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Yong-le: Year 4, Month 12, Day 11

19 Jan 1407

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The Xin-cheng Marquis Zhang Fu, regional commander of the force sent on expedition to punish Annam, and others, captured Duo-bang City. Initially Fu had had the Commissioner-in-chief Gao Shi-wen remain with the boat-borne troops at the Ge-zhao Town River Port, where they joined with Zhu Rong's troops. The Great Army, which he led, joined forces with that of the Xi-ping Marquis Mu Sheng, deputy general of the left. The palisades erected by the bandits formed a line close to the river. Only the sandy areas below Duo-bang City were broad enough to station the army on. The earth walls were lofty and steep and the bandits had dug successive trenches in front of the walls. Within these trenches they had placed bamboo spikes very closely together, while outside the trenches they had dug holes for men and horses to fall into. Above and within these holes there were also bamboo spikes. On the walls the defences were tight and the bandit troops were as numerous as ants. When the Imperial forces were ready to attack, an order was issued to the army as follows: "The bandits are depending on this city. Men of spirit should repay their country. The names of those who achieve merit will be recorded and those first on to the walls will be promoted and rewarded at the highest levels." At this, the troops were enthusiastic about carrying out the orders. On this day, Fu and so on took their troops on to the sand-flats and the division of troops for the attack on the bandits was discussed. Fu was to attack the South-west of the city while Sheng was to attack from the South-east. With the division decided, some officers and troops were sent off about one li distant from where the attack was to take place. Here they readied many implements for the surprise attack. At night, torches were given to the troops and it was agreed that when they stormed the walls, they would signal by lighting the torches and blowing trumpets. In the middle of the night at the fourth drum Fu sent the Assistant Commissioner Huang Zhong and other with gagged troops carrying the implements for the attack. They passed the successive ditches and arrived at the bottom of the South-west wall. Here they placed scaling ladders against the wall and the Commissioner Cai Fu and others were first on to the wall. They commenced striking quickly with their swords and the bandits soldiers cried out in alarm. Suddenly, on the walls torches shone brightly and the sounds of the trumpets competed one with the other. All of the officers and troops below the wall bravely mounted the wall and the bandit troops, having become greatly confused, did not fire their arrows or fling their stones. They all jumped off the walls and fled, following which our troops entered the city. Within the city, the bandit generals re-formed their troops to do battle, and drove elephants before them as their vanguard. Fu directed the Mobile Corps Commander Zhu Guang and others to disguise their horses with paintings of lions, while the firearms commander Luo Wen and others advanced with firearms (神機銃) at the flanks. The elephants were frightened and some were injured by the fire-arrows (銃箭), upon which they turned back and fled. The bandit troops scattered in confusion. The Imperial army progressed as it pursued the bandits, and killed the bandit commanders Liang Min-xian and Cai Bo-le. The bandits were pursued into the Mount San-yuan and they trampled each other to death in their frenzy. The dead were beyond count. Twelve elephants were captured and innumerable weapons were taken.

Tai-zong: juan 62.3a-b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 11, page 0893/94

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Preferred form of citation for this entry:

Geoff Wade, translator, Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-lu: an open access resource, Singapore: Asia Research Institute and the Singapore E-Press, National University of Singapore, http://epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/reign/yong-le/year-4-month-12-day-11, accessed October 22, 2019