MILLER TO BARRY, FEBRUARY 3, 1899
Still General Miller was greatly dissatisfied with his surroundings. He could not perform military service, nor could he conduct business affairs. He was kept watching and waiting under very unpleasant circumstances, which grew more irksome every passing day. On February 3, the day previous to the opening of actual hostilities at Manila, he wrote:
HDQRS. FIRST SEPARATE BRIGADE, EIGHTH ARMY CORPS,
ON BOARD TRANSPORT NEWPORT,
Iloilo Harbor, P. I., February 3, 1899.
Department of the Pacific, Eighth Army Corps.
SIR: I have the honor to report the military situation here unchanged. The insurgents are reported to be placing another gun in position. This is outside and near the entrance to the fort, bearing on our ships.
The insurgents in town are to-day having a little trouble. Two companies in the main barracks demanded some pay and better food, and threatened to take up their arms and go back into the country if they were not paid. The row is not yet settled. Some $15,000—export and import duty—have been received in the collector's office, and I presume the troops want a part of that.
Reports from the southern islands, Negros and Cebu, are to the effect that those people realize that they can not succeed with an independent government and want us to take possession.
I still feel that this place—Iloilo—ought to be captured. Such a step would deprive the insurgents of large receipts from customs, cripple their means to pay the soldiers, and arouse the people favorable to us in the southern islands to express more freely their true sentiments. I am well satisfied that a great proportion of the inhabitants of Panay, Negros, and Cebu are favorable to our occupation at once.
A large proportion of the supplies for the Iloilo people come from the American steamers from Manila, a trade which is carried on through the collector of the port of Manila with the insurgents at Iloilo. Is there no way to stop this trade? Cutting off supplies in this way will help to bring these people to terms. I can't understand how such a business can be carried on against the best good of our country.
M. P. MILLER,
Brigadier-General, U. S. V., Commanding.