Page:Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet vol 2 (1876).djvu/145

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PROGRESS OF THEIR INSURRECTION;

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liberation from the Chinese yoke, which was their main object, over a vast extent of territory situated to the west of the Great Wall and near the sources of the Yellow River; but they soon gave up acting on the offensive, and confined themselves to brigandage in the neighbouring districts of China and Mongolia. Their last signal successes were the devastation of Ordos and Ala-shan on the east; Uliassutai, Kobdo, and Bulun-tokhoi on the west; soon afterwards they were defeated by the Chinese, and were finally obliged to defend themselves against the decisive measures taken by their opponents to the east of the Upper Hoang-ho. Here we were witnesses of some engagements between the insurgents and Chinese troops. The following narrative will, therefore, refer only to the action of both parties in the province of Kan-su.

The Mahommedan insurrection broke out in this province in 1862, and some important successes were at first gained by the insurgents. Three large towns, Si-ning, Tatung, and Suh-chau, fell into their hands; the Chinese garrisons were either put to the sword, or compelled to adopt the Mahommedan religion and enter the ranks of the rebels. Chinese garrisons, however, still held out in some towns situated near those which had freed themselves, and Djung-ling, Sa-yan-chen,[1] Tajing, Lang-chau, and Kan-chau

  1. Sa-yan-chen is not to be found in Prejevalsky's Map, but we find in Kiepert's 'Asia' (1863), Sanyantsing, very near the position of Prejevalsky's Yunan-chen. It is probable, however, that this position is only Kiepert's interpretation of Huc's vague indications, for San-yen--