Beijing, and Triumph
Negotiations now came into the hands of the emperor’s brother, Prince Gong, who tried vainly to make freeing prisoners depend on allied withdrawal, but the army moved closer to Beijing’s walls, and then to the marvelous imperial Summer Palace (known in Chinese as Yuanming Yuan), which French and British troops proceeded to plunder and ruin. Allied prisoners were returned, half as corpses after deliberate cruelties; Elgin chose in revenge to burn the Summer Palace remnants. Elgin and Gros led a military procession through Beijing to meet Prince Gong and finally sign their peace treaty.
Appendix: On British and Indian captives at Beijing.