Count Muraviev (governor-general in Eastern Siberia) was anxious to make use of the circumstance of the Taiping rebellion to press on with his ambition to re-acquire the Amur for Russia; he was fearful that Britain or perhaps even the United States, the most effective maritime powers, would forestall him in seizing this empty territory. In 1850 he set up two Russian military posts at the Amur mouth and a short distance upstream, and in 1853 another one 150 miles up river, together with two on the Manchurian coast opposite Sakhalin island. It was established that the Manchu forces on the Amur were small, most having been drafted south to face the Taipings, and that their arms were very primitive-mostly bows and arrows, with a few matchlocks and outdated cannon.