Gordon, Charles George


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Gordon, Charles George,

1833–85, British soldier and administrator. He served in the Crimean War, went to China in the expedition of 1860, taking part in the capture of Beijing, and in 1863 took over the command of F. T. WardWard, Frederick Townsend,
1831–62, American adventurer, b. Salem, Mass. A soldier of fortune, he served with William Walker in Nicaragua and with the French forces in the Crimean War. Ward arrived in Shanghai in 1859, when the Taiping Rebellion was at its height.
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, who had raised a Chinese army to suppress the Taiping RebellionTaiping Rebellion,
1850–64, revolt against the Ch'ing (Manchu) dynasty of China. It was led by Hung Hsiu-ch'üan, a visionary from Guangdong who evolved a political creed and messianic religious ideology influenced by elements of Protestant Christianity.
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. For the achievements of this Ever-Victorious Army he was popularly known as Chinese Gordon. In 1873 he entered the service of the khedive of Egypt, succeeding Sir Samuel BakerBaker, Sir Samuel White,
1821–93, English explorer in Africa. He explored the Nile tributaries in Ethiopia in 1861–62. Going up the Nile from Cairo, he reached Gondokoro in 1863.
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 as governor of Equatoria (S Sudan, now in South Sudan). Appointed governor of Sudan in 1877, he waged a vigorous campaign against slave traders. He resigned in 1879, but after various appointments in India, China, Mauritius, and Cape Colony (South Africa), he was sent back to Sudan, where Muhammad Ahmad (see under MahdiMahdi
[Arab.,=he who is divinely guided], in Sunni Islam, the restorer of the faith. He will appear at the end of time to restore justice on earth and establish universal Islam. The Mahdi will be preceded by al-Dajjal, a Muslim antichrist, who will be slain by Jesus.
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) had acquired control. Although under orders to evacuate the Egyptian garrison from Khartoum, Gordon took it upon himself to attempt to defeat the Mahdi. He was cut off and besieged at Khartoum for 10 months. A relief expedition belatedly dispatched from England reached the garrison two days after it had been stormed by the Mahdists, who killed Gordon. Gordon's death stirred public indignation and contributed to the collapse of the Gladstone government in 1885.

Bibliography

See Gordon's journals at Khartoum (1885, repr. 1969); studies by P. Charrier (1965), A. Nutting (1966), J. Marlowe (1969), and C. Trench (1979).

Gordon, Charles George

 

Born Jan. 28, 1833; died Jan. 26, 1885. English general and colonial administrator.

Gordon fought in the Crimean War of 1853–56. taking part in the siege of Sevastopol’ in 1855. In 1860 he participated in the French and British expedition (1856–60) in China. In 1863 and 1864 he commanded the counterrevolutionary army, the so-called Ever Victorious Army, which played the major role in the suppression of the Taiping Rebellion. In 1874 he became governor of the province of Equatoria in the Sudan. In the years 1877–79 and 1884–85 he was governor of all of Sudan. He participated in the effort to suppress the Mahdist rebellion and was killed when the Mahdi’s forces stormed Khartoum.