Biography (SGZ): Zhang He (Junyi)

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Zhang He (Junyi)
張郃 (俊乂)
(AD 167-231)

Sanguozhi Officer Biography
Pei Songzhi in Blue, Translator Notes in Green
Translated by jiuwan (Giao Chau)

Zhang He styled Junyi was a man from He Jian Mo. During the end of the Han, help was needed to quell the Yellow Turbans. Zhang He was a Major (I) (si ma) in the employ of Han Fu. When Han Fu was defeated, the soldiers returned to Yuan Shao. Yuan Shao promoted Zhang He to the rank of Colonel (II) (xiao wei) and ordered him to defend against Gongsun Zan. Defeating Gongsun Zan, Zhang He’s achievements were numerous. He was then transferred to become the General of the Gentleman of the Household (zhong lang jiang) in Ning Guo.

(I): A major’s (si ma) rank carried a salary of one thousand shi.
(II): A colonel’s (xiao wei) rank was just above the major’s rank. A regiment was commanded by the colonel who had command of about 700 men with between 60 – 120 junior officers. Below the colonel, was the second in command – a major (si ma). The colonel earned a salary of Equivalent to two thousand shi of grain (bi er qian shi).

[Cao Cao] and Yuan Shao faced off with each other at Guan Du (1). Yuan Shao dispatched Chunyu Qiong and others to station at Wu Chao. [Cao Cao] personally led the attack [on Wu Chao]. Zhang He said to Yuan Shao: “Duke Cao’s armies are elite, they would surely defeat Chunyu Qiong and the others. After Chunyu Qiong is defeated, the army will scatter. Instead send quick reinforcements to aid.” Guo Tu remarked: “Zhang He’s plans are bad. Instead, let us attack the original source [referring to Cao Cao’s camp], power will surely return. This explanation is why reinforcements should not be sent.” Zhang He then replied: “Duke Cao’s encampment is solidified, it is hard to uproot. If Chunyu Qiong’s camp is captured we will be depleted and captured.” Yuan Shao didn’t send the reinforcements to aid Chunyu Qiong, instead he attacked [Cao Cao]’s camp with the main army. Yuan Shao wasn’t able to advance further, while [Cao Cao] successfully defeated Chunyu Qiong and the others. Yuan Shao’s army was then defeated. Guo Tu was ashamed and praised Zhang He: “Zhang He’s advice was true, his words were modest.” Zhang He feared [Yuan Shao, possibly because of the defeat] and submitted to [Cao Cao] (2).

(1): According to Han Jin Chun Qiu: Zhang He told Yuan Shao: “My lord can’t win, do not do battle with Duke Cao. Secretly dispatch light cavalry towards the south to regroup the army to save defeat.” Yuan Shao didn’t approve.
(2): Your servant Songzhi checked the records of [Cao Cao] and Yuan Shao. It says that Yuan Shao sent Zhang He and Gao Lan to attack [Cao Cao]’s camp. Zhang He and the others heard that Chunyu Qiong had been defeated, thereupon went to surrender. The crowd of Yuan Shao suffered a crushing military defeat. Therefore the cause of the surrender by Zhang He and the others came after the destruction of Yuan Shao’s army. To this story, because of Yuan Shao’s army being destroyed, then fearing Guo Tu’s praise; then afterwards [Zhang He] submitted to [Cao Cao]. It different and incorrect.

After [Cao Cao] acquired Zhang He, he was considerably pleased and said to him: “Xi Zi didn’t desert early and brought upon himself a dangerous predicament. Wei Zi went to Yin and Han Xin submitted to Han (III).” Zhang He was promoted to Lieutenant General (pian jiang jun) and bestowed as Marquis of a Chief Commune (du ting hou). Afterwards [Zhang he] went on to attack Ye, also attacking Yuan Tan at Bo Hai; other generals surrounded Yong Nu and defeated him. Attack was then on the city of Liu (liu cheng) along with Zhang Liao accompanying as the vanguard. After success [Zhang He] was transferred to General who Pacifies Tribes (ping di jiang jun). He had a separate attack on Guan Cheng at Dong Lai. Along with Zhang Liao, [Zhang He] successfully defeated Chen Lan, Mei Cheng and others. [Zhang He] was there for the defeat of Ma Chao and Han Sui at Wei Nan. Surrounding An Ding, surrender of Yang Qiu. [Zhang He] and Xiahou Yuan went to attack Liang Xing and Wu Dou Di tribe. Again defeating Ma Chao and pacifying Song Jian. When [Cao Cao] invaded Zhang Lu, he first dispatched Zhang He to command several troops to attack Liang Xing and the Di King, Dou Mao. [Cao Cao] then entered Han Zhong through the scattered gate. Again he first dispatched Zhang He to lead five thousand troops to secure the roads ahead. Reaching Yang Ping, Zhang Lu surrendered. [Cao Cao] returned [back to the capital] leaving Zhang He, Xiahou Yuan and others to defend Han Zhong against Liu Bei.

(III): In this particular passage spoken by Cao Cao, he was referring to Zhang He to the generals of the old – Han Xin, Wei Zi, and Xi Zi. Now I don’t know much about these people historically speaking. What I do know is from Luo Guan Zhong’s San Guo Yuan Yi. In my Chinese text of SGYY, it says that Wei Zi was in the employ of the House of Shang. He left the falling house of Shang to go over to Yin. Han Xin left Xiang Yu to go to the rising house of Han – Liu Bang. There was no mention of Xi Zi in that same passage in my Chinese text of SGYY. But from what I deduce (in Zhang He’s Sanguozhi bio), Xi Zi didn’t leave the defeated side and submit to the victorous side, this brought about his demise. So Cao Cao was referring Zhang He to the latter two – Wei Zi and Han Xin – in that Zhang He left Yuan Shao for the winning side (Cao Cao).

Zhang He leading an army, captured and received the surrender of the two commanderies Ba Dong (Eastern Ba) and Ba Xi (Western Ba); adding the two population into Han Zhong. Advancing towards Dang Qu, he met resistance from Zhang Fei, and withdrew to Nan Zheng. Zhang He was promoted to General who Agitates Bandits (dang kou jiang jun). Liu Bei camped at Yang Ping, while Zhang He camped at Guang Shi. Liu Bei had over ten thousand elite troops [under his command], divided into ten divisions, quickly attacked Zhang He at night. Zhang He lead some personal troops to engage thus preventing Liu Bei. Afterwards, Liu Bei set fire to Zou Ma valley encircling the area. Xiahou Yuan who was putting out the fire confronted Liu Bei and fought a battle. Lacking in troops and continuing on, Xiahou Yuan died. Zhang He returned to Yang Ping (3). Due to the recent death of their commander (Xiahou Yuan), the three armies all lost complexion [in their faces]. They were fearful of the rising in power of Liu Bei. Xiahou Yuan’s second in command, the major (si ma) Guo Huai ordered the remnants of the army thus: “General Zhang [referring to Zhang He] is a renowned general in the kingdom; one that Liu Bei fears. Today we are in a perilous state, if not for general Zhang, we would not be safe.” Thus Zhang He was made the commander of the [remaining] army. Zhang He straightened out the army, tightening the troops. The various officers complying with his orders felt at eased. [Cao Cao] was in Chang An, he dispatched orders to help relieve Zhang He. [Cao Cao] personally arrived in Han Zhong. Liu Bei didn’t dare to do battle so he stayed defending at Gao Shan. [Cao Cao] withdrew the various generals out of Han Zhong while Zhang He returned to station at Chen Cang.

(3): According to Wei Lue: Although Xiahou Yuan held the rank of Chief Controller (duu du), Liu Bei feared Zhang He then Xiahou Yuan. After killing Xiahou Yuan, Liu Bei remarked: “After acquiring the chief, who can do evil!”

When the Literary Emperor (Cao Pi) assumed the throne; he promoted Zhang He to the rank of General of the Left (zuo jiang jun) with the feudal title of Marquis of a Chief District (du xiang ting). Along with Jian Zuo, he was bestowed as Marquis of Feng Mo. By Imperial decree, Zhang He and Cao Zhen pacified the areas of Lu Shui Hu and Dong Qiang. Both Zhang He and Cao Zhen, by decree, were made Chao Xu Gong. Zhang He was then dispatched south along with Xiahou Shang to attack Jiang Ling. Zhang He with other officers crossed the river and camped at Wu. [Cao Pi] immediately positioned to station at Jing Zhou, along with Sima Xuan Wang (IV) attacked Sun Quan’s general, Liu Ah Deng. They chased Liu Ah Deng all the way to Qu Kou where the battled the latter and defeated him.

(IV): This was the name used to refer to Sima Yi. When Jin absorbed Wei, they were the next dynasty after the collapse of Wei. Just like how Wei replaced Han, Jin replaced Wei. Sima Yi’s grandson – Sima Yan was the Emperor of Jin, Sima Yi was given the posthumous title of Sima Xuan Wang. Chen Shou wrote San Guo Zhi during the Jin dynasty, so he referred to Sima Yi as Sima Xuan Wang to pay proper respect, just as he refers Cao Cao as Grand Ancestor (Tai Zu) or the Martial Emperor (Wu Di).

Zhuge Liang attacked via Qi Shan, Zhang He was dispatched to defend with command of an army. Zhang He defended against Zhuge Liang’s general Ma Su at Jie Ting. Ma Su camped on the mountains instead of in a city. Zhang He cut off [Ma Su’s] water supply and attacked, dealing the latter a crushing defeat. The prefectures of Nan An, Tian Shui and An Ding revolted to Zhuge Liang. Zhang He pacified all three. An Imperial decree read thus: “The traitor Zhuge Liang of Ba-Shu, a xiao tiger of a master. Any general overcoming him, Zhen (V) will be greatly pleased. A reward of one thousand households will be given [for the fiefdom], along with an additional four thousand three hundred households.”

(V): ‘Zhen’ in Chinese is a special term reserved for the Emperor to use to address himself. It is another pronoun for the word ‘I’. Basically when the one says this sentence – “I will attack”, the pronoun of ‘I’ is used to address oneself. When the emperor says the exact same sentence, he will instead say “Zhen will attack”. Both will mean the exact same thing, difference is one is a special term the emperor uses.

[Sima Yi] administered the navy at Jing Zhou, desiring to cross the river and subjugate the Wu kingdom. Ordering Zhang He to station at the middle of the pass with an army. Arriving in Jing Zhou, the winter waters were shallow impeding the big ships’ movements, thus returning to the city of Fang (Fang cheng) to restation.

Zhuge Liang attacked again at Chen Cang. [Cao Pi] summoned Zhang He to Jing Dou. [Cao Pi] fortunately was in the city of He Nei, he laid out a banquet to send Zhang He off. Dispatching the northern and southern army with thirty thousand along with Wu Wei, and Hu Bi to help Zhang He. Asking Zhang He: “The late arriving general, will Zhuge Liang get Chen Cang?” Zhang He knowing that Zhuge Liang’s army had no grain, won’t be able to attack. So he spoke thus: “Without our arrival, Zhuge Liang will retreat; according to calculations, Zhuge Liang’s supplies won’t last any longer than ten days.” Zhang He travelled by day and night towards Nan Zheng; Zhuge Liang retreated. Zhang He was summoned back to Jing Dou and promoted to General of the Cavalry and Chariots who Conquers the West (zheng xi ju ji jiang jun).

Zhang He could recognize the situation and improvise; he was virtuous in his camps; understanding the nature of battle and knowledgeable in the terrains; able to come up with stratagems; Zhuge Liang and the others feared him. Even though Zhang He was a militaristic general, he loved music and scholastic pursuits; 嘗薦同鄉卑湛經明行修. An Imperial decree read thus: “昔祭遵為將, 奏置五經大夫, 居軍中, 與諸生雅歌投壺 (VI). This general, externally took care of military affairs; domestically helped the dynasty. Zhen {refer to footnote eight again} am thankful for his ideals, worthy to be selected as a scholar.”

(VI): This imperial decree was praises on Zhang He. I’m not sure how to translate it all.

Zhuge Liang again attacked via Qi Shan. Zhang He was ordered west towards Lue Yang while Zhuge Liang returned to protect Qi Shan. Zhang He pursued up to Mu Men where he battled Zhuge Liang’s army. [Zhang He] was hit by a flying arrow in the right knee and died (4). He was given a posthumous title of Marquis Zhuang. His son, Zhang Xiong inherited. Zhang He had previous merits and deeds so the Brilliant Emperor (Cao Rui) divided his house; bestowing upon his four sons Marquises. The sons were given the feudal rank of Marquis of Guan Nei.

(4): According to Wei Lue: Zhuge Liang’s army was retreating when Sima Xuan Wang ordered Zhang He to pursue. Zhang He replied: “According to military laws: A surrounded city must open a path of retreat; do not pursue a retreating army.” Sima Xuan Wang ignored the advice and Zhang He had to advance. The Shu army, from a elevated grounds sprang an ambush; arrows rained down [on the pursuing army]; hitting Zhang He.

Copyright © 2004 jiuwan (Giao Chau)
Translated from Chen Shou’s Records of the Three Kingdoms annoted by Pei Songzhi