Hsu Yuliang Bio
Following the Taiping rebellion in 1865 (4th year of Tongzhi [同治] Emperor) the Qing court authorized the Green Standard Army of each province to select crack troops at their own discretion, and organized a ‘militia’ based on the Xiang and Huai armies. During the Daoguang era, the Taiwan Zhen Zongbingguan (臺灣鎮總兵官, Garrison Commander of Taiwan Zhen) Da Hong’a (達洪阿) had already done this, but it was merely a temporary task force and the underlying systems did not change, being dissolved when Da Hong’a left office. After the establishment of the Lianjun (練軍, militia), the Defense Corps of the latter Qing encompassed the three systems of the Xiang army, Huai army, and militia, led by a Tongling (統領, commander-in-chief) who controlled all the camps; operating underneath him were the Yingguan (營官, camp commanders). Rank and file men were not known as “bing (兵, soldiers)”; instead they were referred to as "yong (勇, braves)," in order to make a distinction between the different Eight Banner and Green Standard Army systems. There were numerous Xiangyong active in every province in the latter Qing period, modeled on the camp structure of the Defense Corps in their training and management. However, these Xiangyong could not be considered Defense Corps in the true sense, as they were not part of the formal military, and thus can only be labeled “Tuyong (土勇, local braves).” A case in the point was the Dong army (棟軍) headed by the Wufeng (霧峰) Lin’s Lin Zhaodong (林朝棟); despite playing a big role in the Shi Jiuduan Incident (施九緞事件) during the Sino-French War, the Dong army was merely a type of Tuyong.
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