War with China Ends!
September 6, 1889
Readers will no doubt have been as closely interested as we in events not so distant from this town, west of the border. The Chinese attempt to recover the lands forfeited in the Campaign of twenty years ago has at last been thwarted and defeated. Two months' campaigning, over half a dozen combats and battles, vast treasure and resources expended, have all led to this much sought-after outcome.
That Major-General Jackson's frenetic bumbling - four battles within the first week of contact, forsooth! - did not bring his army altogether to ruin can only be called miraculous. At that, after that week, the Department of Defence had to call upon two weak brigades of Fifth Army to supply the losses of the Tenth. Those brigades, 17th and 19th, themselves badly short of establishment in personnel, were in the event to be decimated in a single battle, and one of its commanders killed in action.
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So close! So close! In the midst of the ragged remnants of his army trudging the couple of hundred miles westward to reach the present Imperial frontier, T'ai Kun Wu measured the tale of failure. Could he face his Emperor with such a sorry story to tell? Was it indeed so sorry?
On the whole, he was inclined to think the expedition not a complete failure even if it did fall short of its stated objectives. A good many questions had been answered, concerning Union readiness, and especially in terms of the Union Army's technical superiority. If the captured weapons he had sent on arrived safely at the capital, and he was given the opportunity to demonstrate the ascent in firepower the Union had achieved in recent decades, there might be some way to supply China's own armies with weapons that could compete in battle. Perhaps some such demonstration would keep the T'ai Kun's head secure upon his shoulders.
One of the reasons for not arming his own troops with these captured weapons, he would explain, was the want of ammunition in sufficient quantities. A few dozen bandoliers and cartouche boxes had been gathered up, and he needed what they contained for demonstration and training purposes. Even then the supply was none too abundant. How he wished, too, that he might have taken a working machine gun! The couple of broken examples he had taken were unlikely to be of much benefit to China's military construction industry...
Phlegmatic and stoic as always, T'ai Kun Wu determined that he would see out the unpleasantnesses of the next few weeks with as much fortitude as he could muster. He dismissed with hardly a second thought the notion of cheating fate by ending his life during the retreat. One way or another, even by personal sacrifice, he might still be of service to his Emperor...
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The Sino-Union War Won: Job Done!
The Denver Daily Post offers, in behalf of its subscribers and readers, our wholehearted and unreserved congratulations upon the brilliant campaign that has brought a swift and decisive end to the war to the west. So might end all such acquisitive aggression by the frantic autocrat and dastardly despot.
~~~~Titfer & Frump~~~~
(616 Shawcross St, Denver)
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