Tuesday, August 27

The Convoy - Escape from Peking

We were called at 5 a.m. on 21st August and actually left the compound just before 7 o'clock. There were about eighty people in the convoy, nearly all travelling in Peking carts, one or two in chairs, whilst a few coolies with sedans followed in case anybody fell sick by the way. It was a clear day but very hot, and we completed the journey to Tung Chow in good time considering the number of our carts and the frailness of many of our number. On the way we passed villages, and scattered farms, all absolutely deserted. The crops were ripening in the fields, but there was no one to look after them or to reap, and they were left to rot. At a time in the season when, in other years, the country would be alive with men, women, and children, all turned out to bring in the harvest, now not a soul was to be seen.
    When we reached Tung Chow the sight that met us was terrible; we had seen ruin and destruction enough in Peking, but even that was nothing to compare with Tung Chow. The havoc wrought by this war was appalling; the city had been sacked by the Russians; the gates destroyed; the main street a mass of debris. In Peking the Chinese had carried off every stick, every stone which could be used for any purpose. Here all was left as it had been destroyed. Fires still smouldered on every side and even to enter some of the temples and houses was dangerous for the charred timbers could fall at the least movement. In our journey across the city I saw only two Chinese standing at a place where two roads met, and they simply stood there, emotionless, staring with unseeing eyes as our convoy passed them by.
    We were glad to leave the place behind us and to find ourselves upon the river bank. Here were a number of grain boats on which had been erected simple matting shelters. Each boat was to take four or five passengers, their servants, and four Beloochi tribesmen as guard. I wanted nothing to do with the company of men at this stage; no conversation of war or killing, and I was pleased that our party, comprising the Deaconess Ransome and Miss Lambert from the church in the British Legation, their Chinese charges, a servant, and myself, were allocated a boat to ourselves. The Deaconess and the other women slept in the mat-shelter, and I slung a simple hammock outside. We were all on board by three o'clock, expecting to start at once and accomplish the first stage of our journey before nightfall, but the order was that we were not to leave until 5 o'clock the next morning.
    It was quite chilly at night on the open boat, and it seemed an age before day broke; and then delay followed delay, so that we did not start until 8 a.m. The boats were beached high, and some had to be dragged into deeper water, one by one, so some were a long way ahead before the last had started. The boatmen were for the most part raw coolies; only a few seemed to be capable of managing the boats, and there was a general disagreement as to the course. The river was shallow and full of shoals, so that one boat after another ran aground, and was only pulled off again with difficulty.
    There were no orders to keep the boats together, no one in supreme command to direct the crowd. The boats with the best boatmen or the lightest draught speedily forged ahead, and the convoy was soon scattered and divided by great distances; often we floated along with no other boat in sight, or perhaps only a shadow of one a mile or so away. Despite my best efforts to keep my mind free from any thoughts of killing, I could not help thinking how simple it would have been for an enterprising enemy to have cut that convoy to pieces. The great millet, growing to a height of twelve or fifteen feet, grew thickly right down to the water's edge, forming a dense and impenetrable cover, and half a dozen men hidden in the crops could have easily picked off the guards as the boats passed without our being able to fire a shot in reply. The enemy would have been invisible. He had only to move a few yards and lie down, and then a full body of men might have searched for him for hours in vain. Scattered as we were, our boats could not have supported one another, but happily we did not have to deal with any such attack. Instead, in an air of peace and calm that belied the reality, the boats glided gently down stream and, for some precious hours, I was able to let the quiet motion, the stillness of the atmosphere and the glistening lights on the water work their soothing effect upon my mind.
    The overriding backdrop, though, was that all the way down the river we saw the same sights that we had seen on the road to Tung Chow. Where there had been crowds of busy, inquisitive, greedy Chinese, there was now not a living soul. We saw a few coolies working lazily, but no workmen in the fields, no harvest crops being gathered; no boats laden with rice or copper for the markets. We seemed to be the only people abroad in a land of deserted wealth. We saw also the harsh reminders of war only too frequently; villages in flames, shattered buildings, homes and communities, dead bodies floating down the river or stranded on the banks.
    Thus we journeyed until Tuesday night. We had hoped to reach Tientsin during the day but had made slow progress and it was 11 p.m. when we reached the final sweep of the river into the harbour. Instead of anchoring against the bank as we would normally have done at that hour, the boatmen let her drift and we slid quietly downstream. There was no moon, but it was a clear starlit night, and we could see the course of the river perfectly, with all the buildings on either side half-revealed, then half-hidden in a beautiful soft white light. The stars were reflected in splashes of gold on the dark water, and the morning star, which shone with a splendid brilliance, cast a long stream of light on the river. It was difficult to distinguish where substance ended and shadow began but as we neared the harbour, the star-glow softened the harsh outlines, hiding the horrors of destruction and the squalor of the sordid surroundings in a soft mystery.
    We drifted towards the harbour's outer swing bridge, which we found closed, so we had to anchor and wait for the dawn. Slowly the day broke, chill but bright. Crowds of French soldiers were passing the bridge by the light of great fire- torches and it seemed as if we might wait for ever. At last they were all over, the bridge was opened and with some difficulty, for the current was very strong, we passed through.
    So we arrived at about 7 o'clock in the morning of Wednesday 27th August. My fellow passengers would soon make their way to the Mission, but for me the direction was towards the dockside warehouses where I reasoned that I would find the offices organising the manifests and the movements of the great flotilla of ships berthed in the waters of Bohai Bay; and, within the hour, this was done. I located the headquarters of the American Logistics Corps, but a QM Sergeant there told me that the next ship leaving would be the USS Nashville on 7th September. He directed me to the British offices and, although I was not over-confident of help from this quarter, I was pleasantly surprised when, after a somewhat cursory inspection of my identity papers, a young lieutenant pointed to a supply barge that was being loaded and said, "If you can be aboard her in the next thirty minutes, you can join the Surprise, leaving for San Francisco this afternoon".
    He was a little taken aback at the effusiveness of my gratitude, thrust my passage docket into my hand and showed me to the door. I walked - perhaps skipped might be a more accurate description of my gait - across the quay to the barge and jumped aboard. Within just a few minutes we were pulling away from Tientsin harbour, and an hour later I was aboard HMS Surprise.
    Peking was behind me - it was over ...

Our convoy from Peking on the River Peiho - 25 August 1900

HMS Surprise moored off Taku preparing
to leave for San Francisco - 27 August 1900

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Tuesday, August 20

The Relief of Peking - Atrocities

It was a misery to walk the city and see its desolation. Peking had twice been looted before, by the Boxers, then by the Imperial soldiers, and now it was being ravaged again by the allies. At each fresh step in this depressing history, the inhabitants had fled to places where they hoped to find greater peace and safety. Now the place was a ruin, the restoration of which, if even possible, could only be accomplished over a long period of time. Peking was no great natural hub of trade, able to recover from such a disaster through the economic influence of renewed commercial life; it was simply the fortified home of the Imperial Court, which had attracted the crowds that always migrate to such places to supply the wants and luxuries of the wealthy. The moment the Court left, Peking had sunk to the level of a dingy, second-rate market town.
    Lost in this sorry reverie, I hardly noticed General Gasalee, General Chaffee and their staff officers walking across the compound towards the Russian Legation. Gasalee ignored me but General Chaffee invited me to join them. I fell into line alongside the familiar figure of Lieutenant. John Furlong, Chaffee's aide-de-camp, who informed me that a full conference of all the military Commanders and foreign Ministers had been called to discuss what action should be taken in respect of the Imperial City. Shortly before 9.30 a.m. we arrived at the Russian Army Headquarters where the conference was to be held. Following my earlier failed bid to make contact with Morrison, I was pleased to see a number of familiar faces. George Lynch, war correspondent for the London Daily Express was there, as was Emile Dillon, Russian correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, together with my old friend, Bennet Burleigh, who had been billeted with the British forces.
    There was but one item on the agenda and, after some brief, token discussion, the representatives of the foreign powers came to their decision. At 10.15 a.m on the morning of 17th August, they agreed and recommended that ...
"As the advance of the foreign troops into the Imperial and Forbidden Cities has been obstinately resisted by the Chinese troops, the foreign armies should continue to fight until the Chinese armed resistance within all the Cities of Peking and the surrounding country is crushed ... because in the crushing of that armed resistance lies the best and only hope of the restoration of peace".
This proved to be a fateful time, date and proclamation, for not only did it initiate the final attack by the allied forces on the Imperial city itself, it was as though the firm military stance of the allied forces had been perceived by the civilian residents as a signal for the abandonment of the very rules and mores of society itself. Within hours, it seemed as though the closeness of community that had been succour to the besieged just days earlier, had all but disappeared and been replaced by a raw, almost animalistic survival instinct. Alongside the hundreds already engaged in their brazen looting of property and person, many of the foreigners packing up and preparing to leave the Legations with their possessions, now began gathering in small parties, arming themselves and rampaging out in search of anything valuable that they could find. Some were bent on robbery and some on revenge, while others sought satisfaction of even baser impulses. Thus, over the next two or three days, a cascade of vile atrocity erupted; on all sides fighting, burning, torture, rape and killing.
    For some vestige of protection, the four of us stayed together and did what we could to avoid drawing attention to ourselves. The main battles were now over and the Boxer forces were in disarray, retreating in all directions. Peking would soon become a post-war city and we had a responsibility to find out what we could within this period of transition. As we skulked around the grounds, though, grim and for the most part, silent, we were witness to an unfolding kaleidoscope of human behaviour more nightmarish and more brutal than any of us could have believed possible. We saw prisoners chained and fettered so heavily that many collapsed and died under a sword, a bayonet or a beating when they could not rise; we saw row upon row of kneeling captives collapse crumpled into ditches filled with the still-writhing bodies of their brothers as the bullets from the firing squads smashed their skulls; we saw hordes of terrified men, accused and instantly guilty on the merest suspicion of being Boxers, beheaded at the many thickly blooded killing grounds scattered throughout the city. The Japanese are said to be the most prolific exponents of these grisly forms of execution, but so many now followed their lead that General Chaffee wrote "It is safe to say that where one real Boxer has been killed, fifty harmless coolies or labourers on the farms, including not a few women and children, have been slain".
    This butchery was open and evident to anybody who cared to cast an eye around the city; and for those preferring to avert their view, accusations, reports and rumour served as powerful sources of second-hand information. Through his tears, a young US Marine told us how he could do nothing as he watched French and Russian troops bayonet women after raping them. American missionaries spoke to us of Russian soldiers ravishing young girls, of women and children hacked to pieces; and of men trussed like fowls, with noses and ears cut off and eyes gouged out.
    The conduct of the Russian soldiers was generally considered atrocious, the British and Americans somewhat better, and the French perhaps worse than any. The Japanese, whose officers had brought along prostitutes to stop their troops from raping Chinese civilians, despised the Russians and on at least three occasions of which I was told, executed Russian soldiers caught ravaging local women. It was also widely believed that a group of US troops had taken upon themselves the role of vigilante to patrol the city and castrate, then execute, any rapist that they identified. Nevertheless, many Chinese women chose to commit suicide to avoid rape by allied forces; and, on one of our darkest days, we began to perhaps appreciate a fraction of their torment as we witnessed the funeral pyres of the hundreds of mutilated corpses of women and girls raped and killed by the alliance troops.
    And we saw more, much more; much more that was more inhuman, more grotesque, more repulsive. As journalists our natural intent was to report all that we had seen but we knew that this was different. We had all experienced the horrors of war in different, distant arenas, but not one of us had ever known such an assault on the senses; not one of us had ever been exposed to such obscene visions of reality. In our hearts we all knew, but it was Lynch who first voiced our silent understanding and our shared pledge when he whispered "there are things that we must not write, and that may not be printed for our readers, which show that this Western civilisation of ours is merely a veneer over savagery".
    That evening, a notice was sent round to collect the names of all those who wished to travel to Tientsin by the first convoy, which was expected to leave the next day, Tuesday 21st. I knew that I was done here and that I had to leave this evil place. Lynch, Dillon and Burleigh understood and, for us, there was no need of a farewell. I walked slowly back to my quarters and spent the next few hours packing the scraps that were left of my kit. At midnight, I made my way to the grounds of the Temple of Heaven, from where the convoy was to depart at 5.30 in the morning. I was there, ready to leave, at 2 o'clock ...

Men accused of looting and robbery - Peking, August 1900

George Ernest Morrison
London Times Correspondent

William Scott Ament
American Missionary

Herbert Goldsmith Squiers
Secretary at US Legation

Monsignor Pierre Favier
Roman Catholic Bishop

Some scenes that can be displayed - Peking, August 1900

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Friday, August 16

The Relief of Peking - Aftermath

It was with strange feelings that we rose on the morning of 16th August. In less than twenty-four hours the entire experience of our expedition had changed. The crowds had been greatly excited at our arrival the day before, but now people rushed to and fro in urgent, animated groups to discuss the latest news or probabilities. The whole place was in a turmoil; the trappings of battle were everywhere; guns, ammunition wagons, baggage trains, carts, clogged all the roads and passageways. The lawns and gardens were crowded with soldiers and civilians, every yard of space and every corner packed. The arrival of the relief force should have restored order and a sense of normality; for the moment, though, it seemed as if confusion and rumour were the orders of the day.
    It was widely believed that the Dowager Empress, Cixi, disguised as a peasant woman, together with the emperor and several members of the court, had slipped out of the city in three wooden carts at the moment the allies entered. Her departure, along with the immediate subjugation suffered at the hands of the alliance forces, had triggered a total breakdown in morale and disciple amongst the Chinese, and the disintegration of the Boxer movement in the city.
    The Chinese forces were in disarray, fleeing the city in their thousands; and the fire of numerous clearing skirmishes was a constant rumble as the Japanese worked their way around the north of the Imperial City, while the Americans and French were shelling the entrance to the Palace from the south by the Chien-men. The noise of a significant battle taking place some distance to the north could be heard all over the city, but nobody in our force knew what this was and it came as an enormous surprise to all of us when two runners came in and reported that the Catholic Cathedral at Peitang had been relieved. Japanese troops had engaged the Boxers surrounding the Cathedral and after a barrage lasting less than an hour, had put them to flight. They had then entered the Cathedral but, without a common language, they and the besieged were both confused. Shortly afterwards, however, French troops arrived and marched into the Cathedral to the cheers of the survivors. As the Cathedral was located inside the grounds of the Imperial City, about two miles from the Legation Quarter, nobody had any idea that during the siege, almost 4000 people had sought sanctuary within the stone walls, which had been defended for more than a month by only 41 French and Italian marines, led by two French officers.
    At a conference of the generals on the afternoon of the 16th, the city area was divided up and sections allocated to the various forces for security and protection of the inhabitants. The 14th Infantry and the marines were assigned to the west half of the city, and to that section lying between the Chien-men gate and the south wall of the Imperial city. I would have been part of this activity but, now that the main fighting appeared to be behind us, I had other priorities than to continue my attachment with the US forces. After clearing my departure with General Chaffee, and bidding my farewells to the brave troops who had become my friends and brothers-in-arms, I set off with the notion of reporting on the developing situation inside the Legation quarter.
    Making my way through the outer grounds, past the Italian, French, German and Japanese compounds, I met not a soul but saw that every wall and roof was down and the whole place levelled to the ground. There was nothing more than a vast field of smashed brick and rubble, in which it was difficult even to trace the ground plan of the houses. I passed a well that had been filled in; a dead body rotting in the drain. Nothing remained standing and not a tree, not a stick, not a shrub had survived; I was walking in a bare and empty wilderness. As I neared the larger and better defended American, Russian and British legations, however, I came across an occasional house or shop that was untouched, from where a few people came out professing friendliness and welcoming me like a lost brother, offering me tea and such-like tokens of goodwill. It was not difficult to see through their thinly veiled hypocrisy, or to guess why they had suffered no harm. I declined their offers but I did go into a large pawn-shop, where I surmised that a number of foreigners would have deposited their treasures for safe keeping. If, indeed, they had done so, their belongings were now lost. The shop was deserted, empty, looted. Nothing remained except heaps of paper, account books, pawn tickets, and other rubbish.
    More and more people were around as I walked up South Bridge road, the track that separates the US Legation from the Russian and British compounds. Dozens of covered wagons, with horses straining at their load, were hurriedly leaving the US Legation; and in the Russian grounds there was much bartering and bickering over the price of looted goods. In full and open view of anybody who cared to look, two peaceable, well-dressed men were surrounded by a dozen or so Russian soldiers, suffering the crude but simple act of being made to undo their girdles and hold up their tunics whilst the soldiers felt all around their waists for watches or money; a blatant example of highway robbery in its most disgusting form.
    Adjacent to the British Legation was the Carriage Park which housed the Field Hospital and a warren of troop quarters in the large halls, dim, cool, and dusty, where the Emperor's state sedans had been stored. By now, these had all been dragged into the open, and soldiers of many nationalities were busy clearing away the dust of ages and stripping the great chariots of their rich embroidered silks and the fineries of Imperial Majesty. In the bomb-proof shelter just outside the hospital, a large party of coolies had taken up quarters, spending their time gambling and, for small commissions sufficient to fund their wagers, selling the silk and silver treasures supplied to them by the soldiers.
    In the British Legation no soldier was supposed to have private loot, but foraging parties were sent out under the command of an officer and brought in vast quantities of silk, furs, china, silver plate, and jewellery of all kinds, which was sold by public auction for the benefit of the soldiers. People were expecting to leave Peking within days and, consequently, those with funds were prepared to pay highly for their treasures and memorabilia. In my heart I knew that I should have challenged this behaviour, but I knew also that to do so would not have changed a thing; and to salve my conscience, I rationalised that I had come to the British Legation for a different purpose. I was here to find George Morrison, the China correspondent of the London Times; and the man with whom I had been jointly named as "missing in action" in the Washington Times report of 2nd August.
    At the other side of the yard outside the hospital a group of about a dozen men were engaged in some animated discussion. I crossed towards them and was pleased to recognise the bearded features of Arthur Smith, the American missionary from whom I had learned so much about the siege when we met a couple of days previously. He welcomed me warmly and we chatted briefly before I enquired whether he knew of Morrison or his whereabouts. I was a little taken aback when, with an abrupt and what seemed like a somewhat sardonic laugh, he pointed me towards two people busily loading a small cart with what looked to me like coats and stoles of expensive fur, and said ... "he's over there with his friend Favier, arguing about prices, I would guess". I had never met Morrison but I was aware of his status and reputation as one of the most experienced journalists in the field. Neither was I acquainted with Monsignor Favier but I did know his name as that of the the Roman Catholic Bishop from the Cathedral at Peitang that had been relieved just hours earlier.
     As I approached, both men were deep in conversation and had not yet seen or heard me. I drew to within just a few yards of them, where I could clearly hear their words, and my darkest suspicions were confirmed. These two supposed pillars of society; one with whom I had envisaged a satisfying, professional relationship; the other, feted as a hero and a saviour of souls, were squabbling over which of their "customers" would come up with the best financial return for their stolen goods. I stopped at this point, turned and re-traced my steps, my thoughts enveloped in a dark cloud of distaste, despair and disappointment ... sad but, at the same time, angry.
    I had seen all of this before, of course, in Tientsin where, just a few short weeks before, the military occupation had turned into an orgy of looting and violence. Little did I realise, though, that the relief of Peking was about to become a bloodbath of human atrocity in which soldiers, civilians, diplomats, missionaries, and journalists all participated ...

Plan of the Legation Quarter

South Bridge Street in the Legation Quarter

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Thursday, August 15

Consolidating our Position

We broke our camp at 5 a.m on the morning of 15th August and moved in column back towards the Water Gate entrance to the inner city. Upon entering the Legations, the cheering and glad-handing of the previous day was continued, but the appearance of the people and their surroundings, buildings, streets and homes, presented us with clear evidence of how they must have suffered during the siege. Barricades of every sort of material were built everywhere, topped with sandbags made from every conceivable sort of cloth, from sheets and pillowcases to dress materials and brocaded curtains. Most of the Legations had been reduced to piles of rubble, and those of the British, Russian, and American residents, though standing and occupied, were riddled with bullet holes from small arms fire and, often, with larger gaping holes made by shell.
    The children presented a pitiable sight, white and wan for lack of proper food, but the adults, as a rule, seemed cheerful and little the worse for their trying experience, except from anxiety and constant worry. The Legations had been ransacked for supplies but food and water were seriously inadequate, with most living on short rations, a portion of which consisted of a few mouthfuls of horse or mule meat daily. The Chinese Christians had fared worse than most, being fed upon whatever scraps could be secured, and often reduced to killing dogs and rats for meat. American missionaries had taken over the management of sanitation and health and although medical supplies were also scarce, the doctors and nurses had managed to operate a field hospital that had saved many lives.
    The Legation guards were not well armed and only the American marines had sufficient ammunition. The defenders had just three machine guns and a small cannon but, fortunately, an old cannon barrel and ammunition had been found and from it a serviceable artillery piece with the original Italian carriage and a British barrel firing Russian shells had somehow been forged. This was manned by marines of the American guard, who had christened their fearsome weapon "Betsy" - to everybody else, though, it was known as the "International".
    General Chaffee had been informed by Minister Conger that part of the Imperial City directly in front of the Chien-men gate had been used by the Chinese as a base to fire on the Legations. Our scouts had reported that this enemy force was still in position and Chaffee had decided to force the Chinese troops out. It took some time to prepare our attack but by 7 a.m four guns of Captain Reilly's 5th Artillery battery had been hauled to the top of the wall above Chien-men gate and proceeded to sweep the walls to the west, all the way to the next gate, from where there was some slight opposition supported by poor artillery. At about 8 o'clock, the Chinese opened fire on us at Chien-men gate, whereupon General Chaffee deployed a direct attack on the first Imperial City gate, and in a short while Reilly's second-in-command, Lieutenant Charles P. Summerall had opened the door of this gate. The 14th Infantry and the Marines entered, and were immediately met with severe fire from the next gate, about 600 yards distant.
    Our fire was directed upon this second gate and in less than half an hour the Chinese guns was silenced. Colonel Daggett led forward the 14th to the base of the gate and directed Lieutenant Summerall to open this gate with artillery, which he did. This assault pattern was then repeated for a total of four gates, the Chinese troops being driven from each one in succession. The fourth gate presented no direct threat because it was at the rear of the Imperial City, near an area known as the Palace Grounds, which was only lightly defended by the "Imperial Guards", and it was here that General Chaffee called a halt to the action.
    And then, the news that brought grief to all of us. Captain Henry Reilly had been killed. At just a few minutes before 9 o'clock, the courageous commander of the Artillery battery that had supported us and taken a decisive stance in every battle that we had fought from Tientsin to Peking, had taken a bullet in the mouth and died almost instantly while standing next to General Chaffee observing the effect of a shot from one of his guns. With his deep sadness quelled by an innate sense of duty and responsibility, Lieutenant Summerall immediately assumed the de facto role of acting battery commander.
    We were now in a position to take control of the Imperial City but at a conference in the afternoon a majority of the Legation Ministers and the alliance Commanders decided that only the grounds should be occupied. I am sure that General Chaffee was not in agreement with this, but he nevertheless deployed his forces accordingly, with the 14th Infantry and some Marines on three sides of the grounds in cover positions, to provide a full cross-fire defence; the remaining Marine battalion on the fourth side, protecting the ground back to the Legation Quarters; the Artillery battery on the wall above the Chien-men gate; and the 9th Infantry at the gate where our earlier attack had ceased. Thus, by mid-afternoon, we were embedded and had set up established defence positions against attack from all sides. There was a general acknowledgement that the battle had probably not yet reached its conclusion, but it was unlikely that there would be any more fighting today.
    Having been in similar positions of conflict on a number of other occasions, I knew that this was the time at which Generals needed casualty lists for their despatches. I also knew that all the men were exhausted, so I approached Colonel Daggett and volunteered myself for this task. He assigned a trooper to accompany me and we scurried off at half-crouch around the three miles or so that now made up our perimeter.
    We took a couple of desultory sniper shots but, unhurt, we were back in less than two hours with our list which detailed that, apart from the tragic death of Captain Reilly, our casualties for 14th and 15th August, culminating in our attack upon the four Imperial City gates, were:

      5th Artillery
         1 officer and 2 enlisted men killed
         8 enlisted men wounded
      9th Infantry
         2 officers and 3 enlisted men killed
         4 enlisted men wounded
      14th Infantry
         1 officer and 6 enlisted man killed
         4 officers and 22 enlisted men wounded
      US Marines
         1 officer and 9 enlisted men killed
         5 enlisted men wounded

    Heroes all - and I am certain that nobody in Peking on that day would disagree ...

Legation Guards manning Barricades

"Betsy" or the "International Cannon" in action

Ammunition stores at Chien-men Gate

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Wednesday, August 14

Life Inside the Peking Legations

To set the record for those who consider such exactitude important, although General Chaffee's force actually entered the city before any other, it was British troops that arrived first inside the Legation Quarter. The regimental colours of the 14th Infantry were the first to fly over Peking and the men of the 14th were the first to set foot inside the city at a little after 2 p.m, but the enemy resistance that we encountered had held up our advance for some one and a half hours and, meanwhile, the British had entered the city at the Zua-anmen gate. Without sight of a single enemy soldier, they had followed a road to a position opposite the legations, where they set up a temporary headquarters near the Temple of Heaven. Then, shortly before 3 o'clock that afternoon Captain Pell, A.D.C to General Gaselee; Lieutenant Keys, a Sikh officer, and four Sikh privates walked into the Legation gardens.
    Some thirty minutes later, the 14th Infantry entered the inner city through the Water gate, at the same time as Captain Reilly's battery was passing through the Chien-men gate, which had been opened for them by the American and Russian marine guards of the besieged Legations. First or second into the city meant nothing, though, as we were all greeted by a cheering throng of the besieged foreigners, all decked out in their finery; all wishing to hug us and shake our hands.
    All afternoon the allied forces came pouring into the Legation compound in an endless succession until the lawn was fairly covered with them. Everybody was dancing for joy, and some could scarcely restrain their tears. Amid this cheering and jubilation, the confusion was as great as the euphoria and every new troop was greeted as the bringer of victory and deliverance. As a sharp reminder, however, that our task was far from over, some Chinese soldiers still in hiding around the walls of the Legation Quarter kept up an intermittent threat by firing into the crowds. A Belgian women received a flesh wound to the side of her face; and a Bengal Lancer, whose troop had been sent out in defence of the barricades was sadly killed when, looking through a loophole, he was instantly struck by a bullet to his face.
    At about 4.30 p.m General Gasalee and General Chaffee met with Minister Conger and Sir Claude McDonald, the senior US and British Legation diplomats and, to ensure that the joyous mood of that evening did not get out of hand, the British decided to maintain their headquarters at the Temple of Heaven and General Chaffee agreed to withdraw our troops from the Legation quarters and camp just outside the wall for the night. As the only correspondent with the 14th Infantry, though, I considered that my place at that time was with the foreigners inside the Legations so, with Chaffee's permission, I re-entered the quarters and soon found myself in the company of one Arthur Smith, an American missionary, who summed up the military situation for me… "It's a miracle that we have survived at all" he said, "but we can't understand why the Chinese did not extinguish our defences … if they had been ready to make a sacrifice of just a few hundred lives, we would all be dead now".
    Missionary Smith was an avuncular sort of fellow; one who would hold the affection and respect of his fellows in any circle of which he was a part. He had much to tell me and for this report, it is worth repeating his own words …
"Many of the Chinese Christians who have been sheltering here and Chinese soldiers have been killed, but we have not been able to record how their numbers. What we do know is that the foreign guards who have been defending the Legations have suffered heavy casualties. Up to yesterday's count, of the 409 guards, 55 are dead and 135 wounded. It seems odd but our records show that the small Japanese force of one officer and 24 sailors commanded by Colonel Shiba suffered greater than 100 percent casualties. This happened because many of the Japanese troops, including Colonel Shiba, were wounded, entered into the casualty lists, and then returned to the line of battle only to be wounded once more and again entered in the casualty lists. In addition, 13 civilians have been killed and 24 wounded, mostly men who took part in the defence.
    Almost everybody helped with some part of the defence effort and we had committees of all kinds. It was an American idea, and there were about forty altogether, one a cobbling committee to mend our shoes, another a washing committee to wash out clothes, a third a milling committee to grind the wheat, and so forth. The idea was a good one, and some of the committees did valuable work. But head and shoulders above all others as the most important man in our small community was an American missionary, Frank Gamewell who was the head of our fortifications committee. Where he got his ideas about fort and barricade building and construction I don't know; probably he doesn't know himself, but he had a genius for the work. No Royal Engineer could have done it better, and he did everything without a fuss of any kind. "Gamewell," we said, "we want a barricade, here, or a trench there, or a gun platform somewhere else". Not another word was necessary. Mr. Gamewell got together his team, known as the 'Fighting Parsons', and his coolies, you know we had a lot of native Christians in the compound, who did the labouring work for us, and in less time than most men would have taken talking about how the job was to be done the thing was complete. He raised no difficulties, asked no one's opinion, took up nobody's time with questions, simply got the work done, and surprised us all by the ingenuity and excellence of it. Mr. Gamewell and Colonel Shiba were our two best men without whom it does not seem possible we could have won through. I tell you now, after knowing these two men, I am beginning to lose my blind, unquestioning faith in Englishmen as the solitary salt of the earth."
Smith and I talked for some hours, until I had to leave and make my way back to my quarters, or face the post-curfew challenge of the US sentries. As I walked back through the gathering dark, I thought about the times I had spent with many brave, outstanding men from foreign lands; and I could not help but agree with him ...

General Albert Gasalee

General Adna Chaffee

Sir Claude McDonald

Minister Edwin Conger

Arthur Henderson Smith

Colonel Shiba Goro

Frank Gamewell and his Fighting Parsons

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The Battle of Peking

Captain Reilly’s guns had been remounted on their carriages, and with them we left our forward positions at about 4 a.m, as an advance party to cover the few remaining miles to Peking on that memorable 14th August. Heavy rains the previous night had made the roads thick tracks of mud and water, through which the miserable horses tried to drag the guns and their limbers. As we proceeded the sun began to make itself felt, and the day to become unpleasantly hot. The combined influence of those awful roads and the heat made our progress necessarily very slow, and many of the men were nearing exhaustion.
    Without serious opposition we arrived at the northeast corner of the Chinese city, having brushed away some enemy troops that fired from villages to our left and front. At about 10 o'clock, Colonel Chaffee held up our advance to maintain the advantage of the ground that we had obtained, while the rest of our force moved up behind us. Then at 11, two companies of the 14th Infantry, under the immediate command of Colonel Daggett, assaulted the wall of the Chinese city and, with the assistance of Reilly’s guns below, drove the Chinese defenders from the corner of the wall towards the Guangqui gate to the south of the city, where the British entered without opposition later in the day.
    The shared sense of pride and victory that inevitably accompanies the achievement of a military objective such as this was soon tempered, however, by the news brought back to Chaffee by one of our forward scouts. He reported what many of us had already suspected; that, in search of glory in being the first force to relieve the Legations, the Russians had violated the agreed battle plan, ignored their assigned target, the Dongzhi gate, and instead attacked the Dongbien gate during the night. They had killed a number of Chinese soldiers outside the gate and blasted a hole in the door with artillery. Once inside, though, in the courtyard between the inner and outer doors, they had been caught in a crossfire and had been pinned down there for several hours.
    We made haste to the gate and arrived soon afterwards to find the Russian artillery and troops in great confusion in the passage, their artillery facing in both directions, and no clear effort being made to extricate themselves and give passage into the city. One company of the 14th was deployed in the buildings to the right of the gate and poured effective fire onto the Chinese troops atop the wall. Captain Reilly got two guns through a very narrow passage to his left, tearing down a wall to do so, and found a position a few yards to the left of the road where he could enfilade the enemy, section by section, with shrapnel. A second company crossed the moat and, taking a parallel position, deployed along a street facing the wall from where, with the aid of the artillery they swept it of Chinese troops. In this way, gradually working to the westward, the great wall was cleared of opposition.
    A young trumpeter, Calvin Titus, approached Colonel Chaffee volunteered to climb the 30-foot wall which, given permission, he did successfully. Others followed him, and just before noon, the American flag was raised on the wall of the Outer city. We exchanged fire with the few remaining Chinese soldiers on the wall and then climbed down the other side and headed west toward the Legation Quarter in the shadow of the wall of the Inner city. Here we encountered heavy resistance from a group of about 30 Chinese snipers who had taken good cover in the many destroyed buildings in the grounds. We had little cover and some four hundred yards of open ground to cross but the snipers had us pinned down and a number of our men were wounded. This halted our advance until General Chaffee deployed the marines to clear the ground, which task they achieved successfully within an hour, but at the cost of seven of their number killed. Thus at about 3.30 p.m we arrived at the wall of the Legations, the fire of the Chinese having now all but ended.
    We entered the Legation grounds by the Water Gate, a drainage canal running beneath the wall of the Inner city. The 14th Infantry was selected to enter as the leading force on this occasion, in recognition of their gallantry at Yangtsun and during this day; I was proud to be with them …

Original Image by Capt C F O'Keefe, 36th Infantry, USV
(courtesy of Digital Collections. NYPL)

Map of Peking City Walls

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Tuesday, August 13

Leaving Yangtsun .. Confusion at Tung Chow

Our schedule for leaving Ho-hsi-wu on 9th August was for the Japanese to head our advance at 4 a.m, followed by the Russians, then our force, and finally the British. In the event, more communication problems and what many saw as a lack of moral fibre on the part of the Russian commanders and staff, delayed our start and it was almost 7 a.m when we moved out on to the road for Matou and Tung Chow.
    Even though it had rained heavily through the night, the sun was well risen at this hour and the torrid heat, together with the swarms of vicious insects that turned any exposed skin raw with bites in minutes, left many of our troops prostrated by the roadside, to usually regain camp during the night. From Yangtsun the railway splits off from the road, which then follows the Pei-ho river in a north-westerly direction to Tung Chow and Peking. The road had been destroyed by the retreating Chinese, though, making for tortuously slow and difficult progress; and during the four days' marching from Peitsang to Tung Chow, our forces were physically distressed and ultimately depleted by about a quarter.
    We had made only some three or four miles, and were halted by a tiny village when there was a loud, reverberating report that we thought was a gun fired quite near us. For a moment we thought that if we were not under fire, someone at least was firing close to us, until we saw to the south behind us a dense column of smoke and dust slowly ascending into the air. An immense store of powder had been found by the British in a temple at Ho-hsi-wu - some said it amounted to eighty tons - and as it was of no use to us, it was ordered to be fired.
    We reached Matou to our west at about 10 a.m on 10th August, and a troop from the 14th infantry, together with a squad of around 30 marines, was detailed to prepare for the expected resistance. Two scout patrols were sent to assess the strength of the enemy, but shortly reported back that the Chinese had fled from the advancing Bengal Lancers and that there were now no enemy forces in the town. We rejoined the main force, at bivouac on the river bank and on receiving the scout’s report, General Chaffee decided that there was time enough to proceed to Changchiawan, a walled town some 6 miles to the south of Tung Chow.
    As we were preparing to leave, a general hubbub from the direction of headquarters brought to our notice that a radio operator from the Signal Corps had managed to open a channel to the British Consulate in Che-Foo and that, through this link, we were now able to communicate with Washington. This news was a source of great excitement to the whole of the press contingent, with stories and reports to file; but insisting that time was of the essence, General Chaffee ordered that messages to our editors would have to follow later; and we were to make haste for our departure. As we were leaving he dictated a despatch, about as short and to the point as it could possibly be … "Tenth: Arrived Ho-hsi-wu yesterday. Chaffee"
    As we approached Changchiawan, some light opposition was offered by Chinese troops, but this was quickly brushed away by the Japanese army, which took possession of the town and manned the gates as the remainder of our forces streamed through. The entire force, except, for some of the French, who inexplicably were still in the area of Yangtsun, were at Changchiawan by 8 p.m on the evening of 11th August. That night the Japanese advanced a brigade to near Tong Chow; and at 3 a.m on the morning of the 12th the south gate of the city wall was blown in by the Japanese troops, when it was found that the place had been deserted by the Chinese forces, which opened the route for the rest of the force. Although heavy downpours had again turned the road to mud, the day being cloudy and cool enabled the troops to march without much distress and all the armies had arrived at Tong Chow by noon of the 12th
    General Gasalee called a conference at Tung Chow to determine whether a direct assault on Peking could be made on the following day, 13th August. All the commanders were in agreement and the necessary re-grouping and logistical preparations for this assault were immediately put into action. During the afternoon, the Russian commander sent a note stating that he thought it best to remain at Tong Chow and rest the army for a day. This idea did not meet the views of other generals and a second conference was called at 6 o'clock in the afternoon. The Russian commander stated that he could not move the next day, and that he must rest his troops. Since the Russians comprised the second largest army in the alliance - some 13,000 troops - it was considered essential that they were part of the assault force, and it was finally agreed that the next day, the 13th, should be devoted to reconnaissance; the Japanese should reconnoitre on the two roads to the right of the river; the Russians, if at all, on the main paved road; the Americans to concentrate on the road just south of the river; and the British on a parallel road about a mile to the left. This would also allow an additional day for the French to come to strength, since some large part of their force was still scattered behind us.
    The final advance on Peking would now be delayed until 14th August; and the plan agreed was that all the armies would be concentrated on the advance line held by the Japanese and that each of the four main national armies would assault a different gate. The Russians were assigned the most northerly gate, the Dongzhi; the Japanese had the next gate south, the Chaoyang; the Americans, the Dongbien; and the British the most southern, the Guangqui.
    On the morning of the 13th General Chaffee ordered the reconnaissance of the road that we were to occupy with troops from the 6th Cavalry, Captain Reilly’s battery and the 14th Infantry up to the point specified at yesterday’s conference, which was about 7 miles from Tong-Chow. Finding no opposition, he directed the remainder of our force to march out and to close in to where we were camped as the advance guard; the rest of our force arrived at midnight. The British completed their reconnaissance with a cavalry division and moved up to their advance position on our left, while the Japanese reconnoitred both their front and that which had been designated to the Russians.
    For reasons unfathomable to anybody the Russians departed their camp at Tong Chow at about the time that we had completed our assigned reconnaissance and were closing to our advance position. They followed the road which they should have reconnoitred and passed through the positions where our forces, the British and the Japanese were now in readiness for the next day’s attack. Some hours later battle sounds were heard in the vicinity of Peking, with heavy artillery and considerable small arms firing continuing throughout the night. We supposed the firing to be the last efforts of the Chinese troops to destroy the legations, which - although in no degree necessary - gave our imminent assault on the city an even greater urgency.
    As night fell a Japanese staff officer came into our camp and enquired whether we knew anything of the whereabouts of the Russian troops, to which I could only reply that I supposed them at Tung Chow or on our right flank in their advance position for our combined assault the next day. To this he replied that they had left Tung Chow some hours earlier and, since he had come through from our right, he was certain that the Russians were not there; which begged a question of just what they were up to. Had they backed away from the battle in front of us? - or, in spite of our agreed attack plan, had they made ground on us to be the first army to enter the gates of Peking?
    Tomorrow would tell ...

Original Image by Capt C F O'Keefe, 36th Infantry, USV.
(courtesy of Digital Collections. NYPL)

Route of Relief Force from Tientsin to Peking

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Tuesday, August 6

Leaving Peitsang .. the Battle of Yangtsun

After crossing the river we marched in the direction of the railroad, near which we halted until our planned departure time. During our halt the Russian troops crossed the pontoon bridge, followed by the British and French, and then took the river road, which was generally parallel to the railroad and a mile from it. We moved ahead at 6 o'clock, marching near the railroad embankment, which was around 20 feet high and 40 feet wide, revetted on both sides with stones and rock ballast. The railroad track had been entirely removed; the ties burned or carried away and the rails left strewn along the road.
    Arriving within about a mile and a half of Yangtsun, we came across an enemy patrol of about 300 men occupying the section immediately in front of the bridge and the bend in the road, the railroad and the river road converging at this point. General Chaffee placed the 14th Infantry to attack along the west side of the railroad, where they connected with the British line. I crossed to the east side of the railroad embankment with a squad of Marines and a field battery under Captain Reilly, who were deployed to support the march of the 14th Infantry and the British troops. General Gaselee had sent a squadron of British cavalry to operate on our right flank.
    As the 14th began their advance, the enemy opened fire on our right flank with artillery, and the commanding officer of the British cavalry reported that in the village directly on our right there were eight companies of Chinese infantry with three field guns. It was clearly unsafe to leave our right flank exposed to a force so strong, so General Chaffee directed a move against it. Our barrage very soon silenced the enemy guns and set the village ablaze; but this diversion had left the 14th with no cover and they were suffering terribly, even before the village had been completely cleared out.
    There was no choice for General Chaffee but to abandon the movement on the village and re-direct his attack towards the enemy forces holding up the advance. Artillery, as well as infantry fire was being delivered from various villages to our right and in front, so our troops were sent into position to assist the 14th, intending to fire over the railroad embankment. Reilly's guns were unlimbered and about to open fire when we saw men of the 14th mount the embankment directly in front of our line of fire. Chafee ordered Captain Reilly to hold his fire, but within a minute of this order, the battery was fired upon by Chinese infantry and dismounted cavalry secreted in the cornfields within short range. Captain Reilly shifted his focus to the fields and opened fire upon them delivering a withering fusillade of shrapnel, which soon dispersed this force.
    The 9th Infantry, which had come up on the right of battery, mistook the Chinese flag for the French and withheld their fire, losing an opportunity to inflict serious damage on the Chinese troops. I should remark in explanation of this that both the Russian and the French commanders were distributing messages throughout the lines, "to be careful not to fire on their troops which were advancing on Yangtsun", indicating that they were likely to pass close to our front line. As a matter of fact, neither the Russian or French troops were anywhere in front of us or to left, but these messages had been communicated to officers and staff, and in consequence of this all the troops were being particularly cautious.
    The 14th Infantry assault continued against the Chinese position, with support on the left by the British troops, who were by now somewhat mixed with the 14th as a result of the contracted ground. The 14th should have held their attacking position on the west side of the railroad, but they had veered east to assist the British commander who had insisted on their support on his right flank. In this attack the 14th Infantry suffered considerable losses with 7 men killed and 57 wounded and it is with some sadness that I have to report that probably 25 or 30 of these casualties were the result of fire from the British and Russian batteries.
    The advance of the 14th Infantry ended at the railroad embankment, while the 9th Infantry, the Marines, and Reilly's battery continued to advance northward through the villages to the east of Yangtsun until we reached the north end of the city, where opposition had practically dispersed and, here, the operations of the day ceased.
    During the advance of the 9th Infantry, Lieutenant Lang and 5 men of his regiment were wounded. One man in the Marines was wounded; as were two men and two horses of Reilly's battery. The day was intensely hot and the troops had suffered horribly for the want of water and from the heat. Quite a number were unable to keep up with the advance and only arrived in camp after nightfall, while two so afflicted died on the field.
    In the conference at Tientsin it had agreed that the first step of the advance on Peking should terminate at Yangtsun; and that a further conference should be held there to determine what was to be done next. The troops remained in camp at Yangtsun during 7th August; the dead were buried and the wounded sent by boats back to Tientsin. During the morning of the 7th a conference was held at the headquarters of the Russian commander, and it was decided that the forward movement should be resumed the next day to Ho-hsi-wu, where our scouts had reported that the Chinese had constructed an intricate complex of dams and ditches in their efforts to drain the river and flood the surrounding ground; an attempt that had fortunately been abandoned in their flight.
    From Ho-hsi-wu, we would then continue to Tung Chow, where a final conference should be held to agree plans for the attack on Peking. All the armies would concentrate at Ho-hsi-wu during the day and night of 8th August, and the march be resumed at 4 o'clock on the following day.

Original Image by Capt C F O'Keefe, 36th Infantry, USV.
(courtesy of Digital Collections. NYPL)

Scout at Chinese dam complex on Pei-ho River

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Monday, August 5

Leaving Tientsin .. the Battle of Peitsang

The expedition force for Peking numbered some 18,600 men, including 2,500 Americans of the 9th and 14th Infantry regiments, to which force I was assigned. The 6th Cavalry, whose horses had not yet arrived, remained in Tientsin, together with a 100 strong company of Marines, left to assist the civil government of the city. With everything ready for a departure on the 4th August, it was decided that the opening attack would be made on the 5th. As the Japanese, British, and American forces already occupied the right bank of the river, and the Russians the left, the attack would be made without changing the situation of the troops, apart from the British sending four heavy guns to aid the Russian column.
    The troops moved out from the city of Tientsin during the afternoon and night of 4th August and bivouacked in the vicinity of Siku arsenal. From here a road branches westward and leads around to the right of the Chinese entrenched position. The plan of attack was for the Japanese to march on this road at 1 a.m. on the morning of the 5th, followed by the British and the Americans to encircle the Chinese. This accomplished, the three forces were to face to the right and march in the direction of Peitsang, driving whatever Chinese forces might be encountered from their entrenchments. It was also known that the Chinese had a strong outpost about a mile from Peitsang, on the right bank of the river, and located directly upon the road from Tientsin to Peking. The Japanese were to send a battery and a battalion to attack at this point at 3.30 a.m.
    The attack was carried out to perfection by the Japanese troops, but it soon became obvious that the ground was too limited for all the forces of the Japanese, British, and Americans to enter into combat. As soon as the Japanese had assaulted and carried the Chinese arsenal they set themselves on both sides of the Chinese position and swept them clean to the river, rendering unnecessary the plan for the British and American forces, following in the rear of the march, to establish a position where they could provide assistance.
    At about 5 a.m a message was received from the Japanese that they had cleared the arsenal and asking that the British and Americans move directly northward from wherever they might be. The British received this message first, faced immediately to their right, and moved in the direction indicated. In order to provide tactical support, it was necessary for the Americans to pass around the British and try to make contact with the Japanese. This attempt was made, but before we could get into position the Japanese had cleared the field to the river at Peitsang, and the Chinese were in full retreat. The Americans continued to march north around the British, and we came upon the river about a mile to the north and west of Peitsang, the British forces directly upon the right, and the Japanese now having possession of the full river front. From this point attempts were made to find a route northward along the river, but the bank had been cut and all the country to the left, except a narrow road bordering on the river, was flooded.
    The battle was over by 9.00 a.m. and with the action of the day having now ceased, we bivouacked in a deserted village just north of Peitsang. About 50 Chinese bodies were found on the battlefield and almost all the Alliance casualties were Japanese, amounting to 60 dead and 240 wounded, with a handful of British and Russian casualties caused by Chinese artillery fire. The American forces suffered no battle casualties during the day but nearly half the men fell behind, overcome by the sun and the blistering heat. There was no shade and the cavalry kicked up clouds of thick dust which beat back in our faces. Our throats were parched and we were cautioned not to drink the river water. I knew well the torment of dysentery that this would bring, but no orders could keep most of the men from anything that was liquid.
    At 10 p.m I was summoned to headquarters, where General Yamagutchi was meeting with General Chaffee to discuss their plans for the next day, which were for the Japanese to march up the right bank of the river, and to construct three bridges for the Americans, British and Russians to cross. A pontoon bridge had already been constructed at Peitsang by the Japanese, and the British, Americans, and Russians were to march from this point up the left bank of the river to Yangtsun. As the bridge-building was to be controlled by the Japanese, and since it was essential to ensure co-operation on both sides of the river at Yangtsun, it was agreed that we were to march from Peitsang at 6 o'clock in the morning.

Original Image by Capt C F O'Keefe, 36th Infantry, USV.
(courtesy of Digital Collections. NYPL)

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Friday, August 2

Missing in Action .. The Vagaries of Unverified Press Reports

I thought that General Chaffee’s brief nod of recognition as he left the conference was all that I should expect from a man so busy. We had met in Cuba, but only briefly following his defeat of the Spanish garrison at the battle of El Caney. I was pleasantly surprised, therefore, to be called by his aide-de-camp and told that I was assigned to travel with the 14th Infantry, under Regimental Commander, Aaron S. Daggett, on our impending expedition to Peking.
    Preparation and planning were the orders of the day and there was little time to make sure that kit was packed, rations arranged, stores requisitioned and munitions loaded before our departure. In the midst of all this frenetic activity, though, I received news of two out-of-context events that managed to bring some light relief to the urgency of the day and the chaos and misery that was Tientsin at the beginning of August.
    First, the publication of my latest book, To South Africa with Buller, which I had completed only three months previously, had been received with a detailed and favourable review by the literary editor of the Washington Times. It appeared that this review had been widely circulated and reproduced in a number of other journals; a fact that was endorsed by the numerous comments and congratulations that I received from my friends - old and new - and fellow correspondents.
    Second - again from the Washington Times - was a report that I was missing in action in Peking along with George Morrison, the China correspondent of the Times. Although, we had never met, I was aware of Morrison’s status and reputation as one of the most experienced journalists in the field. We had also heard about a week ago from a Chinese messenger that Morrison had been gravely wounded along with Captain Strouts, the senior Marine officer at the British legation. It appears that several shots were fired at them as they were moving through a particularly dangerous area, two hitting Morrison in the thigh and one striking Strouts in the groin. Strouts only lived a few hours but Morrison was said to be up and about within a matter of days.
    What was particularly unusual about this report was that not only was it patently incorrect, but that it appeared to have been penned by somebody who possessed very little factual knowledge, but an extremely active imagination.
    Accuracy aside, however, I found it quite comforting to read that because of my "hitherto remarkable escapes under fire", my friends believed that, along with the senior British Minister in Peking, Sir Claude MacDonald, I would eventually be "found among the survivors".

A Literary Review
The Washington Times

An Unverified Report
The Washington Times

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