American fury in the Philippines. XXI / Batangas

"On returning to Manila my attention was called by a communication
from the Division Commander(copy enclosed herewith)to a transaction,
so far as I have ever known in all my experience or reading, is
without precedent and in direct violation of law. It appears that in
the district in which General Bell, commanding the 3rd Brigade,
operated, some 400,000people were concentrated in towns under what is
known as the order of reconcentration.They were given but fifteen days
to gather in what little property they had and come into these towns.
As thre order states, after that their property was subject to
destruction or confiscation. They were hold in those places for
several months, until they had nearly exhausted what little substance
they had. If it had been continued two weeks longer they either would
have had to be fed or they would have starved. During this time
General Bell and Colonel Woodruff, of the Comissary Department,
entered into an arrangement by which money, in the hands of the
Comissary Department, which had been appropiated by Congress to
support the Army, was used in buying great quantities of second
quality rice, which was shipped together with large quantities of
sugar, salt, and damaged flour, at government expense, and hauled to
different places for distribution by Government teams, or by private
teams forced into service without compensation, there to be sold not
at cost, but at a profit of 25 per cent, according to the
communication of General Davis. One excuse for entering into this
transaction and not permitting the ordinary traders to supply rice to
the community was the fear that it would go into the hands of the
insurgents, but the the distribution of supplies in this way continued
after Malvar surrendered, and when it was publicly stated that there
were no insurgents in the field. Not only was this second quality of
rice purchased and sold to a starving community in this way, but
according to the statement of Colonel Woodruff 128,000 pounds of
damaged flour was also sent to be sold at the invoce price of good
flour, together with the added profits that might be charged. In
addition to the costs and the profit, the persons distributing this
rice were authorised to compensate themselves. It does not appear what
the compensation was, whether large or small.
In the communication of General Davis it will be noticed that he
states that these people were considered prisoners of war, but we
might challenge history to produce an instance where prisoners of war,
reduced, as the official documents indicate, to a starving condition,
have been compelled to buy food at a large profit from those who held
them as prisoners..."

A special report from General Miles
Headquarters of the Army
Washington, Feb. 19, 1903