Reading a Gentleman’s Mail (Philippines, 1898)
To the President of the Rev. Govt. [Revolutionary Government], Malolos, from Cailles, Pineda, Sept. 15, 1898, 5 a.m.: I inform your excellency that I have complied faithfully with your orders. The outgoing force was grand. I am at the head of a column of 1,800 men, almost all uniformed, three bands of music; left Singalong for Ermita, going through the San Luis paddy fields to the Puerta Real, Manila. As we came to the Luneta from Calle Real, Ermita, Americans and natives fell in behind, yelling “Viva Filipinos, Viva [President] Emilio Aguinaldo.” We answered “Viva America, Viva la Libertad.” The Americans presented arms, and at my command my battalion came to a port.
To the President of the Rev. Govt., Malolos, from the Director of Public Works, Pineda, Sept. 21, 1898, 10.10 a.m.: Most urgent. Having thoroughly inspected the trenches in this zone, the first, I agree with General Ricarte that we should not construct works near American positions without placing them well back; we should destroy the trenches which are in sight of the Americans, so that they can not occupy them in case of conflict, and at the same time it will remove their suspicions. I await orders….
To the President of the Rev. Govt., Malolos, from the Chief of Operations, Tarlac and Pangasinan. Sept. 23, 1898, 7 p.m.: Most urgent. As yet, the intentions, name, and tonnage of the American ship of war are not known. I am told from Sual [harbor], that there are two boats taking soundings in the harbor; still I sent orders directing reenforcements to Sual. Am preparing cannon. I await orders.
To the President of the Philippine Republic, Malolos, from the 1st Military Chief, Pangasinan, Dagupan. Nov. 9, 1898, 1.40 p.m.: Advise you that four Americans have come here, bringing Protestant propaganda in pamphlets printed in local dialect. I await my President’s decision in this matter.
(Indorsed in handwriting of E. Aguinaldo:) The propaganda these Americans are making is only a pretext to study our territory; so make them understand that the people don’t want any other religion. Also look for means, without provoking (MS. torn here) the people are not in sympathy with their doctrines.)…
To the Hon. President of the Rev. Govt., Malolos, from the Provincial Chief, Pangasinan, Dagupan. Nov. 21, 1898, 8:10 p.m.: According to the local chief Americans frequently visit this town…The first ones have had contract to go to take photographs. How do we stand?
(Indorsed in handwriting of Aguinaldo:) Must order circular to all local presidents of that province not to permit photographing towns under any pretext, and not to let the Americans go to the towns that are not on the railroad and ordering easy deception to make them withdraw.)…
To the President of the Rev. Govt., Malolos, from the Provincial Chief of Morong, Mariquina, Nov. 28, 1898, 6 a.m.: Nine o’clock to-night received word from local president of Angono that six Americans came in a banca to take photographs and tried to climb the mountain, and according to the boatman twelve others will come to-morrow. I immediately informed said president not to allow them to take views or plans until I should have informed your excellency….
(Indorsed in handwriting of Aguinaldo:) They ought not to let Americans into those places, except such as have passes from this government, but none to take photographs, under strict vigilance; and to ask frankly for their photographic instruments to avoid mistake, and on their return to Manila give them back. E.A., Nov. 28, 1898.
Source: Compilation of Philippine Insurgent Records, I. – Telegraphic Correspondence of Emilio Aguinaldo, July 15, 1898, to February 28, 1899, Annotated, Bureau of Insular Affairs, War Department, 1903, pp. 25-30.http://www.forgottenwarstories.com/2016/07/04/reading-a-gentlemans-mail-philippines-1898/More war storiesdecrypt,philipines,spanish-american warTo the President of the Rev. Govt. , Malolos, from Cailles, Pineda, Sept. 15, 1898, 5 a.m.: I inform your excellency that I have complied faithfully with your orders. The outgoing force was grand. I am at the head of a column of 1,800 men, almost all uniformed, three...stevenhardestySteven Hardestyforgottenwarstories@gmail.comAdministratorForgotten War Stories