Almost two weeks after Lee retreated from Gettysburg and the Stars & Stripes went up over Vicksburg, “Abe Lincoln’s Navy” was involved in an episode on the other side of the globe. U.S.S. Wyoming and Jamestown were cruising the Pacific protecting American interests and keeping an eye out for the commerce raider C.S.S. Alabama. Near the end of her time on station, the Wyoming was suddenly called into action against anti-foreign elements that were disrupting the government of Japan. While the military dictator of Japan, the Tokugawa Shogun Iesada, favored opening the realm to trade with the rest of the world, a considerable number of feudal lords energetically opposed this. They demanded an end to Shogunal rule and a return of power to the emperor, with the expulsion of all foreigners – while advocating the creation of a modern military that would allow them to expand the empire. To punctuate their hostility to the Shogun, the anti-government elements launched a campaign of terror. Murder and arson were commonplace in Tokyo. During one of the many disturbances, the U.S. Consulate was burned to the ground, forcing the Consul, Robert Pruyn, to remove to Yokohama. With American citizens and interests at risk, the U.S.S. Wyoming, under Commander David McDougal, was ordered in May 1863 from Hong Kong to Japan. The situation went from bad to worse when an edict from the imperial house was issued ordering all foreigners to be swept out of Japan. Urged by his advisors, the Japanese Mikado had set 25 June 1863 as the date for the expulsion of all aliens.
|The Wyoming was a screw sloop of 1457 tons displacement. She was 198.5 feet long and had a beam of 33'2". She carried a crew of about 200 sailors and Marines. Under steam, she could make 11 knots if her hull was clean and her engines in good repair. Her firepower consisted of two 11" Dahlgren smoothbores, a 60-pound Parrott Rifle and three 32-pounders.|
The imperial order had its first consequences when hostilities erupted during the night of June 25-26, 1863. At one o'clock that morning, two armed vessels -- illegally flying the flag of the Japanese central government, or Shogunate -- attacked the American merchantman Pembroke, bound for Nagasaki and Shanghai, as she lay anchored in the Strait of Shimonoséki awaiting a pilot and the turn of the tide. Fortunately, Pembroke suffered no casualties, got underway, and moved out of danger and continued her voyage for Shanghai, post-haste, without making her scheduled stop at Nagasaki. Word of the incident did not reach Yokohama from Japanese sources until the 10th of July. This first report indicated that the Pembroke had been sunk with all on board. The next evening, mail from Shanghai brought "authentic information" confirming the attack. The United States Minister in Japan, Robert H. Pruyn, sent for the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Japanese government and informed him in the presence of Commander McDougal of the gravity of the situation, stressing that an insult to the American flag was a serious matter. After being told by Pruyn that the United States government would demand satisfaction and expect a statement from the Japanese concerning the offense, the Japanese diplomat begged that the Americans do nothing until his government at Yedo (Tokyo) would take action.
After the Japanese left, McDougal told Pruyn that, despite being under orders to return to America, he realized that the situation called for prompt action on his part; he had decided to proceed instantly to the Shimonoséki Strait to seize and, if necessary to destroy, the offending vessels. The two men agreed that failure to punish the outrage properly would encourage further anti-foreign incidents. Their decision to nip the situation in the bud was reinforced by word that the vessels of other powers had also been attacked. A French dispatch boat was attacked shortly after the Pembroke and narrowly escaped sinking in mid-channel. Her commander reported his experience to Captain Casembroot of the Dutch steam-frigate Medusa of 16 guns. On account of the longstanding friendship between the Dutch and the Japanese, Casembroot had gone to Shimonoséki with the expectation of making peace; but hardly was the Medusa in the channel when she was under heavy fire. Before she could get away she had been hulled thirty-one times, and had lost four killed and five wounded. A day or two later, a French gunboat was hulled three times as she dashed past the batteries at full speed, and a Satsuma vessel, which was mistaken for a foreigner, was sent to the bottom. It was evident that the Japanese knew how to handle their guns, and had the range of the channel
Captain David McDougal (left, in his post-war admiral's uniform), and
The harbor at Shimonoséki (below)
Accordingly, Wyoming prepared
for sea. At 4:45 a.m. on 13 July, Comdr. McDougal called all hands, and the
sloop got underway 15 minutes later, bound for the strait. Joseph Heco, a
Japanese national working for the U.S. Consulate, recorded:
13th. I got up early in order to comply with the Consul's order, and not to
disappoint the Minister, got on board a few minutes after 4 a.m. expecting to
find the Minister already there. But he was not there. The Wyoming had steam up
and was ready to get under weigh. Captain McDougal asked me whether I had seen
the Minister since the conference of the day before. I said I had not, but that
I had received the Consul's order at 11 p.m. the previous night, and had come
off, thinking that he was already on board. Then the Captain said, "Well,
he must be coming, since he agreed that he would!" At 5.30 a.m. E. S.
Benson came off, saying that he had heard that the Wyoming was going down the
Inland Sea on business and that he had an invitation from one of the ward-room
officers to join us for the trip. Meanwhile the Captain kept looking anxiously
through the glass shore-wards, but never a sign of the coming of the Minister
did he see. So at 5 m. past 6 o'clock we hove up anchor and steamed slowly out
of the harbor of Yokohama. The Captain invited me to his cabin and placed me in
the spare room, since the Minister had not come.
After a two-day voyage, Wyoming arrived off the
island of Hime Shima on the evening of 15 July and anchored off the south side
of that island. Again, from
15th. After breakfast, the Captain, the Doctor and myself were
sitting in the Captain's smoking-room when the Captain asked my opinion about
the "situation" and of the feeling of the people and the Daimio
towards foreign nations.
told him that so far as I heard and knew the feelings of the Daimio towards
foreign nations were divided, some being favorably disposed towards them, others
being neutral, and some hostile. Those who were either actually or feignedly
hostile were strong, and were bent upon driving foreigners from the country at
any cost. An order to this effect had been given by the Mikado to five of them,
of whom Chôshiu was one.
then asked me whether I thought the Chôshiu
men would fire on an American man-of-war. I said that a merchant man or a
man-of-war would make no difference to them.
do you think we ought to prepare for an attack?" asked the Captain.
decidedly so." I answered. "It is highly advisable to make all the
preparations and to take all the precautions necessary in a case of
After this conversation the
Captain ordered his officers and men to prepare for action. The guns were
shotted, and muskets and revolvers loaded and made ready for immediate use. At 3
p.m. we entered the Bungo Channel and passed the island of Takanaba. At 5 p.m.
we came to anchor at Himeshima in the Suwo Nada close to the Bungo side.
The Straits of Shimonoséki separate the islands of
Kyushu and Honshu and serve as the passageway from the East China Sea to the
Inland Sea, a major area of trade during the 1860s. The Honshu side of the
straits was under the control of the fiefdom of Prince Chôshiu, one of the most
rabid of the anti-foreign element in Japan. He had mounted guns in six batteries
which dominated the passage and stationed three warships under the guns. No move
was made by the Shogun to bring his rebellious vassal to heel. With the Tokugawa
dictatorship openly unable (or unwilling) to control the anti-foreign faction,
confrontation was the only option left to McDougal.
At five o'clock on the morning
of July 16, Wyoming weighed anchor and steamed toward the Strait of Shimonoséki.
She went to general quarters at nine, loaded her pivot guns with shell, and
cleared for action. Heco provides a first-person description of events:
16th. The weather was clear with not a cloud to be seen in the whole sky. About
5 a.m. we weighed anchor and steamed slowly onward in search of the vessel that
had fired on the Pembroke. We zigzagged from one side of the Suwo Nada to the
other hoping to meet her, but without success. So at length we changed our
course from the Bungo to the Suwo side, and from there we made towards Shimonoséki.
In case we failed to find the vessel, we meant to proceed to Hagi, the old
Capital of Chôshiu .
nine o'clock the sun in a cloudless sky had waxed scorching. There was not a
breath of wind, the sea smooth as a tank of oil with not a ripple on its surface
save that made by our own motion as we churned onwards. The deck was strewn with
fire-arms and cutlasses ready for use at a moment's notice. About this time the
Captain ordered the men to haul in the big guns and to cover up the ports with
tarpaulins, so as to make us look like a merchant-man. About 10 a.m. we were
within a few miles of the Eastern entrance of the Straits of Shimonoséki. The
Lieutenant in the forecastle called out that he sighted two square-rigged
vessels and a steamer at anchor close in to the town.
The warship entered the strait
at 10:45 and beat to quarters. Her entry was announced by signal guns on shore,
and as soon as she came in range she was fired upon by the batteries. She made
no reply, however, until she reached the narrowest part of the straits. At that
point the larger shore batteries concentrated their fire; beyond, in more open
water lay three armed merchantmen, all heavily manned, and with their crews
yelling defiance. Oddly enough, these were all American vessels – the bark
Daniel Webster (six guns), the brig Lanrick (Kosei, with ten guns), and the
steamer Lancefield (Koshin, of four guns) -- which had been purchased by the Chôshiu
clansmen. In the land batteries, too, were five 8-inch Dahlgren guns which had
recently been presented to Japan by the United States. McDougal judged the
greater threat to be the three warships and was pleased to see that all were
still at anchor. He could engage them first, hoping to catch them before their
cables were slipped and they made for deep water. The bark lay anchored close to
the town on the northern shore, the brig was about fifty yards outside and a
little beyond, while the steamer lay further ahead and outside, that is, nearer
mid-channel. As McDougal approached the narrows, he noticed a line of stakes
which he rightly guessed had been used by the Japanese to gauge their aim.
Accordingly, he avoided the middle of the channel and steered close under the
batteries. This shrewdness probably was the salvation of the Wyoming, for the
batteries at once opened a tremendous cannonade which would have sunk a dozen
vessels in mid-channel, but which only tore through her rigging. In an instant,
the Stars and Stripes were raised and the challenge answered with shells from
the Wyoming’s two 11-inch Dahlgrens. Wyoming ran through the fire of the shore
batteries with no injuries and only minor damage. She soon cleared the narrows
and bore out into the open water where her guns could reply.
Dr. Dambey, Mr. Benson and I were standing on the quarterdeck the report of a
big gun suddenly thundered in our ears. On looking up we saw smoke issuing from
the wooded bluff on the mainland on our right as we were bearing down towards
Shimonoséki. I at once hurried to the Captain on the bridge and told him that I
fancied that this gun was a signal for battle. And on my way back to the
quarter-deck a second report rang out from a second battery, further within the
Straits. And in a few more seconds, yet another broke the silence and rolled
rumbling about along the hill-sides. This was from the innermost battery of all
on a lofty height right behind the town. A few seconds later, a tongue of fire
leapt from the place where the first shot had been fired, and before the smoke
had begun to float upwards I heard a hurtling screech, and a column of water
spurted up and fell back with a splash just about twenty feet astern of where we
were standing talking on the quarter-deck. The gunners on shore clearly meant
Commander McDougal then gave
orders to "go in between those vessels and take the steamer." The
Yokohama pilots protested loudly, but the American had made up his mind to take
the chances of shallow water and headed for the three ships. Heco records
As Wyoming narrowed the
distance to the Japanese ships, Orderly Sergeant Abel Clegg ordered his twelve
Marines to load their muskets and prepare to fire. McDougal intended to run his
ship right between the enemy vessels, engaging the bark and the brig to
starboard and the steamer to port. When he did, the Marines were to demonstrate
their prowess as marksmen and pick off the enemy gunners. Wyoming would pass so
close to Prince Chôshiu’s ships that even the poorest shot in the guard would
not have an excuse for missing his target. Immediately a fresh battery of four
guns opened a raking fire, but the Wyoming answered with a single shell so
accurately aimed that it tore the entire battery to pieces. Dashing ahead, she
passed abreast the bark and the brig (Kosei) at close quarters and exchanged
broadsides with both.
precisely 10.50 a.m. we ran right in between the three Chôshiu vessels, and
treated them to a salute from our two Dahlgren guns. After delivering our
broadside we steamed slowly out and crossing the bow of the steamer Lancefield ,
we worked towards the channel pounding away at the enemy all the while.
Meanwhile the enemy kept up an unflagging fire from ships and batteries alike
But their aim was wild; we noticed that the guns on shore were all fired and
trained upon the channel, and we passed so close under them that their shot
mostly went ten or fifteen feet overhead. But it was not at all nice or
comfortable to hear them whizzing and screaming aloft among our rigging. And the
worst of it all was that there was no chance of falling back to the rear, for in
a fight on ship-board there is no such convenient thing as the rear to fall back
The firing was so close that the
long guns of the Wyoming seemed almost to touch the muzzles of the enemy, and it
was in these few minutes at close quarters that the greater part of the American
loss occurred. The forward gun division suffered most on account of its exposed
position, sustaining, in fact, all the casualties of the day except three. When
the smoke had cleared, six men from the crew of Wyoming’s forward broadside
gun were down, one of them dead. Elsewhere on the ship, a marine was struck dead
by a piece of shrapnel. Damage was extensive, but McDougal remained undaunted.
The Japanese handled their guns so rapidly that the brig alone managed to pour
three broadsides into the Wyoming. Nonetheless her port battery, targeting the
steamer Koshin, let loose two rifled shells. After passing through the Japanese
gunboats, Wyoming rounded the bow of the steamer and made a looping turn to
port, intending to make another dash at the enemy. The brig was already
settling, but the Daniel Webster, in spite of the great holes in her side, still
kept up a steady fire, and six land batteries now reopened with the Wyoming as a
fair target. The steamer, meanwhile, weighed anchor and, moving to the opposite
side, seemed to be getting ready to ram or board the American. At this critical
moment the rushing tides sent the Wyoming's bow aground, but after some minutes
her engines succeeded in backing her off. Wyoming swung around, and, bringing
her port battery to bear, fired on the approaching steamer. A second salvo
exploded Koshin’s boilers and she began to sink; her crew abandoned her and
took to the water.
steamer seemed to have some dignitaries on board, as we saw that she had purple
awnings with the Prince's crest. As soon as we crossed the Lancefield's bows she
slipped her cable and essayed to run for refuge into the inner harbor. At this
instant the Captain called out to the gunner at the 11 inch Dahlgren to fire.
But the gunner seemed to pay no attention until the Captain had given the
order for the third or fourth time. At last he did as he was told, and
"Bang" went the gun with an ear-splitting crash. And as the smoke of
the discharge drifted aside we saw a great volume of smoke and steam hissing and
pouring from the Lancefield's deck, and at the same time she slewed slowly round
and heeled over on one side, and in a minute or two down she went into the
waters. When we saw the steam pouring out of her, our tars gave three rousing
cheers, fancying that the 11 inch shell had burst within her. And they heartened
up wonderfully and went into the fight with all their soul and with all their
strength and with all their mind. This lucky shot struck just at the right
moment, for by this time several of our men had been laid low or disabled by
shot and flying bolts and splinters. The reason why the Captain of the gun did
not let loose at the first word of command was that he was taking aim at the
exact water-line. And when he did fire he hit the spot to a hair's-breadth. He
finished the vessel by that single well-directed shot. It tore through one side
of the hull, ripped through the boilers, out at the other side, and drove ashore
and lodged there without ever bursting. This I learned from the Chôshiu
McDougal then fired into the
Japanese bark and the Kosei, sending the latter to the bottom. Then,
ignoring the shore batteries and the Daniel Webster, McDougal opened fire with
his two 11-inch Dahlgren pivot guns on the brig Kosei. Both shells took
effect in her hull; another from the forward pivot tore through her boiler, and
in a cloud of smoke and steam the vessel went down. Meanwhile, the bark Daniel
Webster had been firing as fast as the guns could be loaded, and the six
shore batteries were a continuous line of smoke and flame. McDougal now trained
his guns to reply. In a few minutes the bark was wrecked, and then one shore
battery after another was silenced. When satisfied that he had destroyed every
thing within range, he turned and steamed slowly back. On his return he was
we fought 6 batteries, a barque, a brig and a steamer. We silenced all the
batteries, and as for the brig and the steamer we sank them. And all this was
done in a little more than one short hour. We ceased firing at 20 m. after 12
our observation it appeared that all the guns were trained on the channel, and
placed so as to rake the course usually taken by foreign vessels in passing the
Straits. Had it not been for the Captain's clever maneuver of running right
close inshore under their batteries, every shot they fired would have hulled us.
But as it was they all screeched harmlessly over us. The only punishment we
received we got from the vessels.
the engagement we fired 53 shot and shell in all, with the result I have above
mentioned. The Chôshiu men discharged 130 rounds in all, of which 22 did us
actual damage. These hit our rigging, smoke-stack and hull, and killed 5 and
wounded 7 of our men.
This action had lasted one hour
and ten minutes, in the course of which the Wyoming had been hulled ten times,
her rigging had been badly cut, her smokestack perforated, and she had lost five
killed and seven wounded. The battle had been won by the coolness and nerve of
the American commander, and a fine feature of the story is that while most of
the Wyoming's crew had never before been under fire, even when the ship was
aground and the pilots were paralyzed with terror the bluejackets stood by their
guns like veterans. Those were the days, too, when a white man caught by the
insurgents endured the unspeakable death of the "torture cage," and
the men knew that their commander had ordered that if the ship became helpless
by grounding or by shot she was to be blown up with all on board. Although
Wyoming was significantly cut up, Prince Chôshiu’s forces took the worst of
the battle. McDougal had served notice that hostile action against Americans
would result in punitive action. As Commander McDougal wrote in his report to
Gideon Welles on 23 July, "the punishment inflicted (upon the daimyo) and
in store for him will, I trust, teach him a lesson that will not soon be
we were fairly out of danger, the crew went to dinner, and the vessel steamed
slowly back to Himeshima where we had spent the previous night. Here our Captain
meant to bury our dead on shore. Accordingly all due preparations were made, and
boats were lowered and I was requested to accompany the officer in charge to
interpret. But just then we observed a dense and dark crowd of natives mustering
on the beach, and the Captain deemed it best not to take the dead ashore,
inasmuch as this muster of the natives might portend a collision with the
funeral party. Wherefore he countermanded the order.
he ordered the officers to lower a boat and examine the hull of the vessel. They
dug out one whole shot from under the bulwark, and the fragment of one from
under the bowsprit and several others fragments from other places.
5 h. 30 p.m. the fine weather suddenly gave place to a downpour of rain, and it
continued to lash us unsparingly until 3 o'clock next morning. All had retired
except the watch when about 9 h. 30 m. p.m. the quarter-master reported to the
Captain that he had heard a signal gun in the distance and that several lights
appeared ahead approaching us. This occasioned a good deal of alarm in the wild
and rainy night. We beat to quarters and all stood ready for an emergency. But
it turned out to be a groundless alarm, for we soon found that the lights were
merely junk lights while nothing more was heard of the signal gun. So in about
half an-hour we all turned in again.
17th. At 5 a.m. we weighed anchor and steamed out to sea to bury our
dead. We made all preparation and attached weights to the dead bodies, and at 9
h. 30 a.m. just as we were at the entrance of the Bungo Channel, the engines
were stopped, the crew were mustered, and the bodies committed to the deep. A
few minutes after the ceremony the doctor reported that one of the wounded was
groaning in sore pain, and that he had but a few hours to live.
18th. The doctor and the Captain consulted about another of the
wounded. He had been the first man struck in the fight; his forearm being badly
lacerated by a splinter. It was now resolved to amputate it. At 10 a.m. the
operation was performed, and the man's pain so sensibly abated that his groaning
20th. Overnight we came to anchor in Yokohama harbor Next morning the
shore people crowded on board to hear the news. From them we also learned that
the Dutch man-of-war Medusa from Nagasaki had come through the Straits
and had met with a hard time of it off Shimonoséki. The Chôshiu men had
shelled her, killing four of her people and wounding sixteen more. Also that the
French dispatch boat the Kien-chang, from Yokohama to Shanghai, had been
fired on in the Straits and had been well-nigh disabled. She had run out the
same way as the Pembroke had done. When this news came to the hearing of the
French authorities they sent down two boats to take revenge upon Chôshiu .
breakfast I bade adieu to Capt. McDougal and went ashore and reported myself to
the Consul. I asked him why the Minister had not come, saying that Capt.
McDougal had waited for him for two hours. The Consul replied with a smile that
the Minister had had a severe attack of diarrhea overnight.
24th. The French warships got back from the Inland Sea and reported
that they had had
fighting at Shimonoséki. They claimed a victory and brought lots of trophies in
the way of muskets, flags, bows and arrows, swords and armor. But after
investigation it appeared that it was but few of the above articles they had
brought, while they had their smokestack smashed, and had lost a mast, with
several men killed and wounded.
A few days after McDougal's exploit a heavy French
frigate with a gunboat entered the straits and destroyed what was left of the
batteries by landing a force of marines. Some months later, however, the
clansmen rebuilt their forts and succeeded in closing the straits for fifteen
months. Finally, a large allied fleet put an end to the uprising and restored
safety to the foreigner in Japan. But no other operation impressed the
insurgents with the same respect as the attack of the Wyoming,
single-handed, against their entire force.
The Dutch captain who had taken his punishment without accomplishing anything in return, was knighted on his arrival in the Netherlands, and all his crew received medals. McDougal, on the other hand, got no promotion and not even contemporary fame among his countrymen, for 1863 was the crucial year of the Civil War, and his exploit in far-away Japan was lost in the roar of battles at home. As Theodore Roosevelt once said of this fight "Had that action taken place at any other time than during the Civil War, its fame would have echoed all over the world.
Oddly enough, the Wyoming
probably missed her chance for a more widely known place in American naval lore.
Later in 1863 she and the Alabama did pass within 25 miles of each other,
unknown to both. Confederate Captain Raphael Semmes, the commanding officer of
the Alabama, wrote confidently in his journal that "Wyoming is a good match
for this ship," and "I have resolved to give her battle. She is
reported to be cruising under sail-probably with banked fires-and anchors, no
doubt, under Krakatoa every night" and "I hope to surprise her, the
moon being near its full.
The stout Wyoming was
decommissioned on 30 October 1882 and turned over to the Superintendent of the
Naval Academy where she spent the next decade employed as a practice ship for
midshipmen. Later taken to Norfolk, Virginia, she was sold at the port on 9 May
1892 to E. J. Butler, of Arlington, Mass.
Report of Commander McDougal U. S. Navy,
commanding U. S. S. Wyoming,
of the engagement between that vessel and the Japanese forces off Shimonoséki
U. S. S. WYOMING,
Yokohama, July 23, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to
acknowledge the receipt of your order of the 15th April, to proceed with this
ship to the port of Philadelphia.
Preparations were made
to leave on the 11th instant. On the evening of the 10th news was received
through Japanese sources that an American steamer had been fired on by a bark
and brig of war belonging [to] the Prince of Nagato, at the western outlet of
the Inland Sea, and that she disappeared, and supposed sunk. A mail from
Shanghai the same evening brought authentic information that the American
steamer Pembroke, on her passage from
this place to Shanghai through the Inland Sea, had been fired on by the above
vessels and had made her escape through the Bungo Passage.
On the 13th we left this
place for the scene of the outrage, and arrived off the inner entrance of the
western outlet of the Inland Sea on the morning of the 16th.
On the tide proving
favorable we proceeded in the straits, and on opening the town of Shimonoséki
discovered a steamer, brig, and bark of war at anchor off the town, with
Japanese colors at the peak and the flag of the prince at the fore.
We stood for the
vessels, and on approaching were fired on, as we got in range, by six batteries
on different positions, mounting from two to four guns each. Passing between the
brig and bark on the starboard hand and the steamer on the port, we received and
returned their fire at pistol shot. Rounding the bow of the steamer and getting
in position, maintained the action for about one hour. During the affair the
steamer got underway, but two well-directed shells exploded her boilers. The
brig appeared to be settling by the stern, and no doubt sunk. The amount of
damage done the bark must have been serious, as well as great destruction on
shore. The straits opposite the city are about three-fourths of a mile wide,
with strong currents, which made it very difficult to maneuver the ship
properly. As I had no charts, and my pilots completely paralyzed and
apprehensive of getting on shore (in fact did touch once), I was induced to
withdraw out of action.
The fire from the shore battery was extremely brisk, and continued so as long as we were in range. We were hulled 11 times, and with considerable damage to smokestack and rigging aloft, which was attributed to our passing within the range they were prepared for.
I regret to state the
loss of 4 killed and 7 wounded (1 of whom since dead). Enclosed is the surgeon's
It affords me much
pleasure to state that the conduct of the officers and crew was all I could
Lieutenant Barton, in
charge of the first division, makes honorable mention of the conduct of Acting
Master's Mate J. E. Sweeney, Peter King, seaman, captain of forward pivot gun;
Thomas Saddler, captain top, and Charles J. Murphy, seaman. I would also mention
the cool conduct of Frank Wyatt, boatswain's mate, captain of the after pivot
gun, and Edward Penney, captain of top and second captain of the after gun.
The Prince of Nagato, it
appears, has commenced this war on his own account, as he is one of the most
powerful and influential of the princes of the Empire and bitterly opposed to
foreigners, but the punishment inflicted and in store for him will, I trust,
teach him a lesson that will not be soon forgotten.
On the 7th instant the
French dispatch steamer Kienchang, passing
through on her way to Shanghai, was fired on and considerably injured, and on
the 11th H. N. M. ship Medusa was also
fired on, and sustained some damage and a loss of 4 men and 7 wounded.
As soon as the outrage
on the French steamer was known here the French Admiral Jaurés left with his
flagship and a gunboat for Shimonoséki, and no doubt will complete the
punishment due for the wanton violation of existing treaties.
was at Wusung on the 16th, to sail immediately for this port via Nagasaki. I
shall await her arrival.
I enclose a proximate
plan of the straits, the position of the vessels and shore batteries, and
course, etc., all of which is respectfully submitted by
Your obedient servant,
Secretary of the Navy, Washington.
U. S. STEAM SLOOP WYOMING,
Inland Sea of Japan, July 17, 1863.
SIR: In consequence of the engagement with the Japanese at Shimonoséki
yesterday, I have to report the following casualties:
Very severely wounded; since dead.
Captain of afterguard
Very severely wounded.
Wilson P. Snyder
Chas. J. Murphy
Total killed, 4; total wounded, 7.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
E. R. DENBY,
Surgeon, U. S. Navy.
D. McDOUGAL, U. S. Navy
The U.S. Marine Corps in the Civil War: The Final Year, D. Sullivan, White Mane Pub., Shippensburg, 2000.
Army of the Pacific, A. Hunt, Museum of California Historay at http://www.militarymuseum.org/Pac%20Sqdn.html
National Trust Organization, Guide to Regions at http://www.jnto.go.jp/regions/chugoku/606.html
Dictionary of American
Fighting Ships, HazeGray.Org
of the World, “The Japanese Civil War,” at http://www.onwar.com/aced/data/juliet/japan1863.htm
Narrative of A Japanese, J.
Heco, Ed. J. Murdoch at
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