POTTER TO MILLER, DECEMBER 27, 1898
He handed General Miller the following report of the situation.
The situation at Iloilo is about this: —
General Rios left the city Saturday afternoon [Dec 24 1898] after an agreement with the insurgents that they were not to come in until this morning (Monday) [Dec 26 1898]. They marched in quietly and took charge about 10 o'clock, as my vessel was steaming into the harbor. No disorder is reported except in one or two cases of personal vengeance. They report that they have left 800 men in the town to do police duty, and have drawn the rest to jaro and molo, two to two and one half miles out, which are the points they held before.
Most of the English-speaking people think that the troops will have no trouble in displacing their forces, but the more conservative are doubtful, some thinking we will.
Some time ago General Rios is rumored to have proposed to them to join with him against us and they spurned the offer saying that they were "Americanos," but since new blood has come down from manila, they have changed their sentiments and say that they will agree to a protectorate, but not to annexation.
No one seems to think that there will lie much trouble in landing, if force is to be used.
The "President of the State of the Visayas" told an Englishman to-day that they were not going to otter any resistance to the Americans, as they were simply holding the place for them.
The Spanish removed all arms and ammunition, as far as is known, and the insurgents are estimated to have from one to three thousand ritles of various makes -a great many being in the hands of spanish deserters and the old "Guardia Civil," who probably know how to use them.
The insurgents have never had a pitched battle with the Spanish, and their ability to stand fire seems to be very much doubted in the town.
Aguinaldo is recognized as chief.
In addition to the stone fort there are sandbag revetments behind the fort and one at the entrance of the river, with a loose stone wall farther up. Most of these were built as a last stand for the Spanish and face inland.
seven guns (reported by a woman to be obsolete) passed through town toward the fort this afternoon.
I saw sentinels in and around the stone fort as I came out of the river.
American Consul says he will board you when you arrive as will also the Stevedore of the town.
I enclose two maps—a general one of the island and one of Iloilo, both of which belong to our consul, and I promised him he should have them back again. As will be seen by the map there are several streets in the town which can be swept by gunboats in the river.
The stevedore will sound the river to-morrow from the bridge down ami will be posted us to the available boats and lighters.
Am sorry information is so limited —my stay was short.
(Signed) CHAS. L. POTTER,
Lieut-Colonel U.S. Vols.,