This chapter explores the Ningxi Battalion gazetteer and the villages of southern Lanshan County as a point of departure for an investigation into the influence of the garrison and military colony system on settlement patterns in rural south China. The Nanling Mountains are traditionally seen as the dividing line between the Yangtze and the Pearl River watersheds. Anthropologists have labelled this vast range of mountains an “ethnic corridor” through which multiple ethnic groups have moved in multiple directions. The story of the institutional origins of the Ming garrison system and its transformation over the course of the Ming is relatively straightforward. Large numbers of Guards were established across the empire, and these garrisons were home to armies of hereditary military households. The local government implemented various concrete measures to register former Ming colony lands for tax purposes, and to transform the people who occupied these lands into lawful Qing subjects.