Yong-le: Year 4, Month 10, Day 14
24 Nov 1406
The troops of the Xin-cheng Marquis Zhang Fu, deputy general of the right of the force being sent on expedition to punish Annam, moved through Ji-ling Pass and came to Qin-zhan. Spies reported that there were ambushes prepared on both sides of Qin-zhan. Thus, the Assistant Commissioner-on-chief and Rapid Attack Commander Lu Yi, the Assistant Commissioner-in-chief Huang Zhong and others, were ordered to lead the army to seek out the ambushers. The bandits thereupon fled. Following this, the force came to Shi Bridge on the Chang River, where they made a pontoon bridge. They also established a fort at Shi Bridge. The Rapid Attack Commander Fang Zheng and the Mobile Corps Commander Wang Shu were sent on reconnaissance to Jia-lin County to the North of the Fu-liang River. The Great Army went West from Qin-zhan by another route to Xin-fu County in Bei River Prefecture. Spies advised that the army of the Xi-ping Marquis Mu Sheng, deputy general of the left, had arrived at Bai-he, and thus the cavalry commander Zhu Rong was sent to meet him. Sheng also sent the commissioner Yu Rang to come to the main force. When the Great Army first entered the territory, in accordance with the Emperor's orders, Zhang and the others had not recklessly killed people and thus they were welcomed wherever they went. At this time, Deng Yuan-yuan, the false notary of the administrative assistant in San-dai Subprefecture, as well as Mo Sui and Mo Yuan, persons from Nan-ce Subprefecture in Liang River County, came to see the commander. They said that the bandits were relying on their Eastern and Western capitals, that they were defending at the Xuan River, Tao River, Duo River and the Fu-liang River and that palisades had been erected all along the river banks, from San River Prefecture, along the Southern bank of the Duo River, around Mt. San-yuan, along the Southern bank of the Fu-liang River, east to the Ning River, as well as all along the Northern bank of the Fu-liang River, following the Hai-chao River, the Xi River and the Ma-lao River to Pan-tan and Mt. Kun-mei. At Duo-bang Pass, ramparts of earth had been built and the ramparts and palisades joined one with the other, extending for over 900 li. The over 2,000,000 people of the various prefectures and counties to the North of the river had been assigned on guard there. The old, the young and the women were standing by to assist as relief forces. Also, near the Southern bank of the Fu-liang River, stakes had been erected and within these stakes lay all the war-ships of the country, while all the sea and river ports had set up obstructive defences of wood to guard against attack. The bandit's Eastern capital was also heavily defended and at this time they had arranged an elephant battle force within the city's palisades. The bandit forces on land and water numbered seven million. Our forces waited with great caution on the Northern bank of the river. The bandits were afraid, not daring to cross the river, preferring to guard their strategic posts and out-wait our forces. Our army then proceeded to move camp from Xin-fu County to the river port at Ge-zhao Town in San-dai Subprefecture to build boats in preparation for an attack.
Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 11, page 0873/74