Xuan-de: Year 2, Month 9, Day 10
1 Oct 1427
On this day, the armies of the An-yuan Marquis and Regional Commander Liu Sheng and others, arrived at Ai-liu Pass in Jiao-zhi. Li Li and all the major and minor chieftains prepared a letter and sent a person with it to the general military headquarters asking that the troops be withdrawn, the people rested and that a descendant of the Chen line be appointed to rule the land. Sheng and the others received the letter, but did not break the seal. They sent a person with a memorial to present it to the Court. At the time, in all the areas through which the army passed, the bandits had put up palisades in defence. The Imperial army had successively destroyed them right up to Zhen-yi Pass. It was like moving into uninhabited areas.
Sheng considered this an easy mission. Although Sheng was brave, he was lacking in tactics. At this time, the Bao-ding Earl and Deputy Regional Commander Liang Ming and the Minister Li Qing, who was assisting with military affairs, were both ill. Shi An, a director in the Ministry of Rites and Chen Yong, a secretary in the same ministry, spoke to Qing, saying:
"It appears from his words and countenance that the supreme commander is haughty. A haughty general is dreaded by the troops. The bandits are wily and deceitful. Perhaps they are pretending weakness to entice us into error. The Imperial orders have repeatedly contained warnings and instructions that we should guard against ambushes by the bandits. We are at the juncture between safety and danger. You must urgently speak with him."
Qing roused himself and spoke strongly with Sheng. Sheng promised to be more careful, but he took no serious precautions. When they came to Dao-ma Po, he quickly crossed the bridge with only 100-plus cavalry. As soon as they had crossed, the bridge was suddenly destroyed and the rear force could not advance. Those with Sheng got bogged in the muddy ground and the ambushing bandit troops rose from four sides. Sheng was killed by a sword and all those who had accompanied Sheng were also killed. Thus, the Commissioner-in-chief Cui Ju, assistant regional commander of the right, took command of the troops and issued orders to the force. On that day, Liang Ming died of illness and on the following day Li Qing also died. On the subsequent day Cui Ju led the Imperial troops into Chang River, where they encountered the bandits. The government troops were few, while the bandit force was strong. However, the government troops exerted great efforts and were ready to fight to the death. The bandits then drove elephants forward with great force to provide support, at which time, the government troops became disordered. Ju was captured by the bandits. The bandits yelled loudly that those who surrendered would not be killed, but the Imperial troops were either killed or fled. None surrendered. The Director Shi An and the Secretaries Chen Yong and Li Zong-fang were all killed on that day. Only the Secretary Pan Hou escaped with his life.
Sheng had his origins in Huai-ning County in An-qing.... In the third year of the Yong-le reign (1405/06), he was promoted to assistant commissioner-in-chief of the left and in the fourth year (1406/07) he accompanied the Ying-guo Duke Zhang Fu in pacifying Jiao-zhi. In the sixth year (1408/09), he was enfeoffed as the An-yuan Earl...When the Ren-zong Emperor ascended the throne (1425), he was promoted to Grand Mentor of the Heir Apparent. At this time, he was appointed as regional commander to lead troops on expedition to Jiao-zhi. It was there that he was killed.....Ming had his origins in Ru-yang County, He-nan. During the Hong-wu reign (1368-1398), he inherited his father's post and was appointed as a company commander in the Yan-shan Forward Guard... In consideration of his achievements in defending cities, he was enfeoffed as the Bao-ding Earl. At this time, he died of illness. Ming was relaxed in disposition and, in handling matters, he was liberal and easy-going. However, he was brave and fierce and, when confronting bandits, he led the way. He was also kind in his treatment of the troops. If Ming had not died, Ju would not have met defeat. Ju had his origins in Huai-yuan County, Feng-yang. In the first year of the Hong-xi reign (1425/26), he was promoted to assistant commissioner-in-chief of the Left Military Commission. At this time, he went on expedition to Jiao-zhi with Liu Sheng. When Sheng was killed and the troops defeated, Ju took command of the force and returned to battle. However, they did not have sufficient strength and he was captured. The bandits tried to force Ju to instruct his troops to surrender, but Ju refused to submit. They used all sorts of strategies to force the surrender, but he remained unbending till the end. The bandits then killed him. Qing had his origins in Shun-yi County in Shun-tian Prefecture. .... Subsequently, Qing remained in the Ministry of War in Nan-jing. When the An-yuan Marquis Liu Sheng and so on went on expedition to Jiao-zhi, it was ordered that Qing assist in military matters. When they reached Guang-xi, he fell sick and when the Jiao-zhi border was reached, he died.....
Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 17, page 0797/802