Magazine article Army

Letters

Magazine article Army

Letters

Article excerpt

The 15th Infantry in China

* The review of Tlic United States 15th Infantry Regiment in China, 1912Ι938 (July) unjustly takes the author to task for reasons that are faulty. The reviewer objects to the book's implication "that the 15th Regiment did not perform a significant role in the 1900 Allied Relief Expedition during the Boxer Rebellion," asserting that it "was the first unit to breach Peking's Imperial City walls on August 14, 1900," and going on to claim that Cpl. (sic) Calvin Titus was "one of the 15th Regiment's soldiers." The reviewer would have us believe that the author's oversights amount to "a crucial historical error," but nothing could be further from the truth.

The 15th was still on the high seas on August 14, 1900; regimental headquarters, the band and the 1st Battalion did not land at Taku until August 17, and the rest of the regiment came along later. The 15th remained at Tientsin until mid-November, when it moved on to the Philippines. The only action the regiment saw during that interlude occurred on September 1119, 1900, when two of its companies joined the British punitive expedition against Tu-Liu.

Actually, it was the 14th Infantry Regiment (Col. Daggett) that accomplished the feats to which the reviewer alludes-that much and considerably more. After a brutally hot, exhausting march from Tientsin, and a sharp engagement at Yangtsun, the 14th was the first American unit to reach Peking and the first element of the Allied forces to enter the city. On August 14, its Company E followed Musician (his proper title) Titus over the wall of the Chinese City at Tung Pien Men and opened the gates from the inside, freeing the Russians who were trapped there. Then the 14th's two battalions (the 1st Battalion had rotated back to the States) fought their way through the Chinese City to the Sluice Gate and entered the Legation Quarter. The following morning, on August 15, supported by Summerall's section of Reilly's Battery and the 9th Infantry's Galling Guns, the 14th attacked from Chien Men through the Tartar and Imperial Cities, breaching three heavily defended gates along the way; it had engaged the defenders of Wu Men, the entrance to the Forbidden City, when the Allied Powers' corps diplomatique prevailed upon Gen. …

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