Yong-le: Year 4, Month 7, Day 16
30 Jul 1406
The Cheng-guo Duke Zhu Neng, regional commander of the force being sent on expedition to punish Annam, set out at the head of the army. The Emperor went and offered sacrifices to the great river and, after sacrificing to all the spirits, offered a sacrifice for the generals and soldiers. The Emperor then proceeded to the river to send them off. With the sun shining brightly, a fine wind filled their sails, the flags and banners flew brightly and the drums and trumpets could be heard clear and loud. The Emperor was pleased and knew that Annam would indeed be pacified. Imperial orders were sent to the Xi-ping Marquis Mu Sheng, deputy general of the left for the force being sent on expedition to punish Annam. The orders read: "The Cheng-guo Duke Zhu Neng, regional commander, has set out on the expedition today. It is expected that in the first 10 days of the 10th month (11-20 Nov 1406), the troops will be advanced from Ping-xiang in Guang-xi to Po-lei and Ji-ling. In the first 10 days of the 11th month (25 Nov-4 Dec 1406), they will cross the Fu-liang River. Looking at the bandit's maps, it is seen that the place where you are to enter is near the bandit's Western capital. I fear that they might take the opportunity to first attack your army. You mu st only advance the troops when you calculate that the Cheng-guo Duke's army has approached. In this way, you will be able to help each other in emergencies. It would be a particularly good plan if you could proceed by another route to the North of the Fu-liang River and have the two armies join together there. However, you mu st plan your route beforehand and, before you march, send an urgent message to the Cheng-guo Duke to inform him of your plans. If you arrive at a dangerous place and the bandits attack you with a light force, you mu st restrain the troops rather than sending them forward. If they send a large force to attack you, you will have no option but to respond. You should be very careful and ensure security and safety."
Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 11, page 830