Kangwha 2

Fighting in Korea in 1871 (Pt. 2)

Last week we featured the Marine Corps awardees of this long forgotten episode. This week, in Part 2, we feature the Naval awardees. A short synopsis of the action is described below:

“The American Minister to China, Frederick Ferdinand Low, was instructed in 1870 to secure a treaty for the protection of shipwrecked mariners and, should the opportunity seem favorable, to obtain commercial advantages in Korea. Thus he sailed from Nagasaki for Boisée Island on the Salée River in May 1871 on board the USS Colorado, flagship of Rear Admiral John Rodgers then commanding the Asiatic Squadron…A treaty of amity with Korea appeared necessary in view of her central location amidst the trade routes of the East and the brutal treatment accorded foreigners who were shipwrecked off her coast.”

Lower ranking Korean officials who met with the US expedition were informed that a treaty was sought with the highest political tiers of their society and requested they be presented. In the interim, the expedition announced their peaceful intentions and made preparations to take soundings of the waterways along the coastline in anticipation of the treaty. During these actions, however, they were fired upon from Korean forts on the bluffs above. In retaliation a landing force of 651 Marines and sailors was put ashore on 9 June, 1871 “to take and destroy the forts which have fired on our vessels, and to hold them long enough to demonstrate our ability to punish such offenses at pleasure.”

The three day campaign that followed was a brutal, but ultimately successful, military mission. For a more fully detailed story of the action, click here.

The Sailors
FRANKLIN, FREDERICK
Rank and organization: Quartermaster, U.S. Navy. Born: 1840, Portsmouth, N.H. Accredited to:  New Hampshire. G.O. No.: 169, 8 February 1872.
Citatian: On board the U.S.S. Colorado during the attack and capture of the Korean forts on 11 June 1871. Assuming command of Company D, after Lt. McKee was wounded, Franklin handled the company with great credit until relieved.

HAYDEN, CYRUS
Rank and organization: Carpenter, U.S. Navy. Born: 1843, York, Maine. Accredited to: Maine. G.O. No.: 169, 8 February 1872.
Citation: On board the U.S.S. Colorado during the attack and capture of the Korean forts, 11 June 1871. Serving as color bearer of the battalion, Hayden planted his flag on the ramparts of the citadel and protected it under a heavy fire from the enemy.

LUKES, WILLIAM F.
Rank and organization: Landsman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1846, Bohemia. Enlisted at: Tientsin, China. G.O. No.: 180, 10 October 1872.
Citation: Served with Company D during the capture of the Korean forts, 9 and 10 June 1871. Fighting the enemy inside the fort, Lukes received a severe cut over the head.

McKENZIE, ALEXANDER
Rank and organization: Boatswain’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 1837, Scotland. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 169, 8 February 1872.
Citation: On board the U.S.S. Colorado during the capture of the Korean forts, 11 June 1871. Fighting at the side of Lt. McKee during this action, McKenzie was struck by a sword and received a severe cut in the head from the blow.

MERTON, JAMES F.
Rank and organization: Landsman, U.S. Navy. Birth: England. G.O. No.: 180, 10 October 1872.
Citation: Landsman and member of Company D during the capture of the Korean forts, 9 and 10 June 1871, Merton was severely wounded in the arm while trying to force his way into the fort.

ROGERS, SAMUEL F.
Rank and organization: Quartermaster, U.S. Navy. Born: 1845, Buffalo, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 169, 8 February 1872.
Citation: On board the U.S.S. Colorado during the attack and capture of the Korean forts, 11 June 1871. Fighting courageously at the side of Lt. McKee during this action, Rogers was wounded by the enemy.

TROY, WILLIAM
Rank and organization: Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1848, Boston, Mass. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 169, 8 February 1872.
Citation: On board the U.S.S. Colorado during the capture of the Korean forts, 11 June 1871. Fighting at the side of Lt. McKee, by whom he was especially commended, Troy was badly wounded by the enemy.

Tags: Troy