OTIS TO RIZZO, DECEMBER 14, 1898
On December 14 the Spanish authorities served upon
me notice of the contemplated discharge of the native troops held in
Manila as prisoners . Although it was known that a good many of the
3,000 of these prisoners had deserted to the insurgents , it was deemed
important to weigh the probable results of this contemplated communicated
action, and the following letters were prepared and delivered:
General of Division of the Spanish Army, Manila, P.I.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of
this morning, in which you inform me you are about to discharge from the Spanish
service the Spanish native troops held as United States prisoners of war in this city .
I beg that you defer your contemplated action in this matter of discharge until I
may be able to make inquiry as to the condition, intent, and former places of domicile
of these troops, that I may act understandingly with regard to them. As prisoners
of war, under the articles of capitulation, they should remain under guard within
the city and under the immediate supervision of their officers until instructions as
to their final disposition are received from Madrid and Washington.
You will therefore please suspend all action relating to their discharge until I may
be able to communicate further with you.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. S. OTIS,
Major-General, U.S.V., United States Military Governor in the Philippines