Ming vs. Qing

This is a short excerpt from a report by a Ming commander in 1646. Lynn A. Struve, Voices from the Ming-Qing Cataclysm, page 139:

“When our troops are beaten, it is because they covet the enemy’s horses; instead of hacking at the horses to bring the riders down, they hack at the [mounted barbarians], who shoot them with short arrows that are deadly within thirty paces. All the soldier from Zhangzhou are able to fend off such arrows with their thick sleeping quilts and therefore often win. But the troops from Yanping and Jianning, relying on their firearms, have nothing with which to cover themselves, so they are defeated…”

Unfortunately there is no more context. Were the troops from Zhangzhou armed with firearms? If not, then with what? Did a musketeer’s gear prevent him from wearing a quilt as armor? Would the troops from Yanping and Jianning do any better if they’d had bows instead?

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