No response was received until the 19th of that month, when I was informed that the President and Secretary were absent from Washington, and that a consideration of my question would await their return, which would be shortly. Appreciating the great desirability of securing possession of this city, the second of the Philippines in importance, I was anxious to receive an affirmative answer to my cable question of the 14th instant. It was reported that the Spanish troops were hard pressed by the insurgents, who had made an attack a few days previous, declaring that they would capture the town before the arrival of the Americans. It was also stated that the attack had been repulsed, with a loss to the insurgents of 300 men.

The petition for protection which had been submitted by the business men appeared to me to furnish sufficient ground upon which to base intervention in their behalf, independent of specific instructions from Washington, and I therefore, in conference with Admiral Dewey, asked that one of his war vessels convoy troops which I meditated sending to Iloilo at once. This the Admiral thought it not wise to do, as we were awaiting authority which had already been sought, and furthermore that he was of the opinion General Rios would hold out. I shared with him this latter conviction and awaited directions.

- Otis, in his 1899 report