Biography (SGYY): Zhang Ying

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Zhang Ying
Lived: ?–195

Sanguo Yanyi Officer Biography
Author Notes in Blue
Authored by Sam Wrest

Zhang Ying

Zhang Ying was a brigade leader serving Governor of Yangzhou Liu Yao. Through years of service, Ying was eventually elevated to the rank of General of the Valiant Chargers.

In AD 194, Sun Ce launched an expedition against Yangzhou. Zhang Ying was summoned to the war council by Liu Yao to discuss ways of repelling the invasion. Ying quickly volunteered himself for the task: “Let me take a company to Ox Landing,” he said, “and he won’t get through – not even with a million men!”

Another of Liu Yao’s commanders, Taishi Ci, then stepped forward. “I will take the van!” he declared.

“You are too young for a command,” Liu Yao replied. “Stay by me and await orders.”

Liu Yao then gave Zhang Ying command of the main army with commands to defend Ox Landing, which stored one hundred thousand bushels of grain. Ying set off with his new command immediately.

Shortly after arriving in Ox Landing, Zhang Ying was met with Sun Ce’s main force. Ying had his soldiers prepare for battle and led them to the water’s edge, where each army formed up on opposing lines. Gripping his weapon, Zhang Ying charged the enemy army, commanded by Huang Gai, but before the battle got fully underway, a fire erupted in Zhang Ying’s own camp. (1) Unable to control his forces, Ying was forced to lead his army into a retreat to the nearby hills.

1: The fire in Zhang Ying’s camp had actually been set by Zhou Tai and Jiang Qin, two local brigands that had come to offer their allegiance to Sun Ce. Their attack on Zhang Ying’s camp was a means for attaining rank in Ce’s army.

After his defeat at Ox Landing, Zhang Ying re-gathered his scattered forces and led them back to Liu Yao’s main camp. Yao wanted to execute Ying for failing to route Sun Ce’s army, but his advisers, mindful of the manner of Ying’s defeat, urged leniency, and Liu Yao dropped the matter. Zhang Ying was then ordered to garrison the city of Lingling and block any further advance of Sun Ce, and soon after set off for his new post.

While stationed in Lingling, Zhang Ying received word that Liu Yao’s home base of Qu’e had been captured by a separate part of Sun Ce’s army, and that Yao was setting out for Moling to establish a relief force. After hearing the reports, Zhang Ying too gathered his forces and set out for Moling, but by the time he arrived, Liu Yao had already fled to Yuzhang to seek refuge with Liu Biao. Nevertheless, Zhang Ying entered Moling and joined his forces with that of its protector, Xue Li.

Reports soon arrived that Sun Ce was approaching Moling. Ce approached the foot of the city wall and demander surrender, but an arrow shot from one of Moling’s defenders pierced his left thigh and dropped him from his horse. Zhang Ying and Xue Li soon received reports that Ce had died as a result of his injury, and that his army had consequently begun to withdraw. Seeking to take advantage of the invader’s retreat, Zhang Ying charged out of Moling’s gates with Xue Li and Commander Chen Heng, eager to eliminate the threat. Coming upon their rear line, however, Ying found Sun Ce alive and well and at the head of an armed force. “Master Sun has come!” Ce shouted.

Upon seeing the leader they presumed dead, Zhang Ying’s men lost heart for battle and threw down their weapons to surrender. With no intention to defect to Sun Ce, Zhang Ying wheeled his mount around and attempted to flee, but he was caught up by Ce’s commander Chen Wu and fatally speared through the back. The year was AD 195.

Copyright © 2007 Sam Wrest. All Rights Reserved.
Source: Luo Guanzhong’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms