Occupation of Shanghai

16th June 1842 - 23rd June 1842
Part of : First Opium War (1839/03/18 - 1842/08/29)
Previous action : Capture of Woosung 14.6.1842 - 16.6.1842


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
North Star (8)  
Modeste (18) Rundle Burges Watson (1809-1860)
Columbine (18)  
Clio (18)  
Sesostris (4)  

Notes on Action


On the evening of the engagement at Woosung, the Dido, 20, anchored off the town, with a convoy of transports having on board 2500 additional men from India. Part of the whole force was at once directed against Shanghai, one column marching along the left bank of the "Woosung river, and another going up in light craft, [North Star, Modeste, Clio, and Columbine.] and in steamers towing them. Parker and Gough accompanied the latter in the Medusa. A battery, half-way, opened on a reconnoitring vessel, but was evacuated as soon as the main body of the flotilla approached it. The only real difficulty encountered on the way up to within half a mile of Shanghai was occasioned by the grounding of the Sesostris, which lost her rudder. Just below the town, at a right-angled bend of the river, was a low-lying 18-gun battery, which, if it had been properly manned, would have occasioned serious loss to the vessels, and would have needed a landing-party to capture it by taking it in flank. It was, however, easily silenced by a few broadsides from the men-of-war, not a man in which was hurt. On June 18th, when the 18th Regiment reached the north gate of the town, only a few matchlocks were discharged at it, ere the place was hastily abandoned. On the 20th, Lieutenant Hall, in the Nemesis, pushed fully sixty miles further up the river in search of a channel to the city of Soochowfoo. Finding no signs of it, he returned at a moment when, as subsequently appeared, his smoke was visible from the walls, and when, but little ahead of him, was a fleet of fugitive junks laden with sycee silver from Shanghai treasury.

Shanghai was evacuated on June 23rd, and the troops and vessels fell back to Woosung.

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