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notwithstanding the determination and strategy which these latter showed ; 'but no attempt was made by the officers to form square until it was too late, and so the force was taken at a great disadvantage.
After this repulse Colonel Gordon withdrew his men on the 31st March to Siangchow, about thirteen miles north of Wusieh, and sent down his wounded to Quin
He also ordered up the 3d Regiment, and occupied himself in bringing his demoralised troops again into order until the 3d April, when he went up and encamped about two miles from Waisoo, ivhere he met the Futai, who had come from Soochow with 6000 Imperialists.
While these events were going on to the north of the Taiho Lake, General Ching had been operating at Kashing fu to the south ; and Tso, Chetai, along with the Franco-Chinese, had been engaged investing Hangchow. The former of these Imperialist generals carried the stockades in front of Kashing fu on the 17th March, after a sharp resistance, but found that the Rebels had constructed a series of small forts about 150 yards outside the walls of the city, which rendered further progress very difficult, though he got excellent information as to what was going on inside from spies whom he had previously sent to join the Rebels, and who were constantly coming out to him. At night he carried two of these forts, and established batteries under the charge of Colonel Bailey, whom Gordon had given for instruction in the use of artillery. On the 19th he stormed twice without success, and on the 20th the fire of the heavy guns was reopened and another assault given, when the Rebels gave way and the place was captured. On this occasion the Ting Wang and Yung Wang were killed--the one by a shell, and the other by the Impe
rialists. Ting Wang had walled up the gateways just previous to the attack, which prevented any of his men escaping, and led to a desperate resistance. Ching, the Imperial commander, was wounded in the head by a bullet (from the effects of which he died on the 15th April) as he was trying the depth of the water in the ditch just before the assault commenced; and this, together with the determined character of the resistance, led the Imperialist soldiers to give no mercy.
The death and previous services of this General were noticed at length in a report to the Emperor by Lí Hung-chang, dated 12th May 1861, and I give the following abridged translation of that document, because it is so strikingly illustrative of Chinese ideas and customs, and affords such a contrast to our own cold official way of acknowledging military services :
Ching, the Tsung-Ping of Nanchang, was formerly presented with the hereditary rank of Shao-pei (Yun chi Wei). He was subsequently made Patulu [a Manchu distinction] Fiercely he attacked the city of Kashing, where he was wounded in the head by a ball which pierced his brain. He fainted, but was afterwards restored to consciousness and borne back to Soochow] to be put under medical treatment. He himself knew that his wound was desperate, but he refused to take medicine. I over and over again exhorted him to submit to treatment, and I called in doctors who professed to cure both internal and ex. ternal maladies, so that he at last consented to put himself in their hands. His mind and speech thus soon became clear. I left Soochow on the 7th April for the purpose of following up the Rebels, but at the moment of starting I visited him. He said that although the Rebels had been defeated, their strength was still not to be despised, and he told me to order the officers to be careful in battle. He also remarked that brave men were not easily obtained, and bitterly regretted his own fate, by which he was prevented from following up his duty to the country in externiinating the Rebels. He sobbed and sighed, and tears came into his eyes while he was speaking to
DEATH OF GENERAL CHING.
me. I, on the other hand, bade him be of good courage, and told him that he would thus hasten his recovery, and that it was not necessary for him to grieve and be anxious. When I departed I left directions that the local Mandarins should visit him from time to time. While I was at Kongyin attacking the Rebels there, a report suddenly reached me that Ching was gradually sinking. His senses had not, however, deserted him. On the 11th April he called his servant, ard ordered him to bring the Yellow Jacket presented to him by your Majesty, and assist him to put it on. He then bowed his hend towards your Majesty's palace, and walked round his room. Seeing tea on the table, he took up a cupful and attempted to drink, but the fluid could not pass down his throat. By this he was much moved, and wept He ordered Han Chu, a Chichao who had the superintendence of the camp, to mount a horse and come to me, to beg that I would carefully follow out my design of destroying the Rebels. He further said that he knew he could not see me again in the provincial city. There was not a particle of selfishness in his recommendations. At the time when he felt death approaching, he bemoaned the unfinished state of the work he had cut out for himself. He felt that he had not returned the favours heaped on him by your Majesty. The fluid of his brain continued to run out of the wound, and on the 15th April, at twelve o'clock at night, he died. I was excessively grieved. All the military officers cried bitterly. Every one, whether belonging to Kiangsoo or to Chekiang, whether Mandarins or scholars or common people, lamented his death.
I then examined into Ching's previous history, and I discovered that he came from Tungchen hien, in the province of Nganhwui, whence, during the Rebel troubles, he was taken as a prisoner. The Four-Eyed Dog, Ying, placed great confidence in him. Ching, because he saw that the Rebels oppressed the people, at length made an attempt to get away from them. The Rebels, however, managed to secure him again, and shut him up so that he could not escape. In the fourth month of the eleventh year of the Emperor, whose style was Hien-fung, Tseng Kwo-tsun, the Futai of Chekiang, led his soldiers to Nganking. Ching, without mentioning the affair to anybody, came over to the camp occupied by Tseng Chun-kan
[Tseng Kwo-tsun's brother), and surrendered himself. He was instantly recognised as a superior man, and one far above the general run of Rebel officers who had joined the camp, and was sent with the expedition which recovered Nganking, where his bravery was most conspicuous. The Governor-General, Tseng Kwo-fan, reported the affair to your Majesty, and pledged himself for Ching's worth. At the same time I myself was at Nganking, and constantly heard of Ching's exploits, as well as of his wisdom, daring, and varied ability. Shortly afterwards, when your Majesty ordered me to hurry to Shanghai, I begged Tseng Kwo-fan to allow me to carry with me Ching's two camps.
When Soochow fell, Kow Ywen-kuan (who was the chief man amongst the Rebel Wangs who submitted to us), with eight others, proposed to divide the city into two parts. At this time these fellows had about 200,000 men under their command, and they thought that they could altogether neutralise any effort we might make. If this demand had been granted, and if, subsequently, the slightest opposition had been made to their wishes, they would have had “my head in chancery” in no time. But Ching told ine, that as he had formerly been among the Rebels, he well knew their mode of thought, and that as their crimes had been outrageous, their punishment ought to be proportionately severe. “Cut off,” said he, “the heads of their leaders, and their myriads of followers will instantly subside into insig. nificance. You will thus secure the tranquillity of the city." I therefore immediately ordered the execution of the Wangs, and restored tranquillity to their followers. Thus were the mighty difficulties which at first presented themselves at once solved. He was able to calculate beforehand, and he was also able to act with decision. Among the leaders of modern times there were few like him. When Gordon heard of his death he wept and groaned. He had seen with his own eyes how excellent he was as a general. Indeed, so highly did Gordon value him that he begged me to give him as a keepsake the two banners which Ching used to carry into battle, that he might bear them to his own country, and thus preserve the memory of one he loved so well. Ching possessed a mind of no ordinary depth and capacity. His plans and their subsequent execution were most clearly and minutely considered. His own countrymen and LI'S REPORT ON GENERAL CHING.
Foreigners alike admired him; and had Heaven vouchsafed to him many years of life, it would have been seen that his labours were not finished at the period of his actual death...
Now, since it was in the service of the country that he lost his life, is it not right that I should beg your Majesty to manifest your favour towards him in the manner due to a Ti-Tu who dies on the field of battle? I also beg your Majesty to give him a posthumous rank, and to cause the story of his life to be inscribed on the records of this dynasty. Moreover, I would suggest that at Nganking fu, Soochow fu, and Kashing fu commemorative temples be raised to his exclusive honour, so as to celebrate his faithfulness. If your Majesty be pleased to do this, it will be a proof of your extraordinary favour.
I would further inform your Majesty that at the time of writing the above despatch, I received the Imperial edict, dated the 4th April, relative to the gifts to be presented to Ching, on account of the conquest of Kashing—viz., a white jade featheromament, a white jade thumb-ring, a jade-handled knife, and a pair of pouches. I reverently ordered these presents to be carried to Soochow, and presented to Ching's family, to be placed before his coffin to solace his noble soul
The Franco-Chinese, under D’Aiguibelle, having arrived at Hangchow in February, made an attack, in combination with the Imperialists under Tso, on the Rebel stockades outside the city, and carried about a dozen of them early in March. After erecting a battery and breaching the South Gate, they assaulted on the 9th of the month, but were repulsed ; and also made another ineffectual attempt on the 12th March, when a number of their officers were wounded. The point of attack was badly chosen, because the gate was placed in bastions projecting from the rampart, so when the front wall was breached, there still remained another to be attacked behind. This place might have held out much longer had not Tsah, formerly a Tai-ping with the title of Wai Wang, threatened its communications, and led the Rebels to vacate it on the 21st. L, Futai, considered this eva