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Thread: Empress dowager cixi

  1. #91
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    Anqing City was strategically like the gate to Nanking City. Anyone who could control Anqing City area could control Nanking City area. Now the leaders of the Peaceful Army felt that their duties were to defend what had left, especially to defend Anqing City and Nanking City. This was really a wrong strategy, but it was the history. Since Anqing City was still occupied by the Peaceful Army, the government army couldn't surround Nanking City, because the Peaceful Army in Anqing City would come to rescue by assaulting the encircling government army from behind. So Elder Zeng laid out a strategy to take Anqing City first. He gave the difficult task to another brother of his, the younger Zeng as mentioned before. So the Peaceful Army exercised a stubborn and brutal resistance against the fierce attack of Xiang Army headed by Younger Zeng. Shrewdness King had sent a strong reinforcement to its rescue, but had been beaten. In September 5, 1861, Xiang Army occupied Anqing City and marched along the Yangtze River both on land and by water to assault Nanking City, the capital of the Peaceful Heavenly Kingdom. West Empress Dowager appointed Elder Zeng as the Two River General Governor (A general governor governed more than one province while a governor ruled only in one province.) in total charge of the warfare against the Peaceful Army. Younger Zeng launched waves after waves of assail on Nanking City, which was in a crucial situation. Since Shrewdness King had died, Heavenly King had called for Loyalty King back to the capital to defend it. But Loyalty King had his tactics. He led his army of some ten thousands strong to advance towards Shaoxing City and soon took it and then occupied another city, Ningbo. Thus Hangzhou City, the capital of Zhejiang Province, was exposed before the Peaceful Army, which surrounded it accordingly and cut off the supply of food to the city. As the rations were scarce, almost thirty thousand people died from starvation in the city. A government reinforcement army came to the rescue from another province, but was blockaded somewhere between Jiangxi Province and Zhejiang Province and was at last defeated by the Peaceful Army. Hangzhou City fell into the hands of Loyalty King. Many government high-rank officials and officers either fought to death or committed suicide, because even if they managed to flee from the war zone, they would be arrested as cowards and probably sentence to death. That's the martial law. That way, they would lose both the life and the good reputation. When they fought to death or made suicide, they had at least a good reputation to keep as a brave person and their families could get money from the government and live easily.

  2. #92
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    When the Peaceful Army had surrounded Hangzhou City, the governor of Zhejiang Province had asked Elder Zeng to send troops to his rescue, but Zeng hadn't complied, because the governor hadn? supplied his Xiang Army with rations according to the arrangement by the Secretarial Bureau. So when Hangzhou City had been taken by Loyalty King, the governor had made suicide.
    The goal of Loyalty King to attack these cities was to draw away the government troops that were assailing Nanking City, thus to make the situation there not so critical to the Peaceful Heavenly Kingdom. But in January, 1862, West Empress Dowager appointed Zuo Zongtang as the governor of Zhejiang Province and in February Zuo led his troops into the province to fight the Peaceful Army. The strategy of Loyalty King failed.
    While Governor Zuo took over town by town, city by city, originally occupied by the Peaceful Army, Loyalty King led his army towards Shanghai. West Empress Dowager wanted Younger Zeng to go to defend Shanghai, but Younger Zeng wished to take Nanking City. He thought that it was more important to take the capital of the Peaceful Heavenly Kingdom than to defend Shanghai. So in February West Empress Dowager had to order Li Hongzhuang to reinforce Shanghai. Zuo and Li were both scholars and worked under Elder Zeng and Li was Zeng's pupil. But both Zuo and Li didn's completely obey Elder Zeng after they were respectively made the governors. In March, Governor Li organized his own army under the aid of Elder Zeng, which was equipped with new weapons and called Huai Army.

  3. #93
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    Some wealthy people in Shanghai were afraid of the Peaceful Army and wanted Governor Li to come as soon as possible. They rented some foreign steam ships to fetch the Huai Army. Governor Li arrived in Shanghai in April and vanquished the Peaceful Army. In June Governor Zuo wiped out more of the Peaceful Army in Zhejiang Province and was appointed General Governor of Zhejiang Province and Fujian Province.
    Heavenly King ordered Loyalty King to come back to defend the capital. In September, 1862, Loyalty King gathered all his troops of twenty thousand strong and marched west to attack Younger Zeng, but couldn't beat him. He entered Nanking city with his troops. Meanwhile, the Huai Army continued to assault the Peaceful Army still fighting in that area. When Loyalty King was back to the capital, he suggested to Heavenly King that they should desert Nanking City and fight their way out to somewhere else for further development, but Heavenly King rebuffed his proposal. Heavenly King didn't know anything about strategies. If he was surrounded in the city, he would be like a fish in a bowl waiting to be butchered. If he could fight his way out of the encirclement, he would be like a fish in the ocean. Wrong strategy always means failure.
    When the Peaceful Army had attacked Shanghai, there lived many foreigners. After the treaty had been signed in Peking as the result of the Second Opium War, some foreigners organized armies to fight against the Peaceful Heavenly Kingdom for the Qing government. They helped the Huai Army. In November,1862, Governor Li took Suzhou City. In December, West Empress Dowager appointed him as the governor of Jiangsu Province. But later Suzhou city was reoccupied by Admiration King of the Peaceful Army.

  4. #94
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    In 1863, Wing King moved into Sichuan Province, but was defeated and killed there by the government army. In December, 1863, Admiration King of the Peaceful Army in Suzhou City was betrayed and killed. In March, 1864, Governor Zuo took Jiaxing City and Hangzhou City, the last two cities under the control of the Peaceful Army in that province. In June 1, 1864, Heavenly King died of some kind of disease. (Some history book says that he committed suicide by swallowing poison in despair.) In July 19, 1864, Xiang Army exploded open a part of the city wall and rushed in. The Peaceful Army wouldn? surrender and defend alley by alley till most of them died in the fight. That night, disguised as soldiers of the government army, Loyalty King took the son of Heavenly King and escaped from the city gate opposite to where the government army entered. But they were separated in the chaos. Loyalty King hid in a temple outside the city, but the government troops was searching everywhere and found him in the temple. So he was escorted to where Elder Zeng camped and was executed there on August 7, 1864. The son of Heavenly King fled with some of his attendants to Fujian Province. There were two different rumors about what became of him. One was that he was captured later and killed. This digressed into another rumor that the boy executed was not the real son. The real son was hidden somewhere no one could find him. The other rumor was that some attendants took him on board a steam ship and went to live in San Francisco and later joined the revolutionary movement.

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