|Died||1665 (aged 71–72)|
Hong Chengchou (1593–1665), courtesy name Yanyan and art name Hengjiu, was a Chinese official who served under the Ming and Qing dynasties. He was born in present-day Liangshan Village, Yingdu Town, Fujian Province, China. After obtaining the position of a jinshi (進士; successful candidate) in the imperial examination in 1616 during the reign of the Wanli Emperor, he joined the civil service of the Ming Empire and served as an official in Shaanxi. During the reign of the Chongzhen Emperor (r. 1627–1644), he was promoted to Minister of War and Viceroy of Suliao (薊遼; an area which included parts of present-day Shandong, Hebei and Tianjin). In 1642, he surrendered and defected to the Manchu-led Qing Empire after his defeat at the Battle of Songjin. He became one of the Qing Empire's leading Han Chinese scholar-politicians. While he was in office, he encouraged the Manchu rulers to adopt Han Chinese culture and provided advice to the Qing government on how to consolidate its control over the former territories of the fallen Ming Empire. Apart from Dorgon and Fan Wencheng (范文程), Hong Chengchou was regarded as one of the most influential politicians in the early Qing dynasty. However, he was also villainised by the Han Chinese for his defection to the Qing Empire and for his suppression of the Southern Ming dynasty (a short-lived state formed by remnants of the fallen Ming Empire).
Hong Chengchou started his career under the Ming Empire by leading military campaigns against rebels in the 1620s. Like Yuan Chonghuan, Xu Guangqi, Sun Yuanhua and other Ming generals, he was also a leading military strategist and proponent of the adoption of European cannons by the Ming armies. He served as the Governor of Shaanxi and Sanbian and was responsible for countering rebel forces led by Li Zicheng. He defeated Li Zicheng at the Battle of Tongguan Nanyuan in 1638, after which Li fled with only 18 men. After that battle, he was transferred to the northern border to counter invaders from the Manchu-led Qing Empire.
The Qing raids into Ming territory brought them treasure, food and livestock, but the logistical difficulties along the circuitous invasion route through the Inner Mongolian deserts (in order to bypass the Ming garrisons of Shanhai Pass, Ningyuan, and Jinzhou along the Bohai littoral) made it difficult for the Qing forces to hold onto their territorial conquests.
The Shanhai Pass corridor remained the best invasion route for the Qing forces and therefore the Qing emperor, Huang Taiji, needed to eliminate those Ming fortresses, the first one being Jinzhou. To save the vital fortress, the Ming imperial court sent an army of over 130,000 men under Hong Chengchou to lift the siege. Unfortunately, in a series of skirmishes, Qing forces defeated the Ming army. First, Qing cavalry raided the Ming's granary in the rear, and when the Ming army retreated after it ran out of food, Huang Taiji placed ambush forces along the Ming army's retreat routes and massacred the retreating Ming soldiers at night.
Hong Chengchou surrendered to the Qing regime in 1642, after being captured in the Battle of Songjin. Prior to his surrender, he was the Governor-General of northeastern Zhili and Liaodong. He was attempting to assist the Ming general Zu Dashou, who was besieged in the city of Jinzhou. Hong Chengchou was assigned to the Chinese bordered yellow banner. A fake report of his death reached the Ming ruler, the Chongzhen Emperor, who ordered a temple be built to honour him.
Hong Chengchou's capture was the third big disaster for the Ming military since the execution of Yuan Chonghuan, and the defection of Geng Zhongming and Shang Kexi to the Qing forces (which also led to the execution of Sun Yuanhua as a scapegoat).
After his surrender, Hong Chengchou was made an official only after Qing forces occupied the Ming capital, Beijing. In 1645, Hong Chengchou was sent to Nanjing with the title Pacificator of Jiangnan. His real role in the military was to ship supplies, nonetheless he suppressed many Ming officials and members of the imperial family of the Southern Ming (a short-lived state formed by remnants of the fallen Ming Empire).
Hong Chengchou was several times accused of having secret relations with the Ming remnants. He was in 1651 chastised for sending his mother back to Fujian and in 1652 was not allowed to return to Fujian to mourn his mother's death. Although he was appointed Governor-General of the five provinces of Huguang, Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan and Guizhou, his real task again was to provide for the Qing army.
In 1659, he was recalled to Beijing after he declined to press the war in Yunnan to capture the Yongli Emperor of Southern Ming, who had fled to Burma. Wu Sangui, who was previously one of Hong Chengchou's lieutenants and the commander of the Ming garrison at Ningyuan, was ordered to replace Hong Chengchou to continue the attack on Southern Ming forces.
Hong Chengchou was given a minor hereditary rank perhaps due to distrust by some quarters of the Qing imperial court, which suspected him of sympathising with the Ming remnants.
Hong Chenghou was transferred directly to the Manchu Bordered Yellow Banner eight years after he was put into the Eight Banners.He died shortly after requesting permission to retire because of old age and almost total blindness. He died of natural causes in Nan'an, Fujian in 1665. The location of his tomb is unknown.
Dorgon, also Prince Rui, was a Manchu prince and regent of the early Qing dynasty. Born in the House of Aisin-Gioro as the 14th son of Nurhaci, Dorgon started his career in military campaigns against the Ming dynasty, Mongols and Koreans during the reign of his eighth brother, Hong Taiji, who succeeded their father.
Li Zicheng, born Li Hongji, also known by the nickname, "Dashing King", was a Chinese peasant rebel leader who overthrew the Ming dynasty in 1644 and ruled over northern China briefly as the emperor of the short-lived Shun dynasty before his death a year later.
Wu Sangui, courtesy name Changbai (長白) or Changbo (長伯), 1612 – 2 October 1678, was a Chinese military leader who played an instrumental role in the fall of the Ming dynasty and the establishment of the Qing dynasty in its place.
The Chongzhen Emperor, personal name Zhu Youjian, was the 17th and last Emperor of the Ming dynasty as well as the last ethnic Han to rule over a unified China proper. He reigned from 1627 to 1644. "Chongzhen," the era name of his reign, means "honorable and auspicious".
Dodo, formally known as Prince Yu, was a Manchu prince and military general of the early Qing dynasty.
Yuan Chong huan, courtesy name Yuansu or Ziru, was a politician, military general and writer who served under the Ming dynasty. Widely regarded as a patriot in Chinese culture, he is best known for defending Liaoning from Jurchen invaders during the Later Jin invasion of the Ming. As a general, Yuan Chong huan excelled as a cannoneer and sought to incorporate European cannon designs into the Ming arsenal.
Zhu Yujian, the Prince of Tang, reigned as the Longwu Emperor of the Southern Ming dynasty from 18 August 1645, when he was enthroned in Fuzhou, to 6 October 1646, when he was captured and executed by a contingent of the Qing army. He was an eighth generation descendant of Zhu Jing, Prince Ding of Tang, who was the 23rd son of Ming founder Zhu Yuanzhang.
The Battle of Shanhai Pass, fought on May 27, 1644 at Shanhai Pass at the eastern end of the Great Wall of China, was a decisive battle leading to the beginning of the Qing dynasty rule in China proper. There, Qing Prince-Regent Dorgon allied with former Ming general Wu Sangui to defeat rebel leader Li Zicheng of the Shun dynasty, allowing Dorgon and the Manchus to rapidly conquer Beijing and replace the Ming dynasty.
The Battle of Ningyuan was a battle between the Ming dynasty and the Later Jin dynasty in 1626. The Later Jin had been waging war on the Ming for several years, and their leader Nurhaci had deemed Ningyuan to be a suitable target for his attack, in part due to advice from a Ming defector, Li Yongfang. Later Jin failed to take the city and Nurhaci was wounded in the assault, dying eight months later. The Ming emerged victorious, marking a temporary resurgence of the Ming army after an eight-year-long series of defeats.
The Battle of Song-Jin was fought in 1641 and 1642 at Songshan and Jinzhou, hence the name "Song-Jin". Hong Chengchou's 100,000 elite troops, sent to break the siege of Jinzhou, were crushed by the Eight banner armies of the Qing Dynasty at Songshan. Hong Chengchou and a small number of the remaining troops were besieged at Songshan and defeated a few months later. The Jinzhou garrison and the general Zu Dashou surrendered to the Qing army shortly after the defeat of Ming armies at Songshan.
Zu Dashou, courtesy name Fuyu (腹宇), was a Chinese military general who served on the northern border of the Ming dynasty during the Transition from Ming to Qing. He fought against the Qing dynasty in several major engagements before ultimately surrendering to them in 1642. An alleged descendant of the Eastern Jin dynasty general Zu Ti, he was the maternal uncle of the Ming general Wu Sangui, who surrendered Shanhai Pass to Qing forces and defected to the Qing side. Zu's tomb was acquired by the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada, and is considered one of the "iconic objects" of the museum.
The Affaire in the Swing Age, also known as The Dynasty or Love Against Kingship, is a 2003 Chinese television series based on the novel Jiangshan Fengyu Qing by Zhu Sujin, who was also the screenwriter for the series. The series depicts the events in the transition of the Ming dynasty to the Qing dynasty in China, focusing on the lives of historical figures such as Li Zicheng, Wu Sangui, Chen Yuanyuan, the Chongzhen Emperor and Huangtaiji.
The transition from Ming to Qing, Ming–Qing transition, or Manchu conquest of China from 1618 to 1683 saw the transition between two major dynasties in Chinese history. It was the decades-long conflict between the emergent Qing dynasty (清朝), the incumbent Ming dynasty (明朝), and several smaller factions in China. It ended with the rise of the Qing, and the fall of the Ming and other factions.
Wang Fuchen was a participant in the Revolt of the Three Feudatories during the Qing Dynasty against the Kangxi Emperor. Wang was born in Datong, Shanxi Province, he was born to a poor family and grew up to be a bandit. His original surname was Li, nicknamed Horse-Sparrowhawk (馬鷂子) by the Manchu soldiers. Originally resisting the Manchu conquest of Ming dynasty, ancient historians left behind records stating that Wang Fuchen was a handsome, tall and strong man with pale face, and thick eyebrows that resembled reclining silkworms. He was famous for his valour in battle and was known to the Manchus as a tough opponent, his presence was sometimes discouraging enough for the Manchu soldiers to retreat. He was highly regarded by Shunzhi Emperor and was won over to the Regent Dorgon. He assisted former Ming Dynasty generals Hong Chengchou and Wu Sangui in suppressing the Ming remnants of the Southern Ming Dynasty. He followed Wu to Burma to capture and execute Zhu Youlang, Prince of Gui, the last Ming claimant on the mainland. He was made provincial military commander of Shaanxi, which at the time also included modern-day Gansu province. From his seat at Pingliang, he revolted in coordination with Wu and quickly captured Lanzhou. In 1665 he was defeated by Manchu Bannerman Tuhai at Pingliang. With Geng Jingzhong of Fujian, he surrendered in June 1676. He committed suicide by drinking poison.
The Battle of Dalinghe was a battle between the Later Jin dynasty and the Ming dynasty that took place between September and November 1631. Later Jin forces besieged and captured the fortified northern Ming city of Dalinghe in Liaoning. Using a combined force of Jurchen and Mongol cavalry, along with recently captured Ming artillery units, the Later Jin khan Hong Taiji surrounded Dalinghe and defeated a series of Ming reinforcement forces in the field. The Ming defenders under general Zu Dashou surrendered the city after taking heavy losses and running out of food. Several of the Ming officers captured in the battle would go on to play important roles in the ongoing transition from Ming to Qing. The battle was the first major test for the Chinese firearms specialists incorporated into the Later Jin military. Whereas the Later Jin had previously relied primarily on their own Eight Banners cavalry in military campaigns, after the siege of Dalinghe the Chinese infantry would play a larger role in the fighting. Unlike Nurhaci's failed siege at the Battle of Ningyuan several years prior, the siege of Dalinghe was a success that would soon be replicated in Songshan and Jinzhou, paving the way for the establishment of the Qing dynasty and the ultimate defeat of the Ming.
Kong Youde was a Chinese adventurer and Ming dynasty military officer who served under the warlord Mao Wenlong until Mao's death in 1629. Subsequently he worked for Sun Yuanhua, governor of Shandong, along with fellow Mao subordinate Geng Zhongming. When ordered by Sun to reinforce Zu Dashou at the Battle of Dalinghe in 1631, Kong and Geng mutinied, pillaging the countryside, sacking Dengzhou, and subsequently defecting to the Manchu—soon to declare themselves China's Qing Dynasty—in 1633. They were joined in 1634 by another former officer under Mao, Shang Kexi. Together, the three were known as the "Three Miners from Shandong" and participated in many campaigns under the Qing dynasty, hastening the demise of the Ming.
The Later Jin (1616–1636) was a dynastic khanate in Manchuria ruled by the Jurchen Aisin Gioro leaders Nurhaci and Hong Taiji. Established in 1616 by the Jianzhou Jurchen chieftain Nurhaci upon his reunification of the Jurchen tribes, its name was derived from the former Jurchen-led Jin dynasty which had ruled northern China in the 12th and 13th centuries before falling to the Mongol Empire. In 1635, the lingering Northern Yuan under Ejei Khan formally submitted to the Later Jin. The following year, Hong Taiji officially renamed the realm to "Great Qing", thus marking the start of the Qing dynasty. The Qing subsequently overran Li Zicheng's Shun dynasty and various Southern Ming claimants and loyalists, going on to rule an empire stretching as far as Tibet, Manchuria, Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Taiwan until the 1911 Xinhai Revolution established the Republic of China.
The Battle of Ning-Jin was a military conflict between the Later Jin and Ming dynasty. In the spring of 1627, the Later Jin khan Hong Taiji invaded Ming territory in Liaoning under the pretext of illegal construction on Later Jin lands.
The Jisi Incident (己巳之變) was a military conflict between the Later Jin and Ming dynasty, named because it happened in 1629, a jisi year according to the Chinese sexagenary cycle. In the winter of 1629 Hong Taiji bypassed Ming's northeastern defenses by breaching the Great Wall of China west of the Shanhai Pass and reached the outskirts of Beijing before being repelled by reinforcements from Shanhai Pass. The Later Jin secured large amounts of war material by looting the region around Beijing. This was the first time the Jurchens had broken through the Great Wall into China proper since they rose up against Ming China.