Xuan-de: Year 1, Month 3, Day 5
12 Apr 1426
The Rong-chang Earl Chen Zhi, regional commander of Jiao-zhi, and the Commissioner-in-chief Fang Zheng attacked the rebellious bandit Li Li, but when they advanced to Cha-long Subprefecture, they were soundly defeated. Zheng was brave, but Zhi was timid and they could not agree on matters. The eunuch Shan Shou put all his efforts into trying to achieve negotiated pacification and therefore, although he had troops, he did not provide military assistance. Thus, they were defeated. The Minister Chen Qia memorialized on the matter. The Emperor sent orders of severe castigation to Zhi and Zheng, saying: "The rebellious bandit Li Li was originally a minor rogue. If initially great efforts had been made to eliminate him, it would have been as easy as picking mustard. However, you sat around and did not pay attention, allowing the bandits to grow and the troubles to mount. Now, I have been informed that you led troops to Ke-liu Pass and Cha-long Subprefecture and that in both places you were humiliated. This is because you both constantly had your own ideas, quarrelled and could not act in concert. This is indeed a crisis situation. If the brave go forward alone without plans and the timid are fearful, draw back and do not assist, how can victory be achieved! How can such transgressions be forgiven! Now, I am being especially lenient towards you. You should work together night and day, combine your efforts in training and drilling the troops and eliminate this bandit to atone for your transgressions." Shou was castigated as follows: "The rebellious bandit Li Li was originally a minor poor bandit. If great efforts had been made earlier to capture him, it would have been as easy as catching a fledgling chick. You foolishly held to your own ideas and repeatedly memorialized that we should try to bring him to negotiated pacification. This only led to the breeding of evil and the spreading of calamities. When Fang Zheng and the others attacked, although you had 1,000 government troops, you remained guarding Yi-an and do not go to their aid. This led to the defeat. How can your transgression be forgiven! You should ponder deeply and change your ways and make great efforts to assist Zheng and the others so that together you can prove effective." Orders were sent to Qia as follows: Both Chen Zhi and Fang Zheng are of mediocre abilities. Zhi is timid and full of fears, while Zheng is courageous but acts without planning. They also act of the basis of their own ideas without coordinating with each other, and this has again led to defeat. This time, I have especially forgiven them in order that they may achieve results in future and thereby atone for their previous transgressions. You should do all possible to assist them, so that they work together to pacify this bandit. The ancients had a saying: `If a minister cannot provide support when danger threatens, what use is he as a minister!' You should encourage them."
Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 16, page 0395/96