Mr. Portman to Mr. Seward.
Sir: I have this moment received an official reply from Yedo to my letter of the 20th instant, copy of which formed inclosure No. 3 of my dispatch of the 23d instant.
The mail closes within half an hour, and I have no time, therefore, to transmit a careful translation of that letter by this opportunity. The only points of additional interest conveyed are the admission that the Satsuma steamer effected her escape, and that several hundred men were killed or taken prisoners.[Page 634]
There is reason to believe, I am happy to say, that the number of prisoners is largely in excess of those that lost their lives, as this induces the inference that the fights have been conducted, to some extent, not in accordance with precedent, but with the rules of civilized warfare.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.