Using an old French chart, Commander James Findlay Schenck, the 53-year-old commander of the U.S. steamer Saginaw, decided to begin his inquiry into the disappearance of the American bark Myrtle, at Qui Nhon, on the coast of Cochin China. A white flag reflecting the Saginaw’s peaceful intent was run up the foremast gaff (the Stars and Stripes already flew from her main), and the gunboat stood in the town’s harbor at five minutes before noon on 30 June 1861, anchoring in four fathoms of water. Schenck planned to communicate with the shore at 1300 “unless an official visit was made to us before that time.”
Historic Fleets - 'Calculated to Do Good Service'
By Robert J. Cressman