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o RETREAT FROM SHANGHAI. 67
and left the vicinity of Shanghai. Passing Sungkiang, which was held by Ward and his contingent, they captured Pinghoo and Kashing hien,” which caused the Imperialist general, Chang Yu-liang, to raise the siege of Kashing fu, which he was again attacking. By the capture of Shemen they managed to get in between Chang and that portion of his force which was stockaded near Kashing fu, and so to cut the latter off from Hangchow, compelling it to surrender, and the general to retreat upon Hangchow. Most of the troops thus taken in September joined the ranks of the Rebels. The Faithful King then proceeded to Soochow, where the distress of the people from famine was very great. It is to his credit that he endeavoured in every way to relieve them, and was so far successful that they erected to him an
ornamental arch—a tribute of gratitude which caused them considerable trouble, when, afterwards, the city
was recovered by the Imperialists, by whom it was pulled down.
* “Hien" thus used indicates the chief city of a district, and “fu" that of a department.
TAI-PING REVERSES IN THE YANGTSZE VALLEY,
THE TIEN wang's INDIFFERENCE – TAI-PING PLANs IN 1860 —
THE redoubtable Tseng Kwo-fan, at this time War Commissioner against the Rebels, was now pressing the siege (Asking) of Nganking; and the Heavenly Prince, being apprehensive for its safety, ordered the Faithful King to return to Nanking, in order to oppose the Imperialists on the Yangtsze. Accordingly the latter left Soochow in charge of Chen Kuan-shu, who was afterwards called the Hu Wang, or Protecting King, but was better known by the name of “Cockeye,” one of his optics having been injured by the explosion of a percussion-cap. On the arrival of the Faithful King at the capital, he assembled the various chiefs, and, following Dugald Dalgetty's principles, recommended them to procure provisions so
* Though “Cockeye” is an English slang word, it is well known and often used by the Cantonese, Foreigners in the south having for long been in the habit of applying it to Chinamen, and Chinawomen also, who have
certain peculiarities about their eyes.
THE TAI-PING PLANS IN 186O. 69
long as the city was open, and not to retain money in their hands, as that would be useless during a siege. Upon his urging the same advice on Hung Sew-tsuen, that Heavenly Prince only answered characteristically, “Are you afraid of Death 2 I, the truly-appointed Lord, can, without the aid of troops, command Great Peace to spread its sway over the whole region.” What could Chung Wang say to this? as he himself pathetically inquires. All he could do was to breathe a sigh, and move away with a body of troops in order to raise the siege of Nganking, that place being, in fact, the key of the whole Rebel position in the valley of the Yangtsze. The whole of the chiefs being assembled at Nanking in October 1860, it was resolved that the great objects
of the coming year should be the capture of Hankow and the raising of the siege of Nganking; and to effect these four armies were to be put in motion. The first army, under the Ying Wang, or the Four-eyed Dog, was to move from Tongching to Hwangchow, along the north bank of the Yangtsze, in rear of the covering force of Imperialists engaged at Nganking, and thence on to the east of Hankow. The second, under the Tu Wang, was to cross from the north to the south bank of the Yangtsze, in order to attack Hokeou at the entrance of the Poyang Lake, and from thence to ascend the river on Hankow. Another division, under the Attendant King, was also to march on the Poyang Lake, and thence by Nanchang, the capital of Kiangsi, on to Woochang, the city vis-à-vis to Hankow, on the southern bank of the Yangtsze. The fourth army, under the Faithful King himself, was to march south of the Poyang Lake to Yotehow on the Tungting Lake, and from thence to descend the great river to Hanyang, which is only separated from Hankow by the river Han. All these