Victorious Campaigns


Continued conquests.--Efforts of Jalaloddin.--Jalaloddin

becomes discouraged.--The governor's advice.--Renewed

exertions.--Stratagem.--Fictitious soldiers.--Quarrel about a

horse.--Disaffection.--Jalaloddin's forces divided.--Great battle

in the defile.--Orders to take Jalaloddin alive.--He takes leave

of his family.--His escape across the river.--His defiance of

his pursuers.--Stru
gles of the horse.--Night spent in a

tree.--Jalaloddin meets with friends.--Large body of men

escaped.--Pressing wants.--Timely aid from Jamalarrazad.--Fate

of the sultan's family.--Sunken treasures.--Jalaloddin's

end.--Sieges.--Logs instead of stones for ammunition.--Modern

bombs.--Bringing stones.--Occupation of slaves.--Shields.--Protection

against fire.--Precautions.--Attempts at resistance.--Account of

Kubru.--His noble spirit.--Kubru slain.--Pusillanimity.--Sorties by

the garrisons.--Desperation of the people.--Mode of disposing of

prisoners.--Prodigious slaughter.--Atrocities.--The pearl.--Genghis

Khan's grandson killed.--His mother's revenge.--Principles of the

Mohammedan faith.--Genghis Khan's opinion.--The spirit of religious


After this Genghis Khan went on successfully for several years,

extending his conquests over all the western part of Central Asia,

while the generals whom he had left at home were extending his

dominions in the same manner in the eastern portion. He overran nearly

all of Persia, went entirely around the Caspian Sea, and even

approached the confines of India.

In this expedition toward India he was in pursuit of Jalaloddin.

Immediately after the death of his father, Jalaloddin had done all in

his power to raise an army and carry on the war against Genghis Khan.

He met with a great deal of embarrassment and difficulty at first, on

account of the plots and conspiracies which his grandmother had

organized in favor of his brother Kothboddin, and the dissensions

among his people to which they gave rise. At last, in the course of a

year, he succeeded, in some measure, in healing this breach and in

raising an army; and, though he was not strong enough to fight the

Monguls in a general battle, he hung about them in their march and

harassed them in various ways, so as to impede their operations very

essentially. Genghis Khan from time to time sent off detachments from

his army to take him. He was often defeated in the engagements which

ensued, but he always succeeded in saving himself and in keeping

together a portion of his men, and thus he maintained himself in the

field, though he was growing weaker and weaker all the time.

At last he became completely discouraged, and, after signal defeat

which he met with from a detachment which had been sent against him by

Genghis Khan, he went, with the few troops that remained together, to

a strong fortress among the mountains, and told the governor that it

seemed to him useless to continue the struggle any longer, and that he

had come to shut himself up in the fortress, and abandon the contest

in despair.

The governor, however, told him that it was not right for a prince,

the descendant of ancestors so illustrious as his, and the inheritor

of so resplendent a crown, to yield to discouragement and despondency

on account of the reverses of fortune. He advised him again to take

the field, and to raise a new army, and continue the contest to the


Jalaloddin determined to follow this advice, and, after a brief period

of repose at the castle, he again took the field.

He made great exertions, and finally succeeded in getting together

about twenty thousand men. This was a small force, it is true,

compared with the numbers of the enemy; but it was sufficient, if well

managed, to enable the prince to undertake operations of considerable

importance, and Jalaloddin began to feel somewhat encouraged again.

With his twenty thousand men he gained one or two victories too, which

encouraged him still more. In one of these cases he defeated rather a

singular stratagem which the Mongul general contrived. It seems that

the Mongul detachment which was sent out in this instance against

Jalaloddin was not strong enough, and the general, in order to make

Jalaloddin believe that his force was greater than it really was,

ordered all the felt caps and cloaks that there were in the army to be

stuffed with straw, and placed on the horses and camels of the

baggage, in order to give the appearance of a second line of reserve

in the rear of the line of real soldiers. This was to induce

Jalaloddin to surrender without fighting.

But in some way or other Jalaloddin detected the deceit, and, instead

of surrendering, fought the Monguls with great vigor, and defeated

them. He gained a very decided victory, and perhaps this might have

been the beginning of a change of fortune for him if, unfortunately,

his generals had not quarreled about the division of the spoil. There

was a beautiful Arabian horse which two of his leading generals

desired to possess, and each claimed it. The dispute became, at last,

so violent that one of the generals struck the other in his face with

the lash of his whip. Upon this the feud became a deadly one. Both

parties appealed to Jalaloddin. He did not wish to make either general

an enemy by deciding in favor of the other, and so he tried to

compromise the matter. He did not succeed in doing this; and one of

the generals, mortally offended, went off in the night, taking with

him all that portion of the troops which was under his command.

Jalaloddin did every thing in his power to bring the disaffected

general back again; but, before he could accomplish this purpose,

Genghis Khan came up with a large force between the two parties, and

prevented their effecting a junction.

Jalaloddin had now no alternative but to retreat. Genghis Khan

followed him, and it was in this way that, after a time, both the

armies reached the banks of the Indus, on the borders of India.

Jalaloddin, being closely pursued, took his position in a narrow

defile near the bank of the river, and here a great battle was fought

among the rocks and precipices. Jalaloddin, it is said, had only

thirty thousand men at his command, while Genghis Khan was at the head

of an army of three hundred thousand. The numbers in both cases are

probably greatly exaggerated, but the proportion may perhaps be true.

It was only a small portion of the Mongul army that could get into the

defile where the sultan's troops had posted themselves; and so

desperately did the latter fight, that it is said they killed twenty

thousand of the Monguls before they gave in. In fact, they fought like

wild beasts, with desperate and unremitting fury, all day long. Toward

night it became evident to Jalaloddin that it was all over with him. A

large portion of his followers were killed. Some had made their escape

across the river, though many of those who sought to do so were

drowned in the attempt. The rest of his men were completely exhausted

and discouraged, and wholly unable to renew the contest on the

following day.

Jalaloddin had exposed himself very freely in the fight, in hopes,

perhaps, that he should be killed. But Genghis Khan had given positive

orders that he should be taken alive. He had even appointed two of his

generals to watch carefully, and to see that no person should, under

any circumstances, kill him. He wished to take him alive, in order to

lead him through the country a prisoner, and exhibit him to his former

subjects as a trophy of his victory, just as he had done and was still

doing with the old queen Khatun, his grandmother.

But Jalaloddin was determined that his conqueror should not enjoy this

pleasure. He resolved to attempt to save himself by swimming the

river. He accordingly went first, breathless, and covered with dust

and blood from the fight, to take a hurried leave of his mother, his

wives, and his children, who, as was customary in those countries and

times, had accompanied him in his campaign. He found them in his tent,

full of anxiety and terror. He took leave of them with much sorrow and

many tears, trying to comfort them with the hope that they should

meet again in happier times. Then he took off his armor and his arms,

in order that he might not be impeded in crossing the river,

reserving, however, his sword and bow, and a quiver full of arrows. He

then mounted a fresh horse and rode toward the river.

When he reached the bank of the river, the horse found the current so

rapid and the agitation of the water so great that he was very

unwilling to advance; but Jalaloddin spurred him in. Indeed, there was

no time to be lost; for scarcely had he reached the shore when Genghis

Khan himself, and a party of Monguls, appeared in view, advancing to

seize him. They stopped on the bank when they saw Jalaloddin ride into

the water among the rocks and whirlpools. They did not dare to follow

him, but they remained at the water-side to see how his perilous

adventure would end.

As soon as Jalaloddin found that he was out of their reach, he stopped

at a place where his horse found a foothold, and turned round toward

his pursuers with looks of hatred and defiance. He then drew his bow,

and began to shoot at them with his arrows, and he continued to shoot

until all the arrows in his quiver were exhausted. Some of the more

daring of the Monguls proposed to Genghis Khan that they should swim

out and try to take him. But Genghis Khan would not allow them to go.

He said the attempt would be useless.

"You can do nothing at all with him," said he. "A man of such cool and

determined bravery as that will defy and defeat all your attempts. Any

father might be proud to have such a son, and any son proud to be

descended from such a father."

When his arrows were all expended, Jalaloddin took to the river again;

and his horse, after a series of most desperate struggles among the

whirlpools and eddies, and the boiling surges which swept around the

rocks, succeeded at length in carrying his master over. The progress

of the horse was watched with great interest by Genghis Khan and his

party from the shore as long as they could see him.

As soon as Jalaloddin landed, and had recovered a little from the

fatigue and excitement of the passage, he began to look around him,

and to consider what was next to be done. He found himself entirely

alone, in a wild and solitary place, which he had reason to fear was

infested with tigers and other ferocious beasts of prey, such as haunt

the jungles in India. Night was coming on too, and there were no signs

of any habitations or of any shelter. So he fastened his horse at the

foot of a tree, and climbed up himself among the branches, and in this

way passed the night.

The next morning he came down and began to walk along the bank of the

river to see what he could find. He was in a state of great anxiety

and distress. Suddenly, to his great relief and joy, he came upon a

small troop of soldiers, accompanied by some officers, who had escaped

across the river from the battle as he had done. Three of these

officers were his particular friends, and he was overjoyed to see

them. They had made their way across the river in a boat which they

had found upon the bank at the beginning of the defeat of the army.

They had spent the whole night in the boat, being in great danger from

the shoals and shelving rocks, and from the impetuosity of the

current. Finally, toward morning, they had landed, not far from the

place where Jalaloddin found them.

Not long after this he came upon a troop of three hundred horsemen,

who had escaped by swimming the river at a place where the water was

more smooth, at some distance below. These men told him that about six

miles farther down the stream there was a body of about four thousand

men who had made their escape in a similar manner. On assembling

these men, Jalaloddin found himself once more at the head of a

considerable force.

The immediate wants of the men were, however, extremely pressing, for

they were all wholly destitute of food and of every other necessary,

and Jalaloddin would have been greatly embarrassed to provide for them

had it not been for the thoughtfulness and fidelity of one of the

officers of his household on the other side of the river. This

officer's name was Jamalarrazad. As soon as he found that his master

had crossed the river, knowing, too, that a great number of the troops

had attempted to cross besides, and that, in all probability, many of

them had succeeded in reaching the other bank, who would all be

greatly in want of provisions and stores the next morning, he went to

work at once, during the night, and loaded a very large boat with

provisions, arms, money, and stuff to make clothing for the soldiers.

He succeeded in getting off in this boat before his plan was

discovered by the Monguls, and in the course of the next morning he

reached the opposite bank with it, and thus furnished to Jalaloddin an

abundant provision for his immediate necessities.

Jalaloddin was so much pleased with the conduct of Jamalarrazad in

this affair that he appointed him at once to a very high and

responsible office in his service, and gave him a new title of honor.

In the mean time, Genghis Khan, on the other side of the river, took

possession the next morning of Jalaloddin's camp. Of course, the

family of the sultan fell into his hands. The emperor ordered all the

males to be killed, but he reserved the women for a different fate.

Among the persons killed was a boy about eight years old, Jalaloddin's

oldest son.

Jalaloddin had ordered his treasure to be sunk in the river,

intending, probably, to come back and recover it at some future time.

But Genghis Khan found out in some way where it was sunk, and he sent

divers down for it, and thus obtained possession of it as a part of

his booty.

After this, Jalaloddin remained five or six years in India, where he

joined himself and his army with some of the princes of that country,

and fought many campaigns there. At length, when a favorable

opportunity occurred, he came back to his own country, and fought some

time longer against the Monguls there, but he never succeeded in

gaining possession of any substantial power.

Genghis Khan continued after this for two or three years in the

Mohammedan countries of the western part of Asia, and extended his

conquests there in every direction. It is not necessary to follow his

movements in detail. It would only be a repetition of the same tale of

rapine, plunder, murder, and devastation. Sometimes a city would

surrender at once, when the conqueror approached the gates, by sending

out a deputation of the magistrates and other principal inhabitants

with the keys of the city, and with magnificent presents, in hopes to

appease him. And they usually so far succeeded in this as to put the

Mongul soldiery in good-humor, so that they would content themselves

with ransacking and plundering the place, leaving the inhabitants

alive. At other times the town would attempt to resist. The Monguls

would then build engines to batter down the walls, and to hurl great

stones over among the besieged. In many instances there was great

difficulty in obtaining a sufficient supply of stones, on account of

the alluvial character of the ground on which the city stood. In such

cases, after the stones found near were exhausted, the besiegers would

cut down great trees from the avenues leading to the town, or from the

forests near, and, sawing the trunk up into short lengths, would use

the immense blocks thus formed as ammunition for the engines. These

great logs of heavy wood, when thrown over the walls, were capable of

doing almost as much execution as the stones, though, compared with a

modern bomb-shell--a monstrous ball of iron, which, after flying four

or five miles from the battery, leaving on its way a fiery train

through the air, descends into a town and bursts into a thousand

fragments, which fly like iron hail in every direction around--they

were very harmless missiles.

In sawing up the trunks of the trees into logs, and in bringing stones

for the engines, the Monguls employed the prisoners whom they had

taken in war and made slaves of. The amount of work of this kind which

was to be done at some of the sieges was very great. It is said that

at the siege of Nishabur--a town whose inhabitants greatly offended

Genghis Khan by secretly sending arms, provisions, and money to

Jalaloddin, after they had once surrendered to the Monguls and

pretended to be friendly to them--the army of the Monguls employed

twelve hundred of these engines, all of which were made at a town at

some distance from the place besieged, and were then transported, in

parts, by the slaves, and put together by them under the walls. While

the slaves were employed in works of this kind, they were sometimes

protected by wooden shields covered with raw hides, which were carried

before them by other slaves, to keep off and extinguish the fiery

darts and arrows which were shot at them from the wall.

Sometimes, too, the places where the engines were set up were

protected by wooden bulwarks, which, together with the frame-work

itself of the engines, were covered with raw hides, to prevent their

being set on fire by the enemy. The number of raw hides required for

this purpose was immense, and to obtain them the Monguls slaughtered

vast herds of horses and cattle which they plundered from the enemy.

In order to embarrass the enemy in respect to ammunition for their

engines, the people of a town, when they heard that the Monguls were

coming, used to turn out sometimes in mass, several days before, and

gather up all the stones they could find, and throw them into the

river, or otherwise put them out of the way.

In some cases, the towns that were threatened, as has already been

said, did not attempt to resist, but submitted at once, and cast

themselves on the mercy of the conqueror. In such cases the Mongul

generals usually spared the lives of the inhabitants, though they

plundered their property. It sometimes happened, too, that after

attempting to defend themselves for some time, the garrison would

become discouraged, and then would attempt to make some terms or

conditions with the conqueror before they surrendered. In these cases,

however, the terms which the Monguls insisted upon were often so hard

that, rather than yield to them, the garrison would go on fighting to

the end.

In one instance there lived in a town that was to be assailed a

certain sheikh, or prince, named Kubru, who was a man of very exalted

character, as well as of high distinction. The Mongul general whom

Genghis Khan had commissioned to take the town was his third son,

Oktay. Oktay had heard of the fame of the sheikh, and had conceived a

very high respect for him. So he sent a herald to the wall with a

passport for the sheikh, and for ten other persons such as he should

choose, giving him free permission to leave the town and go wherever

he pleased. But the sheikh declined the offer. Then Oktay sent in

another passport, with permission to the sheikh to take a thousand men

with him. But he still refused. He could not accept Oktay's bounty,

he said, unless it were extended to all the Mohammedans in the town.

He was obliged to take his lot with the rest, for he was bound to his

people by ties too strong to be easily sundered.

So the siege went on, and at the end of it, when the town was carried,

the sheikh was slain with the rest in the streets, where he stood his

ground to the last, fighting like a lion.

All the Mohammedan chieftains, however, did not possess so noble a

spirit as this. One chieftain, when he found that the Monguls were

coming, caused himself to be let down with ropes from the wall in the

night, and so made his escape, leaving the town and the garrison to

their fate.

The garrisons of the towns, knowing that they had little mercy to

expect from their terrible enemies, fought often very desperately to

the last, as they would have done against beasts of prey. They would

suddenly open the gates and rush out in large bands, provided with

combustibles of all kinds and torches, with which they would set fire

to the engines of the besiegers, and then get back again within the

walls before the Monguls could recover sufficiently from the alarm and

confusion to intercept them. In this manner they destroyed a great

many of the engines, and killed vast numbers of men.

Still the Monguls would persevere, and, sooner or later, the place was

sure to fall. Then, when the inhabitants found that all hope was over,

they had become so desperate in their hatred of their foes that they

would sometimes set the town on fire with their own hands, and throw

themselves and their wives and children into the flames, rather than

fall into the hands of their infuriated enemies.

The cruelties which the Monguls perpetrated upon their unhappy victims

when, after a long resistance, they finally gained possession of a

town, were indeed dreadful. They usually ordered all the people to

come out to an open space on the plain, and there, after taking out

all the young and able-bodied men, who could be made useful in

bringing stones and setting up engines, and other such labors, and

also all the young and beautiful women, to be divided among the army

or sold as slaves, they would put the rest together in a mass, and

kill them all by shooting at them with arrows, just as if they had

been beasts surrounded in a chase, excepting that the excitement and

pleasure of shooting into such a mass of human victims, and of hearing

the shrieks and cries of their terror, was probably infinitely

greater to their brutal murderers than if it had been a herd of lions,

tigers, and wolves that they were destroying.

It is said by the historians that in one case the number of people

ordered out upon the plain was so great that it took four days for

them to pass out and assemble at the appointed place, and that, after

those who were to be spared had been separated from the rest, the

number that were left to be slain was over one hundred thousand, as

recorded by the secretaries who made an enumeration of them.

In another case the slaughter was so great that it took twelve days to

count the number of the dead.

Some of the atrocities which were perpetrated upon the prisoners were

almost too horrible to be described. In one case a woman, quite

advanced in years, begged the Monguls to spare her life, and promised

that, if they would do so, she would give them a pearl of great value.

They asked her where the pearl was, and she said she had swallowed it.

The Monguls then immediately cut her down, and ripped her body open

with their swords to find the pearl. They found it, and then,

encouraged by this success, and thinking it probable that other women

might have attempted to hide their jewels in the same way, they

proceeded to kill and cut open a great number of women to search for

pearls in their bodies, but they found no more.

At the siege of a certain city, called Bamiyan, a young grandson of

Genghis Khan, wishing to please his grandfather by his daring,

approached so near the wall that he was reached by an arrow shot by

one of the archers, and killed. Genghis Khan was deeply affected by

this event, and he showed by the bitterness of his grief that, though

he was so utterly heartless and cruel in inflicting these woes upon

others, he could feel for himself very acutely when it came to his

turn to suffer. As for the mother of the child, she was rendered

perfectly furious by his death. She thought of nothing but revenge,

and she only waited for the town to be taken in order that she might

enjoy it. When, at last, a practicable breach was made, and the

soldiers began to pour into the city, she went in with the rest, and

insisted that every man, woman, and child should be put to death. Her

special rage was directed against the children, whom she seemed to

take special pleasure in destroying, in vengeance for the death of her

own child. The hatred and rage which she manifested against children

extended even to babes unborn, and these feelings she evinced by

atrocities too shocking to be described.

The opinions which Genghis Khan entertained on religious subjects

appear from a conversation which he held at one time during the course

of his campaigns in Western Asia with some learned Mohammedan doctors

at Bokhara, which was the great seat at that time of science and

philosophy. He asked the doctors what were the principles of their

religion. They replied that these principles consisted of five

fundamental points:

1. In believing in one God, the creator of all things, and

the supreme ruler and governor of the universe.

2. In giving one fortieth part of their yearly income or

gains to the poor.

3. In praying to God five times every day.

4. In setting apart one month in each year for fasting.

5. In making a pilgrimage to the temple in Mecca, there to

worship God.

Genghis Khan told them that he believed himself in the first of these

articles, and he approved of the three succeeding ones. It was very

well, he said, to give one fortieth of one's income to the poor, and

to pray to God five times a day, and to set apart a month in the year

for a fast. But as to the last article, he could not but dissent from

it entirely, for the whole world was God's house, and it was

ridiculous, he said, to imagine that one place could really be any

more fitting than another as a place for worshiping him.

The learned doctors were much dissatisfied with this answer. They

were, in fact, more displeased with the dissent which the emperor

expressed from this last article, the only one that was purely and

wholly ritual in its character, than they were gratified with the

concurrence which he expressed in all the other four. This is not at

all surprising, for, from the times of the Pharisees down to the

present day, the spirit of sectarianism and bigotry in religion always

plants itself most strongly on the platform of externals. It is always

contending strenuously for rites, while it places comparatively in the

background all that bears directly on the vital and spiritual

interests of the soul.