Joseph John Collins:
Spanish-American War Diary


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J. J. Collins,
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1899

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(December)

Dec 1 Marked grs fever is not so bad but link are awlful sore.

Dec 2 Marked grs Major fired 3 shells up the river boat Omaha came in at 430 PM for to take prisoner to Manila severals guard from the 29th Reg on board

Dec 3 Marked grs company had Battalion drill at reveille lot of hemp came in. report that natives were coming back to town one of our mascot dogs was drowned Roth and Prvt Homeberry (?) up for trial for striking non-com

Dec 4 Marked grs sail boat came in no natives have showed up yet report that Genl Bellamino was at Bimangyrang pre-paring for a hike tomorrow morning. crossed off the hike by the doctor

Dec 5 Marked grs hikers under Capt Hart Lieut Cole and Clark with 106 men left at 6AM. Natives and chinos carrying rations and ammunition. can see Seville burning at noon the aftersward reported they were attacked the by small force. at 8PM Capt Hart sent rockets up from San Vincente signifying all was well town feels lonesome. slept at 1st Sergt office Col launch came in at 7 AM

Dec 6 Marked grs in charge of 1st Sergt office. rocket sent up from San Vincente at 8.15 PM signifying alls well Boat came in at 11.30PM with Genl Bell and Paymaster Genl took payrolls boast left at 1 AM.

Dec 7 Marked Duty. feeling good Launch St George came in at 1 PM with another pay-master on board could not pay us on account of not having pay-rolls several 4th inf boys in town. Wom (?) Andro an insurgent with 9 other rifle men attacked the town from otherside of river lasted fully 30 minutes. Old Donsol burned by hikers at 4. PM. San Vincente burned at 7 AM rocket sent up at night no answer Dec 8 went on guard was selected for #9 post

Dec 8 Capt Hart and hikers returned at 7AM Prvt Hollenbeck wounded in left thumb. received following report of hike. they struck Bellamino command who had 150 riflemen 2 mountain guns burned every town they went through. and all the houses on the route claimed to have killed 25 insurgents. came of guard at 6.30 AM.

Dec 9 Hikers resting rained all day Major went to headquarter at Sorsogon on pay-master boat St. George

Dec 10 Major came back from Sorsogon with same mail report he brought from Sorsogon was that Genl Bellamina was wounded went on guard at 4.30 PM selected for post #9 but did not have to go on acted as supernumeries

Dec 11 Excused from all details until the new guard is mounted.

Dec 12 Getting ready to mount guard was selected for post #9 with Privt Clear

Dec 13 Came off guard at 6.30 AM slept in the morning nothing important

Dec 14 Major came in at 7 AM Capt from the 21st inf in town in old guard fatigue Boat Mendura came in she is taking the place of the sunken Surumusu.

Dec 15 Inspection at 9.30AM Col's Launch came in at 12.30 PM Capt from 21st inf came ashore with baggage stopping here turned our bayonets in to A M (?) Sergt detail of 24 men from our company went out as guard for Major and Capt Killpatrick while they shot snipers. returned at 6.30 PM

Dec 17 Transport Francisco Reyes came in was ordered to pack up by Genl Bell loading up boat left Donsol at 6.30 PM for transport left harbor at 3 AM on the 18th layed on deck all night

Dec 18 passed Magallance at 7 PM small white boat laying in harbor arrived at Sorsogon at 8.30 PM big yellow - white gun boat came in at 11 AM arrived at Bulan at 1230 PM Colonels Launch Nashville left Bulan with us 40 of the co under at Clark and 1st Sergt Weiss went off at Bulan to go over land left Bulan at 5 PM layed on boat outside off Matnogh harbor Matnag

Dec 19 Entered Matnog harbor at 7AM insurgents fired first shots at the boat we took the town under a heavey fire from guns on board transport and Nashville drove the enemy from their trenches got 4 Filepinos soldiers from Bulan on guard at night Continually exchanging shots with the enemy all night day and night Transport left at 10.30 PM

Dec 20 Came off guard but had to go right on again enemy still on hills taking pot-shots at us while on post going around town looking for quarters took church for quarters nigger set at house on fire at the end of town night very dark up all night.

Dec 21 still lot of firing building trenches few friendly natives came in to town we caught a boloman and killed a rifleman. Native scouts scouting country nearby night quite with heavy rain all night

Dec 22 Came off guard inspection of n quarters at 9AM enemy still firing from hill. went on hill at 2.30 PM laying in ambush came in at 520 PM Sergt Dunkle received slight wound of the fore head the 3 Detachment that were out scouting return -- at 6 PM Rain night quite

Dec 23 Raining all day lots of natives coming in Native scouts went out with a Presidente captured an insurgent Capt. brought one of his ears in fellows gathering sweet-potatoes went on guard in front of church not a shot fired all day or night

Dec 24 Came off guard at 6AM slept till dinnertime. still raining hard natives still coming in Capt Hart sick in bed natives clearing the town of weeds night dark and rainy.

Dec 25 Christmas day and a dreary one raining hard all day about 90 natives in town for dinner had boiled bacon corn mashed - potatoes peaches coffee and bread little better than last Christmas 1st Sergt went out at 3.30 AM returned at 2 PM with 10 natives and 1 beef spent best part of day in church Rained hard

Dec 26 Still raining slept in the morning Colonels Launch came in at 2 PM with Lieut Dietz and an Artillery officer had no mail sent 3 letters away showers all afternoon Capt. Hart improved today Lieut Yost went to Sorsogon on the launch shot fired from out post at night Slight rain

Dec 27 Clear at last am Sp Supernumerie today warmest day I have felt fellows having trouble with washing being mixed natives still coming in and clearing town of weeds. Capt Hart improving Cloudy at night, first attack on town at 8.50 PM engagement last 1 half an hour casualties none

Dec 28 Went on guard at 9.30 AM on bridge with Danfield showers all day Colonel Major doctor and a contract doctor came in on launch with Lieut Yost Staying all night.

Dec 29 Outpost on hill fired on at 5.30 AM few shots exchanged Colonel left at 8.30 came off guard Sergt Weiss with small detachment went out attacked from south hill at 4 PM few shots exchanged hikers returned at 6 PM with lots of rice rained little at night.

Dec 30 Warm and clear on water detail with Danfield lots of natives com-ing in over 300 in town now am going on a hike at 2 AM. Slight rain

Dec 31 Hikers got up at 1.30 AM got small lunch and de-parted Sergt Weiss 30 men raining Hikers returned at 2 PM after burning lot of insurgents store houses Natives police shot a prisoner who turned on him with a bolo went on guard at 6 PM at church fellows preparing to usher out the old year got up at 11.45 at 12 Oclock Prvt Tanner rang the large bell in front of the church while Prvt Clements Courtney and myself fired a couple of volleys and a lot of scattered shots rained all night long.


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Copyright 2011 Ellen Wilds, all rights reserved. Redistribution and/or reuse terms of license. Disclaimer for this document: "The Diary of Joseph John Collins is published here with the permission of Frances Collins Delaney and transcribed by Ellen S. Wilds, December 1999. The materials published here are presented "as is", without warranty of any kind to the extent permitted by applicable law, and without any promise of validity and/or accuracy."