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They stopped the road passing at the rear of the settlement, and picketed the street towards the village of Hiogo, as far as it was occupied by any foreign resident, and then barricaded it.

On the night of 6th February, some armed Japanese succeeded in getting through a cross street leading from the hills, and in the rear of our barricade on the main street a small skirmish occurred between them and some of the American pickets, in which one marine lost three fingers, cut from off his right hand by a Japanese sword, and a sailor was wounded slightly on the chin.

Troops had for several days been marching towards Osaka, and the operations of our paval commanders entirely closed the main road that had been used for centuries, compelling all armed persons to go in rear of Kobé about one mile, by a way which had been little traveled.

All the men-of-war in port came close in shore, taking position to protect the foreign quarter of the town, and every preparation was made for defense in case of attack. None has as yet been made, although a large number of the troops of Bezen are in camp at Nishinomed, a little village about nine miles distant, and between this place and Osaka.

This afternoon we have received information that an envoy of the Mikado is, in the town of Hiogo, desirous of communicating with the foreign representatives, and we have invited him to a conference tomorrow at 12 o'clock, noon, at a large room in the custom-house, stipu. lating, however, that he shall come here by water, and be accompanied by a small retinue.

In the first fire on the foreigners, Walter G. Clark, an apprentice boy on board the Oneida, was wounded in the breast with a musket or rifle ball. The ball has not been extracted, but the man is improving rapidly and will probably recover. In the skirmish of last night, Michael J. Dewyre, marine, from the Oneida, had three fingers of his right hand cut off, and Gustavus Genders, a sailor of the Iroquois, was slightly wounded on the chin; both are doing well. These are all the casualties, except the two Frenchmen above mentioned, whose wounds were slight.

I transmit herewith inclosure No. 1, a communication immediately made by me to Commander Creighton, similar requests being made by the English and French ministers to their respective commanding naval officers.

Inclosure No. 2, letter from Commander Creighton, under date of February 5, announcing that he had co-operated with the English and French naval commanding officers, and that they had seized four of the Japanese steamers.

Inclosure No. 3, copy of the resolution arrived at by the foreign representatives at a conference held on the morning of the 5th February, inviting the respective naval commanding officers to take military management of the port, and to hold it.

Inclosure No. 4, copy of a communication addressed by me to Commander Creighton, transmitting the resolution last above mentioned.

Inclosure No. 5, copy of communication from Commander J.B. Creighton, transmitting a copy of the answer of the naval officers to the request of the representatives.

Inclosure No. 6, copies of our notices translated, by direction of the representatives, into Japanese, posted in the streets of Hiogo and Kobé, and sent to Osaka, and in different parts of the country on the 4th and 5th instants.

Inclosure No. 7, copy translation of a notice found posted in the streets of Hiogo and Kobé, purporting to be issued by Chashin, one of the large Daimios, and a supporter of the Mikado. This is the same Chashin who

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recently was at war with the Tycoon, and who has been restored to his position by the present Mikado.

Having acted in this matter according to my own judgment, and in perfect unison with all my colleagues, I hope such action will meet with the approval of the President and yourself.

It affords me great pleasure to acknowledge the promptness with which Commanders Creighton and English acted upon my suggestions during this affair, and their gallantry, as well as that of the officers and men under their command. I have the honor to be, sir, your very obedient servant,

R. B. VAN VALKENBURGH. Hon. WILLIAM H. SEW VARD,

Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.

No. 21.]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES IN JAPAN,

February 4, 1868. SIR: You as well as myself witnessed the outrageous and unprovoked attack by a party of armed Japanese upon the foreigners in the foreigu concession at this place, this afternoon, by which one of the American sailors attached to the Oneida was seriously wounded by a rifle ball, and two French soldiers were wounded by lancers. It is a mercy that in the continuous firing we were not all killed or wounded.

This may be considered an act of war, and perhaps is authorized by the Japanese government. On a hurried consultation with my colleagues, Great Britain, Holland, Italy, and Prussia, we have decided at once to take such measures as may be thought necessary to protect our countrymen against any further attack by land or water.

There are a number of Japanese war and other steamers in port. Will you please consult with the commanding officers of the French and English vessels now in port, and take such measures as you may jointly

agree upon to prevent those Japanese vessels from committing any hostile act here, or from leaving the port at present. I have the honor to.be, sir, your obedient servant,

R. B. VAN VALKENBURGH,

Minister Resident of United States in Japan. Commander J. B. CREIGHTON,

Senior U. S. Naval Officer, Hiogo, commanding U. S. steamer Oncida.

UNITED STATES STEAMER ONEIDA,

Hiogo, Japan, February 5, 1868. Sir: I have the honor to receive your communication of the 4th instant, and at your request have held a conference with commanding nayal officers present, relating to the seizure of the Japanese steamers at Hiogo, and in order to prevent these Japanese ves. sels from committing any hostile acts here or from leavmg this port at present.

I have, in co-operation with the French and English, seized four Japanese steamers, and they are anchored under the guns of the naval vessels in the harbor. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. BLAKELY CREIGHTON,

Commander and Senior Offloer. General R. B. VAN VALKENBURGH,

Minister Resident of the United States in Japan.

HroGo, February 5, 1868. Present, the representatives of France, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Prussia, and the United States.

The undersigned, having come to the conclusion, after mature deliberation, that it is of great importance to hold the foreign settlement at this place, resolve to invite the respective commanding officers to take into their hands the entire military management of this measure, and to inform them what part of the town or settlement they can hold with the force at their disposal.

The undersigned, however, would wish to see that part of Kobé in actual occupation of foreigners protected, if this be possible.

LEON ROCHES.
HARRY S. PARKES.
CTE. DE LA TOUR.
R. B. VAN VALKENBURGH.
M. VON BRANDT.
D. DE GRAEF VAN POLSBROEK.

No. 22]

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES IN JAPAN,

Hiogo, February 5, 1868. SIR: I have the honor to communicate to you the result of a conference this morning held by the several representatives of the treaty powers now present in this place:

“Hiogo, February 5, 1868. "Present, the representatives of France, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Prussia, and the United States.

"The undersigned, having come to the conclusion, after mature deliberation, that it is of great importance to hold the foreign settlement at this place, resolve to invite the respective commanding officers to take into their hands the entire military management of this measure, and to inform them what part of the town or settlement they can hold with the power at their disposal.

“The undersigned, however, wonld wish to see that part of Kobé in actual occupation of foreigners protected, if this be possible.

“LEON ROCHES.
“HARRY S. PARKES.
“CTE. DE LA TOUR.
“R. B. VAN VALKENBURGH.
"M. DE BRANDT.

“D. DE GRAEF VAN POLSBROEK." In accordance, therefore, with the desire above expressed, you, together with Com mander Earl English, of the United States steamer Iroquois, are invited to consult with commanding officers of vessels of other nations, having treaties with Japan and now in port, and take measures accordingly. I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

R. B. VAN VALKENBURGH,

Minister Resident of the United States in Japan. Commander J. B. CREIGHTON,

Senior United States Naval Officer, Hiogo.

UNITED STATES STEAMER ONEIDA, (3d rate,)

Hiogo, Japan, February 6, 1868. SIR: In reply to your communication of the 5th, I have the honor to communicate the following, which is a true copy:

“HioGo, February 5, 1868. “The commanding officer of the naval force at Kobé, in reply to the communication received from the foreign ministers here present as to what part of the foreign settlement at this place they can undertake to hold, beg to state that under present circumstances they will undertake to hold that part of the settlement from the gate in the main street to the concession, it being understood that no armed Japanese are allowed to pass through that part; but that, should a regularly organized attack be brought against us with very large bodies of troops, they could not undertake to hold more than the concession grounds.

“CHANDOS S. STANHOPE,

Captain of her Majesty's Steamer Ocean.
“ARNET,

Captain de Laplace.
“J. BLAKELY CREIGHTON,

Commander of United States Steamer Oneida. “EARL ENGLISH,

Commander of United States Steamer Iroquois." Very respectfully yours,

J. BLAKELY CREIGHTON,

Senior United States Naval Officer, Hiogo. General R. B. VAN VALKENBURGH,

Minister Resident of the United States in Japan.

Notices posted by the foreign representatives, in Japanese, throughout Hiogo and Kobé, and also

sent to Osaka, and in different parts of the country.

No. 1.

To-day, as Ikida Isé and Hikei Tade Ware, retainers of Matsdaira Bezen No Kami, were passing through the town of Kobé, their followers, without provocation, attacked and wounded foreigners with spears and fire-arms. You must immediately come forward and explain this matter. If full reparation be not given, it will be assumed that you are the enemy of foreign nations, who will take measures to punish this outrage. İt must be borne in mind that this matter will then concern not only the Bizen clan, but may also cause grave trouble to the whole of Japan.

This declaration is made by all the foreign representatives.
Hiogo, February 4, 1868.

No. 2. In consequence of the outrage committed yesterday by Bezen's men, the foreign menof-war have seized all the steamers owned by Japanese anchored in the port of Hiogo. This is because, as stated in the proclamation of the foreign minister issued yesterday, the affair concerns not only the clan of Bezen but all the clans throughout Japan.

The above notification is issued by the representatives of all the powers.
FEBRUARY 5, 1868.

No. 3. In consequence of the outrage committed yesterday by the retainers of Matsdaira Bezen No Kami, the foreign powers are taking their own measures, but those measures do not affect either the townspeople or the villagers, who should carry on their avocations quietly and without excitement.

The above notification is issued by the representatives of all the powers.
FEBRUARY 5, 1868.

No. 4.

; In consequence of the outrage committed yesterday by the retainers of Matsdaira Bezen No Kami, foreign powers have taken measures for the protection of this place; still all persons, with the exception of men bearing arms or carrying swords, will be allowed to pass through freely. The above notification is issued by the representatives of all the powers. FEBRUARY 5, 1868.

Copy of Choshin's notice to the people of Hiogo and Kobé posted in the streets in Japan. The fighting which took place here yesterday does not involve any misfortune to the inhabitants, and therefore not even old people, women, and children need be frightened.

The carrying off of property and living in the country is a great inconvenience to the sick and such persons, and you will therefore take care not to create any excitement of this kind.

We have come down here to put down any disturbance, and you may therefore bo free from any anxiety.

CHOSHIN.

Mr. Portman to Mr. Seward.

LEGATION OF THE UNITED STATES,

Yokohama, February 15, 1868. SIR: On the 3d instant the intelligence was received here that the forces of the Tycoon and those of Satsuma and his confederates were engaged in battle, between Osaka and Kioto, and letters arrived on the next day by her Britannic Majesty's steamer Rattler with the information that the former had been defeated, after a conflict which commenced on the 27th ultimo and lasted three days.

It also soon became known that the Tycoon was on board of a large steamer, which had been seen going up to Yedo on the previous evening.

On the 5th instant, another steamer, with the governor and all the Tycoon's civil officers of Osaka and Hiogo, arrived, and also letters from

Mr. Van Valkenburgh, with full intelligence of recent occurrences: the immediate departure of the Tycoon for Yedo after the loss of the battle; the destruction by fire of his castle at Osaka; the extensive contlagrations in that city, and the withdrawal of the legations to Hiogo. The impression prevailing that the Prince of Satsuma and those who acted with him would at once attempt to carry the war into the Tycoon's own territory, and particularly in Yedo, the seat of his government, Mr. Van Valkenburgh furnished me with instructions for my guidance.

Steps for the safety of the archives, under all circumstances that might arise, had already been taken, and after communicating with Commander Carter, of the Monocacy, Í proceeded to Yedo, accompanied by a corporal and two marines of that ship.

An assurance was soon given that the government had not the remotest intention of retaliating upon any one for the treachery to which they had recently been exposed, and which caused them the loss of the late battle. No Daimios grounds would be destroyed nor would any prisoners suffer, and they were well cared for.

I had given notice that I had come to Yedo for the purpose of obtaining information concerning the course the Tycoon's government now intended to adopt in view of the anticipated approach of the struggle in Yedo, and in this part of Japan.

In concert with Commander Carter, I offered the use of the Monocacy for any valuables, such as archives, &c., the Tycoon might wish to place in safety. I also suggested, for the better maintenance of strict neutrality, that an arrangement might be made to keep the war out of Kanagawa and its treaty limits of ten ri, or about twenty-five miles, by issuing a notice to that effect; and I further inquired whether, since the Tycoon's return to Yedo, it would be his intention to open that city to American trade and residence before the 1st of April next, as the reasons for the extension of the opening to that date had now ceased to exist.

In reply, I was informed that my communication would at once be submitted to the Tycoon, who was in consultation with his council in permanent session.

All information desired, I was assured, would, as far as practicable, be freely and frankly given; and on the strength of this assurance and to test it at once, I asked that the object might be disclosed to me of the mission of Mr. Locock, the English secretary of legation, who had come up from Osaka in the Rattler, and who had then just returned to Yokohama.

Mr. Locock, on behalf of the English minister, I was told, had asked three questions :

1. If a new treaty is to be made, with whom must the foreign representatives make it 2. Where is it to be made 1 and, 3. How about Hiogo? Under whose authority is that port!

The Tycoon's government, evidently "startled by these unfriendly questions," had replied that they had faithfully observed their obligations under the treaties and would continue to do so; that they had lost a battle, it was true, but that that battle was by no means a decisive one, and as for Hiogo—that the American and Prussian representatives had assured their governor that that port would remain open, and that the people would be protected by them.

I was also furnished with an account, as far as known, of the recent battle. The struggle must have been severe; the losses on both sides were very large, principally in officers; the precise number of the forces engaged could not be given, but as soon as full returns were received they would be communicated.

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