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A grand council was now called of all the confederates who were in league with me. It was held at a place called Mankerule (Oman Kerule).


All the chieftains and khans that had been induced to declare war against Vang Khan were present . Each one came attended by a large body of troops. Some were in favor of trying once more to come to some terms of accommodation with Vang Khan, but I convinced them that there was nothing to be hoped for except on condition of absolute submission, and that, in that case, Vang Khan would never be content until he had the utter ruin of everyone who had been engaged in the rebellion.


It was decided that every man should return to his own tribe and raise, as fast as they could, a large a force with a view to carrying on the war.


I was formally appointed general-in-chief of these armies.


There was an ornamented club called the topaz. It was customary to bestow the topaz, with great solemnity, on the general thus chosen, as his badge of command.


The topaz was, in this instance, conferred upon me with all the usual ceremonies. I accepted it on the express condition that every man would punctually and implicitly obey all my orders, and that I should have absolute power to punish anyone who should disobey me in the way that I judged best, and that they should submit without question to all my decisions. To these conditions, they all solemnly agreed.


Being thus placed in command, I gave places of honor and authority to those who left Vang Khan’s service to follow me. I took this occasion to remember and reward the two slaves who had come to me in the night at my camp to give me warning of the design of Sankum and Yemukato to surprise me in the night. I will never forget their names; Badu and Kishlik.


I gave Badu and Kishlik their freedom and arranged for their maintenance so in perpetuity. I also put them on the list of exempts.


The exempts were a class of persons upon whom, as a reward for great public service, were conferred certain exclusive rights and privileges. They paid no taxes. In case of plunder taken from the enemy, they received their full share without any deduction, while all the others were obliged to contribute a portion of their shares for the khan. The exempts, too, were allowed various other privileges. They had the right to- go into the presence of the khan at any time, without waiting, as others were obliged to do, till they obtained permission, and, what was more singular still, they were entitled to nine pardons for any offenses that they might commit, so that it was only when they had committed ten crimes that they were in danger of punishment. The privileges which I thus bestowed upon the slaves were to be continued to their descendants to the seventh generation.


I rewarded the slaves in this bountiful manner out of sincere gratitude to them for having been the means of saving my army and I from destruction, and partly for effect, to impress upon my followers a strong conviction that any great services rendered to me or to my cause would certainly be well rewarded.


I now found myself at the head of a very large body of men, and his first care was to establish a settled system of discipline among them, so that they could act with regularity and order when coming into battle. I divided this army into three separate bodies. The center was composed of my own guards, and was commanded by me. The wings were formed of the squadrons of my confederates and allies.


My plan in coming into battle was to send forward the two wings, retaining the center as a reserve, and hold them prepared to rush in with irresistible power whenever the time should arrive at which their coming would produce the greatest effect.



Next post;  #54    The Battle with Vang Khan’s Army