Sunday afternoon was a sad time for us. Our Chaplain died of smallpox Saturday night in a small bamboo hut on the river bank in front of our barracks. His coffin was rudely constructed of planks, taken from one of the partially burnt buildings, and even the charcoal had not been planed off. Around his coffin was wrapped a piece of white domestic. His hearse was an old two-wheeled cart with a water buffalo hitched to it. His grave is in a forlorn place. Only about twenty of the boys were present, on account of the nature of the disease. Every one said it was the saddest funeral he ever witnessed.
Erle C Taylor, Mar 2 1899
MANILA. (Received March 2, 1899, 10.07 a. m.)
Casualties near Caloocan, First South Dakota, February 27: Company B, Private Herman Bellman, knee, severe; L, Sergt. Robert B. Ross, scalp, slight. Twentieth Kansas, February 28: G, Capt. David S. Elliott, killed. First Montana, February 28: A, Privates Alvin F. Plottner, shoulder, slight; K, Howard L. Tanner, thigh, moderate; M, William J. Cheastey, hand, slight. Near San Pedro Macati, First California, February 28: F, Privates Arthur M. Smith, neck, severe; K, Harold E. Parks, arm, slight. First Washington, March 1: C, Corpl. Alfred B. Reichelt, shoulder, moderate; Private Herbert L. Osborne, chest, severe. Chaplain Lewis L. Leland, First Tennessee, died at Iloilo, February 26, smallpox. Answering inquiries, Capt. Thomas R. Hamer, slight flesh wound, convalescent, able sit up; for Meikle-john. Private Hiram C. Conger, H, Tenth Pennsylvania, shot through right lobe of liver, improving rapidly; for Meiklejohn. Private George Church, A, Thirteenth Minnesota, doing full duty with company.
Otis, Mar 2 1899, 1007am, Casualties
So far as the water supply of the companies in the interior towns is concerned, we shall be fortunate indeed if we escape an epidemic before the rainy season. The sole dependence and source of drinking water in those places is the rivers running near the towns. In the rainy season these are raging torrents. Now they are hardly more than brooklets - not knee deep, and almost lost in immense river bottoms of the Western type.
I had to cross one of these a few and as far as the eye could the stream was thronged with forms of life.
I approached one man who seemed to have an especially large display of garments, and asked him some questions about the Filipino laundry customs.
I found that he had six children at home, all down with small-pox, and he had come down to wash their clothes. This river was the sole source from which the drinking water of 150 men had to be obtained.
The Spectre That Haunts
Is it a wonder that the company officers are constantly haunted by the spectre of various native diseases? Every effort is made to prevent it surely, for the water is boiled and filtered and then stored in carefully cleansed jars. If the men could be made to drink only this, all might be well - but in every command there are always men who cannot be taught anything, and who at every opportunity would rather drink the filthy water directly from the river. It is from this class that the larger part of the men now dying and being invalided home is drank. A great burden of every company officer when the rainy season enables fresh rain water to be substituted for the present supply.
Lawrence, Mar 26 1900