PA Spanish American War
The Diary of John Henry Asendorf
The Story of a Pennsylvania Volunteer
During the Philippine-American War (1898 - 1899)
Enlisted on May 8th and started for Mt. Gretna on the 4 of May 1898 33 of us where we joined the Rest of the Co. we had a very pleasant trip left Uniontown at 5:16 pm stopped of at Greensburg at 7:30 and paraded all trough the town left at 9:40 and stopped of at Altona 30 m and at 4:30 am at Harrisburg arrived at 6 clock am at Mt. Gretna the Weather had being fine during our trip and we surely enjoyed our trip.
ariving at Camp the Boys gave us a royal Reseption by treaten us to a Breakfast consisting of Eggs Hardtack and Coffee for dinner eve had Beans and Pork and Coffee and Hardtack for Supper the Weather was fine until 10 o Clock in the Evening and was examined in the afternoon.
it has rained all night and all day the Streets in Camp are knee deep with Mud we had Rice Tomatoes and fresh Meat at Night it was awfull cold and we all make good use of our Blanket.
the Weather is clear to day and good many of us went in for a swim in the Lacke and made a trip up in the Mountains to a place called Governor Dick in the afternoon the 10th Regt was sworn in to the U.S. Service Governor Hasting officiating in the Evening we had a grand Parade and passed in Review this was witnessed by thousands of people in the Evening is got very cold again.
this Morning the Weather is fine we had 3 drills and Evening dress Parade Governor Hasting being present at Camp all day in the Evening we all attented Service at the YMCA tent had Beans and some fresh Breed and fresh Meat. 2 men are on the Sick List.
Weather is clear but cold in the morning we drilled hard all day in the afternoon Captain G Bierer who had being electet in Captain Beeson. place who had failed to pass Doctor Examination arrived and recieved a hearty Reception all the boys are well. we only had 2 Meals this day wich where very poor.
it has raigned all Night and all day the Mud is allmost Foot deep every where and prevents us from drilling in the Evening all of us attented the Service at the YMCA at wich 58 Boys in Blue confessed christ as their Savior and promise to live a good and better life
it has raigned all day steady therfor we had no drills making Camp life miserable all Boys are well.
the Wind has being blowing hard all night and is drying the Mud up fast the Morning is clear we have 4 drills this day and 3 good Meals Beans for dinner and fresh Meat for Supper had a good Meeting at the YMCA at wich 25 confessed christ
this is a beautifull Morning had 2 drills in the for now and pretty near all of us receive letters from Home at 7 pm we receive Orders to pack up and leave for SanFrancisco and from there to join Dewy at Manilla all the Boys are overcome with Joy and in 40 minutes time we had packed everythink on the train and are ready at 9:40 to leave Mt Gretna all remaining Soldiers gave us a good send of
the Weather is clear and very warm we where cheered all along the Route about 1 mile north of Johnston we had a Wreck with a freight train on Men was Killed and 2 Engines and 2 Caboses and 4 Freight cars shmashed to piece this delayed us about 2 hours we stopped at Greensburg Pittsburgh Allegehny and Mansfield and at Canton Ohio we made a good Run during the Night
this has being a beautiful day and Everyone of us enjoys the splendid Senery along the Route we stopped at Chicago at 8 pm but not long enough to see the City but we had some setting up Execise on the Outskirts of the City
the Weather continues fine all day and people are cheering us all along the Route made a good many stops at small towns.
We have fine Weather in the Morning but in the afternoon we had heavy Storms and rain all alond the Route
this day we see nothing but desert and it raigned all day we had 2 very poor Meals this day consisting of only Hardtack and Corn Beef only one pint of Coffe per man
this Weather is fine and clear we are still going trough deserts but at 3 pm we got into the Haate of Calif the people cheered us all along the Route and at every Station we stopped people gave us Coffee Cake Sandwiches and Oranges cheeres and Flowers in Abundence we arived in Oakland at Midnight we layed there until Morning and then started across to San Francisco where we arived about 8 o clock
Ariving at San Francisco at 8 o clock we marched of the Boat unstrapped our Knapsacks and stacked Arms and marched in to a great Dining Room where we where recieved by the Ladies of the Red Cross Society wich threated us to a fine Breakfast we all ate to our Hearts content and filled our Haversacks with Cakes and Fruit of all Kind and Coffee in our Canteen the also just covered us with Flowers all over after returning our thanks to the Ladies and giving them our Hearty cheers wich where good many we shouldered our Knapsacks and Gun and marched out to Camp Merrit wich is about 5 Miles and is situated about 3 Miles from the Ocean and the Fortes all along the Route we where cheered and ariving at Camp we pitched our tentes in less then one hour during wich time the good people amused themself by throwing Oranges at us continuous of course we catched them all and Kept them for a rainy day
from this day until June the 10th we went through our regular routine Buisnes 4 hours drill a day and Dressparade in the Evenings with the Exception of Sunday on wich the Visitors just crowded our Camp so that we scarcily had Room to walk around we recieved good Meals and plenty of Delacasis from the many Ladie Visitor all this time it has being very warm during the day but the Nights are quiet chilly and damp
Submitted and transcribed by John P. Asendorf,
great-grandson of John Henry Asendorf