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REPULSE AT CHANCHU.
back; a retreat had to be ordered, and even the pontoons were abandoned. On this occasion the Tai-pings fought with the greatest determination, and were utterly regardless of their own lives. When they mounted the wall the artillery was played on them with shell and canister at a distance of only 120 yards; but no sooner was one party of them blown away from the breach than another replaced it, brandishing spears and shouting defiance. On the other hand, the disciplined Chinese were not very anxious to take the last town they were likely to have to attack; and though usually indifferent enough as to their own lives, yet, having got some plunder since leaving Quinsan, and not having had any opportunity of disposing of it, they did not like the idea of being shot before enjoying their little treasures. The loss among the officers, now much reduced in number by the affairs of Kintang and Waisoo, was very severe, nineteen being wounded, while there were killed, Colonel Morton, Captains Rhode, Hammond, Donald, and Smith, and Lieutenants Brown, Gibb, Chowrie, Robinson, and Williams.
Being unwilling to expose his officers to much more of such disastrous work, Colonel Gordon instructed the Futai's Mandarins how to approach the wall by trenches, and found that they readily took up the plan and executed it very well. While these were making, the Rebels in some stockades at the East Gate came over to the Imperialists and were pardoned. The Futai hung up proclamations large enough to be read from the walls, offering pardon to any one, except the Hu Wang, who might give up the city. This brought down deserters in dozens over the breaches every day, in spite of all their Chief's efforts to prevent them. The Cantonese Rebels in Chanchu were peculiarly obnoxious both to the authorities and to the people of the district, for they were purely marauders of the worst kind; while some of the other Tai-ping soldiers, and especially those drawn from Kiangsoo, were only unfortunate peasants compelled by threats of torture and death to fight under the banner of the Great Peace. To all such it was desired to show mercy; and on the 5th May the chiefs of onehalf the garrison sent out a letter to Colonel Gordon, offering to give up the city if he would send his troops to the breach that night and make a false attack on two of the gates ; but as there was much risk in this plan he declined to follow it, and these Rebels came over as they could escape, sometimes to the number of 300 daily
The following is a translation of the letter which the Rebels sent to Gordon on this occasion; it is curiously illustrative of the existing state of matters, and of one of the means by which he made such rapid progress in clearing the country
We received your letter telling us to be on the look-out for you during the third watch on the night of the 27th.
Accordingly we procured strips of white cloth, made a fire in the city, threw fireballs and rockets from the wall; but up to the fourth watch saw nothing of you, neither was the floating bridge laid down.
Consequently we were in a great fright; and the white cloth being discovered, we were reported to Hwang, who would have beheaded us had not other officers interceded on our behalf.
In the event of your carrying out your plan, we shall be distinguished by wearing white bands, or by having the left arm out of the sleeves.
Should you intend coming to-night, hang up two lamps at the East Gate as a signal, then send troops to the North and West Gates to make false attacks, whilst another body lie in ambush near the South Gate, and also open fire on the
STORMING OF CHANCHU.
new city. The Rebels will rush to defend the North and West Gates, and on our throwing two fireballs you should instantly scale the walls. Our party are on guard during the fifth watch, and will assist you, our cry being “Death to the Rebels!" Should you not come, hoist one lamp at the East Gate.
No future time (for your attack] need be fixed, as we can be guided by your signals. We are talked about as being traitors, and should anything be proved against us, 2000 of us would lose our lives. Our movements will be regulated by what is going on outside the city; and after the place falls we shall collect at the East Gate and await your Excellency.
You must have no misgivings as to our sincerity. May Heaven and Earth conspire against us if we be found liars ! Pray keep our communications quiet, lest any one coming into the city betray us.
Futai Lí discovered that Chanchu had been taken by the Faithful King on the 11th May 1860, and determined to celebrate the anniversary of that day by a new attack, in which it was intended that the Victorious Army should have only a subordinate place. It is probable that the Rebels had become dispirited by this time, and they seem to have been taken by surprise, so no great resistance was made. The breaches had been planted with spikes and broken glass, but a heavy fire, bringing down masses of the wall, did much to cover these impediments; and the Imperialist soldiers of General Wang at one point, and of General Kwo Sung-lin at another, crossed the bridges over the ditch, and climbing up the ruins in perfect silence, soon crowned the rampart, where they met with a desperate resistance. The consequence was that Kwo Sung-lin's column began to give way in confusion ; but at this critical moment Colonel Gordon bimself, followed by his 1st Regiment and 200 volunteers from his other corps, rushed to its support over the bridges and up the breach. The Imperialists were rallied, the defenders of the breach were swept away at the point of the bayonet; and, Wang carrying his point about the same moment, the besieging soldiers began to swarm in thousands into the city. After this the struggle was short. “Cockeye,” the Hu Wang, who did not seem to have expected the attack, came up in hot haste with a large body of troops, but they were thrown into confusion, and he himself was taken prisoner, resisting to the last. The other chiefs also made rallies, and at one moment a panic seized the Imperialists, but soon the place was entered on all sides, and resistance entirely ceased.
The garrison of Chanchu fu was found to number about 20,000, and of these only 1500 were killed at the capture. All the Cantonese among the prisoners were executed, including the famous “Cockeye." This Wang, who had ravaged Soochow some years before, and who refused to make submission to Lí when brought before that Futai, was simply beheaded, as he well deserved to be. He was a native of Kwangsi, a very early adherent of the Tien Wang, and in personal appearance was strongly made, but with rather small features. The city proved to be in a very impoverished, dilapidated state, but contained rice sufficient to bave supported its defenders for two years; and very little plunder was found in it, either for the Imperialist soldiers or for the Ever-Victorious Army,—which had now taken its last city, bad fought its last battle, and was to be dissolved, owing partly to the withdrawal of that Order of her Majesty in Council which permitted British officers to take service under the Chinese Government,
THE DISSOLUTION OF GORDON'S FORCE, AND A
REVIEW OF ITS RESULTS,
EXPULSION OF THE TAI-PINGS FROM KIANGNAN — RECALL OF H.M.
ORDER PERMITTING BRITISH OFFICERS TO SERVE THE EMPEROR-
TIMES'-AN ESTIMATE OF THE MILITARY RESULTS OF HIS CAM-
The causes which now led to the dissolution of the EverVictorious Army were twofold-one set relating to the very success which it had achieved, and the other to a change in the position of British officers serving the Chinese Government. After the
After the taking of Chanchu fu little more remained for it to accomplish except at Nanking, where it was not wanted either by the General