Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Hsiang Jung

HSIANG Jung 向榮 (T. 欣然), d. Aug. 9, 1856, age 56 (sui), general, was a native of Ta-ning, Szechwan, but made his residence in Ku-yuan, Kansu. Enlisting in the local garrison, he was soon made a sergeant and took part in 1813 in the quelling of the rebellion at Hua-hsien, Honan (see under Na-yen-ch'êng). In 1826–28 he took part as a captain in a campaign against the Mohammedan uprising in Chinese Turkestan (see under Ch'ang-ling). Appointed a major in 1832, he was transferred to Chihli in the following year and, after various promotions, served in that province as brigade-general in command of a garrison at Chêng-ting (1842–43) and then at T'ung-chou and Yung-p'ing (1843–47). In 1847 he was t'i-tu or provincial commander-in-chief of Szechwan and three years later was transferred to Hunan.

In July 1850 the Taiping rebellion, initiated by Hung Hsiu-ch'üan [q. v.], broke out at Chin-t'ien ts'un in the district of Kuei-p'ing, Kwangsi. As the governor of Kwangsi had failed to check the uprising Hsiang Jung was transferred to that province as commander-in-chief to suppress the insurgents, but his efforts were likewise unsuccessful. By 1851 the rebels had extended their activities from Kuei-p'ing to the neighboring districts of Kuei-hsien, Wu-hsüan and Hsiang-chou.

Aware of the danger of the uprising and the weakness of the government forces, the Emperor appointed Grand Secretary Sai-shang-a (see under Ch'ung-ch'i) Imperial Commissioner in charge of military affairs in Kwangsi, with Wu-lan-t'ai 烏蘭泰 (T. 遠芳, posthumous name 武壯, d. 1852) as assistant commander. Their army, consisting of bannermen and the militia from Hunan and Szechwan, made a general advance on the Taipings in Hsiang-chou and harried them in several engagements. But on September 25, 1851, the rebels fled to Yung-an-chou, Kwangsi and organized their own government. Before long the imperial forces besieged Yung-an-chou, but owing to differences of opinion between Hsiang Jung, Wu-lan-t'ai and other generals over military tactics, and because of faulty cooperation, the Taipings were able, one rainy night (April 6, 1852), to escape the siege of Yung-an-chou and proceed first to Kuei-lin, then capital of Kwangsi (April 18), and later to Ch'üan-chou (June 3). From Ch'üan-chou they advanced to Yung-chou in Hunan (June 9), thence to Tao-chou, Chên-chou and Changsha, capital of Hunan, which city they attacked in vain from September 11 to November 30 (1852), when they abandoned the siege and went northward to Yochow. For failing to stem the tide, Sai-shang-a was dismissed and Hsiang Jung was deprived of his rank.

Nevertheless Hsiang Jung persistently pursued the rebels from Kwangsi to Hunan and on to Hupeh whose capital, Wuchang, fell into the insurgent's hands on January 12, 1853. Hsiang and other generals fought day and night to recover Wuchang which the enemy finally relinquished on February 9. For thus doggedly chasing the rebels Hsiang Jung had his rank restored to him and he was appointed Imperial Commissioner in place of Sai-shang-a. But soon thereafter (February 18) the Taipings took Kiukiang and thence sailed rapidly down the Yangtze and captured Nanking (March 19-21) which was made the capital of the "Tai-p'ing T'ien-kuo" or Heavenly Kingdom of Peace.

About ten days after the fall of Nanking Hsiang Jung reached that city and stationed his large force not far from the walls—at Hsiao-ling wei 孝陵衛, the tomb of the first Ming emperor. His quarters came to be called the Great Camp of Kiangnan (江南大營) and those of another army of considerable strength, which had concentrated at Yangchow, were known as the Great Camp of Kiangpei (see under Tê-hsing-a). Thereupon the Taipings sent an expedition to North China (see under Sêng-ko-lin-ch'in) and another to South China in order to shake the rear of Hsiang Jung's position. Hsiang's troops, consisting of his own regulars and militia from several provinces, advanced on Nanking from the east, the south, and the north (a large contemporary wall map in the Library of Congress shows pictorially the disposition of the forces). Yet despite frequent engagements outside the walls, none of his efforts were conclusive. He sent a detachment to frustrate the enemy's advance on Soochow and Ch'ang-chou, and dispatched a brigade to Wu-hu to repulse a rebel attack on his rear. In 1854 his defensive tactics near Nanking were particularly effective, and by 1855 Hsiang was in a favorable position. His forces had conquered Wu-hu and repulsed a furious attack on his camp.

But unfortunately in 1856 Hsiang Jung met a decisive defeat. It was the plan of the Taipings to divide his forces by making an assault on Ning-kuo in Anhwei and on Chinkiang in Kiangsu. Hsiang fell into their plot by sending relief expeditions to these cities. Taking advantage of Hsiang's weakness, the Taiping strategist, Yang Hsiu-ch'ing [q. v.], aided by the combined forces of Shih Ta-k'ai, Ch'ên Yü-ch'êng [qq. v.] and others, made a general attack on the Great Camp outside Nanking. Theirs was a smashing blow which divided the imperalists and compelled a general retreat to Tan-yang. At this critical moment, according to the Taiping leader, Li Hsiu-ch'êng [q. v.], Hsiang Jung committed suicide. The government accounts, however, state that Hsiang died of disappointment, vexation, and illness. He was canonized as Chung-wu 忠武 and was posthumously given the hereditary rank of Ch'ing-ch'ê tu-yü of the first class.

After the death of Hsiang Jung, Ho-ch'un 和春 (T. 雨亭, d. 1860) succeeded him as imperial commissioner and Chang Kuo-liang 張國樑 (T. 殿臣, original ming 嘉祥, d. May 1860, age 38 sui) became assistant commander. Ho-ch'un was a Manchu general who, as a minor officer, followed Hsiang Jung to Kwangsi in 1851. He participated in many battles and was promoted to the post of t'i-tu in 1853. Chang Kuo-liang was a native either of Kao-yao or of Hua-hsien, Kwangtung. He was at one time a bandit chief but he surrendered to the imperialists in 1849. Thereafter he usually fought in the vanguard of Hsiang Jung's troops and was given the title of t'i-tu (1856).

Before Ho-ch'un assumed responsibility Chang Kuo-liang quickly restored the morale of the defeated imperialists. The triumph of the Taipings over the Great Camp near Nanking was followed by a series of murders among the rebels themselves (see under Hung Hsiu-ch'üan)—and this fact the Ch'ing forces soon turned to their advantage. Chü-jung was taken on July 16, 1857, and Chinkiang on December 27, the latter city having fallen to the Taipings on March 31, 1853. Ho-ch'un was rewarded with the double-eyed peacock feather and Chang Kuo-liang with the minor hereditary rank of Ch'i-tu-yü.

In April 1858 the Great Camp of Kiangnan regained its strength and the imperialists besieged Nanking by digging a deep and long trench. But the Great Camp of Kiangpei at Yangchow, which had withstood the Taipings in that area for many years, was routed (September 26, 1858). Yangchow itself fell to the insurgents on October 9. Chang Kuo-liang hurried to the rescue, retook Yangchow on October 21 and I-chêng on the following day. As a reward for his merit, he was transferred to the post of t'i-tu of Kiangnan and was given the hereditary rank of Ch'ing-ch'ê tu-yü of the third class. But in 1859 the government troops were defeated at Pukow across the river from Nanking. For this neglect both Ho and Chang were punished. In 1860 their forces were weakened by the separation of a contingent sent to the aid of Chekiang, and the soldiers who remained were reluctant to fight, owing to the reduction of their pay and allowance by Ho-ch'un and to Chang's alleged partiality to fellow-provincials in his army. For these and other reasons they could not withstand the continuous assault of the Taipings. After some resistance they were driven to Tan-yang, where they were again surrounded. Here Chang died by drowning (May 1860) while crossing a stream. Ho was wounded and died at Ch'ang-chou soon after. Ho-ch'un was canonized as Chung-chuang 忠壯 and was rewarded with the hereditary rank of Ch'i-tu-yü and Yün-ch'i-yü, equivalent to a baron of the second class. Chang Kuo-liang was canonized as Chung-wu 忠武 and was granted the title of Grand Guardian of the Heir Apparent (1860) and the hereditary rank of a baron of the first class (1864).

Chang Kuo-liang was one of the most valiant generals of the imperial troops. He was responsible for most of Hsiang Jung's victories, performed most of the duties belonging to Hoch'un, and contributed much to the success of the Great Camp of Kiangnan by harassing the Taipings for eight years (1853–60). After his death the so-called Great Camp was dispersed, and Kiangsu and Chekiang and part of Fukien were devastated by the Taipings. After May 1860 no government troops advanced on Nanking until June 1862 when Tsêng Kuo-ch'üan [q. v.] commenced his stubborn siege and gained the final victory.


[1/407/1a; 2/43/45b, 44/13b, 23b; 5/50/19a, 66/1a; 8/13上/4, 7; I-hsin [q. v.], Chiao-p'ing Yüeh-fei fang-lüeh; Hsiang-chün chih and Hsiang-chün chi (see bibl. under Tsêng Kuo-fan); Li Hsiu-ch'êng [q. v.], Li Hsiu-ch'êng Kung-chuang; Ta-ning hsien-chih (1885); 趙偉甫先生庚申避難日記 in Hsiao-shuo yüeh-pao 小說月報, vol. VIII, No. 1–3 (1917); Tso Shun-shêng, Chung-kuo chin-pai-nien shih tzŭ-liao hsü-pien (see under Li Hsiu-ch'êng); Ch'ên Ch'ing-nien 陳慶年, 張忠武事錄 Chang Chung-wu shih-lu, 4 chüan (1906).]

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