Cao Xiu was a junior of Cao Cao's in the Cao clan. When civil strife ravaged the land, all his relations left their homes and were scattered. Cao Xiu was merely a lad in his teens at that time. His father died, and he carried the coffin personally to the burial site, with just one servant to help him. After that, he took his elderly mother and crossed the Yangtze River into the Wu lands. When his distant cousin Cao Cao was raising a army against Dong Zhuo in 190 A.D. Cao Xiu joined Cao Cao. Cao Cao was very pleased to see his distant cousin. Cao Xiu participated in many battles under Cao Cao, including the Shu campaigns, notably against Wu Lan, who was later beheaded by Cao Cao's son Cao Zhang in 218 A.D. Cao Xiu was considered by many, a good advisor and was later made Commander of the Imperial Guard.
Serving Cao PiEdit
After Cao Cao's death in 220 A.D. Cao Xiu served Cao Cao's successer and son Cao Pi. Cao Pi treated Cao Xiu so well as if he was his own son. They had a close relationship. Cao Xiu was also made General who Guards the South. Cao Xiu was sent to the frontier to defend against Sun Quan's forces. Personally seeing Cao Xiu off, Cao Pi dismounted from his carriage and held his trusted general's hands, reluctant to part.
The Battle of ShitingEdit
In 222 A.D., Cao Pi led a offencive attack against Sun Quan. In that time Cao Xiu was appointed Great General who Conquers the East. Cao Xiu commanded over twenty armies and even defeated Wu general Lü Fan at Dongpu (洞浦, in the vicinity of present day Wuhu, Anhui). However though, Lü Fan's forces were able to regroup and they defeated Cao Xiu along with their reinforcements consisting Xu Sheng and Quan Cong. After Cao Pi's death in 226 A.D. Cao Xiu continued to serve the next Wei emperor, Cao Rui. Cao Xiu was appointed Great Defender-in-Chief and remained in defence of Yangzhou.
In 228 A.D. Cao Rui launched another attack against Sun Quan. This led to a battle called the Battle of Shiting. Cao Xiu led a army towards Xunyang believing every word of Zhou Fang, who pretended to surrendered to Wei. Cao Xiu led his army deep into unfriendly territory and was routed. Submitting a memorial, Cao Xiu pled guilty for his misjudgement. Cao Rui, however, not only forgave him but treated him with even more respect thereafter. Cao Xiu however, died of skin infections on the back that year. He was given the posthumous title of Marquis Zhuang, literally meaning the robust marquis.
The Cao clanEdit
- Cao Zhao (曹肇)