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 The Northern Expedition

 

 

 

The Qing established a great camp of Jiangnan, near the Ming mausoleum close to Nanjing under command of Xiang jung .  Another large Qing camp was made at Jiangbei, led by Qishan 琦善 .These  forces were not large enough to retake Nanjing, and were there to try to block a Taiping northen march to Beijing and claim the Mandate of Heaven 天命 tianming  ( idea that tiān (heaven) granted emperors the right to rule based on their ability to govern well ) from the Qing .  The Taipings still had many sailing vessles, and the Qing had no navy to speak of, the Taipings were able sail on the Yangtze and evade the Qing blocking armies . It was determined at this time to harass Beijing with an expedition to the north . This northern expidition crossed the Yangtze . It moved through Anhui an Henan and Hubei .The expedition reached within 100 miles of Beijing and demonstrated to ineffectiveness of the imperials to fight it . The Qing government by this time acknoledged that the Taipings were their prime enemy, even greater than other invasion by England and France . England and France were invade again soon in the Second Opium War ( Oct 8, 1856 - Oct 26, 1860 ) . Even with foreign invasion, great resources were sent to fight the Taipings, Nian and other rebels , resembling Republican China under Chiang Kai-chek fighting the Communist Chinese and Japanese in the 1930s where he said:

“Communism is a disease of the heart, the Japanese are but a disease of the skin.”

 

The Army is divided into three parts, one to defend Nanjing, one to retake and hold the cities passed on the Yangtze ( such as Wuhan ) and another to march north to threaten Beijing .This army departs for Beijing in May 1853 with some 70,000 Guangxi veterans and new recruits . They encounter many more problems going north than they did marching to Nanjing. The towns are better prepared to resist and being southerners, they are unprepared for the harsh northern winter, and many freeze to death or are maimed by frostbite . Despite these troubles, they reach the outskirts of Tianjin .There is no steady supply train to the force. By May, 1854, the Qing armies have surrounded the remaining Taiping forces with earthworks and divert the waters of the Grand Canal into the Taiping camp at Lianzhen, wiping out the Taiping Army . The Taiping commander Lin Fengxiang was captured and executed . At this time , British Consul T. T. Meadows, who accompanied the Hermes to Nanjing, made a report full of sympathy; but the failure of their expedition to the north deterred the nation from any formal recognition of the Taiping government.

 

Qing painting of the defeat of the Taiping Northern

expedition at Lianzhen, close to the Grand Canal

 

Shi Daikai into Jiangxi 

 

 

 

An army under Shi Dakai is sent to Jiangxi, who takes most of the Provence with the help of triad forces from Guangdong. Only an area around Nanchang and Lake Poyang remains in Qing hands. Jiangxi becomes a great food source for the Taipings .

 

Battle of Hukou 1855

 

 

    

Gen. Zeng Guofan tried to take Jiujang with his navy by sailing on Poyang lake, China's largest freshwater lake . The Taipings split his navy in half, half trapped on Lake Poyang, the other half on the Yangtze river. The fleet on the Yangtze rived was wiped out . After the Battle of Hukou 湖口, Jiangxi in 1855, Gen. Zeng Guofan considered suicide after losses to the Taiping Gen.Shi Dakai. Top, state of Gen.Zeng, bottom mausoleum for the Qing soldiers and sailors lost in the naval battle, where the Taipings were able destroy many Qing ships at the meeting of the Yangtze River and Poyang Lake . Afterwards, the Taiping were able to take Wuhan for the third time in April 1855 .

 

 

 

 

 

 The Taking of the old Ming

Capital Nanjing

 1853

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 Major Defeat of the Qing

Jiangnan Army

1860