Battle of Changsha (fictional)

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The Battle of Changsha, also called the Changsha Conflict is a fictional military skirmish described in Chapter 53 of the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms that took place in Changsha, in Jing Province, between the warlords Liu Bei and Han Xuan. The battle introduces two major Shu Han generals, Huang Zhong and Wei Yan.

Historically, Han Xuan surrendered to Liu Bei as part of the Battle of Jiangling in 208 without conflict, and Wei Yan was one of Liu Bei's personal retainers and rose through the ranks to become a general; he had nothing to do with Han Xuan and Huang Zhong.


Han Xuan, a former subordinate of Liu Biao, controlled the city of Changsha following Liu Biao's death in 208 and Liu Cong's failed succession. Han Xuan and another warlord Jin Xuan seceded from Jing Province following Cao Cao's stalemated conquest of Jing Province.

Cao Cao, Liu Bei, and Sun Quan all desired Jing Province, and Sun Quan had little of the province except for the southern side of the Yangtze near Xiakou and Chibi. Finding an opportunity to take Jing Province and a few other important locations, Liu Bei dispatched Guan Yu to take Changsha and eliminate Han Xuan.

The battle[edit]

When Guan Yu led his forces towards Changsha, Han Xuan sent his general Yang Ling to meet the enemy, but Yang Ling was killed. Han Xuan then sent Huang Zhong, who fought with Guan Yu. Whilst fighting, both generals developed respect for each other, and did not take opportunities to slay the other.

Han Xuan saw this, and ordered Huang Zhong to be put to death. Wei Yan rescued Huang Zhong by cutting down the executioner, then led a revolt to kill Han Xuan. Wei Yan then surrendered the city to Guan Yu.


Huang Zhong, Wei Yan and Liu Pan would all become prominent people of Shu Han following their surrenders to Liu Bei. Huang Zhong would become a "Tiger general" along with Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Zhao Yun, and Ma Chao. He would fight in the Hanzhong Campaign and kill Xiahou Yuan during a clash with Cao Cao's forces at Battle of Mt. Dingjun. Liu Pan would become the magistrate of Changsha for the Shu kingdom.

When Wei Yan surrendered, Zhuge Liang ordered him to be executed, but Liu Bei intervened. Zhuge Liang would always suspect Wei Yan, fearing he would again revolt. Indeed, later in Chapter 104, after Zhuge Liang's death in the Battle of Wuzhang Plains, Wei Yan does revolt.