Ancient cannon

Tianxin Pavilion was founded culturally, not militarily, but whenever Changsha was attacked by foreign enemies, it became an important military stronghold.Due to its special geographical location, Tianxin Pavilion was naturally advantageous to serve as a lookout post, signal station, front-line headquarters and combat barracks, as evidenced by many wars that took place in Changsha in history.Since the Ming and Qing Dynasties, this place has become a battleground.This is because the Tianxin Pavilion is located in the highest position in the ancient city of Changsha, and it has a panoramic view from the top of the hill. Moreover, its steep terrain is high and guarded, which controls the whole city.

In the 25th year of the reign of Emperor Jiaqing of the Qing Dynasty (1820), two moon cities were built outside the lower wall of Tianxin Pavilion, with four gun holes and four earth guns.In the third year of Xianfeng (1853), nine more forts were set up on the wall around the Tianxin Pavilion, and they were heavily guarded.This shows that Tianxin Pavilion and its location shoulder the task of wartime military fortress at the same time.

In 1850, when Luo Bingzhang was governor of Hunan Province, he ordered several large iron Buddhas in the Temple to be cast into two cannons, one large and the other small. The larger one was placed on the Caochaomen City, named "Great General in Red Robe", and the smaller one was placed on the South Gate City.Governor Locke's original intention was to bring the gods and military power together to protect the country and the people, but he did not expect that the cannon was actually sent to use.In 1852, in the fierce battle of Taiping army in Changsha, the cannon was carried to the top of Tianxin Tower, resulting in the death of the King of the West Xiao Chaogui. This time, Tianxin Tower served as a temporary fortress.

On August 28, 1852 (the second year of xianfeng), xiao chaogui and shi dakai, king of the west of taiping army, under the orders of hong xiuquan, led 5,000 vanguard troops to attack changsha from liling.On September 11, he broke through the Shimapu defensive line outside Changsha and completely destroyed nearly one thousand soldiers and soldiers of the defenders.The Qing troops stationed at Jinpenling fled without a fight.The next day, the Taiping army turned to attack Huangtuling, and the Qing army routed back to the city.Due to the loss of several states and counties were dismissed, but has not yet left office Governor Luo Bingzhang, quickly ordered the gates closed.The Taiping army set up their battalion on the wooded Miaofeng Peak, occupied the West Lake Bridge and the Jinji Bridge, took control of fortified civilian houses and commanding heights, and immediately constructed forts to lay siege to the city.

At this time, Zhang Liangji, who took over the post of governor of Luo Bingzhang, had just unloaded the post of governor of Yungui, and was still running on the road from Kunming to Changsha.Luo Bingzhang served as an official for 20 years, the first time encountered such a big battle, dare not slacken, had to carry out his duties as before.He knew that his head would be in danger if the city of Changsha was broken by the Taiping army before Zhang Liangji arrived.Now, the number of men in the city, the old and the sick, was only eight thousand. Chu Yong, who had come to help Jiang Zhongyuan, the alternate prefate of Shaanxi, was excellent and skilled in fighting, but only five hundred.Shanhua magistrate Wang Baosheng suggested that all the men between the ages of 15 and 50 should be summoned to open the storehouse and distribute knives, guns and silver money.This day, replace the new governor Bao Qi Bao Wan Qing, early in the morning came to the City God's Temple, obtained a sign on the auspicious.He offered a strange strategy to Governor Locke: order a hundred soldiers to carry the Chenghuang Temple Bodhisattva to the south gate tower, facing the wonderful peak, lit incense, firecrackers, he led the soldiers knell down and kowtow, asking the Bodhisattva master to use his magic power, eliminate the long hair (referring to the Peace Army).

On the same day that the Taiping troops set up camp at Miaofeng, Xiao Chaogui, Shi Dakai, Luo Shuzhu, Lin Fengxiang, Li Kaifang and others agreed on the strategy of attacking the city.The next afternoon, Li Kaifang and other men led three thousand men, respectively from the south gate, liuyang gate, xiao wu gate, jinji bridge and other places, continued to fire rockets and ammunition into the city, the scene was so fierce, the defenders were unable to defend, fire everywhere in the city, the people were terrified.The Qing soldiers in the city were all on the city wall. Some young people were also sent to the battlefield to stop the Taiping troops from climbing up the city.But the Taiping troops did not enter the city. When it was dark, the Taiping troops stopped their bombardment. At five places, from the south gate to the xiaowu gate, Liu Daiwei's 150 soil battalion brothers were digging holes to lay mines and gunpowder and blow up the city wall.

Around six o 'clock the next morning, the bugles of the Taiping army suddenly sounded, followed by drums and artillery, and five thousand soldiers formally attacked the city.From the south gate to the xiaowu gate there were numerous ladders on the outer walls of the city wall. The Taiping soldiers climbed up like monkeys with big swords, but they were cut down one by one by the defenders.In south gate on a ladder, but there's a taiping rebels soldier climbed up the ChengTou, see his sword fly all the way to kill, came to the gate, near the article bodhisattva, quickly removed from the back two big bamboo tube filled with oil, and spilled oil to bodhisattva, just pick up a fly tower fire, throwing to bodhisattva, instantly the fire came down, the flame, suspension, towers also burned, stunned by armed soldiers, the cheers and congregate the taiping rebels soldiers outside the city.At this moment, there were bursts of thunder-like explosions at the foot of the city wall. Five excavation points under the city wall all exploded. Three of the holes were not big, and the Qing soldiers soon blocked them up.Near the gate of Xiao Wu, two holes three or four zhangs wide were blown open. Lin Fengxiang gave a command, and thousands of Taiping soldiers shouted and rushed to the entrance of the cave. They exchanged swords and spears with the Qing soldiers who blocked the hole, tearing each other to death.Several hundred Taiping soldiers had rushed into the city, and soldiers from outside the city were flocking here.Is at this point, the army reinforcements arrived, by the yunnan chuxiong association led by lieutenant Deng Shaoliang 筸 three thousand town, from the outside to the taiping rebels camp to kill to come over, the two sides a fierce battle, the taiping rebels at that time did not get reinforcements from several aspects, fear of being surrounded, so Xiao Chaogui herald retreat, Deng Shaoliang led the troops after a down, rushed into the city.

The war paused and both sides entered the recuperation stage.Soon, reinforcements sent by the Qing court came to Changsha one after another, such as Hechun of Suining town, Qin Dingsan of Guizhou town, Wang Jialin of Henan town and Hebei town, Kai Long a of the guard, including Xiang Rong of Guangxi province, who followed the Taiping army all the way. Four or five thousand troops were added to Changsha.At this time, the newly appointed governor Zhang Liangji such as into the steaming pot, he thought day and night: how to raise silver, stabilize the morale of the army, close to the hearts of the people, to seek combat countermeasures.

One day, Governor Zhang Liangji visited the city market and came to the end of Dongzheng Street. He met with Jiang Zhongyuan, the alternate prefate of Shaanxi, who came to help him. When discussing the war, Jiang Zhongyuan confessed his views, specifically analyzed the reasons for the defeat of the Qing army in the early stage of defending the city, and then put forward suggestions for the next battle.Pointing to a topographic map of Changsha hanging on the wall, he said: "The Tianxin Pavilion in the south of the city is another vantage point of the city of Changsha, where powerful firepower should be deployed to control the south gate.The 5,000-catty cannon king in Changsha must be moved within a few days.Tianxin Pavilion opposite for Cai Gongfen, and Tianxin Pavilion confrontation, can shield the southeast two sides.Here is the grandson of the so-called "fight for land", Miao Gao also for the fight for land, precious has been long hair occupied, here can not be lost......Zhang Liangji listened, said he fully agreed, thinking: no wonder Jiang Zhongyuan led the war, early to enjoy prestige.


The two talked about speculation, Jiang Zhongyuan recommended to Governor Zhang Zuo.When it comes to Zuo Zongtang, there was a popular saying among the scholars in Hunan at that time that Hunan had "Three Liang", which was called "Lao Liang", "Xiao Liang" and "Jin Liang", and "Jin Liang" means Zuo Zongtang. They said that his military talent is the Zhuge Liang of today.Jiang Zhongyuan said that Zuo was "a dragon among men, though he only made great achievements".He also said, "The current world is in turmoil, it is the time for this man to make achievements."In fact, Zhang Liangji had heard of Zuo Zongtang's reputation, as soon as he arrived in Changsha, there were letters from Hu Linyi to recommend Zuo Zongtang, Zhang Liangji in the face of Jiang Zhongyuan said "Zuo Zongtang".Jiang Zhongyuan said: "Zuo Zongtang is honest and arrogant, and gold and silk are hard to move."The last two design will Zuo Zongtang from Xiangyin hometown transferred to Changsha, in order to save the situation, Zuo Zongtang promised to try to get along, they joined Zhang Liangji's shogunate.

One day, Zhang Liangchi said to Zuo, "When the Treasury is depleted, and the royal government's allowance cannot be met for a while, if the wages are cut, the military will lose their morale. What should we do?"Zuo Zongtang pondered for a moment, came up with a helpless plan: find a rich businessman to borrow money.But these rich people are not just to scrape out money, so he held a banquet at the governor's yamen, invited Changsha's richest man Huang Mian, Puji drugstore He Yuan, Li Sheng silk shop Sun Guan-chen, ten miles of sweet sauce garden Ouyang Zhao-xiong four people.Dinner, with soft Zhang Liangji zuo zongtang hospitality, zuo zongtang was adopted strategies of "carrot and stick to their insistence of changsha city break, the related results of their property and life, at the same time to arrange a dignified sergeant knife guard at the gate of the banquet hall, said first donation of silver, have send, the car, to not continue to propose a toast, make the fireman are all like to swallow the fish hook hook, each one have to say:" for BaoChang shacheng try ".This time a total of 120 thousand taels of silver, Zhang Liangji overjoyed, solution as pressing danger, more very valued Zuo Zongtang's wit.

In early October, Wei Changhui, the northern king of Taiping Army, and Qin Rigang, the prime minister of Taiping Army, led more than 10,000 troops to the south gate of Changsha under the orders of King Hong Xiuquan.Xiao Chaogui, Shi Dakai, Wei Changhui, Qin Rigang and others discussed and decided to launch an all-out attack.


On the defensive side, after the redeployment of Jiang Zhongyuan, Zuo Zongtang and others, the defense was more rigorous.Some scholars of Yuelu Academy and Chengnan Academy also scaled the city wall with swords.Jiang Zhongyuan's Chu Yong occupied in the Tian Xin Pavilion outside the Cai Gong grave commanding heights.Early on as cabinet have prefect toward stationed in guangxi, consignor, grass toward department have flood gate tower's five thousand jins cannon carried to the heavenly heart pavilion, outside the south side of a line of houses all destroyed, taiping rebels lost cover place, inconvenience near the wall, and strengthen the patrol on the city and closely monitored outside action, prevent the taiping rebels to dig holes in the gate again.


This time the Taiping troops tunnelled into the city at some distance under the walls, and this movement was hardly perceived by the defenders.At the same time, they learned the lessons of the last ascent and prepared some special weapons.Early that morning, the Taiping army of fifteen thousand troops launched a fierce attack on the city of Changsha. Under the cover of intensive artillery fire, the soldiers were trying to climb up the city ladder from the Xiaowu Gate in the east to the Xiaoximen Gate in the west.On the Tianxin Pavilion, the powerful firepower of the five-thousand-pound cannons was constantly fired at the Taiping army positions. If anyone was found at the foot of the city wall, the troops from the top of the city threw stones downward. In this area, the Taiping army did not gain the upper hand and could not approach the city wall.On several ladder in other places, the Taiping troops succeeded in climbing the city one after another. When they were nearly at the top of the city, they threw rope hooks over the city. They caught the Qing soldiers at the top of the city and dragged them down with force.The Taiping soldiers drew their swords and went to the city.Some Qing soldiers saw the danger and fled in succession.In this way, in less than two hours, several sections of the wall were occupied by the Taiping troops.


On the west side of the south gate, a tunnel has been dug to the city wall, suddenly a loud noise, the city wall exploded a big gap, a group of soldiers rushed into the city Taiping army, went straight to the day of the imperial palace, is met in the joy of Deng Shaoliang et al., Deng Shaoliang fortunately fled, other people were killed.Is at this point, the south kuixing building at the side of the wall and a loud noise, the wall blast a hole wide, more than five when soldiers had to panic, to flee the city, zuo zongtang, even across the horse running, Shouting loudly soldiers return to wall hole, but no one stopped, because who also don't know him, zuo zongtang urgent deserters, headed by the guards caught a few in situ beheaded, this just to impress them.Zuo Zongtang ordered the oil barrels and gunpowder to be thrown at the opening of the cave, which ignited the fire and immediately formed a wall of fire. The Taiping troops outside the city saw the situation and charged into the city only in small groups. Zuo Zongtang ordered the troops to fill up the hole with stones and made an oral announcement on the spot: Whoever threw a stone into the opening would be rewarded with a thousand coins.For a while, stones flew from all over the place, smashing and killing countless soldiers of the Taiping Army, among which some Qing soldiers who fought with the Taiping Army were smashed.One of the guards reported to Tso: Our men have also killed many. Please stop throwing stones."Nonsense!" Zuo shouted angrily.


At this time, under the Tianxin Pavilion, Xiao Chaogui is braving the artillery and flying stones, cross the horse in front of the flag command boarding.He felt his head hit by lightning, his eyes went black, and he rolled off his horse. The guards picked him up, and there was blood all over his head, and his mouth trembled a little, and he could not speak, and they carried him to the rear.When the Qing soldiers on the city wall saw this, they shouted wildly, "I killed Xiao Chaogui!"As soon as the news spread, the Taiping soldiers who were attacking were suddenly thrown into disarray. The morale of the Qing soldiers was greatly boosted and they seized the opportunity to launch a fierce attack.Shi Dakai saw this, an urgent order to withdraw, has entered the city Taiping soldiers had to rush out of the city from the gap.

On October 17, 2-1 win ground in led three thousand troops crossed the xiangjiang river and left five hundred people in the land and sea state, and from HouZiShi pontoon bridge to hexi, become an organic whole repeatedly make things on both sides, and then occupy the dragon back to the pond, lake, capital and 溁 bay town area, control the road that leads to the ningxiang, hunan assembly, won the military initiative.When the news reached the city, there was another panic in the governor's yamen.Zhang Liangji discussed with Zuo Zongtang all night. First of all, he ordered Xiang Rong to lead three thousand Qing troops across the pontoon bridge from Zhu Zhang and go straight to Shuilu Island to cut off the contact between the east and west banks of the Taiping Army.The Taiping army, however, lay in ambush in the forest south of the state, and set up a fire battle, waiting only for the Qing army to come.Xiang Rong went deep into the forest and was caught in an ambush. Most of the Qing soldiers were burned to death. Xiang Rong escaped under the protection of the guards and was in a state of confusion.At the same time, Hechun, the general of Suining, and Wang Jialing, the general of Henan and Hebei, led two thousand troops each to cross the river and outflapped the Taiping army from the north and south. Shi Dakai's troops tried hard to block them.


Standing on the Tianxin Pavilion, Zuo Zongtang saw the fireworks flying over Shuiluzhou. He guessed that the situation was not good. He also heard that the troops of the three factions had been defeated.

By now, the Taiping army had been outside Changsha for eighty-one days and could not be attacked for a long time. However, the Qing government was preparing to close in on the Taiping army with the intention of destroying it under the city gate of Changsha.Taking stock of the situation, the Taiping Army withdrew from Changsha at the end of November and began a long march northward.Changsha became the only city that Taiping army had not conquered since it entered Hunan.