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Zheng-tong: Year 6, Month 2, Day 17

9 Mar 1441

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The Ding-xi Earl and Regional Commander Jiang Gui and others took leave of the Court. The Emperor issued them orders of instruction, which read: "Now, I am ordering you to lead the army in proceeding to punish the rebellious Lu-chuan bandit Si Ren-fa. You must destroy this bandit, so as to pacify the border areas. You are to strive with utmost loyalty and energy and are to labor bravely so as to realize success. I am also making the following arrangements: 1. The way of a general lies not just in listening to his own ideas. He must use the strengths of the people if he is to achieve success. The fine generals of old proceeded from this idea. You too, when you arrive in Yun-nan, are to widely seek people who are knowledgable and capable in strategy, are familiar with the situation of the yi and are familiar with the roads and their difficulties. You are to treat such people kindly, make plans together with them and only then act. You are also to give special treatment to those among the government troops, native officials and native troops under your command who show special knowledge and abilities. If you put your efforts into this task, you will undoubtedly achieve success. 2. In the military actions to eliminate the rebellious bandits, rewards and punishments are essential. If government troops are bravely able to take the lead in killing bandits or able to obtain intelligence about the bandits through patrols, reward their achievements and memorialize details of their promotions and rewards. If people are afraid and seek safe havens or falsely report victories in the hope of being promoted or rewarded, immediately arrest them and send them to border guards as soldiers. 3. The famous generals of old shared both the bitter and the sweet with their troops. When hungry, they were not the first to eat and when thirsty, were not the first to drink. Recently, it has been heard that chieftains have not been concerning themselves with the troops, requiring them to carry much baggage. They use strong men to carry this baggage slung on poles between them. This has lead to great suffering and resentment. You are to eliminate such abuses. Any offenders are to be punished. 4. The man and the yi areas are full of mountains and dangerous passes. Also, the climate is miasmic. It is not possible to remain there long. When the Great Army advances, it must be at the right time and there will have to be rapid and courageous advance. The generals will need to be good at motivating the morale of the troops. As long as there is a rapid advance, success will certainly be achieved. You must not dither or delay as that will lead to the opportunity being lost. If any military personnel hide to avoid danger, all, from regional commissioner down, are to be executed as a warning. 5. When advancing the troops, it can be done along one route or two routes. You should have plans well worked out before you move. Do not proceed lightly. 6. Many of the the native officials of the various areas are loyal and righteous, and they can be employed. I will be observing how you pacify and soothe them. If you are not good in your pacification efforts or you attack and trouble them, leading to rebellion, then even if you attain success, it will not be sufficient to atone for your crimes. 7. Military matters require the utmost secrecy. There might be 10,000 persons working out good plans, but it only requires one person to leak details for all to be lost. There are many yi peoples living in Yun-nan. Also, among the troops there are those who have contacts with the man and the yi, and leak information to them. Thus, this bandit knows what is going on. From now on, all military plans must be discussed in secrecy with the regional commander and the grand defender. The ancients had a saying: `If military matters are not kept secret, the city is in danger.' Be warned! Be warned! 8. Among the government troops, housemen and platoon commanders under the Yun-nan guards, there are those who are intelligent and good at strategy and those who are particularly valiant. However, they are among the junior officials or in the ranks. You are to allow the troops to recommend people and you should try them out and find out which are effective. You are allowed to employ such people as you wish. You need to acquire skilled people so that you can achieve success. You are not to engage in favouritism or make careless promotions. 9. If, after reaching Yun-nan, there are government troops who do not obey orders, harm military matters, leak out secrets or shrink back on meeting bandits, thereby leading to losses, you are, together with the regional commander and grand inspector, to pass judgement on them and execute them as a warning, and then memorialize. 10. The man and the yi rely on the height and danger of their mountains and valleys and use deception and evasion to achieve victory. They place poison in the upper reaches of a mountain torrent, in pools next to the road or in wells they dig, in order to kill people. Whenever the troops need to drink, have them sink new wells. This will save you from falling into the bandits' traps. 11. The Commissioner-in-Chief Mu Ang has long been in Yun-nan and is very familiar with the people's sentiments and the local customs. I have already ordered him to carefully guard the cities, supervise the grain rations and provided assistance as required. When you arrive, all matters involving troops, despatch of cavalry and grain ration supply should be discussed with him. Utilize his knowledge and act after considering things fully. .... 14. I have now sent Imperial orders to the native official Han Gai-fa and other officials of the Mu-bang, Ava-Burma, Ba-bai/Da-dian, Da-hou Subprefecture, Wei-yuan Subprefecture, Che-li and Shi Dian Military and Civilian Pacification Superintendencies and other offices ordering them to raise troops and horses. On the day you advance the troops, they are to join with you in in the expedition of elimination. Now, I am sending seven sets of Imperial orders as well as verification tallies and gold warrants. When you arrive there, select people to take these to those places. They are to carefully assess the situations in each place and determine whether the plans will work or not. ... 16. The native officials and native troops must be soothed and pacified in a proper manner. They must not be invaded or troubled in the least. The various officials are not permitted to receive bribes from them and you are not to permit inferior people to make demands of them, as this may lead to rebellion. Offenders are to be arrested and punished in accordance with military law....18. Yun-nan cities near the border must be firmly defended. The Imperial troops guarding the cities must have extra training so as to guard against the unexpected. 19. Apart from rebels and murderers, the officials and military personnel from the guards and prefectures in Yun-nan who have been sentenced to banishment or death for various offences are all to be ordered to carry their crimes as government troops, and they are to be allowed to realize achievements by killing bandits. Those who realize achievements will be re-instated in their posts. Those who were banished and do not realize achievements will be re-instated in their posts only after the expiration of their banishment. Those sentenced to death who do not realize achievements will be required to continue trying to realize achievements for the remainder of their lives. Civil officials and clerks are to be allowed, on the basis of the seriousness of their crimes, to redeem themselves by transporting grain to Jin-chi. 20. If these orders are insufficient in any respect, you are permitted to deliberate on the best course and make appropriate arrangements. You are then to memorialize details."

Ying-zong: juan 76.9a-11a

Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 25, page 1497/1500

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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://www.epress.nus.edu.sg/msl/reign/zheng-tong/year-6-month-2-day-17-0, accessed September 20, 2017