American fury in the Philippines. XXVI / Reconcentration

Here is testimony from another source as to an undoubted concentration
camp. It comes through Senator Bacon, of Georgia, from whose speech in
the Senate the following extract is taken:Mr. President, I want to
read to you a description of a reconcentrado camp. I will say that
this letter is written by an officer whom I know personally, and for
whom I vouch in my place in the Senate as a high-toned man and a
courageous and chivalric officer, one who does his duty regardless of
whether he approves of the cause in which he is told to fight or not,
and one in every way worthy of confidence and esteem. This was a
letter written by him with no injunction of secrecy in it, because he
had no idea or thought that it would ever be made public. I make it
public now simply for the information of the Senate, in order that
they may have some idea of what a reconcentrado camp is. I omit the
name of the place from which the letter was written for the same
reason that I omit the name of the officer. I will not say any more of
him than that he is a graduate of West Point and a professional
soldier. I will state further that there is some allusion in the
letter to vampires. A vampire in those islands is a bird about the
size of a crow, which wheels and circles above the head at night, and
which is plainly visible at night. As I have said, I know the officer
personally and vouch for him in every way. Senators will see from the
reading of this letter that it is simply the casual and ordinary
narration of a friend writing to a friend. He says: — " On our way
over here we stopped at - in peaceful - to leave our surplus stuff so
as to get into "I have left out these names - "light shape; and, as we
landed at midnight there, they weren't satisfied with bolos and
shotguns, but little brown brother actually fired upon us with brass
cannon in that officially quiet burg under efficient civil government.
What a farce it all is " That is his comment on that fact. "Well,
consider, ten miles and over down the coast, we found a great deposit
of mud just off the mouth of the river, and after waiting eight hours
managed to get over the bar without being stuck but three times - and
the tug drew three feet. " Then eight miles up a slimy, winding bayou
of a river until at 4 A.M. we struck a piece of spongy ground about
twenty feet above the sea-level. Now you have us located. It rains
continually in a way that would have made Noah marvel. And trails, if
you can find one, make the 'Slough of Despond' seem like an asphalt
pavement. Now this little spot of black sogginess is a reconcentrado
pen, with a dead-line outside, beyond which everything living is shot.
"This corpse-carcass stench wafted in and combined with some lovely
municipal odors besides makes it slightly unpleasant here. " Upon
arrival I found thirty cases of small-pox and average fresh ones of
five a day, which practically have to be turned out to die. At
nightfall clouds of huge vampire bats softly swirl out on their orgies
over the dead. "Mosquitoes work in relays, and keep up their pestering
day and night. There is a pleasing uncertainty as to your being boloed
before morning or being cut down in the long grass or sniped at. It
seems way out of the world without a sight of the sea,- in fact, more
like some suburb of hell."