take part in it but seen them march up Escolta all enrorite the March our Boys where cheered by Military and Civilian of all Nations this is the first time we where not babtised with a heavy Rain sins we have these Parades wich is about every 12 days on our Return we had our Liberty until Tapps most of the Boys where " Mocha bucko" of course but luckyly no one landed in the Guardhouse 3 where absent at Taps and therefor scrubbed all the nesct day 3 men where taking of the Sick List leaving 12 on it Jno Baird was also discharged from General Hospital leaving 2

Wednes day Jan 4 1899
The Weather is lovely we are going throug regular drill in the Morning having 7 men on Guard and 3 on Outpost General Ottis sends out the Proclaimation under Orders from the President this causes quiet some Excitment among Spaniards and Filipinos up town every thing is on the Boom all Soldiers having plenty of Mony we also sent Mail via Hong Kong in the afternoon the Pa Regt is playing their last Game of Ball in Order to win the Coup as well as the championship in the 8th Army Corps with the Minasotas Results 11 to 7 in favor of the 10th it was a verry exciting Game and was witnessed by Thausens of people of course the Boys celebrated the Victory at Night again we have Orders to be readdy at a Moments Notice we still have the same 12 men on the Sick List 3 are absent at check Roll and have to scrub our Quarters the following day we are now rejoicing any our absent "clen Quarters"

Thursday Jan 5/1899
The Weather is fine but its getting hot again and the Streets are ones more in a fair Condition for traveling we are going throug our regular Routine of duty 7 men are on Guard and 3 on Outpost the first California left during the Night on a Steamer under sealed Orders Rumors are afloat in full blast and allways fresh of the Wire the Orders are the same one Men less on Sick List Frank Brain is reported worse and almost fatal.

Friday Jan 6 1899
We now have pleasant Weather more steady and therefor less Sickness acording to Reports We are going throug our regular Routine of duty with 8 men on Guard and 3 on Outpost allthough many Rumors are afloat everything is quiet on the Line but a close watch is Kept constantly most of the Regiments are increasing their Outpost also Batteries are moving some of their Guns on the Lines there are only 9 on the Sick List now No Report from the smal pox cases in

Saturday Jan 7th 1899
This is another fine day we are having regular Inspection of Arms and Dress allthough verry strick all past a good Examination in the Evening we have no drill and all of us spent a good day but to our sorrow we hear that Frank Brain is worse and has black smal Pox wich is regarded hopeles I wrote a letter to his Wife stating the facts this day Alguinald issues a Proclamation of his Own in wich he exspresses in strong Language that he does not reconise our General "Ottis" nor the proclamation and will fight it to the bitter End for the Independence of the Filopinio this of course creates more Excitment then ever and it allmost looks if a Scrap was only a matter of a few hours we again have Orders to be in Readines but we all went and slept as sound as ever it seems now we are getting used to it We have 11 Men on the Sick List Lt. Woods has also been of duty 4 days with Neuralegic

Sunday Jan 8th 1899
This is a fine day as I leave for Headquarters every churchbell in the two Citys are ringing and people are rushing to early Mess most of them dress in the highest of spanich Fashion others in plain Filipine style good many of our Boys are attending but more for curiossity then anything else I worked all Morning we had Steak and Bread for dinner and Soup for Souper in the Evening most of us went to church and good many to the Entertainment wich was given for the Benefit of the Soldiers Monument wich is to be arected here into their Honor on Friday Night Doctor McAllister of our Regt died verry suddenly "poison" and he was buried this afternoon in full Honor of War the Sick List remains the same

Monday Jan 9/1899
The Weather is lovely we are going throug regular Orders as usual everything is reported quiet on the line first Sergeant of a Nebraska Regiment was shot dead by one of our Guard who called him to halt and disobeyed and fired with the above results Excitments are running high Filipinios are moving out of the City in great Numbers and Horses also, I worked all day at Headquarters we are still kept under Arms in our Quarters there are 11 men on the Sick List but none seriously

Tuesday Jan 10/1899
Weather is as fine as ever the Nights are quiet chilly we have 7 men on Guard and 4 on Outpost their was some firing done on the Line but no Results the Filipinos are threaten to make a Rush on the Outpost and City but we are taking it coole we goe through drills Morning and Evening we have another Isue of Clothing and are all pretty well fixed the sick Rolls is about the same

Wednesday Jan 11/1899
Wether is fine and couldnt be better we have 7 men on Guard and 3 on Outpost one Guard on Outpost of the South Dacoto Regt was attacked by a Filipino with a Skelalter and recieved 2 bad Wounds in the Head but he promptly knoked him down with his Gun and put 2 Bulets through him another Filipino run up to assist his fellow Soldier but he also was shot down but not Killed this happen at 5 a.m. in the afternoon at 2 p.m. ther was great excitment on Essolto one of the Patrol attempted to arrest a Filipino for a misdemenor who was on the run he told the people to clear the Road and shot him down all people stared on a Run Storekeeper closing up their Stores and putting up their shutters the Bugel sounded and every men was in Readdines but we where not called out the Sick List remain the same Frank Brain is not better

Thursday Jan 12/1899
Weather is Keeping fine our Outpost came in at 8 am. they reported everything quiet on thelm but some shots where exchanged but no one hurt Excitment has not cooled down any we are still Kept in our Quarters but have the Outpost strenghened we have 7 men on Guard and 10 on Outpost now all the Boys are buisy getting their Mail ready as it will leave in the Morning their are 10 Men on the Sick List we have no Word from the Hospital

Friday Jan 13/1899
This is another beautifull day we passed the Night quietly our Outpost came in at 8 am and reported every quiet we now have our line drawn only 80 Yards distants from the Filipino we have 8 on Guard and 10 on Outpost and 4 on Patrol the papers to day are full of Rumor a Corespondent from Iloilo reports it in a critical Condition the Filipinos who have now Control of the whole Island and have 15000 armed Men refuse the Amerikan to land our people are awaiting reinforsment our Mail left at noon in the afternoon one of our Men from Co H was shot in the Foot but he promptly shot and Killed the Philipinio on Outpost of course this causes more Ecitment and again our Outpost is increased and every men is Kept still in Quarters at 4 o Clock we had the Report that Frank Brain had died at 2 pm and was buried right after we all mourn his lost 10 are on Sick Book.

Saturday Jan 14/1899
We have past a quiet Night and the day has past without much Excitment although the Filipinos have treathend us that the would forse their Way into the City on Sunday we put 6 men on Guard and 15 on Outpost every men is Kept in Quarters in the Morning we had Inspection of Arms wich with the Exception of a few passed sucsesfully the Boys on Outpost and Guard have strickt Orders the Natives must be in their Houses at o Clock and and remain their until daylight or else run the chance to be shut down by the Sentries many Document of verry exciting Nature are circulated and every thing is done to suppress the same we are all getting used to theese false Rumors and Keep coole the Troops have not landed yet in Iloilo and are awaiting Ration and Reinforcement wich has been promised them Cable grams are coursing in every day from the War department but to verry little satisfaction Rumors are afloat that the Filipinos are going to shut the Water off we recievd Word that Frank Brain was verry low and could not live much longer Read Murphie is doing well on the Sick List remain 10 men while Bugel blows "Taps" the Rain is coming down in torrents and will make it miserable for the Boys on Outpost

Sunday Jan 15/1899
It has raigned all Night and most of the For noon but it cleared of nicely this being Sunday their is no drill and thoose not on duty have all day to rest 7 men are on Guard and 15 on Outpost Services are held in the Fornon and Evening at the Regimental Quarters I worked in the Morning and attended Services at the Jurilo Theater in the Evening where we heard that Frank Brain had died at 130 pm and was burried a few hours later without any Ceromony on account of the disease he died with every think is quiet all over the City not withstanding yesterday Reports there are 9 men on the sick Book

Monday Jan 16/1899
This has been a beautifull day the Company is going through regular Routine of duty we have 7 men on Guard on 15 on Outpost our Outpost reports every think quiet on the line but the Mud is getting Knee deep on account of the hard Rains Rumors are afloat that our Men at Iloilo captured a german Gunboat while atempting to land some Gatlin guns and Ammunition ashore for the Insurgent everything remains quiet the same 9 men stay on the sick List

Tuesday Jan 17 1899
We have fair Weather right along the Company is going through regular Routine of duty 7 men are on Guard and 10 men on Outpost every thing passed of rather quietly this day but the Germans acording to the "Amerikan" are in simpathy with the Insurgent and it is claimed are furniching Arms Ammunition and Mony to them this of course raises more Excitment the paper claiming it to be true but the Germans seem to be ignorent about it Homer Daugherty is now in the Hospital recieving threatment for a bad Rupture only 5 men are on the Sick List Lt Charles Howard has been sick for several days with Malaria the rest of our Men are in the best of Health

Wednesday Jan 18/1899
Another fine day everything reported quiet on the line 7 men are on Guard and 11 are on Outpost the "Amerikan" renews her assault on the Germans but the Freedom wich seems to take up with the Germans says in plain English and says its a dirty "Lie" and there seems to be a War between them 5 of the largest Firms with draw their Advertisment from the "Amerikan" and the paper advises the Soldiers to not patronice the same our Mail came in late this Evening but I recieved none 2 men in Hospital and 5 in Quarters

Thursday Jan 19/1899
It has raigned all day and the Weather is verry sultry there isnt any change of the situation we have 7 men on Guard and 11 Men on Outpost duty and our regular drills I worked at headquarter until 4 pm the "Amerikan" renews her assault on the German Firms stronger then ever wich causes a good deal of Excitment the Consul General give them a Warning Lt Howard is still confined to his Room 4 men are on the sick List

Friday Jan 20/1899
This has been a most beautifull day we goe through regular drills have 7 men on Guard and 11 on Outpost I worked at Headquarters all day this being regular Issue day this time we have to doe without Potatoes none on Hand but we recieve some Salt Macrel and Cod Fish many arrest are made this day and several where shot the "Amerikan" was not pupliched today by Order of General Ottis who personaly invested in to the alleged charges against the Germans wich where without Foundation we still remain in our Quarters and are not allowed to leave much grumbling is heard where most every Soldier and Officer is denouncing the great Men at Home who are working so hard to retain theese Island we have 2 men in the General Hospital and Lt Howard at his Quarters across the Street Reports are out that the Cholera is broken out in the City

Saturday Jan 21/1899
This is another beautifull day this being Inspection day there are no drills but the Companys had a strict Inspection of Dress and Arms by regular U S Officerbut no one was called down at theese Inspection we all wear white trousers and blue Blouses and Compain Hats and everything must be in the best of Order everything being reported quiet at the Outpost our Liberty is ones more ours we have 8 on Guard and 11 on Outpost the same Number of men remain on the sick List a good Number of our Men are vacinated again

Sunday Jan 22/1899
This has being a fine day but rather Hot. 8 men are on Guard and 11 on the Line good many attend the Service at the different Regiment we had Service in our usual Place. chaplain Hunter anounces that chaplain Fleming of the Colerada Regiment and himself recieved one Month Fourlough with permision to goe to China this day we are mostly engaged with writing letters to home as the Mail will leave tomorrow on the Zealandia accompanied by 180 sick and discharged Soldiers George Conn of our Comp is among them having recieved a 2 Months Furlough it looks more like Sunday at Home now then it did when we first entered the City in the afternoon Lt Charles Howard was taken to Gen. Hospital the same Number of men remain on Sick List

Monday Jan 23/1899
We had a nice Shower during the Night but the Skie is clear and the Sun is out as hot as ever I sent one letter and some Papers but Zealandia didnt leave for some reason we have News from Iloila every quiet but our troops still remain on the Transports we goe through regular drills Company drill in the Morning and Battaln and Regimental drill in the Evening this day in the Delegates in the Insurgents Goverment elected Alguinaldo their President and General Comander of the Army wich was selebrated in the Evening at the Capital Manolo where he took the Oath of his Office and deliverd his Address wich was pupliched and I send home the same Men remain on the sick List

Tuesday Jan 24/1899
The Weather is lovely and we goe through regular Routine of drills and have 8 men on Guard and 11 on Outpost the Zealandia raises Anker at noon every thing is pretty quiet every where the "Amerikan" is out again and poligises for Statements it had made and frankly called their Informers "liars" another Transport with 800 Spanich Soldiers leaves today the Sick List remains the same

Wednesday Jan 25/1899
It has raigned all Night pretty near but at day break it ceases and the Sun came out read hot we have 7 men on Guard with 3 additional at Night and 11 men on Outpost good many Concerts are going on the Lunetta by the different Regimental Bands. Alguinaldo issues Orders that all Filipinos working under America Govermant or any other Place must take out a permit our papers simply laugh at the Idia and further permit our Officers to come through their lines that is without Arms to this we have never objected to sins we are here many men are getting short Forlough to goe into the Country especially Enginers and Miners but its rather dangerous the same Men remain on the Sick Book and about 12 men are of duty from Sore Arms caused by vacination

Thursday Jan 26/1899
The Night has been verry coole and we could make good use of our Blanket the Company goes throug regular Routine of duty 8 men on Guard and 11 on Outpost there is not much change in the Situation the same Men are on the Sick List

Friday Jan 27/1899
its a beautifull day and every thing is quiet verry few Arrest are made the prisoners are all engaged to make Bamboo Bedsfor the Soldier and we cant get no more things made by them the Tennesy Boys are still having charge of the Penitentury and Jail. we goe through regular drills Morning and Evening we have had fresh Meat every day this week we have 7 Men on Guard and 11 out on Outpost just befor we goe to Bed we have a mesi Shower no Report from Hospital we have 5 on the Sick List in our Quarters

Saturday Jan 28/1899
the Weather is lovely we have Inspection at 7 am have 7 men on Guard and 10 on Outpost at 11 am our Mail arived our Regiment recieve 22 Sacks out of wich we got 3 Sacks I recieved 5 letters and 3 Bundles of papers all Boys are in happy Frame of Mind all hear News that we would be at Home soon but we know better as they exspect us to leave here on the 10 rust but we have no Orders yet and are not looking for it the Filipinos have 6 of our Men captured but we cant locate none of them one of them is Private Culom who acted as Spie and crossed the Line on Horseback he is Major Bierer Orderly up until Taps he hasnt returned the men at the Hospital are doing well our 5 men in Quarters are about the same

Sunday Jan 29/1899
the Weather is fine and the churchbells are ringing sweetly most of the Boys are sending Mail or getting it readdy some attend churches we have no Service as our chaplain is away on Furlough we have 7 men on Guard and 11 on Outpost in the afternon I was out driving with my german Friend and ate Souper at 8 at the finest Hotel in Manila wich I enjoyed verry much (10 Courses where served) our Men have not returned yet and no doubt are held Prisoner the Same Number of Sick remain on the List

Monday Jan 30/1899
Weather beautifull but the Morning are hot we goe through our regular drills the City and Outscirts are quiet and Many Improvements are made on the Street Wagner Circus arived this Morning from Austrailia and will locate for some time here this is quiet a Curiosity for all who live here. I worked all day at Headquarter we recieved some more Mail to day I got one from Home but the News was not verry good as Mable is sick with a bad couph we have 7 on Guard and 11 men on Outpost 4 men are left on Sick List the men are not heard from yet

Tuesday Jan 31/1899
Weather delightfull as ever there is no Mail left sins the Zealandia left everything remains quiet every where we have 7 men on Outpost our Officer are getting uneasy about the captured Men as the have not returned yet this day we issued our Ration to the Company wich is allways a buisy day our Ration re verry satisfactory now we have good Potatoes and Onions now right along the Sick List remains the same

John Asendorf May, 1898 | June, 1898 | July, 1898 | August, 1898 | September, 1898 | October, 1898 January, 1899 | February, 1899 | March, 1899 | April, 1899

Submitted and transcribed by John P. Asendorf, great-grandson of John Henry Asendorf





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