You are here

China Relief Expedition (Boxer Rebellion)

1900 - 1901
  • Between the War for Independence and Operation Iraqi Freedom, the armed forces of the United States have participated in twenty-one principal wars and in numerous smaller conflicts and operations. In each of these American men and women have paid a high price for the nation's freedom, selflessly sacrificing life or limb for an honorable cause.

    Principal sources of information for the figures, explanatory text and illustrations appearing below include the National Archives and Records Administration; U.S. Navy Historical Center; Department of Defense; Department of Veterans Affairs; and The Oxford Companion to American Military History, from which all quotations are taken.

    China Relief Expedition (Boxer Rebellion), 1900 - 1901

    In the summer of 1900, a force of approximately 2,500 U.S. soldiers, sailors and marines joined a multinational force under British command to suppress a rebellion at the hands of a Nationalist antiforeign movement in China in order to enforce the "open door" policy articulated by Secretary of State John Hay. The Ch'ing government of the Manchu Dynasty supported the rebellious "Boxing Societies" who seized the Legation Quarter in Peking (Beijing). Some of the American troops were already resident in China, but a substantial number were diverted from duty in the Philippines while the Sixth Cavalry Regiment came directly from the United States to take part. The foreign forces prevailed at the Battle of Peking, 14-16 August 1900, leading to the ultimate defeat and capitulation of the Boxers in September 1901.

    American Casualties, Boxer Rebellion, China, 1900 - 1901

    Branch of Service
    Number Serving
    Killed in Action
    Non-Mortal Wounds

    Navy
     
    4
    26

    Marines
     
    9
    17

    Total    
    2,500
    13
    43