Imperial Decree on Day Nineteen of May (lunar calendar)
Yesterday, boxer criminals created disturbances in Peking City, and orders were issued to Infantry Commander Yamen arrest the bandit leaders, and to conduct thorough search patrols. Criminals that created rumors and social unrest were arrested and executed. Last night, inside Peking City, there was arson and destruction going on as usual, there were agitators openly yelling "kill, kill, kill", using weapons searching for revenge, and some murders did occur. These rampant disturbances were tolerated by the Imperial soldiers, city gates were opened freely for the bandits, common people were all frightened, and peaceful life was gone. Right under the Imperial throne, we have these uncontrolled disturbance, and if no severe punishments are carried out, unseen disasters will loom on the horizon. I hereby order Infantry Commander to command various Imperial soldiers, plus Shenji Division, Tiger Gods Division, with Horse cavalry, in addition to Wuwei Middle Troop, to suppress these bandits, to intensify searching patrols, and to arrest and execute immediately all criminals with weapons who advocate killing. Imperial soldiers are not to tolerate any criminals, all criminal leaders are to be arrested. Criminal followers and accomplices are to be disbanded and expelled from Peking City. All Boxer shrines are to be dismantled. Zaiyin, Yigong, Fuliang, Zaizou are to inspect street patrols, and any inefficient patrols should be sanctioned and punished. The traffic on all the city gates should be carefully monitored. Chongxun, Xiangpu, Lishen, Yilibu, Kemonge, Yinxin, Songhe, Sepuge, Deyun are each to be stationed at nine gates, to monitor the traffic, outside the five gates, all the five gates royal magistrates should conduct carefully. Prince Qing, Prince Duan, Prince Zailiang, Grand Scholar Ronglu, to police and inspect all the officials and all the soldiers, cavalry and infantry, to carry out this decree in full capacity. Any wrong attitudes resulting in errors and mishaps will be severely dealt with. Guangxu Emperor signed here.
Li Hongzhang is to come to Peking via the fastest way. Deshou is appointed as deputy Viceroy of Liangguang. Yuan Shikai is to come to Peking with his troops via the fastest way. If Yuan Shikai is to have urgent matter to attend to, an able military commander should be chosen to come to Peking. Yulu is ordered to send this decree as a telegram to Li Hongzhang and Yuan Shikai, no delay is permitted. This decree is to be sent via 600 miles fast horse relay mail system. Signed by Guangxu Emperor.
Recently Righteous Boxer members and Christian converts were seeking revenge against each other, bandits began to take advantage and to burn and loot, extreme disturbances occur outside and inside Peking City. This is an order for various provinces viceroys, to swiftly select cavalry and infantry, according to the capacity of individual province, to send able commanders equipped with numbers of divisions to march towards Peking day and night and be ready for deployment. This is an urgent request, no delay is permitted. This decree is to be sent via 600 miles fast horse relay mail system. Signed by Guangxu Emperor.
Recently Righteous Harmony Boxer members and Christian converts were seeking revenge against each other, rumors abundant, criminals are taking the opportunity to stage burning and looting. All the foreign diplomats sites, should be carefully protected, Ronlu is to send an efficient troops of Wuwei Middle Troop swiftly, to the Peking Legation Quarter, to protect all the diplomatic buildings, no errors are to be tolerated. If any of the diplomatic staff and families wish to go to Tientsin, Ronlu should provide adequate protection along the way, but due to the broken up of the railway line, there might not be a 100% safe land trip. The diplomatic personals should stay where they are, wait for the reopening of the railway, then decide on circumstances, according to each individual case. Signed by the Emperor.
Now that the war has been started by foreign powers, Peking is under curfew, the detailed defense of the city, should be well prepared. Yude, Guangzhon, Fuzhen, Jinxin, Enyou, Guiheng, Fengche, Xilangai, these eight officials should conduct 24 hour search patrol. All eight official are under Zaixun's command. No error shall be tolerated.
- Original Chinese text:西巡迴鑾始末/卷1