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Brave Men and Women

Brave Men and Women

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Publicado porDharmsen Soni

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Published by: Dharmsen Soni on Jan 26, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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In 1856 Gordon was occupied in laying down the boundaries of Russia, in
Turkey and Roumania, for which work he was in a peculiar manner well
fitted, and he resided in the East, principally in Armenia, until the end of
1858. During this time he ascended both Little and Great Ararat.

In 1860 he was ordered to China, and assisted at the taking of Pekin and the
sacking and burning of the Summer Palace. This work did not seem to be
much to his taste.

China was the country destined to give to the young engineer the sobriquet
by which he is now best known--"Chinese" Gordon. Here he first
developed that marvelous power, which he still holds above all other men,
of engaging the confidence, respect, and love of wild and irregular soldiery.

The great Taiping rebellion, which was commenced soon after 1842 by a
sort of Chinese Mahdi--a fanatical village schoolmaster--had attained such
dimensions that it had overrun and desolated a great portion of Southern
China, and threatened to drive the foreigners into the sea. Nanking, with its
porcelain tower, had been taken, and was made the capital of the Heavenly
King, as the rebel chieftain, Hung, now called himself. His army numbered
some hundreds of thousands, divided under five Wangs, or kings, and the
Imperialists were driven closer and closer to the cities of the seacoast.

In 1863 the British Government was applied to for assistance, and Captain
Gordon was selected to take command of the Imperial forces in the place of
an American adventurer named Burgevine, who had been cashiered for
corrupt practices. The _Ever-victorious Army_, as it was called, numbered
4,000 men, when the young engineer took the command. Carefully and
gradually he organized and increased it, and as he always led his men
himself, and ever sought the post of danger, he soon obtained their fullest
confidence, and never failed to rally them to his support.

He wore no arms, but always carried a small cane, with which he waved on
his men, and as stockade after stockade fell before him, and city after city
was taken, that little cane was looked upon as Gordon's magic wand of
victory. He seemed to have a charmed life, and was never disconcerted by a

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