Jia-jing: Year 30, Month 7, Day 16

17 Aug 1551

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The Yun-nan Grand Defender and Grand Coordinator Mu Chao-bi and Shi Jian gathered the troops of the five forces, surrounded Yuan-jiang and established fortifications. They chose the first day of the fifth month (4 Jun 1551) to have the Nan-xian force lead its troops across the river to attack the city. In addition, 2,000 crack troops were selected from both the Lu-tong force and the Gan-zhuang force to assist them. Na Jian knew from his spies that the crack troops from the two forces were all with the Nan-xian force. Thus, he secretly sent troops and elephants to take advantage of the weakness and attack the Lu-tong force. Our troops did not expect the arrival of the bandits and hurriedly burnt the camp and fled. The superintending Administration Vice Commissioner Hao Wei-yue fled to the Gan-zhuang force. The Gan-zhuang force had earlier seen the fires rising from Lu-tong and the troops were already frightened. When Wei-yue arrived there was a mass flight. The surveillance vice commissioner superintending the force, Li Wei, also fled.

At that time, the bandit force was very powerful, but the single remaining Nan-xian force drew near to the city to attack. The Wu-ding Prefecture native-official woman prefect surnamed Qu, as well as Lu Shao-xian, who was a member of the Ning-zhou native official ruling family, and Lu You-ren, a chieftain of the Guang-nan Nong troops, all hated Na Jian as he had killed his ruler and taken his wife, and they swore that even until death they would not retreat. The assistant commissioner and force superintendent Wang Yang-hao thus further encouraged and rewarded them. The next day, with drums beating and with great roars, they attacked the city. The bandit troops met them and did battle but were greatly defeated. They then retreated, locked the gates of the city and dared not come out. Our troops surrounded them and Na Jian requested permission to surrender. Our troops however had taken warning from Xu Yue's defeat and did not respond. Inside the city, even the routes used to collect firewood were blocked and thus they dismantled buildings to use for cooking fuel. The price of a dou of rice reached three or four qian of silver and many people and head of livestock were dying of hunger. It then happened that the miasmic poisons arose and the government troops were withdrawn to await another expedition at the end of Autumn. Chao-bi and [Shi] Jian advised of the events. The Regional Inspecting Censor Zhao Bing-ran also impeached various officials for offences resulting in the defeat of the two forces. Li Wei was named as chief culprit. Initially Wei had not wanted to divide the troops but [Shi] Jian had insisted upon it, and Wei had thereby been angered and had cursed the messenger. Because of this, [Shi] Jian had developed a hatred for Wei, and he said that Wei had accepted gold from Na Jian, which had resulted in the defeated troops becoming a bandit force. Thus Bing-ran submitted a further impeachment against Wei. The Supervising Secretary Huang Yuan-bo subsequently requested that Wei be punished with public execution. The memorials were all sent to the Ministry of War which deliberated and re-submitted the memorials, proposing that Wei be subject to severe punishment and that the other achievements and crimes be handled as the censor had stated. An Imperial order was issued stating:

"Wei was an senior minister, but he was willing to accept bribes from the bandits and destroyed the army. The crime cannot be pardoned. He is to be first removed from his post and sent to the surveillance officials for investigation. When the facts are ascertained, they are to be memorialized. Wei-yue is to be stripped of his headwear and belt and is to carry his crime until he discharges it through his achievements. The grand coordinator is to be instructed to richly reward the woman surnamed Qu, as well as Lu Shao-xian and Lu You-ren. Also, Imperial orders are to be sent to Chao-bi requiring him to join with the new Grand Coordinator Bao Xiang-xian and to assemble the troops in order to punish the bandits, and bring peace to the region. The other matters are all to be handled as proposed."

Shi-zong: juan 375.3b-4a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 86, page 6684/85

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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/jia-jing/year-30-month-7-day-16, accessed January 22, 2019