Background Information: At the end of the Spanish American War, the United States and Spain signed the treaty of Paris. In this treaty, the Philippine Islands, formerly a Spanish territory, was sold to the United States. The United States kept the Philippines as an American colony. Many residents of the Philippines were angry that they had not been granted independence. In response, Emilio Aguinaldo, who had helped the Americans defeat the Spanish, rebelled against the new government and proclaimed Philippine independence. His army began attacking the United States military presence. In response, the United States, poured troops and supplies into the islands to stop the rebellion. Aguinaldo was captured in 1901, ending the formal rebellion, although guerrilla warfare continued well into 1902.
The 32nd Volunteer Infantry, a unit made up of volunteers from the states of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska was formed in response to the crisis in the Philippines. It was organized in July 1899 and mobilized at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The regiment departed Fort Leavenworth in September 1899. Upon its arrival in the Philippines, it took part in the general American advance in November 1899. Later, the unit was broken up, with each company serving in a different part of the Philippines. The unit returned to the United States and was disbanded in May 1901.
The Diaries: Private Karl D. White was a member of Company K of the 32nd. He served with the unit from its formation in 1899, until his discharge in 1901. He kept diaries of his service time in three small notebooks. The diaries begin in October 1899, when he left Honolulu on the transport ship Glenogle, and continue until May 6, 1901, when he was in San Francisco awaiting discharge. After the war, he returned to his home town of Independence, Kansas, where he became a mail carrier. He was an active member of the 32nd Volunteer Infantry Association from its formation in 1934, until his death in 1940. The diaries were donated to the 32nd Volunteer Infantry Association upon his death. When the organization dissolved in the 1960's, the diaries were donated to the Frontier Army Museum at Fort Leavenworth, along with the papers of the organization. They were later transferred to the Combined Arms Research Library where they are available for use by researchers.
The diaries can be viewed in two ways, either page by page with transcription, or as an entire transcription. The diary pages are available for a closeup view by clicking on the smaller images next to the transcription. (The larger images are full size images of the diary pages and are quite large. They will take some time to load) The three diaries are set up to be viewed as one continuous thread. When a new diary begins, it is indicated at the top of the page. To view the contents of each diary separately, go to the transcriptions pages.
NOTE: Some of the language used by Private White is offensive to modern readers. He frequently uses the word "niggers" to refer to the people who were actively engaged in operations against the United States. He also uses the term "natives" to refer to the local population in the areas where he was stationed. He occasionally uses the term "niggers" instead of "natives" when referring to local non-combatants. This language is a reflection of attitudes commonly held by people 100 years ago.
For more information on either the Diaries of Private White or the 32nd Volunteer Infantry Association, contact the Archives staff of the Combined Arms Research Library at (913) 758-3161.
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Page Last Edited: 02/16/11