Charles Staveley - Career - China

China

He commanded the regiment from 30 June 1855. It returned to England in July 1856, embarked for Madras in August 1857, and went on to China in March 1860. He had become colonel of the 44th on 9 March 1858, and on 28 April 1860 he was made brigadier-general, and was given command of the 1st Brigade of Michel's 1st Division during the Anglo-French expedition to Peking. He was present at the capture of the Taku forts, was mentioned in dispatches (ib. 4 Nov. 1860), and received the medal with clasp. On 18 January 1861, he was given one of the rewards for distinguished service.

He was left as Commander of British Troops in China and Hong Kong in 1862. The Taiping Rebellion was then in full career. The rebels had broken their promise not to come within thirty miles of Shanghai and were threatening that city itself. In April Staveley marched against them with a force of about two thousand men, of which about one-third consisted of French and English seamen and marines. He shelled them out of the entrenched camp at Wongkadze and stormed Tsipu, Kahding, Tsinpu, Nanjao and Cholin in the course of April and May. But the Chinese imperial troops were unable to hold all the towns recovered, and he had to withdraw the British garrison from Kahding (ib. 18 July and 5 Aug. 1862). In the autumn Kahding and Tsinpu were again taken, and the thirty-mile radius cleared of the rebels.

In December he was asked by Li Hung Chang to name a British officer to replace the American Burgevine as commander of the disciplined Chinese force which had been formed by Frederick Townsend Ward. Staveley named Charles George Gordon, who had been chief engineer under him in the recent operations, and had surveyed all the country around Shanghai. They had served together before Sebastopol, and Staveley's sister was the wife of Gordon's brother. The appointment had to be approved from England, and was not taken up until the end of March 1863. At that time ill-health obliged Staveley to resign his command and go home.

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Famous quotes containing the word china:

    Consider the China pride and stagnant self-complacency of mankind. This generation inclines a little to congratulate itself on being the last of an illustrious line; and in Boston and London and Paris and Rome, thinking of its long descent, it speaks of its progress in art and science and literature with satisfaction.... It is the good Adam contemplating his own virtue.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    It all ended with the circuslike whump of a monstrous box on the ear with which I knocked down the traitress who rolled up in a ball where she had collapsed, her eyes glistening at me through her spread fingers—all in all quite flattered, I think. Automatically, I searched for something to throw at her, saw the china sugar bowl I had given her for Easter, took the thing under my arm and went out, slamming the door.
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977)

    Riot in Algeria, in Cyprus, in Alabama;
    Aged in wrong, the empires are declining,
    And China gathers, soundlessly, like evidence.
    What shall I say to the young on such a morning?—
    Mind is the one salvation?—also grammar?—
    No; my little ones lean not toward revolt.
    William Dewitt Snodgrass (b. 1926)