Camps and Trails in China eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 325 pages of information about Camps and Trails in China.
in two extended wings, in their rear, but leaving between them a considerable interval.  Here he took his own station, and proceeded to animate his men and encourage them to fight valiantly, assuring them of victory, as well from the superiority of their numbers, being four to one, as from their formidable body of armed elephants, whose shock the enemy, who had never before been engaged with such combatants, could by no means resist.  Then giving orders for sounding a prodigious number of warlike instruments, he advanced boldly with his whole army towards that of the Tartars, which remained firm, making no movement, but suffering them to approach their entrenchments.
They then rushed out with great spirit and the utmost eagerness to engage; but it was soon found that the Tartar horses, unused to the sight of such huge animals, with their castles, were terrified, and by wheeling about endeavored to fly; nor could their riders by any exertions restrain them, whilst the king, with the whole of his forces, was every moment gaining ground.  As soon as the prudent commander perceived this unexpected disorder, without losing his presence of mind, he instantly adopted the measure of ordering his men to dismount and their horses to be taken into the wood, where they were fastened to the trees.
When dismounted, the men without loss of time, advanced on foot towards the line of elephants, and commenced a brisk discharge of arrows; whilst, on the other side, those who were stationed in the castles, and the rest of the king’s army, shot volleys in return with great activity; but their arrows did not make the same impression as those of the Tartars, whose bows were drawn with a stronger arm.  So incessant were the discharges of the latter, and all their weapons (according to the instructions of their commander) being directed against the elephants, these were soon covered with arrows, and, suddenly giving way, fell back upon their own people in the rear, who were thereby thrown into confusion.  It soon became impossible for their drivers to manage them, either by force or address.  Smarting under the pain of their wounds, and terrified by the shouting of the assailants, they were no longer governable, but without guidance or control ran about in all directions, until at length, impelled by rage and fear, they rushed into a part of the wood not occupied by the Tartars.  The consequence of this was, that from the closeness of the branches of large trees, they broke, with loud crashes, the battlements or castles that were upon their backs, and involved in the destruction those who sat upon them.
Upon seeing the rout of the elephants the Tartars acquired fresh courage, and filing off by detachments, with perfect order and regularity, they remounted their horses, and joined their several divisions, when a sanguinary and dreadful combat was renewed.  On the part of the king’s troops there was no want of valor, and he himself
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Camps and Trails in China from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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