First, an update from Fung-yin:
自由時報, Liberty Times in Taiwan, reported on September 16, 2009, the potential loss of 2-3,000 precious pieces of historical artifacts:
"Mr Ji Rong-Da [of Tamkang University] states that even though these artifacts may not look appealing, each one actually represents a part of the history. An example is a tombstone erected in Tong-zi era (1856-75) located on Highway No 2 on the same spot where one French commander was executed in the Sino-French War. This headstone was a silent witness to this battle. Unfortunately, after the highway construction, the stone was never restored."
The "French commander" was apparently Lt Fontaine. We now suspect that this location was also where the 17 French Fusiliers marins were interred. John Dodd did report that they were entombed in the "Downs", i.e., on or near the Danshui Golf Course. And Alexander Frater, the British Consul in Danshui, also mentioned in his reports that the French were buried by International Officer Li at $4 apiece. [Frater info kindly provided by Patrick Cowsill.]
Very little is known about the lives of General Sun Kai-Hua's men, members of the Xiang Army湘軍. According to Frater, 200 of these soldiers were killed and wounded in the Battle of Fisherman's Wharf [the Chinese version put it at 80 dead and 200 wounded]. The wounded each was injured in two or three places testifying to their bravery. Indeed, they were known to the locals as the Hunan Braves湖南勇 - Hunan was where they came from and 勇 has dual meaning, soldier or brave. There are 4 sites in Danshui known to be associated with these gentlemen:
(1) The ancient graves of 湖南勇: This grave site is located at the junction of Chung Cheng East Road and Gang-zen No 2 Street竿蓁二街. There were 6 soldiers, 5 of them from 湖南善化縣: 李有章, 袁致和, 張月升, 胡芳之, and 嚴洪勝, and the 6th 李佑銓 [left] was from 永定縣. They followed General Sun from Hunan to fight the Aborigines elsewhere in Taiwan and were buried in 1881 before the Sino-French war.
(2) In 1979, in an expansion project of the Danshui Golf Course, an old cemetery [the Second Public Cemetery] was cleared to make room. This cemetery contained a mass grave and 200 ancient tombs (dating back 300-400 years). Among them, 31 were identified to be 湖南勇 from 長沙府寗鄉縣 and 29 might have died in the Battle of Fisherman's Wharf [their gravestones were dated 光緒十 or 十一年 (1884 or 1885)].
(3) Across the Danshui River in Bali, in the northern shore village of 頂罟村, there is a 大營公廟 built in 1943 next to the burial ground of an unknown number of 湖南勇 who died from illnesses in ca 1884. It was renovated in 1979 [below] and adjacent to the temple now is an Army Camp.
(4) Danshui 大庄萬善堂: Part of this temple was dedicated by the Danshui Golf Club to honor the 湖南勇 after the removal of their graves from a construction site. There are two headstones [below] inscribed with:
湖南甯鄉縣故勇 黃福堂墓 光緒十五年立 
湖南故考甫正元 蔣公蘭亭之佳城 光緒十九年立 
They were probably those who chose to settle in Danshui after the Battle, instead of going back to Hunan, and died later from other causes.
Preservation of the past is not yet a priority in the rapidly expanding Danshui. This will soon change. The establishment of a Peace Memorial in Tamsui Peace Park will now lead the way.