158 years ago, during the corrupt feudal rule of the later Qing dynasty, Hong Xiuquan established the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom and fought to overthrow Qing rule. The Taiping troops, formed in Guangxi Province (today's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region), amounted to over 10,000 people. After only a year's development, they swept north, like a tide flowing in on the Qing capital. Changsha was their first station on that military campaign. That period of history can be found on the stone monument in the community. However, the records of the people who came from Shanxi and Henan provinces to fight with the Taiping forces in Changsha, the 15 tombs of Qing soldiers, and the missing gravestones, which are the journalists' particular interest, can only be restored on the map.
Tip: The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom (1851-1864) was established by Hong Xiuquan (who claimed to be God) in the late period of the Qing dynasty, with its precursor "God-Worshipers" set up in 1843. The kingdom was founded in 1851 with its capital in Tianjing (now called Nanjing), and the Taiping forces quickly gained control of the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River in southern China. The kingdom lasted for 14 years before the fall of Tianjing in 1864. At its height, Hong Xiuquan led more than one million soldiers, including over 10 000 women soldiers.
On September 24, the government of Changsha's Tianxin District invested 1.8 million yuan for restoration of the tomb of 200 officers and soldiers who came from Shanxi province to defend the Qing empire. The tomb is in the Nanyuan neighborhood of Meiling community in the Xinkaipu Neighborhood Office of Changsha's Tianxin District.

The 10-meter wide elliptical tomb, surrounded by high buildings, is engraved on its white marble tombstone with words "cowboys prohibited to approach & cattle prohibited to tramp".

Xiao Chaogui won the first battle here to lead the Taiping troops into Changsha. After the battle, over 900 Shanxi soldiers were buried in both sides of the Shaoshan South Road.

On the other side of the Shaoshan South Road, around 100 meters away from the Shimapu Chigangling, there is another tomb where 700 other Qing soldiers from Shanxi province are buried. The tomb is also marked by a white marble gravestone carved with "The Tomb of Shanxi loyal officers and soldiers" which looks exactly like the one in Nanyuan neighborhood. Two hundred meters down the intersection of Baoma Furniture Store, the profile of the tomb can be seen through the gaps between supermarkets, motorcycle repair shops and small barbershops. However, the tomb has collapsed, making its initial form hard to recognize as the remaining outer wall is mixed up with later constructions.
Tip: Xiao Chaogui (1820–1852), a member of the Zhuang ethnic group, was brought up by his foster father and made living by making charcoal in the Zijing mountain area of Guiping County (in Guangxi Province). He became the earliest member of the "God-Worshippers" set up by Hong Xiuquan and was named the West King of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom.
In August 1852, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom launched its longest-ever siege of Changsha, lasting 81 days.. The Qing government sent more than 50,000 soldiers to crush the 1,000 Taiping troops. Although the town was not breached, when combat ended, the west bank of the Xiangjiang River had fallen under the control of the Taiping soldiers. During the ferocious fight with Qing forces near the Miaogao Mountain, Xiao Chaogui was shot in the chest and killed.

It is recorded that Xiao Chaogui's tomb was located in Laolongtan opposite of the Baisha Well on the Baisha Road.

On October 31, 3,000 of the best men of the Qing army attacked the Land and Water Isle (now called the Orange Isle), for which the Taiping leader Shi Dakai had already made every preparations. At the first crossing of the river, he had set men in ambush at the end of the Land and Water Isle. They hid themselves in the depths of the forest. When only half of the Qing troops had crossed the river, all of the Taiping forces hidden in the forest rushed out all of a sudden. They quickly routed the terrified Qing soldiers. The morale of the Qing defenders on Changsha Town was decimated when they caught sight of the fatal defeat of their own army. Thus no men of Qing army would risk crossing the Xiangjiang River and launching attacks on the west riverbank.

Tip: Shi Dakai (1831-1863), a member of the Hakka ethnic group, was born in Gui County of Guangxi. He joined the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom at 16 and later was named the Wing King.
In 1852, during the Taiping siege, the Qing army built a strong defense of Changsha Town, which inevitably led to a large number of soldiers' deaths during the ferocious fight. But the cemeteries documented are only 17 tombs of the Battle of Shimapu and a joint tomb of the Battle of Land and Water Isle on Tianma Mountain. As the Taiping troops retreated hurriedly and were referred to as "bandits" by the Qing government, it would have been more difficult for them to leave a graveyard. Now we are unable to determine where the others were buried and whether all of them received burial.

Wei Water, a branch of the Xiangjiang River, mingles with the Xiangjiang River at Jinggang. This section of the Wei Water was named as the Lu River. In the early fourth year of Xianfeng (1854), the Taiping leader Shi Zhenxiang led his troops and inflicted heavy casualties on the water forces commanded by Lu Yong in the Zeng Guofan's troopsarmy. Now a scenic spot named as "Bai Tai" was is under construction to commemorate this history.
Wei Water, a branch of the Xiangjiang River, mingles with the Xiangjiang River at Jinggang. This section of the Wei Water was named the Lu River. In the early fourth year of Xianfeng (1854), the Taiping leader Shi Zhenxiang led his troops and inflicted heavy casualties on the water forces commanded by Lu Yong in Zeng Guofan's army. Now a scenic spot named as "Bai Tai" is under construction to commemorate this history.