Major-General Charles George Gordon, CB, also known as Chinese Gordon, Gordon Pasha, and Gordon of Khartoum, was a British army officer and administrator.
He saw action in the Crimean War as an officer in the British army, but he made his military reputation in China, where he was placed in command of the "Ever Victorious Army," a force of Chinese soldiers led by European officers. In the early 1860s, Gordon and his men were instrumental in putting down the Taiping Rebellion, regularly defeating much larger forces. For these accomplishments, he was given the nickname "Chinese" Gordon and honors from both the Emperor of China and the British.
He entered the service of the Khedive in 1873 and later became the Governor-General of the Sudan, where he did much to suppress revolts and the slave trade. Exhausted, he resigned and returned to Europe in 1880.
Then a serious revolt broke out in the Sudan, led by a Muslim reformer and self-proclaimed Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad. Gordon was sent to Khartoum with instructions to secure the evacuation of loyal soldiers and civilians, and depart with them. After evacuating about 2,500 British civilians he retained a smaller group of soldiers and non-military men. As an ardent Christian evangelist he was determined to stand up to the Mahdi, his Muslim nemesis. In the build up to battle the two leaders corresponded attempting to convert the other to their respective faiths, but neither would comply. Besieged by the Mahdi's forces, Gordon organized a city-wide defense lasting almost a year that gained him the admiration of the British public, though not the government, which had not wished to become involved. Only when public pressure to act had become too great was a relief force reluctantly sent. It arrived two days after the city had fallen and Gordon had been beheaded.
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society, where none intrudes. By the deep sea, and music in its roars; I love not man the less, but nature more.