Battle of Jiangnan (1860)

The Battle of Jiangnan (1860), also known as the Second rout of the Jiangnan Battalion (Chinese: 太平軍二破江南大營) was a battle between the Qing government's Green Standard Army and the army of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom during the Taiping Rebellion. The Green Standard Army twice attempted to besiege Nanjing, capital of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, but was unable to break through. To break the siege of Nanjing, the Taiping forces maneuvered to divert Qing forces by sacking Hangzhou, before quickly moving back to Nanjing to counter-encircle the Qing siege forces and routing the Green Standard Army garrison completely, breaking the siege of Nanjing.

Second rout the Army Group Jiangnan
Part of the Taiping Rebellion (Eastern Expedition)
Date10 February – 15 May 1860
Nanjing and vicinity
Result Taiping victory
Destruction of Army Group Jiangnan
Reorganisation of pro-Qing forces under Zeng Guofan
Qing dynasty Qing Dynasty
Green Standard Army
Army Group Jiangnan
Taiping Heavenly Kingdom
Commanders and leaders
Qing dynasty Chief Commander Zhang Guoliang 
Qing dynasty Imperial Commissioner Her Chyun 
Qing dynasty General Zhang Youliang
Qing dynastyLuo Zundian
Chief Commander Li Xiucheng
Vice Chief Commander Chen Yucheng
Yang Fuqing
Lai Wenguang
Tong Zonghai
Li Shixian
Hong Rengan
180,000 men 360,000 men
Casualties and losses
~40,000 military personnel kia; 100,000 captured 8,000 KIA


The eastern campaign began in 9 February. Gen. Li Xiucheng of the rebel forces encircled the region of Jiangnan. They approached the Zhejiang provincial capital, Hangzhou, disguised as Qing troops. At Hangzhou, the 60,000 Taiping troops were outnumbered by Qing defenders, so they used several deception tricks such as placing hundreds of flags on a hill giving the impression of large numbers. The city walls were destroyed with explosives on 19 March, and the city was taken soon after. The Mayor of Hangzhou committed suicide after the loss.

Li's daring act attracted the attention of Zhang Guoliang, who ordered Gen. Tidu Zhang Youliang (張玉良), in command of 36,000 troops, to track Li's corps. Li routed Zhang's troops and crippled Army Group Jiangnan. When Zhang Youliang arrived in Hangzhou he believed that Li was occupying the city, but Li's corps had left two days earlier on 19 March and attacked another city while waiting for reinforcements.

In Nanjing Hong Rengan ordered Chen Yucheng's troops to cross the river. Chen commanded over 100,000 men along the river and on 29 April he received the signal to attack from Hong Rengan and began the crossing.

Zeng GuofanEdit

When Chief commander Zhang Guoliang and Imperial Commissioner Her Chyun died the Qing government promoted Zeng Guofan. This changed the course of the war in favor of the Qing and their western allies.

See alsoEdit


Michael, Franz H. (1966). The Taiping Rebellion: History and Documents.
Elleman, Bruce A. (2001). Modern Chinese Warfare, 1795-1989.
Platt, Steven (2013). Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom.