1. Home
  2. / Charles George Gordon

Charles George Gordon

Charles George Gordon, commonly known as Chinese Gordon, Gordon Pasha, and Gordon of Khartoum, was a British Army officer and administrator who was acclaimed for his actions in the Crimean War and the Taiping Rebellion. His leadership of the "Ever Victorious Army", a force of Chinese soldiers led by European officers, resulted in his gaining the nickname of "Chinese Gordon" and honors from both the Emperor of China and the British.

Charles George Gordon

Charles George Gordon Facts

  1. 1.

    Service with the Khedive

    Gordon agreed to return to Cairo, and was asked to take the position of Governor-General of the entire Sudan, which he accepted.

  2. 2.

    Service with the Khedive

    Gordon had come into conflict with the Egyptian governor of Khartoum and Sudan over his efforts to ban slavery.

  3. 3.


    Gordon made a point of treating POWs well to encourage the Taipings to surrender and many of his men were former Taipings who chose to enlist in the Ever Victorious Army.

  4. 4.


    Gordon was quite critical of the way Chinese generals fought the war, observing that the Chinese were willing to inflict and accept gargantuan losses in battle, an approach Gordon disapproved of.

  5. 5.

    Service with the Khedive

    Gordon, despite his position as an official in the Ottoman Empire, found the Ottoman-Egyptian system of rule inherently oppressive and cruel, coming into increasing conflict with the very system he was supposed to uphold, later stating about his time in the Sudan, "I taught the natives they had a right to exist".

  6. 6.


    Gordon felt very uncomfortable commanding this force and at one point had to order the summary execution of one of his officers when the latter tried to take the Ever-Victorious Army over to the Taipings, who had offered a generous bribe for switching sides.

  7. 7.

    Service with the Khedive

    Gordon soon learned that his superior, the Governor-General of the Sudan, Ismail Aiyub Pasha was deeply involved in the slave trade and doing everything within his power to sabotage Gordon's anti-slavery work by denying him supplies and leaking information to the slavers.

  8. 8.


    Gordon's bravery in battle, his string of victories, apparent immunity to bullets and his intense, blazing blue eyes led many Chinese to believe that Gordon had supernatural powers and had harnessed the Qi (the mystical life-force traditionally believed in China to govern everything) in some extraordinary way.

Subscribe newsletter

Subscribe Now!

Learn something
new everyday

Playing quizzes is free! We send 1 quiz every week to your inbox