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Chinese Literature
Xiangjunji 湘軍記

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Xiangjunji 湘軍記 "Records of the Hunan Army" is a description of the Hunan Army built up to fight the Taiping rebels. It was written by the Qing period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Wang Dingan 王定安, courtesy name Wang Dingcheng 王鼎丞, who came from Donghu 東湖 (modern Yichang 宜昌, Hubei) and was an official of the entourage of Zeng Guofan 曾國藩 and Zeng Guoquan 曾國荃 and so had a deep personal experience of the history of the wars the Hunan Army was involved in.
The 20 juan "scrolls" long book was compiled because an earlier writing on the Hunan Army, Wang Kaiyun's 王闓運 Xiangjunzhi 湘軍志, had the tendency to criticize the institution of this new type of army. Wang Dingan's book was intended to stress the importance of the Hunan Army for the surviving of the dynasty, and to add points Wang Kaiyun's book was missing. It covers the time from 1850, when the Taiping uprising began, to 1887, when Xinjiang 新疆 was incorporated into the empire as a regular province. As a comprehensive history of the Hunan Army, that was the creation of Zeng Guofan, it is at the same time a praise for the general's efforts to support the Qing dynasty. The book is written chronologically, and each chapter describes step by step the advance of the Hunan Army in the efforts to repell the rebels. After the final conquest of the "Heavenly" capital Tianjing 天京 (Nanjing 南京, Jiangsu) it continues with the reconquest of southeastern and southern China and the suppression of the Nian and of the Muslim rebels in the west. The last chapter describes the organisation of the the new army and navy. The main source materials for the Xiangjunji were memorials to the court, as well as private reports of the progress of the war. The literary quality of the Xiangjunji is not as high as that of the Xiangjunzhi, but it is more detailed and historically more reliable than the earlier work. It was first printed in 1889 by the Jiangnan shuju press 江南書局, an edition that was republished in 1983 by the Yuelu shushe 岳麓書社 in Changsha, together with the Xiangjunzhi, in the series Xiangjunshi zhuanke 湘軍史專刊.

湘粵戰守篇 Xiang-Yue zhanshou Battles in Hunan and Guangdong
湖南防御篇 Hunan fangyu The successful defense of Hunan
規復湖北篇 Guifu Hubei The reconquista of Hubei
援守江西篇 Yuanshou Jiangxi The defense of Jiangxi
規復安徽篇 Guifu Anhui The reconquista of Anhui
綏輯淮甸篇 Suiji Huaidian The conquest of the River Huai region
圍攻金陵篇 Weigong Jinling The attack on Mt. Jinling [i.e. Nanjing]
謀蘇篇 Mou Su Strategies [to reconquer] Jiangsu
謀浙篇 Mou Zhe Strategies [to reconquer] Zhejiang
援廣閩篇 Yuan Guang-Min Rescuing Guangdong, Guangxi and Fujian
援川陜篇 Yuan Chuan-Shaan Rescuing Sichuan and Shaanxi
平黔篇 Ping Qian The pacification of Guizhou
平滇篇 Ping Dian The pacification of Yunnan
平捻篇 Ping Nian The pacification of the Nian rebels
平回篇 Ping Hui The pacification of the Muslim rebels
戡定西域篇 Kanding Xiyu Bringing to peace the Western Territories
水陸營制篇 Shuilu yingzhi The military system of the army and navy

Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (ed. 1996), Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, p. 923.

January 7, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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