The Battle of Fengqiu was a battle fought between the forces of Cao Cao and Yuan Shu. It was one of the many battles of the civil wars that followed after Dong Zhuo seized Luoyang and the Guandong Coalition had fallen apart.

The BattleEdit

In the Battle of Xiangyang, Yuan Shu had lost his general, Sun Jian, against Liu Biao's men. Before this, Yuan Shu was quite the succesful warlord, delivering the only succesful general, Sun Jian, to the Guandong Coalition, as well as defeating Zhou Yu and Zhou Ang during the civil wars that followed after the Guandong Coalition had fallen.

However, when Sun Jian died in an ambush at the Xian Hills, it appeared Yuan Shu had lost one of his best, if not the best general of his army and it took him some time to re-establish his strong influence.

Following the loss of Sun Jian in 191 A.D.[1], the expansion of his influence was halted. Under pressure of Liu Biao, who cut off Yuan Shu's grain supply, Yuan Shu led his army into Chenliu, garrisoning Fengqiu, east of his former location, Luyang. In the meantime, however, Cao Cao had his army at Juancheng, located to the north east of Fengqiu.

At Fengqiu, Yuan Shu was joined by Yufuluo, from the Xiongnu and the Black Mountain Bandits, two of his trusted allies. The Heishan bandits and the Shanyu bandits opposed him. To deal with them, Yuan Shu sent his general Liu Xiang to garrison Kuangting.[2]

Clash at Fengqiu; Cao Cao vs. Yuan ShuEdit

Fengqiu Battle Map

made by Rafe de Crespigny
A map showing Yuan Shu's retreats.

Liu Xiang was attacked by Cao Cao and then reinforced by Yuan Shu. A battle ensued and Yuan Shu was badly defeated and retreated to defend Fengqiu. Cao Cao then besieged Fengqiu but before the siege was completed, Yuan Shu retreated to Xiangyi.[3]

Cao Cao pursued Yuan Shu to Taishou and diverted the waters of the Qu River from Xiangyi. Yuan Shu then fled to the east, to Ningling. Cao Cao still hotly pursued his retreating enemy and Yuan Shu fled further south, to Jiujiang commandery.[4]

When Yuan Shu retreated to Jiujiang commandery, Cao Cao gave up on pursuing him.

Jiujiang CommanderyEdit

At Jiujiang commandery, Chen Yu, the Inspector of Yang province appointed by Yuan Shu after the death of Chen Wen, turned against him and refused to allow him entry.

Yuan Shu fell back on Yinling, collected his forces from the north of the Huai and went forward once more against Shouchun. Chen Yu took fright and retreated to Xiapi. Then Yuan Shu took over his territory and claimed the additional title 'Lord of Xu province'.[5]


  • Participants as mentioned in ZZTJ.
  1. The date of Sun Jian's death is mentioned in various sources as being in either 191, 192 or 193 A.D. TTK Wiki believes 191 A.D. was the year of Sun Jian's death, because his son Sun Ce mentions this as his fathers death in a letter he wrote in 198 A.D.
  2. SGZ 1, 10 (27b-28a), the Biography of Cao Cao.
  3. To Establish Peace, by Rafe de Crespigny.
  4. HHS 75/65, 2439 (6b), the Biography of Yuan Shu.
  5. In SGZ 6 and HHS 75/65 it is said that Yuan Shu killed Chen Wen, Inspector of Yang to take over his territory. Sima Guang, the author of ZZTJ, follows the more circumstantial story that Chen Wen died in the previous year, then Yuan Shu sent Chen Yu to take his place, but Chen Yu now sought to turn against his former patron.