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Mike Watson: Letter from Adair Soldier in the Philippines, 1900
By Mike Watson, Adair County Historian
The following letter was printed in the Adair County News, 13 June 1900. The letter, dated 16 April 1900, was written by Mont White, of Adair County, who was then stationed at "Bacon", on the Philippine Islands. His sentiments about home-town news is the same as today. We love town, county and state and wait anxiously for news in digital or hard copy format.
"Editor of News:--As I have just received some of my home papers which I was glad to get, I have concluded to write a few lines to my friends, thinking that they will be glad to l earn that I am still living.
"It does me good when I get the Adair County News. I can sit down, read, and tell how every body is getting along back in old Kentucky. I am far away, but it seems like I am at home while reading the paper.
"It will soon be seven months since I joined the army, and I have been in good health all the time. There has not been a day but I was able to do my duty.
"This is a fine country. It is very war during the day, but cooler at night. Every think is green and beautiful, and at all times there are plenty of fruits.
"This little town is about 240 miles from Manilla, on the banks of the Pacific Bay. It is a beautiful place.
"There are only twenty of us soldiers stationed here, but we have had some fighting. We have been here three months. I do not know how long we will hold this place. These people don't have many guns; they use bows and arrows and a big, long knife. The name of the knife is Bandon. We hardly ever see any of the natives in the day. They do their fighting at night, and as soon as day comes they put away their arms; then we can not tell them from the ones who are friendly... The women do most of the work. They raise plenty of horses, cattle and hogs, chickens and turkeys, and of course we have plenty to eat. We get plenty of fresh meat and eggs. Of course when we are on the march we get less.
"There are lots of beautiful sights here, such as burning volcanoes. The 9th of this month there was an earthquake that shook this Island as if it would turn over. It was very exciting for a few moments; we could hardly stand up. We often feel small shakes.
"Well, I will have to stop writing, as we have received orders that the enemy is approaching.
"April 18th [continued]. The battle is over. We engaged the enemy. 200 strong. There were only twenty of us, but we killed twenty-seven and I do not know how many we wounded. The fight lasted but a few minutes. We were too hot for them. None of us were hurt. We have only lost one man out of Company K since we have been on the Island, but I do not know how many of the regiment has [been] lost. I think, not many.
"I would write more, but this is enough for the present.
"Very Truly, Mont White"
Entry from the upcoming Veterans of Adair County, Kentucky -
- MIKE WATSON
This story was posted on 2013-08-15 13:51:57
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