893.00/7611: Telegram

The Minister in China (MacMurray) to the Secretary of State

373. My 372, September 3, 2 p.m. Following two telegrams from American consul general at Hankow:

“September 3, 9 a.m. Bombardment of Wuchang still in progress. Intermittent firing towards Wuchang side in the river by Chinese gunboat immediately opposite concessions and special districts. Still no outbreak reported on this side of the river but intense excitement prevails. Volunteer forces and naval units at their posts as a precautionary measure. Flood of Chinese rushing into the concessions and special districts for protection has been stopped. Believe that the situation is in hand if no trouble encountered from defeated soldiers or agitators. All business at a complete standstill. No report of Americans killed or wounded at Wuchang, but telephone message just received [from] American Church General Hospital states that it [Page 624] has been struck more than 20 times by shells and bullets. Department has not been informed of this or the previous telegrams.”

“September 3, noon. Elcano21 has just arrived, was fired upon by troops, presumably Cantonese, on left bank 7 miles below Hankow, struck 4 times by rifle bullets but did not return fire. British shipping between here and Ichang and Changsha stopped until further orders; convoys not available. Firing immediately adjacent to Wuchang continues. Fairly reliable evidence that Cantonese are in danger of [omission?] attack from Sun Ch’uan-fang’s troops near Changsha. Wu is still holding Wuchang.”

  1. U. S. gunboat in the Yangtze Patrol.