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)

March 1999

March 1 Wednesday 99

The Night has been quiet every where at 7 o Clock a Guard of seven on Horses where send to Manila to escort the Paymaster out and at 9 am the first Co lined up for pay and where all paid in the Trenches six men fron each Company recieve a Fourlough daily now to come to City our Mail leave at noon the rest of the day was quiet except the Utah Wavy who sighted 2 Rebel Gunboat sunk them both and every men on Board of them

March 2 Thursday 99

The Night and day has been pretty and every thing is quiet every where there is hardly a Shot fired but Dewys Cannon are heard in the far distance Buisnes wich has allmost been at a stillstand is resuming again we have at the Hospital Lt Howar (Fever) McMaster (Light Fever) H. Daugherty (Rupture) Carl Debold (wounded) Jourg Rockwell wounded G Cuty wounded in the Quarter we 5 men sick but all are doing Guard duty

March 3 Friday 99

for 2 hours this Morning the Washingtons had a Engagement the Rebels tried their best to break through their lines but the Boys held their own the 10th is verry little bothered and it is said the are more afraid of us then any other Regiment as good many Know our Work on July 31 and Know where we are at right close to the church again I was fired at the Morning where I took a Load of Beef out but it only hit the Wagon and one went clear through the Beef 2 Battallion of the 20th Regular are on Guard in the walled City and 1 Batt is at the Front in general the dat has been verry quiet some Buisnes House still remain closed. Buisnes is therefor verry dull and the Boys have no chance spending their Mony Jno Collins the Company Cook came in to Night to backe Pies for the Boys (dried Peach and Apple) this will be much apreciated Dewy is doing some heavy firing somewhere as Taps sounds

March 4/99 Saturday

the fighting has been going on along the lines and we have advanced in many places have taken 2 more towns about 6 men where Killed and 20 wounded the lost heavy the Weather is terrible Hot in the City every thing is verry quiet verry few arrest are made the Utah Boys are doing good Work the Sick and wounded are doing fine

March 5 Sunday

fighting is the Order of the day but the Washington and Oregans are doing the most our Outpost Killed several Sharpshooter the Health in general is good in the Field our Ration are issued regular and our men are satisfied we have allmost fresh Mear every day in the Evening we recieve Mail wich came on the Ohio wich also brought the 22 Regulars all is pretty quiet at Taps.

March 6 Monday

This has being a quiet Night until 5 o Clock when the Oregans had a hot Engagement wich lasted until noon in the afternoon the Sharpshooters Kept themselfes buisy but we did not take any Notice of them the Papers quit anouncing the Number of Killed and wounded but its nearly a hundred Killed and about 400 wounded the Sick and Wounded are doing fine all is quiet at Taps I am sleeping in the Trenches to Night

March 7/99 Tuesday

about Midnight the firing opened up all along the line wich lasted until easrly Morning when the Batterie opened up and the soon quit in the City every thing is quiet but some Regiments seemed to be engaged all the times the Insurgents are loosing heavy this day Nebraska claims to have Killed 200 this day all Regiments are doing fine our Outpost was Kept buisy all this day no one was wounded this day

March 8/99 Wednesday

the Washington South Dacota and Pennsylvanians was fighting all Night but towards Morning the Enemy ceased firing but at 10 o Clock just as I drove up with a Load of Beef the Enemy suddenly opened up a hot fire 3 of our Men where out to far just about 400 Yards from the Enemy not noticing their trenches of course the 3 opened a fire but finally the Insurgents made a chargeon them about 50 of them but the Utah just putt a Shell among them wich raised a Cloud of dust and after it disapeared we could see 20 Rebels who where no doubt Killed all the rest retreated but the Utah put 5 more Shells into them but they never fired another Shot all day we had a fine chance to advance but Orders are to remain in our place the Nebraskas had a heavy Engagement and lost 4-5 Killed and that many wounded

March 9/99 Thursday

much fighting was done all night near old Caxup Dewy and many Houses where burned down on our line everything was quiet all Night and day except some of the Sharpshooters are trying their best to pick some of our men of we all send Mail to day on the Arizona wich left at 11 am for Frisco I send 3 parcels and 3 letters some Pictures in a piece of Bamboo and Albert a Cap. towards Evening the South Dacota and Pa are engaged but no one was hit some how the Filipnios are not making much Attempt to break through Pa lines but are taken the other Regiments in preference this was Ration day and we took out 10 days Ration out the Field out Grup is pretty good such as it is Jno Collins is still chief Cook with John Hanan and Jno Curry as Assistants I worked all day in the Comisary but drive into the City at Night everything is quiet at Taps

March 10/99 Friday

their was a little fighting all along the line but no damage was made this was also Kept up all day a few Amerikans where killed and many Insurgent where Killed at St Peter Macardy this was almost captured by the Californians but hadnt Force enough to hold and therefor retreathed the Utah and Pannsylvanians where Engaged in the afternoon on Utah Lt was wounded in the Leg for the first time the Insurgent used their Artelery sins the 15th Febr but none of them reached our Trenches the Utahs soon silensed them at Taps every thing is quiet on the line the Sick and wounded are doing fine at the Hospital

March 11/99 Saturday

the fighting was Kept up most of the night but our Forces didnt doe much as it was terrible dark up until noon every thing was pretty quiet all along the lines but towards Evening shots where fired on both Sides all along the line we are having hot weather every day and the Rhodes are terrible dusty we still have fresh Bread and Meat allmost every day a good deal of Mail was send as 2 Transports are leaving for the Staates also a chinese Men of War arrived in the Bay and a Brittich both exchanged Salutes with Dewys Fleet in the City every thing is quiet but have smal Fires verry frequently every where their is firing allmost all along the line as taps blow wich is now 7 o Clock

March 12/99 Sunday

I have slept in the Captains Quarters all night but didnt sleep much as much firing was done near Malette but our Men where not engaged as usual I took Meat out to Front and stayed until Evening the day was rather quiet with the Exception of our Battery wich cleared the Woods in Front of our Regiment ones in a while but on our right the troops are advancing and we now have a straight line wich reaches clear around to Cavite

March 13/99 Monday

It has raigned most all Night and a little firing was done but at day breack allmost every Regiment is more or less engaged the Insurgent are building good strong Breastwork every where while we are taken Ammunition and 6 days Field Ration to the Front and our Officer and Generals are planning for a advance wich will take Place to morrow the Captain in Return give the Orders to their Companys the Utah Battery fired some fine our Hospital still remains in the C. church we have 20 chinese engaged to carry our dead and wounded at Taps every thing is ready for any Move in a Minutes Notice all is quiet and we are praying for Victory good many of our Boys are getting discouraged fighting these Rebels but dont say much

March 14/99 Tuesday

it has raigned all Night and several Regiments have been engaged but on our line all is quiet until Morning the Sharpshooters are shooting every where but not much Attention is paid to them firing could be heard all along the line the Utah Fleet is doing fine and capture several Boats fron the Rebels with Ammunition and Rations and captured many prisoners good many of Rebels where Killed to day also a few of our Men where Killed Mail leaves to day via Hong Kong several Foreign Ships arived in the Bay as much saluting is heard fron the Bay it has raigned steady all day at Taps every thing is quiet on the Line but several large Fires are in the City

March 15/99 Wednesday

it has raigned all Night and most of the Regiment where engaged all Night but at day break every thing was quiet again except the Sharpshooter who Killed several of our men and also wounded some but befor Night we had Revenge for at about 7 o Clock the Rebels made a strong attack on our lines wich we held this they Kept up until Midnight several of our Men where Killed and some wounded but the Rebels losses where as usual verry heavy as in the early Morning we could see them carry their dead back at our church every think was quiet and no more shots where fired on either Mail came in at Night

(transcriber’s note: this starts the next page which seems to be directly after J.H.A. was ambushed)

at 2 o Clock in the Morning I was called out to Haul some more ammunition to the front as I am writing this I am very nervous because both of my Arms are banded up and they are painful on my way was ambushed by 3 Filipnios and came pretty near Killed they had no Guns but Bolos the some way sneaked up on me without me seeing them they slashed both of my Arms and on slash on the Head but in trying to get my Gun they pulled me of the Cart but I Killed both of them with the but of my Gun and the 3th one was Killed by a Minnisota Boy on Guard near by the Doctor put 22 stiches in to fix them up and called for help I was bleeding like a stuck pig but the cuts are not deep its surely though in this nayborhood life just now is not worth 2 Cents I guess I be on light duty from now on at least until theese cuts are healed up we only live from 1 day to another

March 16/99 Thursday

it has raigned all Night at 8 o Clock the firing open on our exstreme Right and the Nebraskan and California had a good deal to do as it Kept up until noon but started again in the afternoon and Kept up until 4 pm but at 5 pm all along the Lines where engaged the Utah and 6 Attelery done some good work we got some Mail early in the Morning I rec. 3 letters and answered the same befor Night as the Mail leaves in the Morning every thing is quiet on the line but the Rain is coming down in torents at Taps 10 o Clock

March 17/99 Friday

This being Patricks day several Irish Flag where raised beneath the Stars and Stripes all along the trenches it is raignen heavy at 2 pm the Insurgents made a Attack on our right Flang but where easy repulsed with heavy losses Lt Thompson Co E was wounded in Thigh an Sergt McCauch C Co was hit in the left Arm (Mauser Bullet) and the Colonels Revolver was hit at 4 pm quietnes is restored and no more shots where fired towards Evening the Weather is clear and we spent a nice Night in Trenches

March 18/99 Saturday

The Weather is clear everything is quiet along the line the Mail arived via Hong Kong recieved 3 letters and lots of papers also a box of Candy Queen Regent of Spain signed the Treaty we had fresh Beef and fresh Bread to day

March 19/99 Sunday

The Weather is lovely but warm everything is quiet all along the line but in the Evening heavy firing was heard on our Exstreme right for several hours we have fresh Meat and Bread in the Evening I went to Town and stayed in Captains Quarters in the City every thing is quiet but several shots where fired at the Sentinels guarded at the Rear at Headquarters

March 20/99 Monday

Weather fine took out a load of Bread and 2 loads of Ration also 7 Bull carts full of Ration to the line every thing is quiet along the lines Battelship Oregon arrived in the Harbor from Honululu I wrote 3 letters this Evening and spent the Night in Trenches

March 21/99 Tuesday

Weather fine but verry hot all day went to town at 4 am and brought out some fresh Meat and Bread Captain went to town but returned in the Evening every thing is quiet along the line Taps blow at 7 pm on the line at 8 pm I drove in to the City where every thing seems quiet

March 22 Wednesday

Weather is fine and a good breese is blowing all day every thing is quiet on the Line until 6 pm we could hear heavy canading and Muceting on our Exstreme Right wich lasted several Hours drove in to City at 8 pm Doc wrote 2 letters for me

March 23/99 Thursday

Weather is lovely everythink sems quiet we are making preparation to advance on the Rebels the Utah Battery is bringing out several more Guns death rate is increising in the City as on our Way out to the Field we met about 20 Funerals one chinese Funeral followed by 29 Coronates good many arrest where made in the City and several Regiment bring in from 20 to 60 prisoners inro the City at Night every thing is quiet Natives and everyone else must be off the Street at 7 pm

March 24/99 Friday

the day is exsteme warm the Transport Ship Sheridan arrived from New York with the 12 Regt and a Battalion of the 17. Mail arived from Hong Kong received 2 letters and answered 2 the 4th Infantry and 4th Cavalery went out on the line every think is quiet as Taps blow

March 25/99 Saturday

The Weather is fine we all got up at 3 o Clock had Breakfast at 4 and formed a Attack on the Enemy at 5 30 Co C. D. H. and K are on the firing line and Cos E and I Support took Enemy position in 30 minutes C.W. Walker was wounded in the Shoulder Private Newell of Co. E Killed drove the Enemy back about 7 Miles Private Kelly of Co K wounded in the Leg the Enemy losses where heavy death N*****s could be seen every where Montana Regt had 4 men Killed and 14 wounded Wagontrain of 200 Wagons in 2 Miles behind the Forces 2 Horses where Killed and one U.S. Mule was hit in the Leg Wagontrain had 2 men wounded and on cherro driver was hit in the Foot also 2 men of the Cavalry where Killed and several wounded

March 26/99 Sunday

got up at 5 a.m. and ate Breakfast and moved by the right Flank attacked the N*****s at about 2 p.m. they where entrenched gehind the R. Road the South Dacota charged them on the the right and Penn in Front had a hot fight after wich we took their position J Kline of Co H. was Killed and Wm Collins and E Barnes of Cos C wounded we stayed all Night in a Town where we had plenty of chickens to eat and some of our Boys got some good Relics

March 27/99 Monday

Penn are in reserve and South Dacotas and 3 Artellery on firing line both Regiment had heavy losses we moved about 2 Miles to the North and went on the firing line towards Evening during the Night the Enemy made a Attack on Outpost but was repulsed Morrison Barkley and a fellow by the Name " Mickie" of Co. I. where seriously wounded

March 28/99 Tuesday

Penn are on Firing line but only advance a short distance into a smal Town the Weather was verry hot and good many where overcome by the Heat four of us on the Wagontrain went out searching for Weapons after searching 7 or 8 Shacks I went into one lovely Shack hidden in a Orchard of Bananas all by myself and unarmed thinking it was deserted but on entering the Front Room a midle aged Woman with a long Mashette jumped at me vigorous unexspected I stepped back a few Steps grabed hold of a Heavy chair and felled her to the Flor where she laid unconsiously I their disarmed her and exspect to Keep this Knife for a Relick on leaving the place a few Bullits passed me but soon my Comrades came and in 10 Minutes we had 3 N*****s run down one made good his Escape while we riddelt the other 2with Bullits to a finich

(Sergt Sharp of Co K wounded)

March 29/99 Wednesday

The Weather is fine but hot 10 Penn is on firing line comenced to advance on the Enemy at 7 am the Arttelry drove the Enemy from their position several of them where Killed and some wounded Co C was now on the left nesct to the R R. and Kept right on advancing but after a half Hours march we encountered a large Force of the Enemy wich where entrenched the put up a stubborn fight but we soon drove them from position Downs of Co C Cunningham and Corp Christofeels of Co D Rosucker G West and Usurkic of Co E where wounded the Enemy losses where heavy after taking their position we went right until 530 pm when we again encountered a large Force of the Enemy but soon drove them off in this fight Jerriwine of Co C and Stevens of Co I where Killed and Wm Louis and Sergt Ashcraft of Co C Georg Taylor and A.B. Young of Co H and John Baer of Co. E. and A Powell and Sergt Pennaly of Co I. where wounded and a Hour later Priv Ambrose of I. Co. was Killed while on Outpost this day we had nothing but Hardtack and Salmon and Hardly Water anough to rench it down with the Wagontrain is now several Miles behind on account of the Bridges across the River being all burned down and Horses Buffulos have to be swimed across and the Wagon we have to put on a Raft made out of Bamboo and pull them across with a Rope

March 30/99 Thursday

The Weather is claudy and we didnt start on the March until 11 am as we didnt get our Rations until then we marched through a Heavy Rain good many have nothing on but Undershirt and brown pants having throwed away most of the blue Shirts and blouses and woolen Blankets and tents on acc. of the enormas Heat good many have lost their Side Arms all Mauser guns and Remingtons from the Enemy we have Orders to destroy at once at 2 pm we run into a strong forse of the Enemy in a thick Woods Co. C. charged their Breastwork and soon drove the Enemy out of it here then we went into Camp for the Night the Enemy is in strong Force in Front of us we are now preparing to attack Malolas at 2 pm I was overcome by the Heat and for 6 Hours I was unconscious wich weakened me verry much and I was nervous all Night but by Morning I was allright Private Knox of Co E. was wounded in the Foot during the day

March 31/99 Friday

We all got up befor daylight and breakfasted and moved by the right Flank at 7 o Clock the Artilley opened up on the City and every Cannon on the line was brought in Aktion after a few Hours heavy canading we marched on to the City the Nebraskas and South Dacotas had quiet a lively Skirmich in wich several where Killed and quiet good many wounded we then took the City at 11 a.m. with verry little fighting and went into Camp the Wagontrain moved in a few Hours later and went into Camp on the Outscirts of the City here we had plenty to eat such as chickens and Bananas and plenty of good Rain Water to drink

Saturday April 1/99

Weather is fine we breakfasted at 8 a.m. most all of us had chickens and plenty of Ration arive on the Train all of the Men are tired and we all hope that we will not advance any further for some time many of the Boys have sore Feet and sore Legs in the afternoon I took in the town Alguinalds Palace are all in Ruins good many Buildings are burned down visited the Prison and seen the Names of 5 amerikan Prisoners written on the Walls in different places in the Evening I seen a priest and one of Algies Representitive under a white Flag coming through the lines and seen General McArthur but the Meeting was secret but seemingly unsatisfactory



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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