Li Hongzhang's "Letter to Zi Mei"


  Under the command of Mr. Zimei Rendi: After the farewell, everything was unsettled and I haven’t written a letter for a long time. Yesterday Liang Yanhe came to meet Dongchang on the 17th, keeping his hands sealed, and expressed his condolences to everyone. I heard that your tribe crossed the river from Shekou on the first day of the lunar month. There were very few boats. I don't know when they will finish crossing, so I thought about it. Should we stay in Taizhuang temporarily or move south again? There were quite a lot of stragglers in Dongchang. Ying Xilin reported that some thirty or forty people were engaged in armed robbery and causing trouble, and they wanted to demobilize those from the various camps in Dongwan and Huaihe. Immediately, Liu Ziwu and Pan Qinxuan were ordered to take care of them nearby and carry them across the river. It is unknown whether they will be cleared in the future. There will be many brave soldiers in your army who ask for leave. I hope you can give Sichuan capital passports and orders to return home, and don't let them wander around and cause trouble. The empty grains will be checked and recorded by camp one by one, and will not be replenished. The brave men in the camp still ordered them to set up camp and set up tents, and they did two exercises a day, and the common people did not waste their time. If Ma Yong is willing to disperse and return, he will consider sending them back one after another and move them to the station at any time. However, it is important to order the supervisor to hand over the foreign guns and spears. Brother Qi will go south in early October and report and check again. I am worried that Ma Yong will be the most difficult to dismiss, and there will be nothing to do with it. I pray that the great talents will plan the strategy carefully and take care of everything, so as not to be burdened by the famous name. This kind of thing requires no expense or trouble, and requires the help of skilled and skilled hands to make it clear. My brother has been working hard this year since spring and summer. He has worked the most hard and made the greatest contributions. He has not been able to get a title, which is a pity. However, the talents are not at the top. Xiao Fusi and others are far away from the prestige. Even Bao Chunting is beyond his reach. I understand that everyone at home and abroad knows this. After all, my brother will definitely praise him when he arrives in Beijing. If the imperial court succeeds, it is difficult to return, or a heavy reward may be offered for future achievements. Over thirty years old, with such strength and suffering, nothing can be accomplished or accomplished. Don't be hesitant at all. You must still be determined to be righteous, keep integrity, and be more thoughtful when encountering problems. There is no limit to the future. The generals and soldiers are brave, and I have suffered for many years, and I can't bear to think about it. I feel uncomfortable and guilty, so don't let them suffer. When they are dismissed, I hope they can save enough money to make a living, the place will be blessed, and we can all rest assured. I once asked him to be the direct governor, but I am afraid he will leave immediately. The court wanted to order Ming's army to stay in Jinan, and ordered Liu Ziwutong's troops to temporarily stay in Zhangqiu until the marquis and ministers came forward. How to discuss the three provinces going to Jinling? Once Xiang came to the north, how could he say goodbye to the three righteousnesses of the province? All the armies have been crossing south one after another. My brother is scheduled to set off for Beijing on the tenth day of the lunar month. He can arrive twenty miles away. I will stay in Beijing for one month, and then discuss evacuation after returning to the south. The edicts have repeatedly issued orders to raise wages for the evacuation, but Jiang Province does not yet have a huge amount of money, so it must gradually make preparations. The more leisurely it is, the more manageable it is, and the more urgent it is, the more disruptive it is. My brother will take care of it quietly and wait for several months. Don't rush home, tens of thousands! With this in hand, chant
  Xunqi, no.
  Hongzhang paused on the ninth night of August

Li Hongzhang (1823-1901), whose real name is Zhang Tong, whose courtesy name is Jianfu (one character is Zifu), and whose nickname is Shaoquan (quan). In his later years, he named himself Yisou, nicknamed Shengxin, and his posthumous title Wenzhong. He was a native of Hefei, Anhui. An important minister in the late Qing Dynasty of China, one of the main advocates of the Westernization Movement, and the founder and commander-in-chief of the Huai Army. He rose to the rank of Governor-General of Zhili and Minister of Commerce of Beiyang, and was awarded the Bachelor of Wenhua Palace. In the eyes of Japanese Prime Minister Ito Hirobumi, he was regarded as the only person in the Qing Empire who had the ability to compete with the world's great powers. Author of "The Complete Works of Duke Li Wenzhong".