John Henry Asendorf in uniform The War Diary of John Henry Asendorf
The Story of a Pennsylvania Volunteer during the Spanish-American War in the Philippines and the Philippine American War
Sunday, February 5th, 1899  Diary View

Febr 5 Sunday 1899
The Weather was fine all Night and we patrolled the City at 8 o Clock we ate Breakfast on the Sheet Bread and Coffee at 10 o Clock 40 of the Company filled their Haversack with Ammunition 300 per men and carried the same to the Front all returned but 4 or 5 I stayed myself with the Colonel permission I laid along side of the right to H Company I Kept 100 Rounds myself we continued a Heavy Fire on the Enemy wich was stationed all along the lines but the strongest Fort they had in Filipino Hospital but the Utah Battery soon put shell after shell into it and a few Minutes later we made a charge all Boys along the line cheered as we advanced Keeping on firing as we went this made them run in all direction most of them fleed to the chinese Hospital about mile further back here we laid flat down into the Riece Field but the where now a good deal too much for us they just poured their led in to us but in short time C Co arived I now retreated to my Company and laid between Charlie Playford and Milbert Johnson we laid here for a full Hour but firing was most impossible for us and seeing that we couldnt stand their Fire we crept on Hands and Feet to the right wich was a Hillside on wich was a chinese Cemetary with thousands of Tombstone for Breastwork but it had a strong Wire Fence around it wich made it hard to cross with our Guns and Ammunition here 2 of our Company where wounded and a few Minutes later Major Bierer was hit with a Bras Bullet through the left Shoulder and Arm the 2 men where Carl Debold and Jourg Rockwell both where also hit with Brass Bullets through their Shoulders these where huridly carried back by our Men here opened up on them for about 2 hours the Rebels putting up a stubborn fight but after a couple Hours Work of the Battery we again made a desperate Fight and the Rebels soon had to flee from their many of them where Killed now we (10th) Kept over to the right while South Dakota men took charge of the Hospital we now entered a Filipino Cemetary here the Sharp shooters of the Rebels wich where all around us in Front of us in trees and Bushes done some fine Work and wounded a good many of our Men but not dangerous but we opened up on them after finding some safe place but soon most of us where out of Ammunition but it was at Hand in a short time their the Bugel sounded for a charge now in Front of us on the Hill was a large church with a strong 10 Foot Wall around it and right in the rear of it was a Blockhouse and about 200 Yards in Front of the church to the right was a little Village contaning about 50 smal "Shaks" here we could see them as thick as Grass we fired Volley after Volley into them and could see them drop almost on top another many of them retreatet to the church their we made charge on the church here it was where Jack Landis was allmost Killed instandly all he said was "well Boys I guess they got me" he was taken back with the wounded after taken the church and the Blockhouse it was getting dark and we where asigned to our Quaters for the night in a kind of Skirmish line all the Rebels had made for the Woods and everything was quiet for the Night in making the charge to the church I was the 5th men entering the same and the 5th entering the Blockhouse taps where sounded at 8 o Clock and we had a Number of Outpost and Patrol out all Night the nesct morning Febr 6 the Weather was fine but the Night had been very cold all of us where chivering all Night having nothing but a Poncho to cover with all the Boys started out to Hunt some chicken wich where plentiful in our nayborhood also the brought in 3 Sheep 2 Hogs 1 Buffalo Calf and 2 Beeves I killed them all and strung them to a tree one Beef we gave to the Kansas Boys who hadnt any and one Leg of Veal and a fresh Ham we send to the Colonel several Details where send out to bring the dead Rebels wich where about 45 in our nayborhood each Regiment buring their own so we buried all what was on the Hill 1 Officer and 17 Privates where put in our Grave and the rest whereever they had fallen this was a mean Job as most of them where already decaying and had partly being eaten up by the Dogs we now established a Cookhouse and fired up our Quarters

 

The weather was fine all night and we patrolled the city. At 8 o'clock we ate breakfast of sheet bread and coffee. At 10 o'clock forty of the company filled their haversacks with ammunition (300 per man) and carried the same to the front. All returned but four or five. I stayed myself with the Colonel's permission. I laid alongside of the right to H Company. I kept 100 rounds myself. We continued heavy fire on the enemy which was stationed all along the lines but the strongest fort they had was in the Filipino hospital. But the Utah Battery soon put shell after shell into it and a few minutes later we made a charge. All boys along the line cheered as we advanced continuing to fire as we went. This made them run in all directions. Most of them fled to the Chinese hospital about 1/2 mile further back. Here we laid down flat in the rice field but they were now a good deal too much for us. They just poured their lead into us but in a short time C Company arrived. I now retreated to my company and laid between Charlie Playford and Milbert Johnson. We laid down here for a full 1.2 hour but firing was almost impossible for us. Seeing that we couldn't stand their fire, we crept on hands and feet to the right which was a hillside on which was a Chinese cemetery with thousands of tombstones for breastworks. But, it had a strong wire fence around it which made it hard to cross with our guns and ammunition. Here two of our company were wounded and a few minutes later Major [Everhart] Bierer was hit with a brass bullet through the left shoulder and arm. The two men were Carl DeBolt and George Rockwell. Both were also hit with brass bullets through their shoulders. They were hurriedly carried back by our men. Here we opened up on them for about two hours. The Rebels were putting up a stubborn fight but after a couple hours work of the battery we again made a desperate fight and the rebels soon had to flee from there. Many of them were killed. Now we (the 10th) crept over to the right while the South Dakota men took charge of the hospital. We now entered a Filipino cemetery. Here the sharpshooters of the rebels which were all around us, in front of us in trees and bushes. [They] did some good work and wounded a good many of our men but not too dangerous. We opened up on them after finding some safe place but soon most of us were out of ammunition. It was in hand in short time. Then the bugle sounded for a charge. In front of us on the hill was a large church with a strong ten-foot wall around it and right in the rear of it was a blockhouse. About 200 yards in front of the church and to the right was a little village containing about 50 small "shacks." Here we could see them as thick as grass. We fired volley after volley into them and could see them drop almost one on top another. Many of them retreated to the church. There we made a charge on the church. Here it was where Jake Landis was almost killed instantly. All he said was "well boys, I guess they got me." He was taken back with the wounded. After taking the church and the blockhouse it was getting dark and we were assigned to our quarters for the night in a kind of skirmish line. All the rebels had made for the woods and everything was quiet for the night. In making the charge on the church I was the fifth man entering the same and the fifth man entering the blockhouse. Taps was sounded at 8 o'clock and we had a number of outposts and patrols out all night. The next morning, February 6th, the weather was fine but the night had been very cold. ALl ofus were shivering all night having nothing but a poncho to cover with. All the boys started out to hunt some chickens which were plentiful in our neighborhood. Also they brought three sheep, two hogs, a buffalo calf and two cattle. I killed them all and strung them to a tree. One beef we gave to the Kansas boys who hadn't any and one leg of veal and a fresh ham we sent to the Colonel. Several details were sent out to bury the dead rebels which were about 45 in our neighborhood. Each regiment burying their own. So, we buried all that was on the hill: one officer and 17 privates were put in our grave and the rest wherever they had fallen. This was a mean job as most of them were already decaying and had been partly eaten up by the dogs. We now established a cookhouse and fired up our quarters.
Soldiers mentioned
on this date:

BIERER, Everhart
DE BOLT, Carl W.
HAWKINS, Alexander L.
JOHNSON, Milbert
LANDIS, Jacob
PLAYFORD, Charles

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