893.00/10774: Telegram

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

222. My 208, March 21, 11 a.m.78 Following from American Consul General at [Hankow]:

“March 25, 11 a.m. The Steamship Ifung of Yangtze Rapid Steamship Company was fired on at mileage 219 above Hankow from the right bank by about 400 soldiers carrying a red flag with white sun. The soldiers fired about 700 shots from rifles. An armed naval guard on the Ifung [returned?] the fire with 272 rounds. One enlisted man slightly wounded in left forearm by ricochet fragment. Heavy firing was heard inland at mileage 220 above Hankow.

There is no unusual military activity in evidence here at present, and, so far as can be learned, local authorities are depending on Government forces now in north and northwest Hupeh and along the Pinghan Railway in Honan to defend Hankow if the threatened war materializes.”

  1. Not printed.