Battle of Whampoa
|Battle of Whampoa|
|Part of First Opium War|
View of Whampoa Island from Dane's Island
|United Kingdom||Qing Dynasty|
|Commanders and leaders|
|4 ships||250 troops,
|Casualties and losses|
|1 killed||15–20 killed|
On 2 March 1841, Commodore James Bremer, commander-in-chief of the British forces, sent Captain Edward Belcher of the Sulphur to reconnoitre up Junk River.[nb] The ship was towed by three of the Wellesley's boats under Lieutenant Richard Symonds. As they approached the north-east end of Whampoa Island, a Chinese battery of about 25 guns, which were masked by thick tree branches, opened fire on the ships. Lieutenant Symonds immediately cut the tow line, the boats sailed towards the shore, and the boat crews landed. 250 Tartar troops defended the battery. They fled for shelter in the neighbouring jungle, but were dislodged by artillery from the Sulphur. After the British captured the forts, the guns were destroyed, and the works and magazines blown up.
Bremer reported 15 or 20 Tartars killed. One British seaman from the Wellesley died from mortal wounds after being shot through the lungs by grapeshots. Bremer resigned the command of the land forces to Major-General Hugh Gough, who joined the fleet on board the Cruizer. Former Imperial Commissioner Lin Zexu wrote in his diary entry of 2 March: "I hear that the English rebel ships have already forced their way to the fort at Lieh-te. Early in the morning I went to talk things over at the General Office in the Monastery of the Giant Buddha."
- Ouchterlony 1844, p. 120
- Bulletins 1841, p. 348
- Bingham 1842, pp. 73–74
- Hall & Bernard 1846, p. 131
- Belcher 1843, p. 158
- Waley 1958, p. 141
- Hall & Bernard 1846, pp. 123–124
- Bulletins and Other State Intelligence (1841).
- Belcher, Edward (1843). Narrative of a Voyage Round the World. Volume 2. Henry Colburn.
- Bingham, John Elliot (1842). Narrative of the Expedition to China, from the Commencement of the War to Its Termination in 1842 (2nd ed.). Volume 2. Henry Colburn.
- Hall, William Hutcheon; Bernard, William Dallas (1846). The Nemesis in China (3rd ed.). Henry Colburn.
- Ouchterlony, John (1844). The Chinese War. Saunders and Otley.
- Waley, Arthur (1958). The Opium War Through Chinese Eyes. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-0611-5.