On the night of the November 28th , 6 Chinese divisions attacked the 1st Marines in the area of the Chosin Reservoir. However hard the Marines might fight, they were outnumbered 6-1 or more. The Chinese attacked both at the head of the American lines and 35 miles behind. The Marines thus were forced to fight their way southward and towards the coast. The Marines first fought their way to Hawkawoo-ri, at the south end of the reservoir. Casualties were very heavy, but the battle did not end there. The troops then had to fight their way south. Smith stated: "Gentlemen, we are not retreating, we are merely attacking in another direction." It took the Marines 13 days of heavy fighting to reach the coast. There. they and tens of thousands of North Korean civilians were evacuated from the coast.