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Zheng-tong: Year 6, Month Intercalary 11, Day 18

31 Dec 1441

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The Minister of War Wang Ji, chief minister in the Court of Judicial Review and concurrently supreme commander of Yun-nan military affairs, and the Ding-xi Earl and Regional Commander Jiang Gui, memorialized: "On the sixth day of the 10th month (20 Oct 1441), the Imperial army reached Jin-chi. The bandit chief Tao-meng Dao Men-peng who was guarding Zheng-kang sent people to offer his surrender. I, Ji, accepted his surrender and ordered the Assistant Regional Commander of the Right Ran Bao as well as Chen Yi of the Xun Guard to lead 5,000 troops along the Eastern route to attack the river stockades in Ava-Burma (Alt: Xi Dian) and Wan Dian and then to enter Zheng-kang. Then I ordered Dao Men-peng to collect yi troops to attack the stockade at Xi-la and then to proceed to attack Meng-tong. On the first day of the 11th month (14 Nov 1441) we, Ji and Gui, led over 20,000 troops along the central route and reached Shang Jiang. On the fifth day, while the boat forces drilled on the river, the bandits launched an ambush with their forces rising up on all sides. The defending troops put all their efforts into defence and then the government troops, with great screams, launched an attack. Over 1,000 heads were taken and the remaining bandits fled into their stockades where we surrounded them. On the sixth day (19 Nov 1441), the eunuch official Ji Xiang and the Deputy Regional Commander Liu Ju arrived. On the ninth day, the eunuch official Xiao Bao and the Assistant Regional Commander of the Left Gong Ju arrived from Jia-xiang-shi in Xia Jiang. With a combined force we attacked. The bandits grew increasingly firm. They used firearms (銃) and crossbows and flying stones fell like rain. On the tenth day (23 Nov 1441), a strong southerly wind blew. With the assistance of the wind, we burnt their rows of palisades. The fire burned day and night. However, the bandits continued to defend as required by the circumstances. I, Ji and the others personally took to the rafts and supervised the battle. I also deployed the Commissioner Zhao Lun and others in a combined force and had Vice Minister Li Ben and others also personally supervise the fighting. The bandits were in dire straits. They suddenly appeared from the river mouth, but our ambushing troops intercepted and killed them. The Shang Jiang stockade was thereupon captured and the 1,000-plus remaining bandits grasped their swords to meet their opponents. The government cavalry and infantry advanced together with long lances and trampled them. The bandit general Dao Fang-jia and his son were both killed. Dao Zhao-han and his son killed their entire families, including wives and children and then took their own lives. Dao Men-xiang was taken alive. Throughout, over 50,000 heads were taken and corpses covered the countryside. The bandits had relied on Shang Jiang, thinking that it was a protecting barrier. Now it lays waste! Victory is advised." The Emperor conferred orders which read: "Your victory announcement has been received. I am extremely pleased. You, ministers, should greatly encourage the generals and troops so that they will coordinate their efforts and strengths. In this way, the elimination of the bandit leader can be expected. Do not lay trust in him. He is wily and guileful and trusting him will result in military operations being harmed. The ancients, in employing troops, achieved victory through good planning. When advancing the troops, you should stress precise and thorough plans, so as to ensure security. Do not, having achieved a single victory, adopt the idea that the enemy is weak. The bandits are guileful in one hundred ways. Also, their land has miasmic vapours and you cannot remain there for a long time. You should grasp the opportunity to advance and pacify the border area, and thereby achieve merit. In the conferring of titles and rewards I will not be ungenerous."

Ying-zong: juan 86.6b-7b

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 26, page 1726/28

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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/zheng-tong/year-6-month-intercalary-11-day-18, accessed October 17, 2019