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 )

July 1898

July 1/98 Friday
Weather is clear but terrible Hot we havent much sickness Officer of the day Captain D Bierer this day we made 240 Miles

July 2/98 Saturday
Weather clear and hot enjoy 2 good Meal (fresh Meat and fresh Bread) we all witnessed the rising of the Sun at 530 am this day
we made a 259 Miles run 4 men are confined to their beds

July 3/98 Sunday
Weather pretty and the Sea is verry calm we had 2 good Sermon this day Comrade Cute was put in Iron for going on to sleep on his post during the Night and 3 men had to walk on Deck all day for drunkeness all distance made 254 Miles 5 men sickV July 4/98 Monday
Weather verry pretty up until 7 pm in the afternoon we celebrated the 4th of July by having some good speeches delivered by the Colonel and Quartermaster McCormick and others and had a Song Service at night the Colon fired 45 Salutes in honor of the day
the china stopped at the Wake Island and planted the Amerikan Flag on her Soil this day we covered 221 MilesV July 5/98 Tuesday
heavy Rains in the morning but clear in the afternoon and Evening at about 10 clock we all stopped to witness the Funeral from the china in the afternoon the Colonel read to us the Artikle of War and in conclusion Mayor Neff (Doktor) gave us all a good Advicce in Regard of our Health and other bad Habits. distance make 230 MilesV July 6/98 Wednesday
Weather clear all day and the Water verry calm the Steamer china took on Board all the Comrades of the Ship the had Target practice all day
everybody is well on Board the Evening was verry nicer the Moon being shining bright all Night this day we had verry poor Meals 3 men in the Hospital we made 251 Miles

July 7/98 Thursday
Weather is pretty but terrible hot and the Water is verry calm all Comrades return to their respective Ships our Colonel recieved 3 hearty cheers on his return. the china on his return the china having good many sick on Board her Ship and no Ice we send some over to them 3 men sick this day
we covered 240 Miles

July 8/98 Friday
Weather pretty but very hot the Sea very calm the china is having Gun practice all day
we had some fresh Meat and Bread this day
4 men on the Sicklist and 1 in the Guard House we made 255 Miles

July 9/98 Saturday
Weather clear but is getting hotter so hot that we cannot stay down in the Hole and have to sleep on deck at 11 o clock we sighted Land and at non we passed the Ladrone Island but went straight on without stopping in the afternon we stopped about 30 m and witnessed the Funeral from the Colon the usal cerromony was going through this day
we made 255 Miles 4 men of duty and one in the Guard House

July 10/98 Sunday
the Weather is pretty but terrible Hot we had fresh Meat this day
and some Hot Biscuit 4 a piece good Service in the Morning and Evening this day
the Captain apointed me as acting comisary Sergeant charley Walker being sick and of duty we covered 244 Miles 5 men are of duty on account of Sickness

July 11/98 Monday
the Weather is cloudy and it raigned all morning but it clear of good noon in the afternon we all stopped and had Target practice first with our Guns then with our Riffles in wich we came out away a head this day
we made 266 Miles 4 men sick

July 12/98 Tuesday
the Weather is clear and verry hot but in the afternon we have heavy showers and all during the Night at 7 o Clock the Colon signaled over to us that Lutenant Lazzel had died and would be embalmed and buried at Cavite 4 men are on the sick list we had 3 pretty fair Meals this day
we made 216 Miles

July 13/98 Wednesday
the Weather is clear and Hot but at Night we have heavy Showers in the Morning we all went trough a strickt Inspection of Arms and Guard duty in the Evening we had good Song Service only 3 men sick we made 254 Miles

July 14/98 Thursday
the Weather is clear and a good Breece is going in the morning now we are passing trough the china Sea where we can see Land on both Sides in the afternon wich cheered us up considerable having had a verry tiresome Trip all along we have a good Song Service in the Evening 4 men remain on the Sick List the Rest is in good health we made 232 Miles

July 15 Friday
the Weather is as pretty as ever but verry hot this morning we are passing between the Island of Laizon and Carrigan we dont exspect to get around the Corner of the Luzone befor Evening last Night we had the heaviest Rain sins our voyage we have splendid View of the whole End of the upper Island as we pass around it the distance between the Laizon and Carriganis about 40 Miles at 10.20 am we sighted the Stacks of the Cruiser Boston thinking it to be a spanish Gunboat the china left us and steamed ahead and we followed slowly in a short time our Ship Captain informed us that it was the Cruiser Boston in view the china here left us to be escorted by the Boston to Manila after she left us we took a southward course trough the china Sea where we seen large Black Fish 8 or 10 Feet long we are still in sight of the Luzon and exspect to be until we reach Manila Bay we have 3 men on Sick List Kempfer Crable and M. Johnson we made this day
237 Miles we had Songservice in the Evening and sang many of National Songs

July 16/98 Saturday
Weather is fine but hot we still have the Luzon Island in view on out left and exspect to reach Manila Bay in the Morning we didnt do nothing else all day
but looking at the beautifull Senery of the Island with there high Mountain we do not see any sign of Civilization the same 3 men on the Sick List this day
all is well on Board and we begin to get our Ammunition up

July 17/98 Sunday
Weather splendid and the Water is verry Calm in the Morning about 4 o Clock we enetered the Bay in single file the Boston leading the Entrance of the Bay does not seem to be more than 2 miles wide flanked on both sides by large Hills we soon sighted Dewys Fleet all scatered around in the Bay the Majority of them near a place called Cavite here we ankered and soon discovered the Ruins of the spanish Fleet the old Hulks where sticking here and there out of the Water right near the Shores of Cavite wich is allready in the Hands of U.S. troops sins Dewy destroyer their Handsome Fleet right opposite from this place we can plainly see the City of Manila wich we are to capture in due time during the whole day
we could hear the shooting of the Spaniards and Insurgent plainly the where fighting verry hard towards Evening Connading and musketing in the afternon we recieved the News from a chinese Warship wich just arived that the spanish fleet at Santiago was destroyed and also that the Codis Fleet was on her way here everything is well on Board the same 3 men are still on the Sicklist this day
we made the Bal of 114 Miles making a total of 7142

July 18/98 Monday
the Weather is pretty the Insurgent & Spaniards are still keeping up the Fight latest Reports are that the Insurgent where driven back we all courensing to egt the everythink loaded on Deck each men takes his full outfit and 50 Rounds of Ammunition in the afternon I was lucky enough to goe out with out with Captain and several others in a Rowboat and visit the Ruins of the sunken Ships we visited 4 of them I got a Relic from every one and hope to take it home with me we where also on the Flagship she had 28 inch Guns and several smaler ones and I can hardly understand why no damage was done to our Fleet during our Trip it raigned awfull heavy we all got wet to our skin we their rowed over to Cavite and seen the spanich prisoner wich Dewy had taken 1500 of them this place atracted our attention very much as the Building churches and Walls seem to be all about a thousand years old we also noticed a place where it is said when all Political and other prisoners where executed we returned back to the Zealandia the same 3 men are still sick all others are well and are seemingly good Spirit.

July 19/98 Tuesday
the Weather is clear but verry hot we begin to get ready for loading but where stopped again the Senator leaves for the Shore guided by the Boston wich later on through Anker near the Camping Grounf there are 7 German War Vessels 4 English - 2 French and one Japanese Vessel in the Bay it is runored that the Germans have annoyed Dewy ever sins the came into the Bay and it is claimed that the have secret communication with the Spanich and urging them to hold out until proper time and then receive german Assistance We are all praying for the Montery and Monoduok to come for we fully believe that with their Assistance we are able to Cope with the german Fleet if nessesary to day
we send our Mail via Hong Kong & Suez Canal 3 men are on the Sick List we all sleep on the Deck

July 20/98 Wednesday
Weather as pretty as ever all Night we listened to the connading and musketing of the Spanish and Insurgent for the allways fight at night the Natives say it is too hot to fight in day
time to day
a brittich Vessel came in to the Bay loaded with fresh Meat and Vegetable we are all getting impatient to get ashore for we are tired to be kept like prisoners much longer 3 men are sick the Rest is well again most of us sleep on Deck

July 21 Thursday
Weather is fine and we started to load our own stuff aboard the Leighter it was nearly 10 o Clock when we had everythink loaded and half Hour later we started for the Shore in 3 Boats wich where towed by a Hospital boat wich had being captured by Dewy the Bay is very shallow here and prevents us from getting near the Shore so this made the unloading verry unpleasant so we all had to carry the Stuff above on our Shoulders we waded through the Water up to our hips most of the Officers we carried ashore much to the amusement to the Natives wich had gathered by the Hundreds we pitched our tents about 400 Yards from the Shore in a pea and sweet Potatoe patch and on the exstream Right of the first Exspedition at Night we had all our tents fixed and ate a good Supper and for the first time in 30 day
s we slept in tents ones more but not as good of tents as we have being used to for our tents are verry small 2 men to one tent the are entirely to short our feet are sticking out and the are open on one End our Kitchen is in a nice shady place but the Rest of the tents are exsposed to the Sun the Natives are verry thick around this place the live in Houses (Shakes) mostly build of Bambo none of the Window contain Glass but as a substitute the use a shell wich give light but cannot be seen trough Kempfer and Craple have being taken to the Hospital at Cavite Johnson is on duty again but Rollie Wilson is confined in the Regt Hospital the rest is all well

July 22 Friday
Weather is pretty but awfull Hot this is general cleaning day
of Guns and Arms and Camp and by Night the Camp looked and everythink was in first Class Condition In the afternon we seen a body of Natives Soldiers the are verry smal people and I dont think that the can stand Hard ships like we can the are armed with all Kinds of Weapons from a Corn Cutter to a Mauser Riffle and allways say they are going to fight tonight one Men sick Jacob Landis

July 23/98 Saturday
It has raigned hard all night and most of the day
and our Guns are all rusting and we have been handicapped for Gun Oil ever sins we left "Frisco" and up until this day
are unable to get any and the Quartermaster is unable to issue us some our Ration are also unsatisfactory and have to buy some at verry Hish prices but we all are in good spirits hoping to soon get a chance at the Spaniards wich are fighting wight along with the Insurgents no sick

July 24/98 Sunday
this is a lovely Morning but befor Dinner the rain began to pour down and the Native tell us that it will rain steady this way for 5 or 6 Weeks we are seeing the Native Soldier every day
and every where and do not think verry much of them for the ackt more like Boys then menwe also receive the News of the Downfall of Santiago we are sending our Mail to day
for the first time we had some nice Mutton for Breakfast Dinner & Supper the claim that Dewy has captured these No Sick

July 25/98 Monday
it has raigned all night and most of us had to lay in 2 to 3 inch of Water all Night and good many of our "Dog tents" blow down during the night in the morning most of us went out to get Bambo to make some king of a bed so we can Keep dry as it raignes constantly our Camp is at present more fitt to bath in as to sleep it is a wonder to me that we are not all sick we are expecting the 3 Expedition and the "Grape Vine" is worked to death as all of us are looking for Mail on the transports we have 3 men on the Sick List Hum Rush and Landis

July 26/98 Tuesday
It has raigned steady all noght but it cleared of few hours in the Morning but not long enough to get our Clothes dry wich are all ringing wet to day
the first routine of duty was published at the Captain tent as follows:

First call 455 a.m. DressParade 615 pm
Roll 500 Tatoo 900
Sick 515 Tabs 1000
Breakfast 530 in the Evening
Drill 615 to 730 between the hours
Guard Mt. 800 of 615 and 900 we
Drill 8 40 to 1000 have the privilege
Dinner 1130 to goe in swimming
Supper 500pm the above is our regular duty day

Rain as usual with all hunting shelter (so much for the dog tents I only slept 2 hours all night sitting in one Corner of my dog tent in Company with my Messmate Thomas Jones Rush Landis & Herrington are on the sick List 

July 27/98 Wednesday
It raigned as usual all Night and day
and the second Battalion is ordered out for the first time on Outpost duty, we took 24 hours Ration of Hardtack Coffee and "Can" Salmon and marched about 11/2 Miles in the direction of Manila and their laid in Reserve the Outpost was in some distance out on the main Road to Manila nothing of Importance occured all day
and Night safe a few shots fired on our outpost and pickets by the Spanish I was verry sick in the Morning having suffered with Cramps in my Stomach all day
and night I reported at the Hospital in Company with Rush Landis Herrington Rhoades but still remain on duty

July 28/98 Thursday
This is a beautiful Morning and at 9am we returned to Camp where we just arived in time to see the Astor Battery landing We arived at Camp at 10 am verry tired and hungry after Breakfast we all went in our dog tents to get some rest and slepp this day
we are exused from duty I am still subjected to Cramps all day
and was verry sick in the Evening we went on Guard again the same men are on the sick List

July 29/98 Friday
This is a pretty Morning and for the first time our Clothing is dry ones more we all where able to perform the regular routine of duty all where out on Drill on time we all exspected the Montery to come in to day
in the afternon was witnessed a foot race between Powers and a Native Powers won easily by 10 Yards in a 100 Yards run I am emproving gradualy Rush Landis Walker Fox & Collins remain on the Sick List the Rest are all well

July 30/98 Saturday
It has raigned all night and day
steady and we are unable to Keep dry in our miserable "dog tent" but the most of us have either build Bunks or bought one all are about from 1 to 2 Feet above the Ground but during the Night my tent blow down several times this day
we had to go hungry all day
our Ration are very short only 2 Hardtacks and Coffee for Dinner and Ries without even Suger for Dinner and again 2 Hardtacks and Coffee for Supper thenk God I am again ones more like myself


July 31/98 It is not raignen in the Morning but very cloudy we are suddenly Ordered out on Outpost the whole Regiment at promptly 8 am we where lined up in Front of the Colonel tent and after recieving our Orders and listened to a good prayer of our chaplain we marched of taken with us Picks Shuffels and Axes we marched to a place called Tambo here a Road turns to the right and about 1/4 Mile out on this Road there is a Bridge across a smal Stream and Cap B. occupied this position and the Rest of the Regt moved on up the road to relieve the First Nebraska Regt at a place called Monastary here the Nebraska Boys had allready begun to build breast work there where 3 Guns of the Utah light Artillery stationed here the second Battalion took their in theese trenches and the first (3 Cop) held there place about 1/2 Mile back of us to the right The Lines of Entrenchment exstended from the Beach to about 75 Yards of the Monastery we where stationed as follows Co A on the Beach width 2 Guns of the Utah Battery - Co H then Co C wich closed the Gab between the Beach and the Monestery then came one more Gun of the Utah Battery and Co D wich closed the remaining trenches all day
long we worked hard to strenghten our Breastwork we all took turn about until Night when the Enemy commenced to fire at us about 11:10 pm the firing began between the pickets and Outpost along the Road we all throwed away our Showels and Picks and grabed for our Guns by this thime Mayor Cuthberson who believed that the Enemy was going to make a Night attack ordered Co D E & K to take their position on our right the had no sooner taken their position than the firing began and all along the line the Artillery became engaged in death Earnest and fired Shell after Shell but we soon run out of Ammunition for each of us only had 50 Corporal McCanch was detailed to Camp and get more of the deathly stuff shortly after this we where reinforced by Battery H & K of the Regulars about 180 men strong each armed with the Kraig Jorgeson Riffle also by one Battalion of the First California by this time all Ammunition and the Rest of our Regiment wich had being in Camp on Guard duty had arrived and we all felt verry much relieved the Enemy had being firing right along without stopping ours but now we all started with more vigor then ever wich lasted about 31/2 hours more during all this time we had a good opportunity to listen to the Crack of the Mauser and the busting of Spanish Shells all this time it raigned in torrents continuous our trenchs where like Mud holes but in the Morning we where relieved at 8 am by the Colerados. Landis and Sergeant Martin are on the Sick List

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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