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Zheng-tong: Year 7, Month 1, Day 27
9 Mar 1442
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: "Last year, on the 10th day of the 11th month (23 Nov 1441), we destroyed the bandit stockade at Shang Jiang and then crossed to Xia Jiang at Jia-xiang-shi and travelled along the Gao-li-gong Mountains road. At the beginning of the Intercalary 11th month (mid-Dec 1441) we reached Teng-chong, where we left the Deputy Regional Commander of the Left and Vice Commissioner-in-Chief Li An to lead the troops in making defence preparations. We proceeded from Nan Dian to Luo-bu-si Zhuang and ordered the commander Jiang Hong and others to lead 8,000 troops to reconnoitre in the Shan-mu-long Mountains. The bandit leader Si Ren-fa ordered Tao-meng Kao-zhe Han-xin and others to lead over 20,000 of their troops to occupy the highest mountain and there they established a strong stockade. The peaks to the left and right were ringed with seven camps, with each linked to the others. Gong Ju, the assistant regional commander of the left and Liu Ju, the deputy regional commander of the right climbed through the forests to the peak of the mountain from the left and right flanks and launched an attack. They were unsuccessful in this. Subsequently, together with the eunuch official Xiao Bao, we advanced along the central route. The left and right forces also bravely launched a pincer attack. The bandits scattered in disorder. Kao-zhe Han-xin and others were killed and several hundred heads were taken. The remaining bandits then fled back to their lair. Taking advantage of the victory, we advanced to Jia-lai and Long-ba and then arrived at Mount Ma-an. The army at this time was highly roused. At the beginning of the 12th month (mid-Jan 1442), we directly attacked the bandit's lair. The peaks were steep and lofty and the area was completely surrounded for over 30 li by palisades as well as by deep and broad ditches, which we could not cross. To the South-east, one side stood against the river. I ordered 3,000 forward scouts of the Imperial army to circle around and to seek any place which might be advantageous for an attack. The bandit's ambushed the troops at Ni-gou Qian and suddenly sent out an elephant force to attack them. They were defeated by our army. The bandits also secretly sent a force from Yong-mao-mo-ni Stockade to Mount Ma-an to secretly attack from behind our force. We ordered the troops to remain where they were unless otherwise ordered, then deployed the Commissioner Fang Ying and others at the head of 6,000 troops to make a surprise attack on the bandit's stockade. The bandit leader Yong Huang-yong remained in his tent and signalled for his soldiers to oppose the enemy. Our army attacked and defeated them and took several hundred heads. The bandits then threw themselves over the precipice, trampling one another under foot. Very many died. Not long after, the bandits sent out a force of 80 elephants and again launched into the ranks. Our army was unsettled and withdrew to reorganize the ranks. Then with great force, our army fought back and defeated them. Also Ran Bao, the assistant regional commander of the right and Chen Yi of the Xun Guard, who had been sent previously, reported that they had proceeded along the Eastern route, joined up with the troops and cavalry of Mu-bang and had brought to surrender the natives of 12 stockades. They had also obtained the surrender of the Meng-tong bandit leader Dao Men-dian, the Yuan-jiang vice prefect Du Kai (Alt: Wu Kai) and others. They also reported that they had led 50,000 yi troops from Che-li and Da-hou and had obtained the surrender of Yi-bao of the Meng-lian Chief's Office and of other stockades, and had attacked and destroyed Wu-mu-nong, Jia-bang and other stockades, with over 2,390 heads being taken. The remnant bandit Zhao-gang and his chieftains led the yi people in coming to the military headquarters and surrendering. It was ordered that over 5,000 households return to their occupations and people were sent to guard Xi-e Crossing, to block the route by which the bandits could flee. Then a letter was sent to Mu-bang requiring that, on the fixed date, they were to arrive at Lu-chuan to provide assistance. We then constructed more attack equipment (攻具) and drew up maps alloting areas, as we wished to launch an attack from all sides. Also, we sent people to publicly make known instructions calling for surrender. The bandits vowed that they would defend to the death and not surrender. Subsequently, it was ordered that Gui attack the central-west gate. I, Ji, attacked the north-west gate, the Commissioner Li Xin and the eunuch official Ji Xiang attacked the south-west gate, Gong Ju attacked the two gates in the south-west on the river, Xiao Bao and Liu Ju attacked the north-east gate, while Ran Bao attacked the north-east gate through which the elephants came out. Also, the vice minister Li Ben and the director Hou Jin were separately sent to patrol backwards and forwards and to supervise the fighting. Further soldiers were ordered to collect large amounts of firewood and straw. After a while, the West wind was blowing strongly and we lit a fire to follow the wind direction. The smoke and flames rose to the sky and those killed in the fire were innumerable. All their houses, sheds and stores were reduced to ashes. The following day, we captured followers of Si Ren-fa and, on being interrogated, they said that the bandit and his sons, a total of three persons, as well as seven other people, comprising wives and children, and several dozen elephants and horses had left by a side-path, crossed the river and fled to Meng-yang and other areas. The remaining people, scores of thousands of old and young, had all drowned and floating corpses filled the river. We recovered the originally-conferred tiger tally, gold warrant and verification tally, the seal of the pacification superintendency and 32 seals which the bandit had plundered from the Teng-chong Battalion and other offices. Subsequently, the lair was pacified and those who had scattered were soothed. Thus, on the 15th day of this month (26 Jan 1442), we withdrew the troops. I note that it is many years since the bandit began obstructing culture. He had killed chieftains and swallowed up tribes. His evil acts piled one upon another and the spirits were all angered. We received orders to punish the rebel and wherever the Imperial army went, victory was achieved. Although the bandit and his sons have managed to scurry off into the undergrowth, the yi rogues are all his rivals and, in the end, he will be destroyed. This is all the result of the Emperor's sagely moral power and divine might. The Imperial ancestors and the spirits of the land have brought hundreds of thousands of years of happiness." When the victory announcement arrived, the Emperor spoke to the attending ministers, saying: "The use of soldiers and troops is not something I enjoy hearing of. When troops engage in action how can the innocent avoid being harmed! Instruct Jiang Gui and Wang Ji that all those who have surrendered should be properly soothed and shown sympathy. Also, instruct them to advise of the government troops who have realized achievements."
Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 26, page 1773/76