Yuan Chonghuan (袁崇煥; style name: Yuansu 元素 and Ziru 自如; June 6, 1584 – September 22, 1630) was a famed patriot and military commander of the Ming Dynasty who battled the Manchus in Liaoning. A Chinese style name, sometimes also known as a courtesy name ( zì) is a given name to be used later in life Events 1508 - Maximilian I Holy Roman Emperor, is defeated in Friulia by Venetian forces; he is forced to sign a three-year Events 66 - Emperor Nero creates the Legion I Italica. 1236 - The Lithuanians The Ming Dynasty ( or Empire of the Great Ming ( was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol -led The Manchu people ( Manchu: Manju;, Mongolian: Манж Russian: Маньчжуры are a Tungusic people who originated in ( is a northeastern province of the People's Republic of China. He was known to have excelled in artillery warfare and successfully incorporated western tactics into the East. Yuan's military career reached its height when he defeated Nurhaci and the Manchurian army in the first Battle of Ningyuan. Nurhaci ( Chinese: 努爾哈赤 or 努爾哈齊; Manchu:) is considered to be the founding father of the Manchu The Battle of Ningyuan (寧遠之戰 was a battle between the Han Chinese Ming Dynasty and the Manchurian Later Jin in 1626. Nurhaci's son and successor, Huang Taiji, was defeated by him in the second Battle of Ningyuan. Nurhaci ( Chinese: 努爾哈赤 or 努爾哈齊; Manchu:) is considered to be the founding father of the Manchu Huang Taiji ( November 28 1592 &ndash September 21 1643; reigned 1626 &ndash 1643 also transliterated as Hung Taiji The Battle of Ningyuan (寧遠之戰 was a battle between the Han Chinese Ming Dynasty and the Manchurian Later Jin in 1626. However, Yuan was a tragic figure, and was executed by his emperor under false charges which Huang Taiji deliberately planted against him. Huang Taiji ( November 28 1592 &ndash September 21 1643; reigned 1626 &ndash 1643 also transliterated as Hung Taiji
Yuan Chonghuan was born in Dongguan, Guangdong province. Administration The Prefecture-level city of Dongguan administers 3 county-level divisions, all of which are districts. Guangdong ( EFEO: Kouangtong; Pinyin Guǎngdōng; Postal map spelling: Kwangtung) is a province on the During his adolescence, Yuan spent time travelling from town to town. It is during these journeys that he befriended many Jesuits and foreigners. He had taken imperial examinations a few times with little success, but in his journeys to the capital, he was able to see a lot more than the average examiners could see. Some say that in this time, he befriended westerners and together, they spent time modifying European cannons.
He passed the imperial examinations in 1619 and was appointed to the minor post of magistrate in a remote place. In 1619, the imperial Ming army was very badly defeated by the Manchus in the Battle of Sarhu. The Battle of Sarhū refers to the series of conflicts between the Manchus and Ming Dynasty in winter 1619, which ended in the overwhelming victory of the Subsequently, the Chinese armies suffered successive defeats and in 1622 they were forced to retreat to Shanhaiguan, abandoning all of Liaoning to the Manchus. Shanhaiguan or Shanhai Pass ( literally "Mountain and Sea Pass" is a part of the city of Qinhuangdao, in Hebei province People's Republic After a visit to the front, Yuan was appointed second-class secretary in the Board of War, promoted almost immediately to secretary, and supplied with funds for enlisting troops. (Note: It should be noted that Yuan did not have any formal military training at all. Of course, he had to study the Confucian classics in order to pass the imperial examinations. It is some sort of minor miracle that he could move from a junior civilian officer to a high-ranking military commander in just a couple of years. )
Yuan Chonghuan worked harmoniously with the commander-in-chief Sun Chengzong (孫承宗) and pushed the frontiers steadily northward, fortifying Ningyuan (寧遠) in 1623. Sun Chengzong was a Grand Secretary of the late Ming Dynasty. Xingcheng ( Chinese: 兴城 Pinyin: Xīngchéng former name Ningyuan (宁远 is a Chinese city with more than 100000 inhabitants in Huludao The elderly Sun was an able commander with a good moral character and refused to bribe the Emperor's eunuch. Consequently, in 1625 Sun was recalled and replaced by Gao Di (高第), who ordered a general retreat to Shanhaiguan, but Yuan flatly refused to leave Ningyuan. Early in the next year, Nurhaci led the Manchus back across the Liao River. Nurhaci ( Chinese: 努爾哈赤 or 努爾哈齊; Manchu:) is considered to be the founding father of the Manchu The Liao He (遼河 Liao River is the principal River in southern Manchuria (1345 km Yuan Chonghuan and his Deputies successfully held Ningyuan with the newly-mounted and modified "red-barbarian cannon" (紅衣大炮, 紅夷大炮) and wounded the Manchurian Emperor, Nurhaci. As a result of this victory, the Imperial Court at Beijing appointed Yuan on 27 February 1626 as the Governor of Liaodong, with full authority to handle all forces outside the passes. Events 1560 - The Treaty of Berwick, which would expel the French from Scotland, is signed by England and the Congregation This battle was an amazing deed since Yuan had only 9000 soldiers (of whom many were simply militia), even though Nurhaci's men consisted of 130,000 strong men (some say 200,000). This battle prevented China from being conquered and boosted the hopes of Ming and its allies that the Manchurians were defeatable. It is noted that Yuan was said to have studied every aspect of the cannon for it to fire correctly at the position he wanted, and this is the reason why Nurhaci, even though well protected by his elite guards in a relatively safe position, was fatally wounded. This battle was remembered as the Battle of Ningyuan. The Battle of Ningyuan (寧遠之戰 was a battle between the Han Chinese Ming Dynasty and the Manchurian Later Jin in 1626. It is said that after the battle, Yuan sent letters to ask the well-being of Nurhaci, as what traditionally Chinese generals would do, but Nurhaci returned an insult by calling him a faker.
During this time, he executed Mao Wenlong (毛文龍), a somewhat talented commander but who had a terrible moral character. Various texts have different perspectives of his actions. Many stated this was a terrible mistake since Mao could still be used to defend against the Manchus. However, Yuan took in account of how Mao committed his battles. Mao's tactics usually involved using civilian settlements as a shield for his troops and during the occupation, civilians suffered tremendously. It is also Mao's fault for using Korea, Ming's ally, as a base to attack Manchuria, which resulted in Korea being conquered by Manchus as Mao ordered a general retreat when the Manchus entered Korea. This angered many merchants in the Beijing area since Mao had never dared to drag major cities into war even when there was a strategic advantage. In addition, Mao had bribe many eunuchs and corrupted officials. Thus, Yuan made enemies with the most influential and corrupted people in China.
Taking advantage of Nurhaci's death later in the year, Yuan reoccupied Jinzhou. Jinzhou ( is a Prefecture-level city of Liaoning province China. The Manchus reappeared in June and withdrew after a series of indecisive battles. (Note: This is known as the Battle of Ningyuan-Jinzhou or the Second Battle of Ningyuan. ) The campaign gave opportunity for Yuan to be criticised by the partisans of the eunuch official Wei Zhongxian, stating that he took too long to fight off the "Barbarian" Manchurians, in consequence of which he retired. Wei Zhongxian ( (1568 – October 19, 1627) is considered by most historians as the most powerful and notorious Eunuch in Chinese history
In 1628, under a new government, Yuan Chonghuan was reinstated as field marshal of all the forces of the northeast. He embarked on an ambitious five year plan for the complete recovery of Liaodong. In 1629 he was granted the title of Senior Guardian of the Heir Apparent. The Chongzhen Emperor, the new emperor gave him his Imperial Sword and stated that he would fully support Yuan's decisions. The Chongzhen Emperor ( Pinyin: Chóngzhēn WG: Ch'ung-chen ( February 6, 1611 - April 25, 1644) was the 16th and
This time Yuan had to face again a larger Manchurian force (slightly above 200,000) under Huang Taiji. Huang Taiji ( November 28 1592 &ndash September 21 1643; reigned 1626 &ndash 1643 also transliterated as Hung Taiji This time the Manchurians had incorporated many more men including the newly surrendered Mongols, rebel Ming army and the conquered Korea and various small states of the North. However, the Manchus were not confident to attack Jinzhou or Ningyuan again.
Th Manchus changed their strategy. They bypassed Jinzhou, Ningyuan and Shanhai Pass. They broke through the Great Hall west of Shanhai Pass and suddenly appeared north of Beijing in the winter of 1629. Yuan rushed back with an elite army from Ningyuan to defend the capital. He reached Beijing only one or two days before the Manchus arrived at Beijing. Outside the city wall of Beijing, he defeated the Manchurian "Eight Flags" (八旗) which numbered one hundred thousand. (Note: The Manchus failed to destroy the Imperial Ming army at the city wall of Beijing and thus failed to launch a direct assault on the city wall. Thus the Manchus failed in their main objective of launching a surprise attack on Beijing. Yuan's army was not strong enough to destroy the Manchu army. He only managed to make the Manchus fail in their main objective. ) As he arrived into Beijing, instead of being welcome, he was heavily criticized. Some eunuchs even accused Yuan of collaborating with the enemy. In fact, they were actually tricked by Huang Taiji into thinking that Yuan had backstabbed them.
Without much evidence, the Chongzhen Emperor ordered his arrest during an interview with the Emperor on January 13, 1630. Events 532 - Nika riots in Constantinople. 888 - Odo Count of Paris becomes King of the Franks He was accused of collusion with the enemy and condemned to death by "death by a thousand cuts" at Ganshiqiao (甘石橋) in Beijing. It is stated the merchants, eunuchs and corrupt officials rushed to buy his body parts so they could eat it. When Yuan was asked for last words before his execution, he produced the poem: "A life's work always ends up in vain; half of my career seems to be in dreams. I do not worry about lacking brave warriors after my death, for my loyal spirit will continue to guard Liaodong. The Liáodōng Peninsula ( is a Peninsula in the Liáoníng province of northeastern China, historically known in the west as southern east- Manchuria " (一生事業總成空，半世功名在夢中。死後不愁無將勇，忠魂依舊保遼東！) His family was also exiled.
Mourning was given to the general's honor throughout most part of the country and even Korea; everyone regarded the fate of Ming and its allies was in boiling water with the death of Yuan. His head, the only recognizable part after the torture, was taken outside the Inner City Wall by a city guard, whose surname is She, and buried near Guanqu Men. The guard's family have guarded it from one generation to the next ever since. His tomb was renovated to Yuanchonghuan Memorial recently.
Huang Taiji publicly stated that he would never able to beat Yuan in a fair game, thus, making the Chongzhen Emperor kill him the only method to get rid of him. Just as the message of Yuan's death reach Huang Taiji's ears, he changed his state name from Jin to Qing and proclaimed himself Emperor Qing Taizong. Some historical information states that Huang Taiji fear Yuan's last word stating his soul will always guard Liaodong Peninsula: As the name Chonghuan, means Undying Flames, contains the element "Fire", he put the word Qing, meaning cleanse, which contains the element "Water", to overcome it; however, even if this is the case, the main reason is probably because the "Ming" of the Ming Dynasty contains the element "Fire" itself. In traditional Chinese philosophy, natural phenomena can be classified into the Wu Xing ( or the Five Phases, usually translated as five elements, The Ming Dynasty ( or Empire of the Great Ming ( was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol -led
Although history states that his entire family was executed, in Jinyong wuxia novel Sword Stained with Royal Blood (碧血劍), Yuan is survived by a son. Louis Cha, GBM, OBE ( born 6 February 1924) known with his pen name Jin Yong ( is one of the most influential modern Chinese-language Wuxia or Wǔxiá ( Mandarin ùɕiɑ̌ Hanyu Pinyin: Wǔxiá, Cantonese Pinyin: mou5 hap6 Taiwanese/Hokkien bu hiap Sword Stained with Royal Blood ( was first published in Hong Kong Commercial Daily in 1956. The protagonist of the novel, he learns amazing martial arts on Mount Hua and tries to avenge his father's death. Hua Shan (Simplified 华山 Traditional 華山 PinyinHuà Shān is located in the Shaanxi Province, about 100 kilometres east of the city of Xi'an, near Jinyong also put forward a theory by some other historians that it was the Chongzhen Emperor, not Huangtaiji, that had Yuan Chonghuan killed, and that the Chongzhen Emperor knew perfectly well that Yuan was not a traitor. The Chongzhen Emperor ( Pinyin: Chóngzhēn WG: Ch'ung-chen ( February 6, 1611 - April 25, 1644) was the 16th and Huang Taiji ( November 28 1592 &ndash September 21 1643; reigned 1626 &ndash 1643 also transliterated as Hung Taiji As in the case of Yue Fei, Jinyong proposed that the cause of Yuan's death was the Chongzhen Emperor's fear of his popularity with the people and of his disrespect of the throne. Yue Fei’s biographies Yue Fei Biography A biography of Yue Fei was written 60 years after his death by his grandson the poet and historian Yue Ke (岳柯
His name was conclusively cleared about 100 years after his death by the emperor Qianlong, a descendant of his arch enemy, Huangtaiji, who plotted his death. Emperor Qianlong (Chinese 乾隆 Qiánlóng, Wade-Giles' Ch'ien-Lung', Mongolian Tengeriig Tetgesen Khaan, born Hongli (弘历 September Huang Taiji ( November 28 1592 &ndash September 21 1643; reigned 1626 &ndash 1643 also transliterated as Hung Taiji This happened after people found conclusive evidence in old archives of the Imperial Qing court. The Manchu emperor Qianlong tried to show off his unusual kindness by searching for Yuan's descendants for reward but none could be found. Emperor Qianlong (Chinese 乾隆 Qiánlóng, Wade-Giles' Ch'ien-Lung', Mongolian Tengeriig Tetgesen Khaan, born Hongli (弘历 September Then he rewarded some descendants of Yuan's brother.
Various books have been written on him. Various TV dramas or films have been made in his honor.