893.00 Nanking/122

The Consul at Nanking (Davis) to the Secretary of State

Sir: I have the honor to report that the general sequence of events on the 23rd and 24th of March which caused the evacuation of the city of Nanking by all foreigners was as follows.

From the large bodies of Chihli-Shantung troops retreating in mild disorder upon the city it became evident in the afternoon of the 22nd that the city would probably soon either be captured or laid under siege. At about 4 o’clock that afternoon both field gun and machine gun fire, which until then had been distant, could be heard from the University of Nanking area. I at once asked the central American Committee to which I had entrusted the details of evacuating the citizens in the central and southern part of the city, to prepare all women and children, and all men who would leave, to be ready to start on a few moments’ notice.

[Page 152]

After consultation with the British Consul General and comparing information, he and I decided to advise an evacuation of our nation als to commence at 6:30 on the morning of the 23rd, and word to this effect was sent out at about 10:30 that night. The actual evacuation was accomplished by assembling the women and children at the University of Nanking whence they were conveyed to the river bank—a distance of some four and a half miles—in five motor cars furnished, one by myself, one by the Manager for the Standard Oil Company, one by Mr. Don Sims also of that company, one by the Manager of the Liggett and Myers Tobacco Company, and one by the Manager of the Texas Company. I first proceeded to the Hai Ling city gate and arranged with the police and the Shantung military guards to permit all Americans to pass whom Mr. E. T. Hobart, Manager for the Standard Oil Company and who generously offered to assist me by remaining at the gate in my stead, should identify, I then proceeded to the University and informed the Americans driving the cars that the road was clear and, after seeing the first trip started, dropped off at the Consulate.

By 10 o’clock the evacuation of all those women and children who could be persuaded to leave was completed, a total of 104 women and 69 children. Some 100 women and children had already left during the preceding two weeks in compliance with my advice. There were then left remaining in the city 68 men, 49 women, and 19 children. The evacuation was effected efficiently and promptly, thanks to the smooth working of the committee headed by Dr. A. J. Bowen, President of the University of Nanking, the very generous assistance of the Americans who loaned me their cars and services, and the efficient manner in which the commanding officers of the U. S. S. Noa and the U. S. S. Preston took the evacuees off to their vessels.

On the 22nd in the evening, 11 men were landed from the U. S. S. Noa under the command of Ensign Phelps and brought to the Consulate to afford protection during the looting in which it was anticipated the Chihli-Shantung troops would indulge if defeated or forced to withdraw. A signalman was included and another was also sent to the residence of Mr. Hobart, Manager for the Standard Oil Company, in order that communications might be ensured between the Consulate and the U. S. S. Noa in the event the telephone service should be interrupted or the city gates be closed. On the 23rd a small guard of six men from the U. S. S. Preston was placed at the Standard Oil residences, and the number of signalmen there was increased to two. These preparations later served to save the lives of the greater part of the foreign population of Nanking including the Japanese.

The British endeavored at that time to bring in a guard of 40 Marines but failed, owing to their being marched up to the city gate [Page 153] under arms. Later they managed to smuggle in some 18 as orderlies. The American guard brought only a few automatic pistols and a Lewis machine gun, and were armed from rifles regularly kept at the Consulate.

During the evening of the 23rd a constant stream of defeated, but in general orderly, northern soldiery streamed through the city of Nanking towards the riverine suburb of Hsiakwan. Disorders broke out in that suburb about 6 in the evening, owing to the lack of facilities for transporting the defeated men across the river, and there was considerable firing. Later when the troops which numbered approximately 10,000 men were forced to return into the city, disorders took place and there was looting and indiscriminate firing all along the roads where the soldiers were forced to halt. In the vicinity of the Consulate this firing was more or less continuous though never large in volume. Bullets whistled over and past the building and a Chinese Military officer carrying money was shot by his own men only some twenty feet from the house, which on the west is near to a public paved road. This wounded man begged to be given assistance and was brought into the back gate but was later carried out at my request by the two Chinese police on guard at the Consulate. The next morning he was found dead at our back gate to which he must have crawled in the night. The police had evidently dumped him in the field instead of taking him to their station as requested. These events and the inability to get any sleep which they brought about proved trying for all at the Consulate.

Early the next morning it was reported that the Kuomintang troops had entered the city by the two south gates and were busy rounding up the defeated northern troops who had been left in the city, either by the treachery of their officers who had deserted them or from force of necessity arising out of the inadequate facilities for ferrying them across the river. At about 8 o’clock I saw a number of the southern soldiers passing our gate but they were so occupied in searching for northern soldiers that they paid but little attention to me. Shortly after I saw more and they cursed me in a most savage manner. I told them I was the American Consul and that we had no hostility to them. A petty officer, his face twisted with violent hate, pointed his pistol at me and said: “You are all alike. The British and Italians are killing our men in Shanghai and you Americans have drunk our blood for years and become rich. We are busy now killing Fengtien soldiers but we will soon begin killing all foreigners in Nanking regardless of what country they are from.” I was surprised, but thinking it a sporadic incident, did not give it very serious attention.

Soon after my return to the Consulate from the entrance gate on the street, reports of outrages began to pour in. The first was [Page 154] from the American Church Mission in the southern part of the city which had been entered and from which some property was stolen. Then Dr. Bowen, President of the University of Nanking, telephoned that after robbing a group of Americans including Dr. J. E. Williams, Vice President of that institution, Nationalist soldiers in uniform had wantonly and with no provocation whatsoever shot the latter through the head and instantly killed him. Chinese friends came in and reported that the Japanese Consulate had been looted, the Japanese Consul killed* and that the crowds of soldiers on the street said they were also attacking the British Consulate General. I unsuccessfully endeavored to call up the Japanese Consulate but called up the British Consul General finding that he was still safe and his compound quiet. I endeavored, both directly and by telephone, to have the police put me into touch with some high Kuomintang officer in order that I might appeal to him for the protection of Americans and of all foreigners. This endeavor and many subsequently made proved utterly futile.

Seven Americans from the Seventh Day Advent Mission then came to the Consulate for refuge, stating that they had barely escaped from Nationalist soldiers who had endeavored to kill them. They with Mr. McDonnell, Manager of Liggett and Myers Tobacco Company, who had sought refuge in the Consulate the night before, brought the total number of Americans in the Consulate up to 24 including Mrs. Davis and two children.

Reports came in from the Chinese that an attack upon the British Consulate General was taking place and that the Consul General and some other British had been killed.34 Upon trying to call up their office at this time no response was obtained. I then called up the Standard Oil Company’s Manager at his residence, which is not far from the British Consular premises, and he confirmed that an attack was being made, stated that two officers from H. M. S. Emerald as well as a number of other British had just come up to his house for refuge, and advised us to evacuate our Consulate which could not escape much longer and to endeavor to make our way through the open country to the Standard Oil residences. The Chief of the local police station came in at this juncture—evidently badly alarmed—and urged us to leave at once or we would all be killed. He said he believed the Consulate would be safer if no foreigners were there. After a hurried consultation with Ensign Phelps who strongly advocated leaving, we made a few hurried preparations and departed at about 11.

[Page 155]

We started out from the rear entrance with a Chinese policeman accompanying us and with an American flag on a bamboo pole at the head of our column to show who we were. We had gone only about 100 yards when rifles were fired at us from a distance of several hundred yards, and from this moment until we had reached the foot of the hill we were under constant fire. It was estimated that no less than 300 shots were directed towards us. The policeman promptly deserted, but a faithful servant—the official gateman—who had volunteered to carry two hand grips with children’s clothing stayed with us until he was shot down.

At one point the fire was especially hot and came from only a few tens of yards away, and had we not been able to break through a bamboo grove the party would certainly have been wiped out. As it was the unbelievably poor marksmanship of the Kuomintang soldiers saved our lives.

It should be stated here that as I was leading our column to show the way I met a Nationalist soldier carrying a flag and leading a horse. In response to his question I pointed to the flag and explained who we were. He made no objection but I later learned from Ensign Phelps that this man unslung his rifle when we had passed him some 50 yards and opened fire on us. At my request Ensign Phelps instructed his men not to return the fire unless the Nationalist soldiers should start to rush us.

When almost to the foot of the Standard Oil Company hill one of the bluejackets was shot in the shoulder and knocked down but we kept on until we had reached the houses. Later, through the friendliness of the local police and the faithfulness of Mr. Hobart’s Chinese servants, this man was brought in.

Upon reaching the house we found there Mr. and Mrs. Hobart, Mr. Sims, and Mr. Green, all of the Standard Oil Company; Messrs. Jordon and Barnard, of the British-American Tobacco Company; Mr. Draper of the Texas Oil Company; Mr. Ware, of Liggett and Myers Tobacco Company; Mr. Storrs, of the Customs; the two American signalmen, and the guard of six; Captain Heathcote, a Marine officer from H. M. S. Emerald; Lieutenant Oliver Bellasis, a naval officer from the same ship; the Russian chauffeur of the British Consul General, and another Russian from the Customs; as well as Messrs. Bowker, Jack, Boulton, Laughland, and McKenny, all of whom are British civilians, and two Scandinavians. This brought our total up to 47 men, two women, and two children. Mr. Paxton came at about two making a total of 52.

For a time all was comparatively quiet and I utilized this opportunity to telephone to the American Consulate. Mr. S. S. Li, interpreter, answered the telephone and stated that five minutes after [Page 156] we had left some 40 Nationalist soldiers had broken down the back gate and looted the entire house, firing at the Chinese office staff and servants but fortunately killing no one. I requested him to continue efforts for me to get in touch with some responsible officer and if located to send him to the Standard Oil houses. I also telephoned Reverend John G. Magee, of the American Church Mission in the riverine suburb of Hsiakwan, asking him to endeavor through his Chinese to get me in touch with some high officer. Mr. Magee, whose mission had not yet been reached, fearlessly undertook this task and finally got into touch with a self-styled Political Bureau of the Kuomintang in Hsiakwan whose officers promised to do what they could. This office consisted of a group of local men who had been operating sub-rosa and seemingly had not made any real contacts with the incoming army. Owing to their high respect for Mr. Magee they made a genuine effort and some seven Chinese men with Kuomintang flags, red cross badges and a written order for our protection, later came up to the Standard Oil residences with Vice Consul Paxton who had been marooned in Hsiakwan the night before by the closing of the gates and the looting. They were under fire for part of their way up, in spite of their flags, and subsequent to their arrival were only given momentary consideration by the soldiers who, incensed at their order for our protection, proceeded to rob at least some of them of their valuables. After remaining a few moments and making ineffective efforts on our behalf they disappeared.

Although I did not note the time, it was approximately 11:30 a.m. when our party from the Consulate arrived on the Standard Oil hill and at approximately 12:15 p.m. the groups of soldiers commenced arriving. With a few brief intervals between bands, there were soldiers at the house from that time on until approximately 3 p.m. Throughout this entire time whenever opportunity offered I continued telephoning to Mr. Magee and others in a continued effort to get in touch with some high officer.

The first two soldiers to arrive were the only decent ones we encountered. I told them who we were, asked one to remain to explain this to subsequent arrivals—which he did not do—and gave them my official Chinese card asking them to present it to their officer and to request him to come and see me. They were not actually friendly but were not menacing, and I had hopes at that time of making some effective contact with the higher officers.

The next and all succeeding bands were utterly hostile, and from their first arrival covered us with loaded and cocked pistols which for the most of the time we were talking with them they held at the breasts of Mr. Hobart and myself. I adopted a friendly and [Page 157] polite attitude towards them in spite of their threats, and believe that this course is the only thing which for a score or more times prevented them from shooting both of us out of hand just as they had done Dr. Williams and others. I told them who I was and endeavored to give them my card, at the same time reminding them that there was no hostility between the Kuomintang and the United States. They replied that they did not want my card and did not care what or who we were, that they were not like other Chinese armies which cared for relations with foreigners but were of the “Revolutionary Army” to which all foreigners were alike, that Americans were battening off of oppressed Chinese and that they intended to kill them and all foreigners. I endeavored to point out that such a course would do them no good and would only bring discredit upon their cause and embarrass their leaders. I told them that for them to murder Americans who had been friends of Sun Yat Sen would not be the act of good revolutionists. This line of argument evidently puzzled them and time and again they would try and shut me up saying, “what is the use of your talking when we are going to kill you anyway.” However, by such means and with the assistance at first of a friendly and fairly brave Chinese policeman as well as of Mr. Hobart’s loyal Chinese servants, we managed to get by with only being robbed and, by giving them what they wanted induced them to proceed to other houses whence we knew the foreigners had fled.

Finally, just as Mr. Paxton and the group of Chinese whom he brought with him arrived, a band of six soldiers brought over two American bluejackets from the other and adjoining Standard Oil House whom they had found and robbed. We managed to get these two men up stairs where all of the other foreigners had been sent some time before, and with the aid of the Chinese civilians endeavored to induce the soldiers to depart. At first they slightly changed their attitude at the requests of the delegates who had a written order from headquarters of the local Hsiakwan political bureau, but this did not last and, as has been stated, they turned upon their own civilians and robbed them of all their valuables and cash. From then on their attitude was worse than ever. They demanded money and promised to leave if given $100 each for Mr. Hobart, Paxton, and myself. When this was raised and given them they then demanded ever increasing sums, stating if these were not given instantly they would search the house and, if they found arms in it, would kill us all. By stalling and running up stairs to get money from the foreigners there, we managed to gain a little time, hoping the Chinese civilians who had come up might be finding some responsible officer to rescue us. In the meantime all [Page 158] three of us were repeatedly searched and robbed, and when Mr. Hobart’s ring and wrist watch did not come off readily they started to shoot him saying, “we can get it off more easily that way. “I managed to prevent this by telling them they would get more with us alive.

At last it became evident that in the end they would enter the house so, on the pretext of getting more money, I went up stairs and told Ensign Phelps that our only chance of saving our lives lay in our men seizing and tying up these six soldiers. Just as the soldiers forced the door, pushing Mr. Hobart, Mr. Paxton, and myself backwards with cocked pistols held against us, I called for the bluejackets. When these came down the stairway the soldiers threw down their extra bandoliers of cartridges and managed to get away before they could be seized. At my request our bluejackets did not fire although they could readily have killed all six of our assailants at that time.

All of the soldiers whom we saw were in the regular Kuomintang army uniform, were well equipped both with rifles and pistols and from their dialects were from Hunan, Kiangsi, and a few even from Kwangtung—the latter could hardly speak Mandarin. They gave every evidence, both in manner and from their statements, of having been worked up by lying anti-foreign propaganda to an almost incredible pitch of hatred of all persons with white skins. They stated they were of the Sixth Army and seemed very proud of being General Cheng Ch’ien’s men who they said “do not care what we do to foreigners.” From the Red Swastika society representatives who later came out to the U. S. S. Isabel to negotiate for a promise not to resume the bombardment, it was learned that these men belonged to the 4th Division. From my long observation of the soldiers on the Standard Oil hill, from conversations with others at the entrance gate of the Consulate, and from the soldier whom we met on the way from the latter to the former place, I am convinced beyond the slightest possibility of doubt, that all were regular Kuomintang troops who were operating under orders. From all reports from all other Americans and other nationals I am certain that this condition was uniform, and that not in a single instance was an American or other foreigner molested on March 24th by any defeated northern soldiers.

As soon as our six assailants could take cover they commenced a steady sniping fire from behind graves and other objects, and as reinforcements were promptly and rapidly brought up, this fire became almost incessant. The two American women and the two children lay down on the floor of a bath room which was better protected than the other rooms, while the American and other men took such cover as possible against the bullets which came crashing through windows and doors.

[Page 159]

As soon as it was evident that we were being attacked in earnest, messages were sent by semaphore signal to the U. S. S. Noa and H. M. S. Emerald asking that a landing force be sent to the foot of the city wall.

At my request Ensign Phelps ordered his men only to fire warning shots over the heads of those soldiers coming too close, but as there was soon every evidence of the house being rushed by overwhelming numbers, I reluctantly agreed that our bluejackets should shoot to kill, and the fire which they then returned was unquestionably effective. However, as it was soon evident that even this step would prove ineffective and that all in the house would shortly be killed unless outside help could be secured, signals were again made to the U. S. S. Noa and H. M. S. Emerald this time asking for a barrage to drive off our assailants. This signal had already been once made at the order of Lieutenant Bellasis of the Emerald but had then been countermanded by me, as I hoped we might be able to get away without it and was not certain what the effect of the firing of naval guns would be upon the safety of the Americans and other foreigners scattered in various parts of the city.

The barrage was promptly forthcoming and commenced at 3:25 p.m. It consisted of a curtain of shells which were dropped with remarkable accuracy on both sides of and behind the Standard Oil residences in such a manner as to kill or drive off the attacking Nationalist soldiers. As the only persons on the hill sides at that time were the Nationalist soldiers any fatalities which were caused must have been among those actually in the act of attacking us.

The behavior of the American signalmen from the Noa and the Preston who continued to send messages with bullets whining past them and chipping bits of stone from the verandah balustrade at their side was an inspiring demonstration of efficiency and cool bravery, and unquestionably saved the lives not only of our immediate party but of the Americans and other foreigners yet in the city.

As soon as all hopes of escape save by military steps had passed, I asked Captain Heathcote, a British Marine officer from the Emerald who was thoroughly familiar with the country and was the senior officer in the house, to take charge in order to prevent confusion and loss of speed. Ropes were improvised from bed sheets and electric wiring, and with a few bluejackets guarding the ridge the party went down to the top of the city wall which is some 100 feet distance and some 40 feet below the houses. There the party was gradually evacuated over the wall, the women, children, and the wounded bluejacket being lowered, while the men all climbed down. The only serious mishap at this time was when one of the sheet ropes broke and Mr. Hobart fell some 15 or 20 feet, dislocating and fracturing an ankle.

[Page 160]

Although the landing party failed to meet us, having gone to the lower causeway across the water-filled moat paralleling the city wall while we selected a causeway further west, its known presence ashore prevented our being attacked, and we made our way to the river bank. Our progress at this time was slow owing to the necessity of carrying Mr. Hobart and of having to ferry across a wide creek where we commandeered three sampans. Once on the shore our dangers were over and we were taken out to H. M. S. Woolsey which steamed in quite close to the bank for this purpose.

I at once asked to be sent to the Noa and accompanied by Lieutenant Commander R. C. Smith proceeded to H. M. S. Emerald for a conference with Captain England as to possible steps for the rescue of the Americans, British, and other foreigners yet in the city. A group of Chinese with Red Swastika flags was seen on the shore and thinking they had come for negotiations and would afford us a means of contact, I requested Captain England to send a boat for them, which he at once did.

The Chinese party proved to be from the local Red Swastika Society whose objects are similar to those of the usual Red Cross organizations, and was headed by Mr. Hsu, Vice Chairman of the organization. Mr. Hsu said he had received a telephone message from General Cheng Ch’ien, who had just entered the city, asking him to come out and express regrets for the anti-foreign agitation which was caused by local rowdies and to request that there be no more bombardment by the naval vessels. After a conference held on board the Emerald by the American and British naval commanders a series of demands were drawn up requiring (1) the protection of all foreigners and their evacuation to the river shore under guard, (2) the issuance of strict orders for the protection of all foreign lives and property, and (3) that the Commander of the 4th Division come on board before 11 that night to arrange for the protection of foreigners. This was handed to Mr. Hsu with the request that it be taken to General Cheng Ch’ien at once.

At the end of this conference the U. S. S. Isabel arrived from upriver with Rear Admiral Henry H. Hough, who became Senior Naval Officer Present.

At 11 that night Mr. Hsu returned with a despatch from General Cheng, copy of which is enclosed,35 in translation, in which he merely repeated the verbal message conveyed by Mr. Hsu in the afternoon.

A conference of the Senior American and British naval officers was then held which was presided over by Admiral Hough on the U. S. S. Isabel and at which a second series of demands was decided upon, [Page 161] reduced to writing and sent back to General Cheng Ch’ien by Mr. Hsu. At this time Mr. Hsu stated he was certain all foreigners could be brought out and that his organization would do all it could to render assistance, but that he was not authorized to negotiate for General Cheng Ch’ien.

The next morning at about 11 Mr. Hsu returned, bringing with him a despatch addressed to the Senior Naval Officer in which he stated (1) that, through the Commander of the 4th Division and other division commanders, he had issued a very strict order for the protection of all foreign lives and property; (2) That the Commander of the 4th Division could not be sent on board as demanded and could not be held responsible for the incident of the 24th; that after he (General Cheng) had made investigations and reported his findings to the Nationalist Government, negotiations should be carried on through the regular diplomatic channels; that he (General Cheng) had issued orders for the Chinese cruisers to cease fire and hoped that similar orders would be issued to the foreign war vessels; (3) That on the morning of the 25th he would undertake to have soldiers escort the remaining refugees to the river front, provided the Consuls would notify their nationals to assemble in definite places; but that he considered that by the 25th conditions would again be normal in Nanking and that there was no danger that the unfortunate incidents of the 24th would ever be repeated; (4) That all demands should be handled through diplomatic channels and that the 4th section of the American and British Naval Officers’ demands did not appear to him to be proper, and caused him great surprise; (This was the threat of action in case first three demands were not complied with); that the bombardment of the 24th had caused great loss of Chinese life and property and would be made the subject of diplomatic representations; and finally that all diplomatic matters should be handled through the usual diplomatic channels.

In view of the looting of the three Consulates, the wounding of one Consular Officer, and the attempted murder of all three, all by his troops, the references to diplomatic intercourse were especially impudent; while the refusal to enter into any local negotiations regarding the outrages of the 24th was certainly evasive and indicative of unwillingness to afford any real satisfaction.

At about 2 in the afternoon of the 25th two American missionaries were brought out, together with two officers representing General Cheng Ch’ien, one the head of the Army’s legal department, and the other had on his card the title of “Representative of the 6th Army”. The missionaries reported that practically all Americans were assembled at the Agricultural Building of the University of Nanking and [Page 162] were being guarded by Nationalist troops. The officers brought with them the demands sent in to General Cheng at 4 that morning by Mr. Hsu which they wished to discuss.

After consultation with Admiral Hough and at his request I saw these officers and told them as from him, and myself only acting as interpreter, that the time for discussion was past and that unless the Americans and other foreigners were safely brought out that same afternoon General Cheng and his troops would have to take the consequences. No statement of what such consequences would be was made, but they were given to understand that they would be of a dire nature and that the time left for averting such a calamity was very short indeed. The officers, palpably very much alarmed, returned to shore.

A conference was then held by the Senior American and British Naval Officers on the U. S. S. Isabel as to the course to be taken in the event the promised bringing out of Americans and British should not be accomplished. Before this was concluded the Japanese Naval Commander sent word requesting that any contemplated bombardment be postponed until they had brought out their nationals for whom they had sent in with the assistance of the Red Swastika Society. Almost immediately after, Captain England received a signal that the remaining British, including Consul General Giles, were coming out and the conference was adjourned to permit his returning to his ship.

Practically at the same time the Americans began arriving and were quickly and efficiently brought aboard the American naval vessels. Their condition and experiences will be made the subject of a separate report.

All Americans were brought out with the exception of Dr. J. E. Williams who was murdered on the 24th, and was buried before the American party had left the University. With the exception of seven who were sent to Shanghai on the 27th, all were sent to that port from here on the 26th by the U. S. S. Preston.

There is no question but that General Chiang Chieh-shih36 either issued no orders here for the protection of foreigners or that if issued, such orders were ignored. It is probable that he did not even stop off here but proceeded to Shanghai direct from Wuhu.

The lives of the Americans in Nanking were saved, first, by the naval barrage on the 24th which caused an almost immediate cessation of the killing and looting by Nationalist soldiers and, secondly, by the threats which were made by the American and British naval authorities on the 24th and 25th, which produced in the mind of the officers who came from General Cheng the conviction that any further delay would result in an immediate bombardment.

[Page 163]

The prompt efficiency of all steps taken by the American Navy deserve the highest praise, as does the unfailing kindness and consideration shown to all evacuated Americans. The behavior of Ensign Phelps and the signalmen and guards from the Noa and the Preston played an all-important part in saving the lives not only of over 120 Americans, but of a large number of British and other nationals.

It is surprising that in spite of the considerable volume of rifle fire directed against the 52 persons in the Standard Oil residence there were no real casualties. This remarkable escape is attributable both to poor marksmanship on the part of the Nationalist soldiers and to the coolness of the majority of the American and British naval men and civilians.

Vice Consul Paxton rendered faithful and efficient service throughout the entire time and I wish specially to commend the promptness with which he carried out all my requests.

The excellent work done by Ensign Phelps and the American signalmen and bluejackets has already been mentioned. Captain Heathcote and Lieutenant Bellasis of the Emerald also showed commendable courage and the latter displayed pleasing efficiency in directing the escape over the wall.

The cool courage and quick headwork of Mr. E. T. Hobart also contributed very materially to the saving of all lives, and for his part in the evacuation he deserves the highest possible commendation.

With only one or two exceptions all Americans and British whose conduct was observed, manifested great calmness and courage and the general behavior of our citizens through the more than trying time is a source of much justifiable pride.

The frank and unreserved cooperation between Americans and British, both naval and civilian, was most gratifying and contributed largely to the saving of many lives. In alleviating distress no distinctions were made as to nationality. In this connection the unreserved kindness, energy, and frankness of Captain England of H. M. S. Emerald were specially conspicuous.

In conclusion I wish to express my deep appreciation for the wholehearted kindness and constant assistance of Rear Admiral Henry H. Hough, his staff, Lieutenant Commanders R. C. Smith of the Noa and G. B. Ashe of the Preston, and the Captain and officers of the U. S. S. Isabel who have taken in Vice Consul Paxton and myself and to whose hospitality we owe our ability to remain at, if not in, Nanking.

I have [etc.]

John K. Davis
  1. It was later established that although shot at he was not killed. [Footnote in the original.]
  2. The reports that the British consul general was killed were incorrect.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Courtesy name of Chiang Kai-shek.