Xuan-de: Year 2, Month 4, Day 2
28 Apr 1427
On this day, the Li bandit of Jiao-zhi took Chang River City. As Chang River was a strategic place, Li had used his force of over 80,000 bandits to attack the city. The Commissioner Li Ren and the Commander Gu Fu who were guarding the city, ordered the young boys, the old men and the women within the city to mount the walls, wave flags, make a great din and maintain the defences day and night. Ren and the others personally commanded crack troops and regularly went out of the city to make surprise attacks and to burn the enemy's implements of attack (功具). The bandits built mountains of earth on all four sides to launch spears into the city. Ren led the "dare-to-die" troops and, at night, stole out of the gate and killed the people guarding the mountains of earth and destroyed their camps. The bandits then dug a tunnel into the city and Ren opened trenches across the tunnel. From these trenches, they fired "Military General Stones" (將軍石子) at any bandits which emerged. Thereby, many of the bandits were killed. The bandits heard that the "General for Subduing the Yi" was coming with a great number of troops. They were frightened and wanted this city for their own security. Thus, more soldiers and elephants came to attack and arrows and stones fell like rain. Ren made all sorts of defensive preparations and continued his defence for over nine months, engaging in over 30 large and small battles. Initially, there had been over 2,000 officers and men within the city. At this time, over half had been killed or wounded or else had fallen sick. But the bandits continued their attack with combined forces. They used scaling ladders to scale the walls and also attacked the gate. Ren again led the "dare-to-die" troops in three engagements and three times inflicted defeats. The bandits then pushed their way forward with elephants and more troops. Ren and the others struggled as best they could, but could not withstand the force. Ren and Fu both cut their own throats, while Feng Zhi, the eunuch defender of the city wailed, bowed repeatedly to the North and vowed that he would not follow the bandits. Together with the Commander Liu Shun, the Prefect Liu Zi-fu and others, he hanged himself. A large number of other military officers and men and women died at the same time. The bandits set fire to the people's dwellings and looted everything.
Zhong-yang Yan-jiu yuan Ming Shi-lu, volume 17, page 0701/02