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The Siege of Peking: The March on Peking


HEADQUARTERS FIRST REGIMENT U.S. MARINES,
CHINA RELIEF EXPEDITION,
Pekin, China, August 20, 1900.

SIR: In obedience to your order of the 17th instant I have the honor to report that the First Regiment United States Marines, China relief expedition, left Tientsin the afternoon of August 4, 1900, as part of your column. The following was the composition:

Maj. W.P. Biddle, commanding; Maj. George Richards, commissary; Capt. W.B. Lemly, quartermaster; First Lieut. D.D. Porter, regimental adjutant; Surg. G.A. Lung, U.S.N.; P.A. Surg. G.D. Costigan, U.S.N.; Asst. Surg. J.C. Thompson, U.S.N.; Sergt. Maj. J.F. Lawler, regimental sergeant-major; Quartermaster-Sergt. Robert Johnson; Hospital Apprentices Thomas Ball and G.D. Stillson, U.S.N.

First Battalion:--Maj. L.W.T. Waller, commanding; First Lieut. A.E. Harding, adjutant.

Company A:--First Lieut. S.D. Butler, commanding; First Lieut. R.F. Wynne, Second Lieut. C.C. Carpenter; 74 enlisted.

Company C:--First Lieut. R.L. Dunlap, commanding; Second Lieut. F.M. Wise, Second Lieut. F.M. Wise, Second Lieut. W.C. Harllee, 74 enlisted.

Company H.--Capt. P.M. Bannon, commanding; First Lieut. J.F. McGill, First Lieut. William Hopkins; 73 enlisted.

Second Battalion:--Capt. F.M. Moses, commanding; First Lieut. J.H.A. Day, adjutant.

Company D.--Capt. C.G. Long, commanding; First Lieut. A.J. Matthews, Second Lieut. W. McCreary; 73 enlisted.

Company I.--Capt. W.C. Neville, commanding; Second Lieut. S.A.W. Patterson, Second Lieut. D.W. Blake; 87 enlisted.

Company F.--Capt. H.B. Fuller, commanding; First Lieut. W.H. Clifford, Second Lieut. L. McC. Little; 68 enlisted.

Strength of regiment leaving Tientsin, 29 commissioned, 453 enlisted; total, 482.

          In the engagement of Piet Sang, which occurred on the 5th, the United States forces did not come under fire. On the 6th the battle of Yang-tsun took place, a report of which is hereto appended, marked "A." Reports of the engagements around Pekin on the 14th and 15th are also appended, marked "B" and "C," respectively. The distance marched was about 80 miles from Tientsin to Pekin. On the night of the 4th the command bivouacked at Shihko, the night of the 5th at Piet Sang, the 6th and 7th at Yang-tsun, the 8th at Tsai-tsun, the 9th to the south of Ho-shi-wu, the 10th at Tshien-ping, the 11th at Dshang-dshai-wan, the 12th at Tung-chou, and the 13th at Thing- fu-dsh.

          Though the distance covered daily was not great the men suffered severely from the effects of the sun and extreme heat; but at Matow, about two-thirds of the way, when the order came to leave all men behind who were incapable of marching further there were but 4 marines who were unfit to proceed.

          I wish to commend my two battalion commanders, Maj. L.W.T. Waller and Capt. F.M. Moses, who at all times showed great judgment in the handling of their respective battalions in action and had their men under excellent control. I also wish to commend my regimental adjutant, First Lieut. D.D. Porter, who was at all times most zealous and efficient in carrying out my orders. Surg. G.A. Lung, P.A. Surg. G.D. Costigan, and Assist. Surg. J.C. Thompson were alert and zealous in caring for those overcome by the heat and the wounded. Commissary and quartermaster, Maj. George Richards and Capt. W.B. Lemly, worked hard under many difficulties, and succeeded most admirably in keeping their supplies up with the regiment. All officers and men performed their duties well.

          The following were sent back sick, were missing, or were detached during the march:

First Battalion.

 Detached 62
 Placed on junks 24
 Sent to hospital 6
 Missing 4
 Total enlisted
96
 Commissioned 2
 Grand total
98


Second Battalion.

 Detached  58
 Placed on junks  21
 Sent to hospital  6
 Missing  11
 Dead  1
 Total enlisted
 97
 Commissioned  3
 Grand total
 100

          The strength of the regiment to-day in Pekin is: Maj. W.P. Biddle, commanding; Maj. George Richards, commissary; Capt. W.B.Lemly, quartermaster; First Lieut. D.D. Porter, regimental adjutant; Surg.G.A. Lung, U.S.N.; P.A.Surg. G.D. Costigan, U.S.N.; Asst. Surg. J.C. Thompson, U.S.N.; Sergt. Maj. J.F. Lawler, regimental sergeant-major; Quartermaster Sergt. Robert Johnson; Hospital Apprentice Thomas Ball, U.S.N.; Hospital Apprentice G.D. Stillson, U.S.N.

First Battalion.--Maj. L.W.T. Waller, commanding; First Lieut. A.E. Harding, adjutant.

Company A.--First Lieut. S.D. Butler, commanding; Second Lieut. C.C. Carpenter; 45 enlisted.

Company C.--Second Lieut. F.M. Wise, commanding; Second Lieut. W.C. Harllee; 40 enlisted.

Company H.--Capt. P.M. Bannon, commanding; First Lieut. J.F. McGill; First Lieut. William Hopkins; 40 enlisted.

Second Battalion.--Capt. F.M. Moses;, commanding; First Lieut. J.H .A. Day, adjutant.

Company D.--Capt. C.G. Long, commanding; First Lieut. A.J. Matthews; Second Lieut. L. McC. Little; 69 enlisted.

Company I.--Capt. W.C. Neville, commanding; Second Lieut. S.A.W. Patterson; Second Lieut. D.W. Blake; 69 enlisted.

Total strength of regiment, 24 commissioned, 267 enlisted; total, 291.

          In addition to the number that marched out with the regiment from Tientsin, there were left in Tientsin as guards and in the hospital 6 commissioned, 2 surgeons, and 177 enlisted; total 185.

          Very respectfully,

W.P.BIDDLE,
Major, U.S. Marine Corps, Commanding.

THE MAJOR-GENERAL COMMANDING UNITED STATES FORCES,
China Relief Expedition, Pekin, China.


HEADQUARTERS FIRST REGIMENT U.S. MARINES,
Pekin, China, August 20, 1900.

SIR: In obedience to your order of the 17th instant I respectfully submit my report of the operations against Yangtsun August 6, 1900.

          The marines acted as a support to Riley's battery throughout the day. During the early advance we came under the fire of both small arms and artillery. At one stage of the fight the enemy's cavalry was discovered on our right front and were put to rout by several well-directed volleys. We then advanced on a village in line of skirmishers, throwing out scouts to the front, and taking said village with little or no opposition and without loss. After a short rest we advanced and drove the enemy out of another village. Owing to frequent changes of direction, flank movements, and excessive heat many of the men were overcome.

          In this engagement Corporal Brophy died from heat and Private Pruitt was wounded.

          Very respectfully,

W.P. BIDDLE,
Major, U.S. Marine Corps, Commanding.

THE MAJOR-GENERAL COMMANDING UNITED STATES FORCES,
China Relief Expedition, Pekin, China.

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Source: Navy Department. Annual Report of the Navy Department for the Year 1901 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1901), pp. 1276-77.

13 March 2000