Zheng-tong: Year 5, Month 11, Day 28
22 Dec 1440
Previously, as there had long been no success in Lu-chuan, the Emperor had ordered the Yun-nan Regional Commander and Vice Commissioner-in-Chief Mu Ang to deliberate on plans by which success could be achieved. At this time, Ang and so on advised: "The land of Lu-chuan is distant and dangerous and the yi there are wily and guileful. If success is to be assured, we must have 120,000 men. At present, government troops and local troops, including both the original expeditionary force and reinforcements, number only 46,000. A further 74,000 troops should be deployed from Hu-guang, Gui-zhou, Si-chuan and the two auxiliary military commissions. Each force should be led by a commander skilled in warfare. In the late Autumn or early Winter, we will proceed forward along three routes from Wan Dian, Mang-shi and Teng-chong. On an agreed day, we will concurrently launch a direct attack on the bandits lair with combined strength. As to military rations, Jin-chi only has 200,000-plus (shi?) of grain. We should make use of two-tenths of the grain from the state farms. Also, we will map the area to indicate the mountains and rivers and the easy and difficult terrain." The memorial was passed to the Auxiliary Ministry of War, and the senior civil and military ministers were assembled to deliberate on the matter. The Grand Preceptor and Ying-guo Duke Zhang Fu proposed: "The military, the horses and the rations should be arranged as suggested. However, if the forces attack along three routes, the separate forces will be isolated and the bandits might intercept them at a dangerous point. I am afraid that this is not a safe strategy. We should select a senior military official who is skilled in strategy and brave in tactics, appoint him as regional commander and have him proceed to Yun-nan to train the troops and cavalry. He alone will give orders and he alone will be responsible for success. He will make overall plans and demonstrate our military might. When the bandits hear of this, they will be greatly frightened. They will not till their fields, they will find it hard to get by and, naturally, they will be in great difficulties. We should also select an honest and able civil official to join with the regional commander in deliberating on appropriate arrangements, on the placement of state farms and on the storage of large volumes of grain. If the bandit can change his ways, repent his crimes and is willing to personally come to Court, a memorial should be sent to advise of this so that arrangements can be made. If he persists in his evil ways and does not change, then the opportunity should be taken to eliminate him and thereby demonstrate Heaven's punishment." The Emperor read the proposals and, considering them good, praised them and ordered that they be implemented.
Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 25, page 1426/27