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issimo, Tseng Kwo-fan, or by his Lieutenant, Tseng Kwo-tsụn. Kintang had surrendered a few days previously, and Tanyan was given up on the 13th May by a portion of its garrison who murdered their leader. The Rebels held only the city of Wuchu to the south of the Taiho Lake, and Nanking far to the north of it, where they were closely besieged. In Kiangnan the Tai-ping movement was almost at an end, and the ordinary troops of the Futai, provided as they were with 39,000 stand of European arms, with heavy artillery, and with a large supply of ammunition, were quite able to prevent its again making head, or threatening the consular port of Shanghai. In these circumstances it became a serious question to Governor Lí, whether, in the impoverished state of his revenue, he ought to continue in existence so expensive a force as that which Gordon commanded. It had done its work admirably indeed, but with the completion of that work its raison d'être bad ceased. At the same time the withdrawal of Colonel Gordon from his command afforded another set of reasons for the dissolution of the force. The great outcry raised by Tai-ping sympathisers, both in China and at home, regarding the execution of the Soochow Wangs had not been without effect on her Majesty's Government and on public opinion in this country. False reports had been industriously disseminated of there having been a general massacre of the Rebels who surrendered in that city; and the facts were not known, which, as I have pointed out, had partially justified the execution of nine persons which actually took place. Hence it is no wonder that the British Government should have decided on recalling, as it did on the 1st of 1864, the Order in Council which permitted Colonel Gordon to take service under the Chinese Government,

REASONS FOR DISSOLVING THE FORCE,

243

and that the War Office determined to withdraw explicitly from that officer all leave and licence to serve the Emperor as he had been doing. There was, in my opinion, no necessity for such action, and the consequences might have been seriously hurtful both to the people of China and to our interests there, had Gordon not resumed active operations in March, or had he not assailed the Tai-pings with so much swiftness and success; but, as it providentially turned out, his work had just been accomplished at the moment when he was called upon to retire from the field of his victories.

A new responsibility now devolved on the Commander of the Ever-Victorious Army, for the Futai requested him to decide on what should be done with that force, intimating at the same time that he had difficulty in meeting the heavy monthly expenditure which it involved, and that he entertained fears of the ability of the Mandarins to deal with it should Colonel Gordon leave. To disband the force was so important a step that, could the opinion of the British Minister and of the General commanding in China have been soon obtained, Colonel Gordon would have waited to consult them; but considering the time that must have necessarily elapsed before he could have heard from these authorities, he determined to act on his own responsibility, as he had previously done in resuming operations. On maturely considering the whole subject, it appeared to him to be highly dangerous to leave the Ever-Victorious Army in existence; because a force constituted as it was might, under some other leadership, turn against the Imperial authorities at any moment and join the Rebels, or become the nucleus of a third party in China. It clearly had been Burgevine's wish to form such a party, of which he himself might be the head; and if the disciplined force bappened to pass into the hands of such a chief, it would very likely be employed for a like purpose.

Having determined that it would be best to dissolve bis force, Colonel Gordon judged that no time should be lost in doing so. The last arduous campaign of three months, with its severe losses, had somewhat dispirited the men, and the officers were ready to leave if they received gratuities; whereas, if they were kept on in inactivity for some weeks, they would probably have been anxious again to take the field. On this being represented to him, the Futai agreed to pay a gratuity to the officers and men, and intimated through Commissioner Hart bis wish to reward the labours of Colonel Gordon by a large sum of money.

This the latter thought proper to decline, as he had done the 10,000 taels previously awarded him by the Imperial Government, and this self-denial was not without good effect on the minds of the Chinese authorities. Up to this time they had found the Foreigners with whom they came in contact eagerly seeking after money whether services had been rendered or not, and they had naturally come to the conclusion that personal aggrandisement, in the shape of dollars, was the ruling motive with all our countrymen. In Gordon, however, they discerned a man of quite a different stamp. Confining his personal expenditure to the smallest limits, he had spent all his pay and even some of his own private funds in promoting the efficiency of his force; he bad spared bimself no labour or trouble, had shirked no danger, and yet refused any monetary reward. Latterly the Futai showed that he was capable of understanding and appreciating this disinterested conduct, and so Colonel Gordon experienced no difficulty in obtaining the sum which he

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thought necessary as a reward to his troops before disbanding them, and the whole details of the arrangement were left entirely in his hands.

Colonels of regiments and the wounded officers of the force received each 4000 Mexican dollars, or about £900; and other officers sums in proportion. Captain Shamroffel, a Prussian, who had lost both his eyes before Soochow, got £1600; while the unwounded men of the rankand-file received, in addition to a month's pay, a small sum proportionate to the distance they had to travel to their homes. As the whole force had been paid at a very high rate throughout its career, this could not be considered illiberal on the part of a Government so deeply involved in debt as the Chinese then was.

The force arrived at Quinsan on the 16th May, and by the 1st of June its Commander had paid off all the officers and men, and sent the former to Shanghai, the latter to their respective homes, returning, at the same time, all arms and ammunition to the Imperial stores. He left, however, a few officers of artillery and some men with the Futai, to strengthen him in that branch, and recommended that a camp of instruction should be formed at some place near Shanghai where native troops might be drilled by British officers. Great caution was necessary in every step of these proceedings ; and before the work was effected some mutinous disposition was shown, which might have become serious under a less determined officer. It now only remained for Colonel Gordon to take leave of Futai Lí previous to his departure. The latter received him with the highest marks of respect and regard, and expressed himself in a manner which proved that his intercourse with an officer of so chivalrous a spirit had had much effect in inclining him to look upon Foreigners with respect. The Peking

Government also departed in a remarkable manner from its old traditions in acknowledging his services. It publicly admitted that it was under great obligations to this Foreigner, conferred upon him the rank of Ti-Tu, and presented to him a banner and the Order of the Star, along with the distinction of the Yellow Jacket, which, in the estimation of the Chinese, is one of the highest marks of Imperial favour. The following correspondence will also show that the Emperor specially recommended Colonel Gordon to the British Government:

HONGKONG, July 12, 1864. MY LORD,-I enclose translation of a despatch from Prince Kung, containing the decree published by the Emperor, acknowledging the services of Lieutenant-Colonel Gordon, Royal Engineers, and requesting that her Majesty's Government be pleased to recognise them. This step has been spontaneously taken .

Lieutenant-Colonel Gordon well deserves her Majesty's favour; for, independently of the skill and courage he has shown, his disinterestedness has elevated our national character in the eyes of the Chinese. Not only has he refused any pecuniary reward, but he has spent more than his pay in contributing to the comfort of the officers who served under him, and in assuaging the distress of the starving population whom he relieved from the yoke of their oppressors. Indeed, the feeling that impelled him to resume operations after the fall of Soochow was one of the purest humanity. He sought to save the people of the districts that had been recovered from a repetition of the misery entailed upon them by this cruel civil war.-I have, &c.

FREDERICK W. A. BRUCE. The EARL RUSSELL, K.G.

The Prince of Kung makes a communication to Sir Frederick W. A. Bruce :

Some time has elapsed since his Excellency the British Minister, profoundly animated by the feeling of friendliness towards China entertained by the British Government, did, in view of the fact that rebellion was still rife in Kiangsoo, authorise Gordon and other officers of the British army to co-operate heart

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