“Amoy is cut off from all trade with the large towns around. The insurgents probably would not permit goods to be carried to Chiangchiu and other places with which they are at war. Besides, this whole region is infested with pirates. It is only at great risk that any merchant junk can at present come to or depart from Amoy. We cannot yet form any definite opinion as to the final result of this movement. The forces of the insurgents are none of them drilled soldiers. Their appearance is that of an armed mob. Their weapons are mostly spears, and knives and matchlocks.
“At the time the insurrection broke out in our neighborhood and while we were expecting an attack on our city by the insurgents, we felt some anxiety. We had no means of deciding how they would feel towards foreigners. We supposed they would feel it to be for their own interest not to meddle with foreigners. They knew that they would have enough to do to contend with their own government, without at the same time involving themselves with foreign powers. More than all this, we had the doctrines and promises of God’s word on which to rely. These we feel at all times give us the only unfailing security. They are worth more than armies and navies. It is only when God uses armies and navies for the fulfillment of His own promises that they are worth anything to us.”
July 28, 1853. To his brother, Daniel.
“I suppose you will feel more desirous to learn about the state of politics and war at Amoy. At present everything is quiet. Three weeks ago another attempt was made by the Mandarins to retake Amoy. They landed a body of troops on the opposite side of the island. These were to march across the island (about ten miles) and attack the city by land. Simultaneously an attack was to be made on the city from the water side by the Mandarin fleet. It is said that the land forces amounted to about 10,000. The fleet consisted of about forty sail. On Wednesday morning (July 6th), about daybreak, the troops were put in motion. They were met with about an equal number of rebel troops. They fought until the Mandarin soldiers became hungry (about eight or nine o’clock). Not being relieved at that time, as they expected, they withdrew to cook their rice. The Mandarin in command considering that his life was much more important than that of the soldiers, kept himself at a safe distance from the scene of action. At about breakfast-time he started to go down in his sedan chair nearer the scene of action. When he saw that his troops were retiring to cook their breakfast, he supposed that they were giving way before the enemy. Prudence being the better part of valor, he ordered his chair-bearers to face about and carry him in the other direction. The soldiers, finding that their chief officer had fled, thought there was no further need of risking their lives,