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Photo of the Month
August 2022
See Previous Photos     Unknown Faces and Places


The August 2022 "Photo of the Month" is actually an original manuscript map showing the battlefield of Manila, the Philippine Islands. It was drawn and sent home in a letter by Charles T.J. Miner during the Spanish-American War. He was a musician in the U.S. Army with Company K of the 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry. Visible are the Army's "Camp Dewey at the bottom, the enemy's "spanish brest works" 15 feet thick at the top, criss-crossed by "old insurgents ditches" and "cross roads."  

By July 31, 1898, having arrived in the Philippines, he was posted to Camp Dewey near Manila. One 12-page letter he sent home, written over the span of a week between July 31 and Aug. 6, spelled out details of an early battle: 

yesterday morning found us under fire of the Spanish guns cannon ball & riffell [rifle] balls were flying pretty thick." He and fellow troops were sent to battallion headquarters in an abandoned English clubhouse. "When [the enemy] got to fireing & the bullets got to ringing through the building we changed our quarters to the ground under the porch on the south side oposet [opposite] the enemy. Our boys worked all night throwing up breast works within 100 yd's of the spanish works... We were releaved by the Penslvany boys & came home. 

His writing on Aug. 1 reported that: 

We heard this morning that 15 of the 10th [Pennsylvania] were killed & 45 wonded, the spanish atacked our right flank & came onto the boy's befor they could realize what had happened, but the boy's did not flinch & drove them back behind the wall's takeing there breast works... Well I have found out exactley how many were killed. Pens'y had 8 killed & 5 wounded." The next day, Aug. 2, he wrote that "We are going out this morning to take the trenche. [Admiral George] Duey has given them till tomorrow morning to surender so we will be out there at that time." A day later, Aug. 3, he wrote that "I would not give (hardly) one cent for our lives here for us are with in the search lights of the spanish guns all the time. They could tare our camp all to pieces any time they seen fit. & when we go out in the trenches there is not more than 1000 of us & when the spanish makes an atact [attack] they come about 5000 or 6000.

More of his battle observations are spelled out in the biography of his parents, David "Nesbit" and Caroline Amelia (Crumrine) Miner of Columbus, NE.


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