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Navy Department. Annual Report of the Navy Department for the Year 1900 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1900), pp. 1116-32.

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The Marine Corps in Tientsin and Peking

Report of the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps



Washington, D.C., September 29, 1900.


The conditions in China having become such as to require the presence there of American troops to protect the lives and property of Americans, 6 officers and 101 enlisted men were, on June 14, 1900, detached from the First Regiment of Marines at the naval station, Cavite, P.I., and sent on board the U.S.S. Newark for transportation to Taku, China. This detachment arrived off Taku on June 18, and was joined by a small detachment of 2 officers and 30 enlisted men sent forward from Cavite in the U.S.S. Nashville. The officers of these detachments were as follows: Maj. L.W.T. Waller, commanding; First Lieuts. S.D. Butler, Henry Leonard, George C. Reid, R.F. Wynne, W.G. Powell, A. E. Harding, and Second Lieut. Wade L. Jolly.

Major Waller's total force, therefore, consisted of 8 officers and 132 enlisted men. Under instructions from the rear-admiral commanding to land and cooperate with the powers in the forward movement for the relief of the besieged city of Tientsin, Major Waller and his force landed on the 19th of June and proceeded to within a short distance of Tong-Ku, moving to that place on the morning of June 20. The marine force was armed with a 3-inch field piece and a Colt automatic gun. A train having been constructed, as Major Waller states, with the very valuable assistance of Capt. F. M. Wise, of the U.S.S. Monacacy, the track was repaired and communication opened to a point about 18 miles from Tong-Ku and about 12 miles from Tientsin. Major Waller joined a Russian force of about 400 men at a point about 12 miles from Tientsin, and finding the road impassable, bivouacked there for the night, with the understanding that the position would be held until reenforcements arrived. Major Waller in his report states that at 2 o'clock in the morning the Russian colonel informed him that he would push on with his 400 men and attempt to get into Tientsin, and aid in the defense of the city. Major Waller objected to this, considering it impossible to pass the Chinese force with only 530 men, but being overruled in council his force joined the Russians in an early morning advance on Tientsin on June 21.

The 3-inch rifle proving defective, it was disabled and rolled into the river. In the 12-mile march to Tientsin the Russian column was in advance, 400 strong, with the colt gun and marine crew, commanded by First Lieut. W.G. Powell, U.S. M.C., in their front. The advance continued without opposition until 7 a.m., when the column reached a point opposite the imperial arsenal, and a small flank fire was opened by the enemy, which was quickly silenced by the marine sharpshooters. Ten minutes later the Chinese opened a very heavy front and flank fire from 1,500 to 2,000 men entrenched. Major Waller deployed his force, and the flank fire becoming very heavy, turned to the left and rear confronting a flank movement, the marine line then having its front advanced and right flank refused. This position was held for some time by the marines, until the Russian force began to fall back and form on their right at a distance of one-half mile, which movement again brought the fire of the enemy on the marines' left flank. The support of the Colt gun having dwindled to two men, and the gun having jammed several times, all the crew having been shot down but one, Lieutenant Powell, "very properly," as Major Waller remarks, decided to abandon the gun, which he did after disabling it. Major Waller says that at this point he received notice that the Russians would retreat to a point about 4 miles beyond, the bivouac of the night before, and he therefore began his retreat, moving by the right flank and keeping up a fight for four hours with the enemy, who were following in force. The wounded were brought back by hand, but the dead had to be left. The marines reached their base at 2 p.m., having marched 30 miles and fought for five hours. The casualties were 4 killed and 9 wounded.

At 5 p.m. the same day (June 21) a force of English and Russians arrived, and Major Waller decided to act in cooperation with the British under the command of Commander Craddock, R.N. The following day an advance was made as far as possible by the railroad and an encampment established for the night. The combined force at this time amounted to about 2,000 men, of whom 1,000 were Russians, and the rest English, German, American, Italian, and Japanese, the strength of the troops being in the order named, the British having about 600 men. It was decided that the advance should commence about 4 o'clock the next morning, and should be in two columns, the marines occupying the advance of the British column and the right of the firing line. The enemy was encountered about 7 a.m., and driven steadily by the advancing troops until about 12.30 p.m., when the combined forces entered Tientsin, relieving the besieged Europeans, the loss for the day being 1 killed and 3 wounded. The next morning (June 25) an advance was made to the relief of Vice-Admiral Seymour, Captain McCalla, and the men of the powers who had been forced back from their march on Pekin and entrenched at a point about 8 miles from Tientsin. The force met little opposition, and relieved the besieged at noon, the casualties of the relieving force being 2 wounded from shell fire and 1 from bullet wounds.

The combined troops encamped for the night of the of the 25th, crossing the river from the arsenal, where the besieged force had been relieved, and the next day returned to Tientsin with the sick and wounded of the besieged, and Major Waller was left in command of the combined force of American seaman and marines. On June 27 the Russians took the imperial arsenal, which the Russians and Americans had failed to take previously, and in response to a request for reenforcements Major Waller sent 40 marines, under command of Second Lieut. Wade L. Jolly, U.S.M.C., with First Lieut. A.E. Harding, U.S.M.C., as a volunteer, and placed the whole command under command of Commander Craddock, RN. This force was about 1,800 strong and armed with six guns, and it succeeded in driving the enemy from their fortifications. It appeared that the enemy had about 7,000 men at this point. Major Waller says the marines, led by Lieutenant Jolly, charged over the parapet with a British company, being the first in this part of the fight. The marines suffered 1 wounded, and Lieutenant Jolly overcome by the heat, "but not," as Major Waller states, "until he had brought his men back to their quarters." Lieutenant Harding captured a flag from the enemy.

In his report of June 28, 1900, Major Waller says:

Our men have marched 97 miles in 5 days, fighting all the way. They have lived on about one meal a day for six days, and have been cheerful and willing always.

Of the officers under his command he says:

I have to earnestly recommend to your notice , for such reward as you may deem proper, the following officers: Lieut. S.D. Butler, for the admirable control of his men in all the fights of the week; for saving a wounded man at the risk of his own life, and under a very severe fire. Lieut. A. E. Harding, for conspicuous gallantry in action; for saving wounded at the risk of his life, under a heavy fire. Second Lieut. W.L. Jolly, for the same risk, and for leading a fine charge over two parapets in the face of a heavy fire. First Lieut. Henry Leonard for saving life under fire, and for admirable control and direction of the fire. First Lieutenant Powell for working and managing the Colt gun under a fierce fire and without support, after the crew had been shot down. First Lieutenant Wynne, for his steadfast courage and encouragement of his men.

In another report of the same date to the second in command of the United States naval force on the Asiatic Station, Major Waller says concerning Lieutenant Jolly:

The reports of Mr. Jolly's conduct are most flattering and they come in from all sides. This is the second time I have had occasion to make special mention of this young officer during the week.

Major Waller also speaks in the highest terms of the enlisted men in his command, saying that he can not do them justice. In a later report, to which reference is made below, he gives the names of the men entitled to special commendation. In this report Major Waller expresses his gratitude for the aid rendered by the English surgeons in caring for the sick and wounded on the field and in the hospital. In this connection he mentions especially Surg. Robley H.J. Browne, R.N., of H.M.S. Alacrity.

Major Waller gives the following list of casualties up to the date of his report of June 28, 1900:

Killed.--Corpl. J.F. Lannigan; Privates J. K. Miller, H. Norris, Edward Provensal, J. Hunter.
Wounded.--Serious.--Corpl. Lloyd Hetrick, hand; Privates C.H. Carter, C.C. Smith. Slight.--Corpl. Thomas Kates, hand; Private S. Surk, shell wound, foot; Sergt. J.J. Sullivan, head; Private C. Matthias, hand; Private C.H. Francis, thigh; Sergt. Frank B. Taylor, foot; Private G.E. McCoy, shell wound, leg; Private Locke Bailey.

Total casualties, 5 killed and 11 wounded.

Rear-Admiral Louis Kempff, senior squadron commander, United States naval force, Asiatic Station, in forwarding the above-mentioned report of Major Waller, indorsed it as follows:

Respectfully forwarded, approved, with the request that the valuable and able services of Maj. L.W.T. Waller, U.S.M.C., commanding detachment, receive due attention and proper recognition at the hands of the Department. I would suggest a suitable medal for Major Waller, and 5 per cent additional pay for life in various grades he may reach. The other officers and men should receive medals and such other recognition as may be considered suitable by the Department, except a few men not deserving, and who will be specially reported. Major Waller has been requested to submit a list of the names of these underserving men.

I was delighted when the marines arrived in the Solace to find that Major Waller was in command, feeling certain that the men would be well cared for and render creditable service. It is with our marines under Major Waller as it is with the force under Captain McCalla; foreign officers have only the highest praise for their splendid fighting qualities.

I append to my report a congratulatory order issued by the Russian major-general concerning the capture of the east arsenal at Tientsin by the combined forces; also several reports from Major L.W.T. Waller relating to the operations of the marines under his command at the attack in Tientsin.

In a communication dated July 2, Major Waller states that Tientsin (Chinese), is held by a garrison of 2,000 men, and that there are, in all, 9,500 troops (combined forces) in and around Tientsin. He also states that an attack on the west arsenal and the capture of Tientsin city are contemplated for the next day.

In another communication of July 2, to the second in command of the United States naval force, Asiatic Station, Major Waller refers to a reconnaissance made under heavy fire in the direction of the fort near Tientsin (Chinese), in which 40 of his men participated. The enemy were driven out of the villages and the houses burned. One incident is described by him as follows:

Some of the British troops being in a hot corner and unable to retreat, Lieutenant Butler volunteered to protect them and moved to their position under a hot fire, permitting the British to retire. He then fell back, forming the rear guard of the column, and protecting them thoroughly.

In a report made later on the same day, July 2, Major Waller states that at a meeting of the military commanders it was decided not to attack Tientsin city until the morning of the 4th of July. In this report he says that the suburbs of the city of Tientsin, on the west side, are occupied by "Boxers." The number of the Chinese troops there was estimated to be about 3,500. There were also several thousand "Boxers," all armed with rifles. In the latter part of the same communication Major Waller states that the attack on Tientsin city has been abandoned for the present, and that the Chinese troops, whose approach had been expected, had arrived and entered the city, and that shelling from their guns had been kept up all day. Houses on each side of the marines' quarters were struck by shells. This report of the 2nd of July states that the Chinese have placed three additional batteries near the north end of the Chinese city, and that one of these dismounted a Russian gun, killing 4 men.

In a later report to the second in command, United States naval force, Asiatic Station, dated July 6, Major Waller repeats his commendation of certain officers of his command, and also mentions a number of enlisted men as worthy of special praise. The following is an extract from this letter:

Replying to your letter of July 4, I have the honor to state that I furnished a list of officers recommended for recognition for distinguished service. With the report mentioned I am glad to furnish another, as other cases have arisen in which these same officers have distinguished themselves. Lieut. S.D. Butler, for saving a wounded man at the risk of his own life, under a very severe fire, June 21; for admirable control and direction of his men in all the engagements from June 2 to June 25; for relieving and saving a platoon of British Indian Staff Corps troop (Chinese) July 3. Lieutenant Leonard, for admirable control of his men; for saving a wounded man, June 21, at the risk of his own life. Lieut. A.E. Harding, for conspicuous gallantry in action; for saving life of a wounded man under risk of his own under a heavy fire. Lieutenant Powell; for steadfast courage in the working of the Colt's 6-millimeter gun under a venomous fire. This was abandoned by Mr. Powell after he had disabled it. The gun was in the Russian front and I couldn't reach it to save it. I do not believe it could have been saved with the force we had. Lieutenant Wynne, for admirable conduct and control of men. Second Lieut. Wade L. Jolly, for conspicuous gallantry; for saving life of a wounded man at the risk of his own, June 21; for leading a splendid charge over the parapets of the east arsenal, June 27.

Of the men I wish to say, while all, in the engagements we participated in, behaved in such a manner as to bring forth the highest praise from the foreign officers, Sergts. Frank B. Taylor, Alexander E. Foley, Harmon C Skinner, Patrick J. Sullivan, Arthur Kennedy, Corpls. Joseph Rogers, Joseph Frederick Abdill, Thomas W. Kates, Privates Albert R. Campbell, Charles Fields, Edward McCoy, Adrian Curet, Walter Abraham Greenleaf, Henry Gardner, Charles Francis, Julius Sanfandre, Clarence Edward Mathias, the specially distinguished of these being Corporal Kates and Privates Campbell and Francis, with the Colt gun. Private Mathias, although wounded in the hand, has been in every engagement and affair.

Referring to the condition at his headquarters in Tientsin on July 7, Major Waller states that he has sent a party of sharpshooters, composed of his men and Royal Welsh Fusileers, to occupy the tower of the English colony and pick off "snipers," and to watch for and locate the signal or flag flying from the French concession, this party being under the command of First Lieut. R.F. Wynne, U.S.M.C. He says the shelling of the Chinese city, west arsenal, and viceroy's yamen was begun at noon of the 7th, and there has been little or no reply. On July 8 he states that an attack on the Chinese line is contemplated at 4 a.m. on the 9th, with 2,000 men. Major Waller states that his men will occupy the right of the line along the mud wall, and that the line will curve in toward the Chinese right and drive the force into the west arsenal, where a general attack will be made. He says his duty is to cut off the retreat beyond the arsenal toward the city.

In a report dated July 9 Major Waller mentions an attack made on the Chinese right flank, Tientsin, on that date, and states that the enemy were driven steadily to the westward, and finally a flanking party of the United States marines and some Japanese soldiers entered the arsenal together. Although they were under a heavy shell fire, the shells exploding overhead and among the men, there were no casualties. The Chinese loss was estimated to be about 500. The losses of the combined forces were about 45, of which number 7 were killed. The arsenal was so completely demolished that no guard was left in charge of it. In this report Major Waller says that he expects a general attack on the city the next day, and also remarks that the fire and the fire discipline of his men were excellent. He reports that 50 of his men controlled and overpowered the fire of the enemy while the artillery were passing over an exposed bridge. In this report Major Waller mentions the fact that he has secured quarters for the Ninth Infantry out of the line of fire.

In a letter dated July 10, 1900, to the commander in chief, United States naval force, Asiatic Station, Major Waller reports the fact that an attack is contemplated on the east and north of Tientsin City (Chinese) the next morning. He states that he has command of the marines and will parade with and direct the Royal Welsh Fusileers, occupying the head of the column and the right of the line, these arrangements being temporary and subject to change upon the arrival of Colonel Meade with the rest of the battalion.

Major Waller encloses two letters relative to the part taken by his command in the fight of the day before, July 9, and states that the men have done magnificent service since the 20th of June, and that there is not a man on the sick list except the wounded. The fact is mentioned that if the Chinese shelling continues as bad as the day before, the marines will have to be moved, as their barracks have been hit three times. The enclosures referred to above relative to the work done by Major Waller's command are as follows:

TIENTSIN, July 10, 1900

DEAR MAJOR WALLER: The officers who were with the detachment of my regiment that were dragging the guns yesterday have asked me to write and thank you for the support you gave them yesterday by keeping down the enemy's fire while they were crossing an exposed place; their opinion is that had it not been for the action taken by you and your men they would have had a good many casualties. Please accept my sincere thanks and believe me,

Yours, sincerely,


TIENTSIN, July 9, 1900

SIR: I beg leave to thank you for having been good enough to send out a force to cooperate in the action to-day.

The steadiness of your men and the way in which they entered the arsenal were much admired.

The actual command was, as you know, under the Japanese general with our general, Brig. Gen. A.R.F. Doward, D.S.O., assisting, but as being myself present, I desire to thank you for your valuable assistance and to assure you that we are always happy to have your officers and men associate with us. I have the honor to be, sir,

Your obedient servant,

E.H. Seymour, Vice-Admiral.

Major WALLER, United States Marines.

The proposed attack on Tientsin City (Chinese) did not take place, on account of the destruction of the bridges.

On June 30 Col. R.L. Meade, 18 officers and 300 enlisted men were detached from the naval station, Cavite, P.I., and sent to Taku in the U.S.S. Brooklyn.

The officers of this detachment were: Col. R.L. Meade, Maj. George Richards, Capts. M.J Shaw, W.B. Lemly, A.R. Davis, C.G. Long, B.H. Fuller, P.M. Bannon, First Lieuts. J.H.A. Day, C.G. Andresen, R.H. Dunlap, A.J. Matthews, D.D. Porter, W.H. Clifford, J.F. MeGill, William Hopkins, Second Lieuts. F.M. Wise, jr., W. McCreary, L.M. Little, United States Marine Corps.

On the arrival at Taku Colonel Meade proceeded to Tongku and thence with his detachment to Tientsin, where he arrived with his command, the artillery, and all stores on July 12, superseding Major Waller in command. Colonel Meade stated that on his arrival he found Major Waller and his force quartered in the European concession in houses which were nightly under the shell fire of the enemy, and that small bodies of the enemy also controlled the streets with rifle fire at night. Colonel Meade also reported that when he arrived only the foreign concessions in Tientsin were held by the allied forces, that the walled city was strongly fortified, and that all other portions of Tientsin were also strongly fortified and held by the Chinese. Colonel Meade said his force took turns with the other troops of the alliance in guarding the railway station, which was an exposed place, almost continually under shell fire, and a very dangerous duty.

At a conference held on July 12 at the headquarters of the British general, Brig. Gen. A.R.F. Dorward, it was decided to attack the city about daybreak the next day, July 13, and Colonel Meade says he was called upon to furnish a quota of 1,000 men -- the marines (22 officers and 326 men) and a force (673 men) from the Ninth United States Infantry, who had already arrived in Tientsin, one battalion of the Ninth Infantry being still at Taku or en route.

At 3 a.m. on July 13 Colonel Meade marched out of barracks with his marines, 22 officers and 326 men in four companies, the companies commanded, respectively, by Capt. C.G. Long, Capt. A.R. Davis, First Lieut. S.D. Butler, and Capt. B.H. Fuller. Company F was an artillery company of three 3-inch rapid-fire guns and three Colt's automatic guns, and this company was supported by Company D (Captain Long, who was also the commanding officer of the Second Battalion of the temporary organization of the marines in China). The force was marched through the Taku gate by the road leading to the south gate of the walled city in two columns, the Japanese forces being to the right and the British and American forces to the left. The column of which the marines formed part was distributed as follows: Two companies of the Royal Welsh Fusileers leading, followed by the marines (infantry and artillery), the English Naval artillery, then the English naval brigade, and finally the Ninth United States Infantry -- 673 men.

The road was so heavy that it was difficult to haul the artillery. Colonel Meade says his orders were to march on a line parallel to the city wall, about 1,000 yards in rear and to the southward of the brigade at the south gate, and there the commanding officers were to receive their final instructions. No such conference was held, however, and, in accordance with orders, the marines advanced along the mud wall in a northerly direction, with two infantry companies, leaving the artillery company and its infantry support to act in connection with the British field artillery and to open fire at a point where the Chinese had some 4.7-inch or 6-inch guns mounted, the fire from which had been heavy and accurate. The south gate was reached at about 5 o'clock a.m. The naval battery of the Terrible had opened fire on the forts and guns of the enemy just before the arrival of Colonel Meade's force, and were being vigorously responded to by the Chinese. The result of the accurate fire from the Terrible was that about 5.45 o'clock a.m. the Chinese magazine was exploded with a terrific shock, which was distinctly felt a mile and a half away.

At 6.30 a.m. Colonel Meade received orders from the British general to support the Royal Welsh Fusileers in an attack on the extreme left, and accordingly crossed the wall in skirmish line, having an extensive swamp to traverse. The country was flat and level, with numerous grave mounds and dikes, which ready-made entrenchments were used to advantage. The Chinese artillery and infantry fire was exceedingly accurate, as is shown by the large casualty lists. Colonel Meade advanced his force by rushes to a line of entrenchments about 800 yards from the enemy. In front were very bad swamps and a stream of water, which made it impossible to reach the city at that point. This advanced position was reached about 8 a.m. The marines had 180 rounds of ammunition per man, and the firing was so incessant that Colonel Meade says he feared being left in advanced position in a fight where no prisoners were taken and without ammunition. On the firing line the action was especially severe and the enemy's fire remarkably rapid and accurate.

About 8.30 a.m. the enemy appeared in large numbers on the left and among the grave mounds where Colonel Meade's troops were located, with an evident intention of flanking. Colonel Meade ordered a turning movement to the left and rear and succeeded in driving the enemy away. Later in the day, about 2 p.m., the enemy again made a flanking movement, but the infantry support of the artillery company was on the mud wall of the city at this time and frustrated their object. This company was commanded by Capt. G.C. Long, U.S.M.C.

Colonel Meade says his command remained in the trenches until about 8 p.m., when an order was received from the British general, commanding, to withdraw, which was extremely difficult, as the ground which had to be passed over was well covered by the enemy's fire. The withdrawal was made in small parties of eight or ten men by rushes from mound to mound and from trench to trench. The wounded and 1 dead officer had been previously sent to the rear. The withdrawal was successfully accomplished, only 1 man being hit, and a safe position was reached under the mud wall near the south gate. In accordance with orders from the British general, the troops were to sleep upon their arms that night and on the following morning to enter the city, the south gate to be blown in by gun cotton. In spite of the fact that the men had nothing to eat all day on the 13th, except a small luncheon which each man carried in his haversack, their behavior was perfect. Food and other necessaries were provided for the bivouac on the night of the 13th, and the men, although very fatigued, were ready for duty.

In the early morning of July 14, the south gate having been blown in, the combined force, including the marines, moved into the walled city at about 6 o'clock. Colonel Meade reports that the city was found "filled with dead Chinamen and animals;" that no resistance was made to the occupation in the walled city itself, but that an infantry fire was kept up by the Japanese on the enemy, who responded from the suburbs. Since the 14th the allied forces have remained in undisturbed possession of Tientsin.

Concerning his officers and men, Colonel Meade says:

The conduct of my officers and men I can not praise too highly. I had them for the most part under my personal eye. I especially desire to call to your attention the conduct of First Lieut. Charles G. Andresen, whose fearless conduct excited the admiration of all; First Lieut. S.D. Butler, who, at great risk of his life, went out of the trench to bring in a wounded man, and was shot while doing so; First Lieut. Henry Leonard, my adjutant, who brought First Lieutenant Butler in in safety, and was dangerously wounded. All conducted themselves well, and I can not commend them too highly. I append a list of the names of the officers who were engaged in the battle.

The list of officers engaged in the battle of Tientsin, July 13, 1900, is as follows: Col. R.L. Meade; Majs. George Richards, L.W.T. Waller; Capts. W.B. Lemley, A.R. Davis, C.G. Long, B.H. Fuller, P.M. Bannon; First Lieuts. S.D. Butler, H. Leonard, G.C. Reid, W.G. Powell, J.H.A. Day, R.F. Wynne, R.H. Dunlap, D.D. Porter, J.F. McGill, C.G. Andresen, A.J. Matthews, W.H. Clifford, A.E. Harding; Second Lieuts. F.M. Wise, W. McCreary, L. McC. Little, L.W. Jolly; Surg. C.C. Norton, U.S.N.; Asst. Surg. Edgar Thompson, U.S.N.

In regard to the killing of Capt. L.A.R. Davis, U.S.M.C., Colonel Meade says:

I regret to report the death of Capt. A.R. Davis, who was killed at my side in the advanced trench. He was killed almost instantly. I had his body brought in with the wounded, and he is buried here in Tientsin, his grave being marked. This was all I could do.

Colonel Meade states that it was impossible to bring in the bodies of the men who were killed in the trenches, and they were buried where they fell.

Colonel Meade encloses in his report a copy of a letter from the British general commanding, commending the conduct of his officers and men. The following extracts are taken from this letter of Brig. Gen. A.R.F. Dorward, a full copy of which is appended to my report:

* * * The American troops formed a part of the front line of the British attack, and so had more than their share of the fighting that took place. The ready and willing spirit of the officers and men will always make their command easy and pleasant, and when one adds to that the steady gallantry and power of holding on to exposed positions which they displayed on the 13th instant, the result is soldiers of the highest class.

We all deeply sympathize with you in the heavy losses you have suffered, especially with the Ninth Infantry, in the loss of their gallant Col. E.H. Liscum, while at the head of his men, and with the First Regiment of Marines in the death of Captain Davis, who met a soldier's death in the very front of the fight. * * * Among many instances of personal bravery in the action, I propose especially to bring to notice in dispatches the conduct of First Lieut. Smedley D. Butler, U.S.M.C., in bringing in a wounded man from the front under very heavy and accurate fire. Lieutenant Butler was wounded while so doing, but I am glad to learn not seriously. The regimental adjutant, First Lieut. Henry Leonard, as Lieutenant Butler was suffering severely, volunteered to carry him out of the firing line. This gallant feat he successfully accomplished, but I regret to say was very dangerously wounded in so doing. * * *

Colonel Meade in his report says of Captain Shaw:

I desire to call attention to the work of Capt. M.J. Shaw, acting commissary and quartermaster, after Captain Lemley was wounded. His untiring activity in keeping the command supplied with ammunition, food, water, and all other necessaries merits commendation from me.

He also states that Maj. George Richards, assistant paymaster, and Capt. W.B. Lemly, assistant quartermaster on the regimental staff, volunteered to act as aids, and accompanied him during the day of the battle, July 13, Captain Lemly being wounded in the leg very early in the action before the arsenal was reached. Colonel Meade estimated that the number of the allied forces engaged was about 5,650. He states that the Chinese had about 60 guns, and that their force had been variously estimated, but that it is impossible to approximate their numbers. The Chinese force was, however, very large.

I append to my report copies of the report of Capt. Charles D. Long, U.S.M.C., who commanded the Second Battalion of Marines in the battle of Tientsin, and the report of Capt. B.H. Fuller, who commanded the artillery company of the battalion. Captain Long in his report says his battalion left their barracks at about 3 a.m. July 13 with the First Battalion, all under command of Colonel Meade. When about 1½ miles from the western arsenal he was ordered to go into action, on the right of the Japanese artillery, who had one battery of light field guns. The First Battalion moved to the front, and the Second Battalion inclined to the right and moved across the marsh to a position just to the right of the Japanese, and outside the outer wall about 2,200 yards from the south gate of the Chinese city, the point to be forced. About 75 or 100 shells were fired over the outer wall and into the city, Lieut. A.J. Mathews indicating from the top of the wall the fall of the projectiles.

Captain Fuller, commanding the artillery company, in his report states that his men were here subjected to the rifle fire from the sharpshooters in the walled city, and were also exposed to the guns firing shrapnel from a fort on the west side of the city. It appearing that a better view of the city gate could be obtained from the inside of the mud wall, the battalion was moved by the left flank through the arsenal gate, and took up a position inside and to the left about 6.30 a.m. The fire was continued from this position, and some excellent shots were placed in the Chinese city. One of the Chinese batteries on the left unsuccessfully tried to drive the marines from their position. The fire of the marine battery was kept up until the supply of ammunition was exhausted. The guns were then left outside the wall in charge of Captain Fuller and about 60 men, and Lieut. D.D. Porter and the Colt gun detachment joined Company D, commanded by First Lieut. R.H. Dunlap, the Colt guns being left with Captain Fuller. Captain Long then moved his force of about 100 men to the extreme left flank of the allied forces, which was open and liable to a flank attack by the Chinese. Arriving there, fire was opened on the enemy.

Shortly afterwards, in obedience to orders received, Captain Long moved his men forward from the wall and advanced in extended order a distance of half a mile across the marshes, coming up on the left of the First Battalion. This advance was made under a heavy fire, but only one man, Private P.J. Kelleher, was hit. He was seriously wounded in the chest, and was sent to the rear later. Just before moving to reinforce the line, Captain Long's battalion was joined by Lieutenant Wynne and about 40 men. Several flanking attempts by the enemy were frustrated during the day. The command remained in position until about 7 p.m., when they followed the other companies which had moved to the rear for a night position. Lieutenant Wynne's detachment from the outer wall covered this movement to the rear. Of his command Captain Long says:

The officers and men, during the engagement which lasted thirteen or fourteen hours, displayed coolness and in every way the qualities of good soldiers and marines. The artillery under Captain Fuller was handled well, and the fire was effective in spite of poor ammunition. * * * Lieutenant Dunlap, in command of Company D, kept his company under excellent control, and by well- directed volleys and individual fire well protected the extreme left flank of the allied forces.

He states that Private Robert Desmond, who was acting as a sharpshooter, was wounded in the arm and leg, but moved to the rear without assistance, and that his actions indicated "bravery, fearlessness, and good judgment." Captain Long says that Capt. M.J. Shaw, commissary officer of the regiment, was in charge of the barracks and sent to the front every assistance possible, and was untiring in his energy. In the report of the operations of his artillery company, Capt. B.H. Fuller states that during the advance across the open to reenforce the Ninth Infantry on the right of the line, in obedience to orders, the following men were wounded: Sergt. F.T. Winters, Privates J. Van Horn, H.H. Rickers, Laurin Larsson, W.S. Chapman, Frank Miller.

Captain Fuller states that his men and some of the English blue jackets assisted in carrying to the rear the wounded of the Ninth Infantry. In connection with the wounding of First Lieut. Henry Leonard, which has been heretofore referred to, Captain Fuller states that First Lieutenant Leonard was taken to the rear under a heavy rifle fire by Sergt. J.M. Adams and Corp. H.C. Adriance, U.S.M.C., of Company F, whose courage he especially commends. He also states that Sergeant Foley showed great coolness and bravery in taking a position on the extreme right flank and in carrying messages under a heavy fire. In conclusion Captain Fuller states:

All the company displayed coolness and bravery and conducted themselves satisfactorily.

During the fight of July 13 the force of marines detailed at the railway station were vigorously attacked and suffered heavily. The marine detachment at the railway station consisted of Capt. P.M. Bannon, U.S.M.C., commanding, First Lieut. J.F. McGill, and 50 enlisted men. The detachment remained on this duty all during the fight of the 13th, being relieved by the Ninth Infantry on the 14th. Captain Bannon, in his report dated July 15, which is appended to my report, states that his lines were subjected to a very heavy infantry fire from the front and left all during the night of July 12 and that the enemy opened fire with their artillery about 4.30 a.m. July 14. The artillery fire became so severe that at 5 a.m. all the men were ordered out of the trenches except an observation point. The enemy having advanced in front to within 600 yards and occupied a burned village, it was necessary to again occupy the trenches, and Captain Bannon reports that this was done promptly under a severe fire. After driving the enemy back, the men were again ordered under shelter. At this point 50 men of the Ninth United States Infantry, under command of Lieutenant Brown, arrived, having been ordered out as reenforcements. The fire continued severe all the morning until 11 o'clock, when it slackened, and the artillery fire ceased at about 5 o'clock p.m., leaving only the infantry fire to contend with. Captain Bannon reports the following casualties in his detachment:

Private James McConkey, killed; Private J.C. Megonigal, severely wounded in arm; Private
A.B. Penney, wounded in thigh, condition favorable; Private Roscoe Buck, slightly wounded in leg; Private F.G. Egelseer, slightly wounded in arm.

Captain Bannon says in his report that the behavior of Lieut. J.F. McGill and the men of the detachment proved them to be courageous, reliable, and efficient, and deserving of the highest praise.

The following is a list of casualties among the officers and men of the Marine Corps force at the battle of Tientsin, July 13:

Killed.--Capt. Austin R. Davis, Sergt. C.J. Kollock, Corpl. Thomas Kelley, Privates J.E. McConkey and I.W. Partridge.

Seriously wounded.--First Lieut. Henry Leonard, gunshot left arm, humerus fractured, and brachial artery cut; Corpl. J.A. McDonald, gunshot wound left tibia; Private
F.J. Kelleher, gunshot wound through chest; Private C.D. Miller, gunshot buttock, right thigh, four openings, oblique wound right foot; Private Calvin I. Matthews, gunshot neck and cheek; Private John Stokes, bullet in left side of neck; Private J. Van Horn, gunshot through left thigh, fractured.

Wounded.--Capt. William B. Lemley, gunshot left thigh, flesh wound; Capt. Charles G. Long, gunshot instep left foot; First Lieut. S.D. Butler, gunshot right thigh; First Sergt. James Murphy, gunshot left arm above elbow, flesh wound; Sergt. F.T. Winters, gunshot left arm above elbow; Corpl. Joseph. W. Hunt, gunshot right hand. Private W.S. Chapman, gunshot in cheek; Private James Cooney, gunshot end of left thumb and fingers lacerated; Private Robert Desmond, gunshot through left thigh; Private F.G. Egelseer, gunshot right arm, bone uninjured; Private Laurin Larsson, gunshot flesh wound, right forearm; Private G.E. McIver, gunshot both buttocks; Private J.C. Megonigal, gunshot wound right arm; Private A.B. Penney, gunshot left leg, flesh wound; Private Henry A. Rickers, gunshot left leg, lower third; Private Roscoe Buck, slightly wounded in leg.

Under date of July 18, 1900, Col. R.L. Meade, U.S.M.C., commanding United States forces in China, made a special report commending the services of Maj. L. W.T. Waller, U.S.M.C., as follows:

Tientsin, China, July 18, 1900.


1. I desire to make a separate report of the services of Maj. L.W.T. Waller, U.S.M.C., of my command, his conduct being of such meritorious character as demanding it from me.

2. Major Waller left Cavite with 6 officers and only 100 men. He reached Taku at about the same time First Lieut. Henry Leonard did, who left Cavite before Major Waller, and the 2 officers and 32 men of First Lieutenant Leonard were added to Major Waller's command.

3. A full report of his operations while on shore in China before my arrival has already been sent to you by him, and I know of this work only from the high praise everywhere bestowed upon him by our own people and the British forces, by whom, and especially by Vice-Admiral Seymour and Gen. A.R.F. Dorward, he is held in great esteem.

4. Since my arrival here Major Waller has shown untiring zeal. His conduct in the battle of Tientsin on the 13th instant and in the occupation of the city on the 14th was that of a fine soldier, and since then he joined in an expedition outside of the city in which 16 guns and an immense amount of rifles and ammunition were seized. These guns did not have to be fought for, but the possession of them aids our cause materially.

5. I respectfully recommend Major L.W.T. Waller for promotion to the next higher grade.

Very respectfully,

Colonel, U.S.M.C., Commanding U.S. Forces.

United States Marine Corps, Washington, D.C.

[First endorsement]

Flagship Brooklyn, off Taku, China, July 20, 1900.

Approved and respectfully forwarded. Nothing but praise is heard of the conduct of Major Waller during the recent disturbances and engagements about Taku and Tientsin. All reports indicate that he is an officer of high merit, reflecting much credit on the Marine Corps and the whole United States service, and I would be glad to see him rewarded.

Rear-Admiral, U.S.N., Commander in Chief.

I join with Rear-Admiral Kempff and Colonel Meade in their high praise of Maj. L.W.T. Waller, U.S.M.C., for his bravery and valuable services while in command of the marines in China, and add my recommendation to that of Rear-Admiral Kempff, quoted earlier in this report that Major Waller be given a suitable medal and 5 per cent additional pay for life in the various grades he may reach.

Information received since the battle of Tientsin shows that First Lieutenant Leonard's wound was of such severity as to necessitate an amputation of his left arm at the shoulder. For a time his recovery was regarded as doubtful, but he has now much improved and there seems to be no doubt of his recovery. Captains Butler, Long, and Lemly, who were wounded in the battle, are practically well, according to recent reports. Most of the enlisted men who were wounded are either well or rapidly recovering.

The marine officers praise in the highest terms the conduct of the enlisted men during the battle of Tientsin. A letter from Colonel Meade, dated July 26, states that Sergt. Clarence E. Sutton behaved himself with especial gallantry on the firing line and in volunteering with First Lieut. Henry Leonard to bring in First Lieut. S.D. Butler, commanding Company A, who had been badly wounded and was in great danger. Colonel Meade says:

This work he successfully accomplished, and I respectfully recommend him for promotion.

He also commends Sergt. Maj. John F. Lawlor, and states that he behaved in such a courageous manner as to entitle him to especial notice. He recommends that Sergeant-Major Lawlor be suitably rewarded. Captain Bannon submits the names of the men under his command who were on the railroad outposts July 12 tro 14. He says:

The bravery, efficiency and general good conduct of these men were such that it is impossible to put one ahead of another. They are men that proved their worth in an unmistakeable manner. Further praise would cheapen the glory that is theirs.

Captain Bannon adds:

I also invite the attention of the commanding officer to the action of that part of the company compelled to remain behind as a barrack guard. While the fighting was going on, on July 13, these men made trip after trip to our trenches with water and ammunition. Considering the distance and the severe fire to which they were subjected, I consider them to be deserving of the highest praise.

First Lieut. C.G. Andresen mentions especially the work done by Corpl. Julius H. Kassen and Private Homer A. Russell, of his company, during the battle of Tientsin. He says:

Lieut. F.M. Wise, in charge of the second section of the company, has informed me that the manner in which Corporal Kassen handled his men, controlled and directed their fire and adjustment of sights, is worthy of mention. Corporal Kassen is an excellent noncommissioned officer, and I would respectfully recommend that he be promoted to the rank of sergeant. Lieutenant Wise also informs me that Private Russell did some very effective sharpshooting from an exposed position.

In a communication dated July 18, 1900, Colonel Meade refers, among other things, to the looting which had been going on in Tientsin. He states that the treasury has been ransacked, but that all the vaults were not looted, and Major Waller with a force is searching for the treasure. The treasure, which consisted principally of silver bullion, fused with brick, mortar and other débris, was recovered from the ruins of the salt commissioner's yamen, which had been looted and burned before the marines arrived on the spot. A board consisting of Major Waller and Assistant Paymaster George Richards, Capt. M.J. Shaw, and C.H.C. Moller (an American agent in Tientsin of J.P. Morgan & Co., of New York) was appointed to count the bullion and appraise its value. The bullion was counted by this board, which estimated its value at $376,300, United States currency. It had been the intention to deposit the treasure for safe-keeping with the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, but the vaults of this bank would not accommodate it, and it was therefore removed to the premises of this bank, under the supervision of the officers of the First Regiment of Marines and placed under guard there.

In accordance with the suggestion of Col. R.L. Meade, U.S.M.C., commanding the United States forces in China, and with the approval of the commander in chief United States naval forces on the Asiatic Station, a contract was made between a board consisting of Maj. and Asst. Paymaster George Richards, Capt. M.J. Shaw, and Capt. W.B. Lemly, assistant quartermaster, representing the United States, and Mr. Kenneth R. Campbell, representing J.P. Morgan & Co., bankers, of New York City, under the provision of which the bullion was exchanged for three New York drafts, one for $100,000, payable at sixty days' sight; one for $100,000, payable at ninety days' sight, and one for $176,300, payable at one hundred and twenty-eight days' sight. The board being satisfied that the drafts were perfectly secure, the bills of lading and insurance policies for the bullion were delivered to Mr. Campbell, and the drafts were delivered to Passed Assistant Paymaster Samuel Bryan, U.S.N., attached to the flagship Brooklyn, who had been detailed by the commander in chief of the United States naval forces on the Asiatic Station to receive the drafts and transmit them by registered mail to the Secretary of the Navy, which he did. Copies of the correspondence in regard to the above-mentioned transaction in relation to this treasure are appended to my report.

Colonel Meade was the American representative of the council of nations, composed of representatives of England, United States, Russia, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, and Austria. This council was called together by Vice-Admiral Alexieff, and formulated and promulgated rules and regulations for the municipal government of Tientsin.

Col. R.L. Meade was condemned by a board of medical survey on July 23, 1900, on account of rheumatism, and was accordingly invalided to the Mare Island Hospital, Major Waller succeeding to the command of the First Regiment of Marines. I regret very much that illness deprived the Marine Corps of the valuable services of Colonel Meade just before the march to Pekin. I intend in a short time to recommend to the Department appropriate recognition of Colonel Meade's services in China.

The concluding portion of the agreement and the sale of the bullion above referred to was conducted under the direction of Major Waller.

On August 1, 1900, Col. H.C. Cochrane, U.S.M.C., was detached from the command of the marine barracks, navy-yard, Boston, and ordered to China to command the force of marines on shore on the Asiatic Station, to take the place of Col. R.L. Meade, who had been invalided home, as above stated.

It has been a source of gratification to me to record in this report so many instances in which officers and men have distinguished themselves for personal bravery and heroism in battle, and it is my intention to address a communication to the Department recommending that the gallantry of the officers and men who have received personal mention be appropriately recognized. In this connection attention is invited to two cases entitled to special notice, and to which reference has heretofore been made, namely, the rescue of a wounded man on the firing line by First Lieut. (now Capt.) Smedley D. Butler, at the risk of his life, he being wounded in so doing, and the gallantry of First Lieut. (now Capt.) Henry Leonard, who, at the risk of his own life, carried Lieutenant Butler to the rear, across a place covered by the enemy's fire, and received a dangerous wound while doing so, which has since necessitated the amputation of his left arm. Such acts as these, outside an officer's regular line of duty, are worthy of the greatest admiration, and I shall take pleasure in recommending that the two officers named be properly rewarded.


In the early part of the year, when the danger to the members of the various foreign legations in Pekin was first apprehended on account of the "boxer" disturbances in China, which were rapidly becoming more extensive, a marine guard, consisting of 1 sergeant, 2 corporals, and 25 privates, under command of Capt. John T. Myers, U.S.M.C., of the U.S.S. Oregon, was sent to Peking to guard the legations. Captain Myers left the Oregon with his command May 24, 1900. The exact date of his arrival at Pekin is not known. On May 29, 1900, Capt. Newt H. Hall, U.S.M.C., and a marine guard consisting of 1 sergeant, 1 corporal, 1 drummer, and 23 privates from the U.S.S. Newark, was sent to Tientsin, China, and thence to Pekin on May 31, 1900, to reenforce Captain Myer's command. This small guard, aggregating only 56 in number, has remained in Pekin guarding the legations during the long and terrible siege to which they were subjected by the Chinese; and the meager reports which have so far been received show that the marines under Captain Myers have not only performed the duty assigned them efficiently, but with the utmost bravery and gallantry.

The first official information received concerning the marine guard at Pekin was contained in a cablegram from Rear-Admiral Remey to the Navy Department, dated Taku, August 19, 1900, as follows:

TAKU, 19th. Authentic report Pekin 15th from Latimer. Troops moving on Imperial City; clearing out Tartar City. All Americans who remained in Pekin are well. There have been no deaths among them except one child. Captain Myers has recovered from wound, has typhoid fever, crisis passed, now convalescent. Assistant Surgeon Lippett was wounded, left upper leg bone fractured, leg saved, now recovering;. Following killed during siege in Pekin: Sergt. J. Fanning, Privates C.B. King, J.W. Tutcher, J. Kennedy, R.E. Thomas, A. Turner, H. Fisher. Wounded: Private J. Schroeder, elbow, severe and dangerously ill, fever; Seaman J. Mitchell, wound upper arm, severe but recovering; all others wounded and sick have returned to duty. Casualties Major Biddle's command attack San Tan Pating: First Lieutenant Butler, chest; Private Green, wrist; Private Warrell, right temple; all slight. Reported from Chinese sources Royal family have escaped and en route to Sianfu.

The brigadier-general commandant has since been furnished, by reference from the Navy Department, with copies of a dispatch from the United States consul at Chefoo, China, inclosing memoranda relating to the situation in Pekin up to July 21, 1900. Copies of this dispatch and the memoranda inclosed are appended to my report.

The following are extracts, taken from the memoranda refererred to, relating to the work done by the American marines.

[Extract of cablegram from "Coltman" to "Fernstalk, Boston."]

American marines still hold vital position city wall commanding legations, after brilliant sortie July 3; Captain Myers driving back hordes Kansuli troops; he slightly wounded. Captured flags, arms.

In the memorandum quoting the gist of other messages relating to the situation in Pekin appears the following:

July 3 Captain Myers's American marines made wonderful sortie, capturing guns and standards; he was wounded slightly. Chinese also badly defeated when they attempted night attack. Foreigners holding Legation street from French to American legations, and British on north, all working at barricades, trenches, and fighting and nearly worn out. Chinese seem to be short of ammunition. Our marines have fought like tigers against fearful odds. Only Chinese cowardice prevented their hordes of savages massacring our nationals

Under date of August 23, 1900, Maj. W.P. Biddle, U.S.M.C., commanding marines in China, forwarded to the brigadier-general commandant a letter from the United States minister to China, Hon. E.H. Conger, transmitting a copy of the resolution passed by the American missionaries besieged in Pekin expressing "their hearty appreciation of the courage, fidelity, and patriotism of the American marines, who so bravely and tenaciously held the key to our salvation during the whole of the trying time." From Minister Conger's letter of transmission it seems that he attributes the safety of the besieged members of the legations to the courageous and indefatigable defense maintained by the United States marines.

It would seem by the reports that Captain Myers and his small body of marines succeeded in holding a dangerous and almost untenable position on the city wall, in the face of overwhelming numbers, and also that he made a brilliant sortie, driving back hordes of Chinese, on which occasion he was slightly wounded. Captain Myers's courage and gallantry merit the highest commendation, and I will in a short time recommend to the Department that he be given proper recognition for his bravery in the presence of the enemy. Minister Conger's letter and its enclosures are in full, as follows:

Pekin, China, August 20, 1900.

SIR: It affords me great pleasure to transmit herewith a copy of resolutions passed by the American missionaries besieged in Pekin, expressing their hearty appreciation of the courage, fidelity, and patriotism of the American marines, who so bravely and tenaciously held the key to our salvation during the whole of the trying time.

I most heartily and sincerely join in this expression, and beg you to communicate to both officers and men my personal commendation of and gratitude for their heroic and faithful services.

Yours, very respectfully,


Commanding United States Marines in Pekin.

Pekin, China, August 23, 1900.

Respectfully forwarded to the brigadier-general, commandant, United States Marine Corps headquarters, Washington, D.C.

Major, U.S.M.C., Commanding.

PEKIN, Saturday, August 18, 1900.

DEAR SIR: At a meeting of the American missionaries held this morning at 8.30 the following resolution was unanimously adopted; and it was further voted that the resolution be drafted and presented to you.

"The Americans who have been besieged in Pekin desire to express their hearty appreciation of the courage, fidelity, and patriotism of the American Marines, to whom we so largely owe our salvation.

"By their bravery in holding an almost untenable position on the city wall in the face of overwhelming numbers, and in cooperating in driving the Chinese from a position of great strength, they made all foreigners in Pekin their debtors, and have gained for themselves an honorable name among the heroes of their country."

For the meeting:

ARTHUR H. SMITH, Chairman.
CHARLES E. EWING, Secretary.

Minister of United States of America

The reports of the battle of Tientsin and the communications relating to the capture of the treasure in that city are the latest written reports which have been received at these headquarters up to the present time concerning the operations of the marines in China.

Information has been cabled to the effect that the Fourth Battalion of Marines, under command of Maj. W.P. Biddle, U.S.M.C., arrived in China August 5, and another cablegram from Admiral Remey, dated Taku August 19, shows that the marines (Major Biddle, commanding Fourth Battalion, having assumed command) attacked San Tan Pating. In this engagement First Lieut. S.D. Butler was wounded in the chest, Private Green in the wrist, and Private Worrell in the right temple, all the wounds being slight. No details of this engagement have been received. Major Biddle, after arriving in China, being the senior marine officer present, relieved Major Waller in command, the total marine force amounting to 650 men, which number, it is presumed, went to Pekin with Major Biddle. No detailed reports concerning the march to Pekin and the battle there have been received.

The Fifth Battalion of Marines, under command of Maj. Randolph Dickens, U.S.M.C., arrived in China after the besieged legations in Pekin had been relieved, and accordingly went into camp at Taku, where they are at the time my report is finished.

The total number of marines sent to China is as follows: Forty-nine officers and 1,151 enlisted men.


Published: Wed Jul 29 07:42:57 EDT 2015