Interlude in Shanghai
Meanwhile, the Taiping rebels were threatening Shanghai, whose intendant appealed for help to the very allies who were fighting his emperor. Hope Grant sent troops to help the city’s Europeans and trade, while in many places Chinese imperial troops joined the rebels. There was also a local force organised by an American freebooter named Ward. After Ward’s death, that force was commanded by a legendary Englishman, ‘Chinese’ Gordon (later killed in the Sudan). Meanwhile, for protection to work, baskets were hung from Shanghai battlements with the chopped-off heads of Taiping prisoners. The rebels were eventually repulsed by guns from the city walls and allied gunboats.