Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Hsiao Ch'i-chiang

HSIAO Ch'i-chiang 蕭啟江 (T. 濬川), d. June 16, 1860, was a native of Hsiang-hsiang, Hunan. In 1853 he joined the "Hunan Braves" (see under Tsêng Kuo-fan) against the Taiping rebels and participated in the campaign to recover Yochow and Wuchang (1854). He became commander of a battalion (1855) and fought bravely in Hunan and Kiangsi under the direct command of Liu Ch'ang-yu [q. v.]. As a reward for his part in taking the important cities of Yuan-chou and Lin-chiang in Kiangsi, he was promoted to the post of an intendant and to the rank of a provincial judge (1858).

Shih Ta-k'ai [q. v.] was in 1858 holding a large part of Kiangsi, and Hsiao Ch'i-chiang and other generals fought desperately against him. Whenever a city was retaken Hsiao usually called back the refugees, built up the defenses, and organized a militia. The troops under his control were known for maintaining good order, and for not disturbing the populace. For this reason the people of Kiangsi were glad to co-operate with him in driving Shih Ta-k'ai from the province into Hunan and finally to Szechwan where Shih was executed. The eventual success of Hsiao and others in dislodging Shih was doubtless an important step toward the suppression of the Rebellion.

In 1859 Shih Ta-k'ai invaded south Hunan, and furiously attacked Pao-ch'ing with a large force. Hsiao Ch'i-chiang and other generals were ordered to the relief of the city. When the siege of the city was raised (July 28) Hsiao was entrusted with the pursuit of Shih Ta-k'ai to Kwangsi where furious battles were fought to save Kweilin, the capital of the province, from seizure by the enemy. Hsiao was then summoned back to Hsiang-t'an, Hunan. Meanwhile Shih Ta-k'ai marched from Kweichow to Szechwan, and Hsiao was dispatched to the latter province to combat his old enemy. He arrived in Szechwan in the spring of 1860 but before long died of illness. He was granted the title of a provincial governor and the posthumous name, Chuang-kuo 壯果.

[1/438/1a; 2/65/45a; 5/36/14a; 8/19上/1a.]

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