China By Demetrius Charles Boulger































































 -  With a view to
accomplishing this the Taeping position at Wanti, two miles north of
Leeku, was attacked and captured - Page 540
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With A View To Accomplishing This The Taeping Position At Wanti, Two Miles North Of Leeku, Was Attacked And Captured.

At this stage of the campaign there were 13,500 men round Soochow, and of these 8,500 were fully occupied in the defense of the stockades, leaving the very small number of 5,000 men available for active measures in the field.

On the other hand, Santajin had not fewer than 20,000, and possibly as many as 30,000 men under his orders. But the Taepings still enjoyed the numerical superiority. They had 40,000 men in Soochow, 20,000 at Wusieh, and Chung Wang occupied a camp, half-way between these places, with 18,000 followers. The presence of Chung Wang was also estimated to be worth a corps of 5,000 soldiers. Had Gordon been free to act, his plan of campaign would have been simple and decisive. He would have effected a junction of his forces with Santajin, he would have overwhelmed Chung Wang's 18,000 with his combined army of double that strength, and he would have appeared at the head of his victorious troops before the bewildered garrison of Wusieh. It would probably have terminated the campaign at a stroke. Even the decisive defeat of Chung Wang alone might have entailed the collapse of the cause now tottering to its fall. But Major Gordon had to consider not merely the military quality of his allies, but also their jealousies and differences. General Ching hated Santajin on private grounds as well as on public.

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