Hampton Roads Naval Museum Educator
Shortly after USS Wyoming's attack on Shimonoseki, the French also launched a punitive strike with two ships and some marines against the anti-foreign Choshu clan holding the straits. However, this was only a minor setback for the rebel Japanese and the important trading passage remained closed to foreign ships. For the time being, negotiations replaced military action in trying to resolve the issue.
|USS Jamestown (from Official Records)|
|The international fleet at Yokohama in 1864. Photograph by famed photographer Felice Beato, who would accompany the U.S. Navy's expedition to Korea in 1871 (from ocw.mit.edu)|
After thinking over the situation, Price and the American minister chartered a merchant vessel, the Ta-Kiang for the purpose of "carry[ing] a landing party, and in any and every way to assist in the common object," all while staying out of range of the enemy cannons (the owners of the Ta-Kiang had to protect their investment). Price sent a crew of 18 under the command of Lieutenant Fredrick Pearson, along with a 30-pound Parrott rifle, to the merchant ship. Pearson was ordered to defer to the British admiral in charge of the expedition and to do whatever was necessary in supporting the attack, with the caveat that Ta-Kiang was "not a man-of war, or prepared to attack the forts."
|A Japanese depiction of the battle|
|European troops with a captured Japanese battery|
*All quotations taken from The Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies, Series 1, Vol. 3.