Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Yang Hao

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YANG Hao 楊鎬 (T. 汝京), d. Nov. 10, 1629, Ming general, native of Shang-ch'iu, Honan, received the degree of chin-shih in 1580. He was appointed magistrate of Nanchang, Kiangsi, and later intendant of the Liao-hai Circuit, which controlled Liaotung. In 1597 he was appointed to military command in Korea where the second Japanese invasion, directed by Hideyoshi (see under Nurhaci), was threatening Seoul. Early in 1598 he attacked the Japanese with an army of forty thousand men, but owing to indecision and mismanagement, his forces were disastrously defeated. Removed from his post, he remained in obscurity until 1610 when he was sent to Liaotung as administrator. But he resigned shortly afterwards and went into retirement.

When the loss of Fu-shun (see under Li Yung-fang) in 1618 showed the strength of the Manchu offensive, Yang was given the post of junior vice-president in the Board of War and sent to Liaotung as an expert on matters in that area. After careful planning he set in motion, April 5, 1619, four armies said to total 470,000 men, but numbering in reality perhaps less than a hundred thousand. Marching from Shên-yang by four different routes, they were to converge on the Manchu stronghold of Hsing-ching and to reach their objective on April 15. The first army under Tu Sung 杜松 (d. 1619) arrived alone in advance of the others and was completely annihilated by the Manchus on April 14 at Sarhû 薩爾濟. The second, led by Ma Lin 馬林 (d. 1619), met with disaster at Sanggiyan Hada on the following day. On April 17 the third army, under Liu T'ing [q. v.], together with its Korean auxiliaries, was destroyed at Dungge. Yang was able to save his fourth division, commanded by Li Ju-po (see under Li Ch'êng-liang), by ordering a hasty retreat to Shên-yang. The loss of life on the Chinese side during the four days of fighting is given in one estimate as 45,890. At the news of this disaster, which represented the outcome of the first major encounter between Chinese and Manchu troops, the Court ordered the arrest and imprisonment of Yang Hao. His execution was carried out ten years later.

[M.1/259/1a; M.3/223/1a; Ming-chi pei-lüeh (see bibl. under Chang Ch'üan), 1/2b, 5a; Hauer, E., K'ai-kuo fang-lüeh, 74–82.]

George A. Kennedy