Contributed by Nick Mitiuckov
The following is the text of the letters that past between American Admiral George Dewey and General Merritt and Spanish Governor General Jaudenes which led to the surrender of the city after a naval demonstration of force.
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES LAND AND NAVAL FORCES, MANILA BAY, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS,
August 7th, 1898.
TO THE GENERAL IN CHIEF,
Commanding Spanish Forces in Manila.
We have the honor to notify your Excellency that operations of the land and naval forces of the United States against the defenses of Manila may begin at any time after the expiration of forty-eight hours from the hour of receipt by you of this communication, or sooner if made necessary by an attack on your part.
This notice is given in order to afford you an opportunity to remove all non-combatants from the city.
Major-General, U. S. Army, Commanding Land forces of the United States.
Rear-Admiral, U. S. Navy, Commanding United States Naval Force on Asiatic Station.
MANILA, August 7, 1898.
TO THE MAJOR-GENERAL OF THE ARMY,
AND THE REAR-ADMIRAL OF THE NAVY,
Commanding respectively the Military and Naval forces of the United States.
I have the honor to inform Your Excellencies that at half-past twelve today I received the notice with which you favor me, that after forty-eight hours have elapsed you may begin operations against this fortified city, or at an earlier hour if the forces under your command are attacked by mine.
As your notice is sent for the purpose of providing for the safety of non-combatants, I give thanks to Your Excellencies for the humane sentiments you have shown, and state that, finding myself surrounded by insurrectionary forces, I am without places of refuge for the increased numbers of wounded, sick, women and children, who are now lodged within the walls.
Very respectfully, and kissing the hands of your Excellencies,
Governor-General and Captain-General of the Philippines.
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES LAND AND NAVAL FORCES MANILA BAY, PHILIPPINE ISLANDS
August 9, 1898.
The inevitable suffering in store for the wounded, sick, women and children, in the event that it becomes our duty to reduce the defenses of the walled town in which they are gathered, will, we feel assured, appeal successfully to the sympathies of a general capable of making the determined and prolonged resistance which Your Excellency has exhibited after the loss of your naval forces, and without hope of succor.
We therefore submit, without prejudice to the high sentiments of
honor and duty which Your Excellency entertains, that surrounded on every
side as you are by a constantly increasing force,with a powerful fleet
in your front, and deprived of all prospect of reinforcement and assistance,
a most useless sacrifice of life would result in the event of an attack,
and therefore every consideration of humanity makes it imperative that
you should not subject your city to the horrors of a bombardment. Accordingly
we demand the surrender of the city of Manila, and the Spanish forces under
Major-General, USA, Commanding Land Forces of the United States.
Rear-Admiral, USN, Commanding U. S. Naval Force on Asiatic Station,
THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL AND CAPTAIN-GENERAL OF THE PHILIPPINES.
THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL AND CAPTAIN-GENERAL OF THE PHILIPPINES TO THE MAJOR-GENERAL OF THE ARMY, AND THE REAR-ADMIRAL OF THE NAVY,
Commanding respectively the Military and Naval
Force of the United States.
Having received an intimation from Your Excellencies that, in obedience to sentiments of humanity to which you appeal and which I share, I should surrender this city and the forces under my orders, I have assembled the Council of Defense which declares that your request cannot be granted, but taking account of the most exceptional circumstances existing in this city which Your Excellencies recite and which I unfortunately have to admit, I would consult my Government if Your Excellencies will grant the time strictly necessary for this communication by way of Hong Kong.
Very respectfully, FERMIN JAUDENES,
Governor-General and Captain-General of the Philippines,
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES LAND AND NAVAL FORCES,
MANILA BAY, August 10th, 1898.
TO THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL AND CAPTAIN-GENERAL OF THE PHILIPPINES ISLANDS.
We have the honor to acknowledge the communication of Your Excellency of the 8th instant, in which you suggest your desire to consult your government in regard to the exceptional circumstances in your city, provided the time to do so can be granted by us.
In reply we respectfully inform Your Excellency that we decline to grant the time requested.
Major-General, US Army, Commanding United States Land Forces.
Rear-Admiral US Navy, Commanding United States Naval Forces, Asiatic Station.
(As a service to our readers, clicking on title in red will take you to that book on Amazon.com)
Dewey, George, Autobiography of George Dewey (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1987, originally published in 1913 by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York) ISBN 0-87021-028-9 282-285.