Colonization of Tian JiaoEdit
Seeing the end of expansion drawing near, and the rush for colonization of Frequesque, the empire decided to create a colony in the south, at the mouth of the giant river, which it named the Yangtze, due to the large amount of yellow silt that the slow moving river contained. Two seperate colonies where actually established, with the west bank being colonized under the auspices of the Westchester family, and the east bank under the auspices of their rivals, the Eastchester family.
The invigoration of the Cascadian Army came just in time. In 1807, just three years after East Jieshi fell, Inuvik fell to Tian Xia. Cascadian settlers, wary of losing newly discovered mineral sources in the disputed territory, moved further into the O'Neill Territory and established a chain of settlements to reinforce the Cascadian claim. Tian Xia refused to accept the Cascadian claim, citing that newly subjugated Inuvik had signed a treaty granting its lands to the Emperor, including the Territory. For the next several years there were infrequent clashes between Cascadian and Tian Xia settlers while diplomatic avenues were pursued.
What happened next remains a strongly-debated point. Though the Emperor of Tian Xia had chosen to try diplomatic means to either win Cascadian withdrawal to the southern bank of the Yukon or concessions in other areas in exchange for the disputed land, the local border dukes remained hostile to anything but a military solution. In April 1815, with campaigning season set to begin, one of these dukes - an aggressive young commander named Xie Jia - took the initiative by launching an invasion of both the O'Neill Territory and Yukon Province. Reports conflict on whether Duke Xie was intending the eastern thrust to be a diversion or a plan to conquer the entire province, but the effect of the attack was quite clear. A force of 8,000 Tian Xia troops, soon augmented to 15,000 from extra troops and local levies, marched down the Mackenzie River. A brief siege of Fort Carter resulted but the older fortification, meant for fighting natives, was no match for the modern cannon of the Imperial Army. The Fort's walls were battered down and the defenders forced to surrender. The survivors were forced into hard labor, used to rebuild damaged walls to provide winter quartering should it be necessary for the army, while the civilian dependants were taken as hostages to secure their good behavior. Content with his success, Duke Xie marched onward to Fort Sherman.
To the west, one of the Duke's subordinates, Count Ling, led a force of 2,000 men augmented by 4,000 conscripted Inuvik auxiliaries in an invasion of the O'Neill Territory. Every Cascadian settlement was torched as their occupants fled to Fort O'Neill. Ling countermanded Xie's orders to prevent the settlers from seeking refuge in the small fort, confident his cannon could deal with it. But Fort O'Neill, unlike Fort Carter, had been reinforced during the prior years. When the Tian Xia cannons fired upon the fort walls, they failed to do sufficient damage to allow a storming of the fort. Though the whole of the Territory had taken by Ling's troops, Fort O'Neill still flew the Cascadian Tricolor.
Fort Sherman had likewise been fortified and the local militia mobilized. Militias from across the province poured in, those from the Mackenzie bringing word of Xie's troops burning settlements and posts along the river and encouraging natives to loot and attack Cascadians. A force of 2,000 militia gathered on the southern bank of the river and on 17 June 1815 engaged the vanguard of Xie's troops near a mountain creek, Settler's Creek. The Battle of Settler's Creek lasted six hours and saw the militia, after initial successes against the tightly packed Imperial troops, defeated and scattered by Imperial cannon. The victory against the militia reinforced Xie's opinion that Cascadia's army posed no threat and he continued his march. On 21 June he arrived at Fort Sherman and demanded its capitulation. Leland Hall, the Governor of Yukon, personally turned down the demand. An attempt by Xie to seize Fort Sherman by immediate storming failed and he turned to a siege, leaving 2,000 auxiliaries and 10 guns to bombard the fort while preparing his army to seize the mountain trails to the south that linked Fort Sherman with distant Monroe.
Xie's maneuver was his undoing. Although the Columbia militia was marshalling to march north upon word of the invasion arriving in May 1815, the Cascadian Regular Army had chosen to be transported by river directly to the two forts. In July the two forces sailed from Seattle, making brief stops at Port Weir before heading on. A Brigade of 2,500 Cascadian regulars augmented by another 500 militiamen from the offshore islands was sailed up the Yukon River for Fort O'Neill while two brigades of regulars and another battalion of Olympian Militia came up the Mackenzie.
The first Brigade, under General Anthony Tanner, disembarked and made camp ten miles downstream from Fort O'Neill. Count Ling received report from Inuvik scouts of their arrival but refused to believe the numbers and discounted the native scouts' account of the Cascadian position.
The result was that on 15 August 1815, Tanner's Brigade was able to march right up to the Tian Xia camp. Ling had time to begin forming his troops up to fight and marched them forward in the manner he was accustomed to; that is, driving native levies before him with a wave of grim musket-bearing infantry in black with white accoutrement. But these were troops accustomed to fighting local semi-civilized armies that, at best, had primitive flintlocks. The modern muskets of the Cascadian Greencoats and their artillery were an enemy that these troops had not been used to. The Cascadian fire was terribly effective on the attacking Tian Xia troops and the artillery proved capable as well, if their gunners lacked the raw experience of their Tian Xia counterparts. Count Ling, seeing the Cascadian lines holding steady and his own forces being depleted, attempted flanking maneuvers with his remaining Inuvik levies. The native troops, however, were not up to being thrown into cannon and musket fire. After a couple faint-hearted charges they crumbled as well and refused to advance. Surprised at the effectiveness of his enemies, Ling panicked and called for the troops to regroup on more favorable ground to the north. Just as the Tian Xia lines began to fall back to commence the regrouping, Major Luis Vamos of the 1st Rosarian Infantry ordered his battalion to charge. The Rosarians surged forward and carried nearby battalions and then regiments with them. The Tian Xia force, already demoralized, crumbled under the bayonet charge and was utterly routed. Count Ling was found dead in his command tent, having ordered one of his aides to behead him out of shame. The survivors of the Tian Xia force that were not captured fled north and returned to Inuvik, from which news of the defeat spread to the rest of the Empire over the coming months. As they fled, Tanner's troops reclaimed the rest of the O'Neill territory and briefly occupied a village in Tian Xia territory before the decision was made to set up winter quarters outside of the settlement of Garnetville.
Further south General Enrique Roya of San Magdalena was facing a less auspicious start. The Mackenzie River proved too shallow for the largest sailing transports to enter, forcing him to spend two weeks waiting for enough ships that could navigate the river so he could move his whole force. In the end he dispatched one brigade ahead after notification came from Governor Hall that Fort Sherman's overcrowding was beginning to eat away at the fort's supplies. A couple of ships made runs up-river to deliver supplies, but only one made it through the cannon watching the fort and it was in turn forced to return to the fort when damaged by cannon fire after trying to head downstream. Finally, in 25 August 1815, Roya's force set out to the interior. As the last ship began to sail down the river a transport vessel from Tanner's force returned to Port Weir with a load of wounded and the news of the victory at Fort O'Neill, which buoyed the spirits of the seven thousand Cascadian troops. As they sailed upriver, Duke Xie was busy along the mountain trail. Shortly after besieging Fort Sherman, his army began throwing impediments down to try and restrain the marching of what he presumed would be the main force coming up the road from Monroe. A force of Columbia Militia, 3,500 strong, arrived from the south on 18 July but fell back rather than fight the 6,000 prepared Imperial troops. Xie chose to pursue and ordered his army forward. After three days he stopped and set up a new base camp on favorable terrain, using hills that overlooked the main route through the mountains from which his force could easily repulse any major attack. While Xie waited with the bulk of his force for a main attack that never came, General Roya's troops were forced to disembark on the 29th of August twenty-six miles downstream of Fort Sherman due to the lower river depth at Mackensen Crossing. He assembled his brigades and dispatched a small ship downstream to inform Governor Hall he was just a couple days' march away. Spending a day getting his force in order for the march, Roya's army used the extra room created by the Mackenzie valley to make decent time.
Xie's besieging force of 2,000 native auxiliaries and 10 guns, bolstered by the recent arrival of 1,000 Imperial troops, was surprised when on the 2nd of September their scouts reported the approach of a marching army in battle line. The local commander, Baron Kant, ordered his forces to prepare to fight and pulled them out of their siege lines.
On the open farmland west of Ft. Sherman Kant's troops prepared defensive positions as the Cascadian Greencoats marched up. His troops opened up first and began to inflict losses upon the Cascadian force. One of the early casualties was General Roya, who was trying to rally a faltering battalion when a musket bullet struck him in the neck and threw him from his horse. The numbers alone were in Cascadia's favor, but it was Governor Hall who fully salvaged the situation. He ordered a sortie from the fort of the remaining healthy militiamen, who charged out 500 strong and opened up on the rear of the Imperial force. The risk of leaving his fort open to counterattack paid off. Caught suddenly between two fires, the native auxiliaries panicked and fell apart. The Imperial troops, led by Baron Kant, held their ground and continued to inflict casualties on the attacking Cascadians until sunset, when a handful of survivors retreated southward into the wilderness. Baron Kant was not among them, having fallen in rallying his men on the defense. He died instantly on the battlefield and would be joined in death the next day by General Roya, who's wound proved fatal. As a result of the battle, the siege of Fort Sherman was lifted. Opportunity now presented itself to march south and pin Duke Xie's troops in on the mountain road, or to leave a screening force at Sherman while a brigade marched north to retake Fort Carter. But Roya's replacement, General Davis Lawrence, quarreled with Governor Hall over strategy. The two brigades remained stationary.
It was not until the 7th that Xie found out about what had happened. Not one to panic, he abandoned his defensive position and moved his army north. On the 13th he ran into the screening force of Cascadian regulars, the 5th Regulars Regiment, in strong defensive positions. While using pioneers to try and find a path around, Xie launched four direct attacks on the Regulars' position that were repulsed with heavy losses. His artillery proved ineffective against the strong defense of their position. In the end, he was saved by the fact that the 5th Regulars had run out of ammunition. After holding past sunset, the regiment slipped off in the dark of night, leaving Xie's army an open path back to Fort Sherman. There the approach of the Tian Xia Army prompted a temporary truce between the bickering Hall and Lawrence. Their forces were arranged to prevent Xie from getting past the Fort. Xie, upon seeing the size of the Cascadian Army and considering his losses, decided that there was no point in continuing the campaign in Central Yukon and that he should retire his army to Fort Carter and winter quarters. He did not, at this moment, realize that Count Ling's force had already been destroyed and that Cascadia had resumed control of the O'Neill Territory. On the 14th Xie's army moved along the flank of the Cascadian brigade of General Walters, assigned to watch the eastern road. Lawrence directed the other Brigade to move up in an attempt to trap the Imperial force but was unable to do more than catch a straggling regiment as Xie's forces cleverly slipped around the Walters brigade. Though they lost another four hundred men on top of the regiment that got caught and torn apart, the Cascadian Army failed to win the decisive battle it had hoped to force on Xie.
As Xie marched upriver to return to Fort Carter, a further reinforcement brigade of 2,000 regulars sent from Port Weir arrived on the 21st of September commanded by General Michael Sheppard. Sheppard's seniority in the army and his orders to become Roya's second-in-command effectively gave him the seniority to overrule Lawrence and take command of the unified regulars force, now up to 6,500 when accounting for losses in the prior weeks' battles. Sheppard made one of the crucial decisions of the war at this point. So long as Xie held even Fort Carter, Tian Xia had a diplomatic advantage and a position with which to threaten the whole province. He had to be dislodged, but with late September already here it would not be long before winter set in; a winter siege would bring with it sickness and a sapping of energy that could destroy the army without Duke Xie firing a shot. Nevertheless, with Hall's reluctant acceptance, Sheppard ordered the army forward, augmenting it further with 2,000 of the Columbian militia that had marched north to bring his force up to 8,500 troops.
Xie had not expected a pursuit and was settling his troops into their planned winter quarters. By all reports he was stunned when, on the early morning of the 2nd of November, scouts dispatched to watch the roads informed him of the arrival of a large body of enemy troops. Already the weather was turning dreadfully cold and a snowfall was beginning. The idea of the Cascadians attacking seemed ludicrous. Xie's men were ordered to get their weapons and form up, a process that took time as they had been scattered in their camps. As his army jumbled up, not even in full formation, skirmishers from the Columbia militia - hardy men hand-picked by their regimental commander for their skill in moving through the terrain - began sniping on the Tian Xia camp. A bullet narrowly missed Duke Xie and several of his officers, including four regimental commanders, were shot down before the snipers were forced to retreat. Only a few hours remained until dusk when the Cascadian battle lines came up and were met by the Duke's prepared army. The ranks of black/white Imperial soldiers versus the Greencoats - the Cascadian citizen-soldiers - was an image soon to be made legend, with this battle - despite it's not fully decisive result - being almost as immortalized as the smaller but more pivotal, in the end, Battle of Fort O'Neill.
The Cascadians again were the ones who attacked to commence the Battle of Fort Carter. Sheppard, having been one of the military officers sent overseas to study PeZookian and Canissian artillery practices, had better placed and positioned his artillery to support the advance. The Tian Xia artillery was successfully suppressed enough for the Greencoats to fully engage their opponents. And then the snow picked up. To this day it is a matter of debate if the Cascadian troops would have won if not for the snowstorm. Some eyewitness accounts indicate that their attack had already ebbed and that that the veteran Tian Xia infantry were holding too-strongly, others report that it was the Tian Xia, not the Cascadians, that were buckling under attack. Either way, the snowstorm that came in turned the battle into a chaotic mess with both armies gradually pulling back to regroup. Darkness fell long before the snow let up, condemning many poor wounded men to death by exposure as they were buried alive underneath snow. During the night, Duke Xie reached the painful decision that he could not hope to survive the next day's battling. The Cascadians' march had rattled him, striking at the very core of his belief that their army was backward and not a match for Imperial arms. Though his men had been given little rest, Xie ordered his army break up camp and retreat. Though he ultimately refused plans to torch Fort Carter or put his prisoners and hostages to death, Xie did strip the homes of Fort Carter of all food and heavy clothing before his army marched back up the Mackenzie. On the 3rd of November, with the snow having completely ceased, the Cascadian Army prepared for another day of fighting to find their enemy had retreated. For all intents and purposes, the Yukon War had ended.
At least the fighting did. The killing was not quite over. The Emperor had first gotten wind of Duke Xie's attack in early July, despite the Duke's best efforts to mask his offensive. But it was on the 29th of September that a courier delivered news from the governor of Inuvik that the Cascadian Army had virtually annihilated an army of 2,000 Imperial troops and 4,000 native auxiliaries. The defeat enraged the Emperor, who ordered a courier sent forward to order Duke Xie back to the capitol to receive the full measure of "Imperial displeasure" his costly adventure had made him due. Even following news about Xie's victories, and his successful retreat to Fort Carter, did not alleviate the Emperor's sour mood on the man. Duke Xie's attack had already taken many lives, and would fittingly so claim his own. Upon returning to the prefecture capital of Bear Lake on the 21st of November, the Emperor's order to come to the capitol was waiting for him, as was a newer one stripping him of Imperial command and awarding it to the governor of Inuvik. Knowing that his life was forfeit, Duke Xie had a favored aide behead him in his private quarters with explicit instructions for his head to be delivered to the Emperor as apologies for his failure.
Duke Xie's rash action had far-reaching consequences for both states. While before the Emperor might have gotten firm concessions from Cascadia in exchange for relinquishing the Inuvik claim on the O'Neill Territory, his army's blatant attack and embarrassing defeat against the "untried" Cascadian Army made it unlikely that the Republic would any longer brook recognizing Imperial claims on the O'Neill Territory. Recognizing what Xie's failure meant, the Emperor offered peace talks and a permanent border treaty deliberation, which was hosted on Shinra territory. In February of 1818 the Tian Xia and Cascadia signed the Treaty of Lockhart in which the O'Neill Territory was delineated and the Cascadian-Tian Xia border guaranteed and recognized. Cascadia's price tag, aside from the human costs of the war and the damage to the Yukon Province, was to agree not to support any Jieshi recidivism and to agree to recognize the rest of the Emperor's claims on old Inuvik territory. The treaty, and the following induction of West Jieshi into the Republic as the Province of Jieshi, brought an end to the decade of border intrigues and permanently solidifed the frontiers of Cascadia to the present day. As a result of Duke Xie's actions and their consequences, the Imperial Court was able to force through changes in the command structure of their army that gradually ensured that command of armies even out on the frontier was not given to nobility but to men handpicked by the Emperor and his advisors, a key evolution in the military structure of the Tian Xia state.
For Cascadia the war provided a source of common pride for the common denizens of the mountainous country. Cascadians of all ethnicities and cultures had stood together in battle line, dressed as "Republic Greencoats", and fought and died as brother-citizens. Paintings of all the war's battles were commissioned, the best treated almost as national treasures. On the matter of military affairs, on 15 August 1816, the first anniversary of the Battle of Fort O'Neill, the Congress approved the creation of the Republic Guards, an elite brigade of regiments with the best officers and men the Army had to offer, all veterans of the war. Luis Vamos, the hero of Fort O'Neill who led the bayonet charge that broke the Tian Xia, was granted command of the 1st Guards Regiment and a promotion to Colonel (he had briefly been a Lt. Colonel after an earlier promotion near the end of the war). The Republic Guard has since remained as the fine spearpoint of the Cascadian military.
Cascadian-Tian Xia relations have, since the Yukon War, had periods of cooling and warming. Though economic involvement between the two nations has improved, there remains an undercurrent of discontent. Some Tian Xia leaders has since voiced laments not that Xie attacked Cascadia out of the blue, but that he failed to accomplish his objective. In Cascadia, there are many who believe the Emperor silently approved of Xie's bold attack and only condemned it when he found out that Xie's forces were being pushed back. Nearly two hundred years has allowed the wounds to heal, but it may take longer for the ghosts of Duke Xie and Enrique Roya to be lifted from the ties between Cascadia and Tian Xia.
The Opium War occured in 1819 between Tian Xia and Shroomania as a result of massive importation of opium into Tian Xia by Shroomania merchants. This importation was an attempt by Shroomanians to increase the trade imbalance between Tian Xia and Shroomania. In reaction to the consequent widespread usage, the Huang Di banned the importation of opium, seizing cargos already in port and destroying them.
The Shroomanians were deeply upset by this act, and so the Shroomanian Messica Company sent warships to capture the forts at the mouth of the Pax River. The SMC deeply underestimated the newly reformed Tian Xia Navy, resulting in the capture or destruction of the majority of the SMC's force.